- 1. Party like there’s no tomorrow in Barcelona
- 2. See Paris light up at night
- 3. Take your popcorn to Locarno
- 4. Tuck into delicious Italian truffles
- 5. Sip your way around London’s beer scene
- 6. Join movie royalty in Rome
- 7. Put on your dancing shoes in Seville
- 8. Go nutty in Tuscany
- 9. Rock around the clock in Switzerland
1. Party like there’s no tomorrow in Barcelona
Join thousands of Catalonians from September 20 to 24 as they flood the streets of Barcelona for one truly awesome fiesta. Known as La Mercè, the city’s annual festival features all kinds of delicious food, live bands, and even dangling acrobats. You’ll find yourself surrounded by people in crazy costumes: we’re talking fire-breathing dragons, towering giants, and the occasional mischievous devil.
2. See Paris light up at night
On the first Saturday in October, the City of Light really lives up to its name. When the sun goes down on October 5, the lights go on to mark the start of Nuit Blanche, Paris’ annual light festival. Iconic buildings across the city are transformed into shape-shifting canvases by acclaimed light artists. As well as glowing buildings, a wide variety of art installations, stages, and exhibitions are dotted across the city.
3. Take your popcorn to Locarno
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more scenic film festival than the one found in Locarno. The Swiss city charms at the best of times, but it really dials up the razzle-dazzle from August 4 to 17. The highlight is the city’s main square, the Piazza Grande, which turns into a spectacular 8,000-seater open-air cinema. Be sure to move quickly as tickets get snapped up in no time.
4. Tuck into delicious Italian truffles
Italy’s home to some of the most exquisite food on the planet — and truffles may just be the tastiest of them all. To sample these delectable delights, head to Alba, a cute town in the middle of Piedmont’s truffle country between October 4 and November 24 for the International Alba White Truffle Fair. Not only will you find the freshest truffles here, but local products like olive oil, wine, and hazelnuts fill street stands.
5. Sip your way around London’s beer scene
What would the UK be without football (or soccer, if you’re not a Brit), a nice cup of tea, and just a teensy bit of alcohol? If it’s the latter you’re after, make a beeline for London’s annual Craft Beer Festival, hosted from August 9 to 11. Held at the Tobacco Dock, the festival features hundreds of the city’s best brewers. With plenty of beer, delicious food, and live bands, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
6. Join movie royalty in Rome
Rome gets even more glitzy and glamorous in from October 17 to 27 when the city welcomes the world’s biggest movie stars. Founded in 2006, the Rome Film Fest attracts the who’s who of the silver screen — and movie buffs flock to see them on the red carpet. After you’ve had your fair share of movie watching, pretend you’re in one by cruising the streets of Rome in a vintage Fiat 500.
7. Put on your dancing shoes in Seville
Grab your dancing shoes and head to Seville for the Bienal de Flamenco. Held from September 4 to October 4, you’ll find magnificent dancers, amazingly talented singers, and spellbinding guitarists performing in venues across the city. Of course, all this action ensures you’ll work up quite an appetite, so make sure to try a selection of tasty tapas before you leave.
8. Go nutty in Tuscany
Italians go nuts for chestnuts, and in October, Tuscany becomes the epicenter of all things nutty. You’ll find festivals dedicated to chestnuts all over this famed region. So, bring your appetite and hop around village festivals as you drive through rolling hills and stunning Tuscan cities like Florence and Siena. As you weave through the scenery, make sure to swing by a vineyard or two as chasing chestnuts is thirsty work.
9. Rock around the clock in Switzerland
Switzerland might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of wild music festivals. However, a tiny town just outside of Geneva puts on one hell of a show from October 11-12. Spanning multiple genres, the festival brings thousands of fans to the sleepy (yet gorgeous) town of Vernier.