Take your next vacation up a notch by visiting one of these epic fall festivals. Whether it’s mingling with stars at Locarno’s international film festival or dancing the night away at a wild fiesta in Barcelona, Europe really puts on a show when the leaves start to fall. Your only issue? Deciding which one to check out first.
Dance through Barcelona’s streets during La Mercè.

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. 

See the City of Light at its twinkly best during Nuit Blanche.

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.

Enjoy the silver screen (and stunning views) at Locarno’s annual film festival.

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.

Sample Alba, Italy’s delicious truffles at the annual White Truffle Fair.

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.

Toss back a pint or two at London’s Craft Beer Festival.

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.

Get behind the wheel of a vintage Fiat 500 on a 3-hour panoramic tour of Rome.

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.

Head to Seville to enjoy some fancy footwork at the Bienal de Flamenco.

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. 

Tuscany’s always a good idea. Come October, there’ll be more chestnut festivals than you know what to do with.

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.

If it’s music you’re after, swing by Geneva’s music festival in early October.

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. 

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