Happy New Year from the team at SkedGo!
Is traveling more one of your resolutions for 2015? In the spirit of exploring everything, we’ve compiled a list of the top 25 must-see events in Europe, so if you’ve been looking for an excuse to travel now you have 25 of them!
Regardless of whether sports or music festivals are your preference, we have you covered with everything from Wimbledon to Glastonbury, plus a few fun ones in between like the infamous Stonehenge Summer Solstice.
Have we missed anything? Add a comment below with your favourite European event this year!
Starting January – March
Cologne Carnival (Kölner Karneval)
When: 12 – 18 February
Where: Cologne, GERMANY
Germany’s answer to Mardi Gras – a huge event marking the beginning of Lent. There will be local festivities and the highlight being “the crazy days”, the street carnival, and the huge Rose Monday parade on 16th February.
Binche Carnival (Carnaval de Binche)
When: 15 – 17 February
Where: Binche, BELGIUM
This is one of Belgium’s wildest parties, a UNESCO Heritage event (as ‘Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’). Sunday and Tuesday are best.
St Patrick’s Festival & St Patrick’s Day Parade
When: 14 – 17 March
Where: Dublin, IRELAND
Of course our list wouldn’t be complete without these wild green days, including the huge parade on St Patrick’s Day (17 March).
Las Fallas Festival
When: 15 – 19 March
Where: Valencia, SPAIN
An explosive crazy 5-day party of bonfires, fiesta, flowers, traditional costumes, music and satire. A focus is also the creation and destruction of ninots (“puppets” or “dolls”), which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. And don’t miss the amazing fireworks at night!
Total solar eclipse
When: 20 March
Where: Svalbard or Faroe Islands, DENMARK
This is the last total solar eclipse visible in Europe until the eclipse of August 12, 2026, so if you’ve never experienced one you should check it out. The total solar eclipse will be visible from Svalbard and Faroe Islands.
Starting April – June
When: 6 – 11 April
Where: Mayrhofen, AUSTRIA
Live music with wild bands and world-class DJs in a perfect alpine setting. It’s also called the “Ibiza in the Snow” and was the UK Festival Award’s ‘Best Overseas Festival’ winner in 2010.
King’s Day (Koningsdag)
When: 26 – 27 April
Where: Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
This celebration of the Dutch King’s birthday (27 April) is also known as Orange Festival. You’ll find lots of orange, beer and dope, and a massive street and canal-boat dance party, starting the night before.
When: 1 May – 31 October
Where: Milan, ITALY
This year’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. Visitors will experience a unique journey that looks at the complex theme of nutrition. They will have the possibility to take a trip around the world, sampling the food and traditions of people from all over the globe.
Cannes International Film Festival (Festival de Cannes)
When: 13 – 24 May
Where: Cannes, FRANCE
The world’s most glamorous film festival previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from around the world. Unfortunately it’s not open to the general public, but you might still be able to catch a glimpse of you favourite movie star or producer in the area.
When: 24 May – 7 June
Where: Paris, FRANCE
If you love tennis, you can’t go past this one – and what a great reason to visit the City of Light. Games are played on clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros.
Isle of Man TT Races
When: 30 May – 12 June
Where: Isle of Man, UK
The ultimate event for bike enthusiasts. Watch racers on 37 miles of narrow, winding, stone walled roads travelling at way over 150mph, then get out there yourself. Death is no stranger to this event.
UEFA Champions League final
When: 30 May – 12 June
Where: Olympiastadion in Berlin, GERMANY
A must for any soccer fan; one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football.
First European Games
When: 12 – 28 June
Where: Baku, AZERBAIJAN
This will be the inaugural edition of the European Games, a multi-sport event for European athletes. It will feature over 6,000 European athletes competing in 20 sports. Alongside traditional sports such as Athletics, Aquatics and Gymnastics, new sports such as 3×3 Basketball, Beach Soccer and Karate will be showcased.
Christopher Street Day (Berlin CSD Parade/Berlin Pride) & Lesbian and Gay City Festival
When: 20 – 27 June
Where: Berlin, GERMANY
The largest gay street party in Europe, a week of street festivals and cultural events. The parade on 27 June won’t have a shortage of scantily dressed men and women, drag queens and BDSM enthusiasts in a huge party atmosphere.
Stonehenge Summer Solstice
When: 21 June
Where: Wiltshire, ENGLAND
Midsummer night ritual with all sorts of druids, hippies and new age wackos. Fascinating, and you get to touch the stones! The BBC has some nice pictures of last year’s event.
When: 24 – 28 June
Where: Worthy Farm, Somerset, ENGLAND
A massive, multiple music event, with different stages featuring a wide variety of music, but heavy on rock variations. Tip: bring a pair of gumboots…
Wimbledon Tennis Championships
When: 29 June – 12 July
Where: London, ENGLAND
Wimbledon is the oldest and often considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. The games are played on the grass courts at the All England Club.
Starting July – September
San Fermín Festival
When: 6 – 14 July
Where: Pamplona, SPAIN
The week long celebration involves many traditional and folkloric events, including the famous running of the bulls. It is known locally as Sanfermines and is held in honor of Saint Fermin, the co-patron of the region of Navarre. In short, if you like wild street parties, you’ll love Sanfermines.
Kilkenny Arts Festival
When: 7 – 16 August
Where: Kilkenny, IRELAND
For lovers of the arts – Ireland’s oldest multi arts festival with music, theatre, literature, dance, visual art and craft, set in amazing surroundings.
When: 26 August
Where: Buñol, Valencia, SPAIN
The original tomato fight – 1h of tomato throwing madness. It is recommended to use goggles and gloves if you want to join in the fun, and for girls to wear a bikini underneath. Although the actual food fight happens on the morning of 26 August, dancing, parades and fireworks are happening all week. Plus, the biggest and most impressive paella “cook-off” in the world!
Rugby World Cup
When: 18 September – 31 October
Where: All over ENGLAND; final in Twickenham, London
Watch 20 nations compete for the William Webb Ellis Cup. Organizers of the 2015 tournament call the Rugby World Cup the third largest sporting event in the World, behind only the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics.
Oktoberfest (aka Wiesn)
When: 19 September – 4 October
Where: Munich, GERMANY
Beer, beer and more beer at the world’s largest funfair. You’ll also get sausages, dirndls, amusement rides, lots of raucous singing and drunk Germans everywhere. Sounds like fun? What are you waiting for?
Starting October – December
The day they travel to in Back to the Future Part II
When: 21 October
Dr. Emmett Brown, Marty McFly, and Jennifer Parker time travel to October 21, 2015. Lawyers are abolished, people wear self lacing shoes, travel in flying cars and on hoverboards. Well, this is not strictly speaking in Europe, but it’s an important date so we just had to include it!
German Christmas Markets
When: Late Nov – 23 December
Where: All over GERMANY
Germany has some wounderful Christmas markets set in spectacular locations. Check out the mulled wine and German sweets, and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. Some of the best are in Nuremberg, Munich, Rothenburg and Freiburg; also check out Bernkastel-Kues and Regensburg.
New Years Eve
When: Late Nov – 23 December
Where: Port of Funchal, Madeira, PORTUGAL
The famous fireworks display was recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2006 as the largest display of fireworks in the world. You can see it from a boat, there are lots of offers. If that’s a bit too expensive for you, the best views on land are from the pier near the marina or near the Panoramico hotel.
- Title picture By User: keulefm [CC0 Public Domain], via Pixabay
- Kölner Rosenmontagszug By User: MatthiasKabel (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Binche By Jean-Pol GRANDMONT (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
- St Patrick’s Festival By Miguel Mendez from Malahide, Ireland [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Las Fallas By Chamaeleon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Total Solar Eclipse By Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Snowbombing By Bunny (Transfered by מתניה/Original uploaded by Bunny) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Koningsdag By Erikt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Expo 2015 By Stefano Stabile (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Cannes By Rita Molnár (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Roland Garros By User:Arnaud 25 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Isle of Man TT By A.G.Lloyd-Jones [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
- 2014 UEFA Champions League Final By Miguelazo84 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Taekwondo By Korean Culture and Information Service (Photo by Korean Olympic Committee) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Berlin Pride By Joerg Kanngiesser from Germany (CSD Berlin 2007 – Partytruck 1Uploaded by ZH2010) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge 2005 By Andrew Dunn [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Glastonbury Festival By Paul Holloway from Birmingham, United Kingdom [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Wimbledon – Centre Court By Albert Lee (Photo) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- San Fermín Festival By www.viajar24h.com (www.viajar24h.com-200) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Kilkenny Arts Festival By Gottfried Helnwein (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Tomatina 2006 By Graham McLellan from London, UK (00690016) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- 2011 Rugby World Cup Wales vs Samoa By Jolon Penna (DSC_0803Uploaded by stemoc) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Girl in front of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest tent By Markburger83 at English Wikipedia [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
- “Back to the Future Part II“. Via Wikipedia. © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
- Christkindlesmarkt Nuernberg By Roland Berger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
- Madeira Reveillon (Funchal Fireworks) By Porto Bay Events [CC BY-SA 2.0], via flickr