The Best Halloween Destinations in Europe

Although Europe doesn’t celebrate Halloween with the same fanfare as the United States, that doesn’t mean this fascinating land, with its long and tempestuous history, frightening legends, and century-old castles is not a great place to be on October 31st.

Halloween in Europe combines colorful folklore with modern-day merriment, offering a variety of events and parades, plus the Irish tradition of the Jack O’Lantern, the iconic Trick-or-treating, the telling of ghost stories, and the American custom of carving pumpkins.

Halloween is the world’s second commercial holiday after Christmas and a good opportunity to travel the world, visit frightening places, learn about other nations’ cultures and traditions, and, why not, have fun and indulge yourself in the local delicacies. Considering all these things, plus other characteristics such as weather and local attractions, we’ve put together a list of Europe’s best Halloween destinations:

London, England

Halloween in London
Photo: teo1973/

The glamorous British capital, with its bloody past, obscure dungeons, ancient buildings, chilling backstreets, and memories of the world’s most infamous serial killer – Jack The Ripper, has often been regarded as one of the world’s most haunted cities.

Consequently, Halloween in London comes with lots of mystery and ghostly attractions, plus an excellent choice of celebrations that take place all over the city. From spooky tours and themed dinners to flamboyant parades and posh club events, London certainly knows how to thrill its visitors on October 31st.

Limoges, France

Limoges city

The birthplace of Renoir and the renowned Limoges porcelain, this medieval city in the historical Limousin region is probably the best place in France to spend Halloween. While this is not one of the country’s customary holidays, Limoges seems to have happily embraced this tradition ever since 1996, when it hosted its first Halloween spectacle.

Nowadays, each end of October, Limoges comes to life with a plethora of events, including street shows, themed fairs, costume parades, storytelling festivals, and colorful parties. And the 50,000 annual visitors seem to cherish them more and more every year.

Prague, Czech Republic

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague

Prague, the Gothic fairytale of Europe, with its stunning architecture, winding medieval lanes, macabre corners, and mysterious allure, is a place that gives you chills up the spine whether it’s Halloween or not. And although the Czechs are not exactly crazy about this holiday, the city itself seems to have been designed especially for such kinds of celebrations.

Some of the best Halloween attractions in Prague include the spectacular Old Jewish Cemetery, the Torture Museum, Sedlec Ossuary, Charles Bridge – with its landscaped statues, and the charming Prague Old Town – the setting of many legends and local ghoulish stories.

Transylvania, Romania

Dracula castle, Transylvania

Transylvania is the most beautiful region in Romania and an ideal place to spend Halloween. Besides the quaint Bran Castle and the world-famous legend of Dracula, which has its roots here, this place boasts a startling collection of citadels and frozen-in-time villages, where the present is twisted with legends and long-lasting traditions.

All these make Halloween in Transylvania not only a creepy, one-of-a-kind experience but also an epic journey back through the country’s mind-blowing past.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam Halloween parade
Photo via Facebook/AmsterdamHalloween

Tortured souls, haunted alleys, and some of the most creative costume parties you’ve ever seen put Amsterdam among the best places in Europe to spend Halloween. From clubs and restaurants to boats and museums, there are themed events all around the city during this time of year, as well as ghost tours, music concerts, and an all-night marathon of scary movies to attend.

Whether it’s family-friendly entertainment at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, an intense night of fetish extravaganza at Obscene Halloween, or partying with outlandish creatures at the legendary Monster Ball, Halloween in Amsterdam has something for everyone.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Halloween in Edinburgh
Photo via Edinburgh Dungeon

We often forget that Halloween is much more than just an opportunity to put on a costume, or a children’s holiday of trick-or-treats. It is an echo of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, whose celebrations are still preserved today in Scotland and Ireland.

Consequently, the gorgeous, eerie city of Edinburgh, with its thrilling Royal Mile, mighty castle, rich traditions, unsolved mysteries, creepy vaults, and high paranormal activity reported over time, provides its visitors with a Halloween blast.

Dublin, Ireland

Halloween in Dublin
Photo via Bram Stoker Festival

Just like Edinburgh, Dublin has a special charm when Halloween comes around. Maybe it’s the custom of carving Jack O’ Lanterns, which springs from the Samhain carving of turnips, or perhaps the myriad of events taking place all around Ireland during this time of year, but Dublin has a cool, sexy, flamboyant way of celebrating Halloween, and it always does this with huge parades, carnivals, traditions, and all sorts of captivating events suitable for all tastes.

Venice, Italy

Halloween in Venice

Venice might not be your usual Halloween destination, but it is one of the most romantic, mysterious, and beautiful places in Europe.

This jewel of a city in northeastern Italy has a permanent eerie atmosphere, a disturbing past, lots of shadowy corners, and mind-blowing legends about sea monsters. Add to all these the city’s stunning architecture, the sensual Venetian masks, and the spectacular masquerade balls, and you’ll probably have the most sophisticated Halloween of your life.

Ostend, Belgium

Ostend, Belgium

Also known as the “City by the Sea” due to its miles of sandy beaches stretching along the North Sea, cosmopolitan Ostend has gained the reputation of Belgium’s Halloween city. Each year, from the beginning of October, Ostend starts celebrating Halloween with elaborate decorations, creepy creatures roaming the streets, and various ghoulish events taking place all over the city.

Barcelona, Spain

Barri Gotic, Barcelona

As weird as it might sound, Barcelona is a great destination to spend a hell of a Halloween. First of all, Catalans, as well as the entire Spanish nation, are known for their exuberance and unparalleled way of throwing parties. Secondly, Barcelona is a vibrant, multicultural city with many traditions, festivals, and spectacular Gothic architecture, so it’s no wonder Halloween here is as varied and colorful as the city itself.

From the fancy parties held in Barcelona’s premium clubs to the outdoor music festivals, and from the entertaining Halloween events on the beach to the family-friendly shows organized in the PortAventura amusement park, there’s nothing you can’t do in Barcelona for Halloween.

Furthermore, on November 1st, the seductive Catalan capital celebrates La Castanyada (Chestnut Festival) and the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos with a stream of cultural events, street fairs, and traditional goods.

What’s your favorite Halloween destination?

    1. I agree, maybe I’ll make a more complex list for this year.

  1. The best one, and I mean the VERY BEST, is held in the tiny medieval hamlet of Corinaldo, Le Marche, Italy. “La Festa della Streghe” outdoes just about anything I have seen in our home country, the USA. The entire town, castle, walls, shops, plazas, underground dungeons/whatever they were used for hundreds of yeas ago when they were built, is transformed into a huge, sinuous, haunted netherworld. We LOVED it.

  2. Have always wanted to get to Transylvania for Halloween, but think the terror might be a bit too much! 😀

  3. I can’t actually find any further information on Halloween in Ostend. Do you have any links?

    1. Hi Jav,

      I’m afraid I don’t. Maybe you should check out their official website/Facebook page.

  4. Charmaine Kelly Charmaine Kelly says:

    Derry~Londonderry has one of the biggest festivals spanning over 2 weeks. Such a small town with massive creativity. EVERY single person makes an effort big or small! You will never see a sight like it anywhere in the world. Maybe you should update your list…..

      1. Agreed no where else does it like Derry-Londonderry Halloween – – everyone throws themselves into Dressing up, you’re to odd one out if you’re not in costume. It’s a party like no other.
        This year looks amazing ‘Under the Samhain Moon, with a 3 day celebration of Awakening the Walls before the Finale Celebrations on the 31st. Hunted Markets, Live Music, Gothic Balls, Hunted Trails, Carnival Parade, Fireworks – can’t wait

  5. My oh my how your researchers should be ashamed. Derry City voted the worlds number 1 Halloween destination and you don’t even mention it.

  6. Derry is ONE of the most spooktacular cities in the world too visit, it attracts thousands from all over the world each year, it’s one of the most artistic cities and a lot of work from all ages go into it. Live bands, crafts, haunted houses, awakening of the walls, carnival. Markets, chatue fair, everybody makes an effort and the end is the amazing fireworks display too finish it all off on the 31st at 8:15pm
    Gets everybody in the city together and if ure not dressed up ure the odd one out!

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