• 27 December 2021

Gather round ladies and gentlemen! What better way to experience a country than by taking part in one of its exciting festive events? Europe is home to a number of countries; each with its own unique mix of languages, traditions and cultural events. From the green-tinted revelry of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland to the famous Carnival of Venice, attending one of the annual Europe events below is sure to be some of the most fun you can have during a European trip!

While most Europe events were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 and resulting travel restrictions, many festivals and popular events went ahead in 2021! Looking forward to 2022, Expat Explore is feeling very positive about travel becoming even more possible and top Europe events going ahead as planned!

Planning to travel abroad in the coming year? Excellent! That means you have plenty of time to tailor your trip to include a few of the famous European festivals. Here are our top 20 picks of annual Europe events in 2022:

1. Carnival of Venice: The floating city’s masked fete (Italy) 

12 February – 1 March 2022

Venice Carnival, Europe Events 2022
Delight in the magic of the Venice Carnival in 2022!

The Carnival of Venice takes place each year. It takes place just before the six-week Catholic religious observance of Lent. Locals and visitors can dress up, wear masks and parade fabulous costumes. What can you look forward to? Street parades, theatrical events, masked balls and shows on the city’s famous waterways!

2. Vinterjazz: Copenhagen’s 3-week-long musical feast (Denmark) 

3 – 27 February 2022

Vinterjazz, Copenhagen, Europe Events 2022
Vinterjazz is a must-attend event for jazz and music lovers.

Vinterjazz is a must on the Denmark music calendar. Imagine – 600+ concerts, 100+ venues and 25 independent organisers throughout the country. It’s no wonder the festival draws countless guests from far and wide! It’s the ideal opportunity to enjoy live jazz in the historical streets of Copenhagen. The city has been known as one of the jazz capitals of Europe since the 1950s, so these musicians are the best of the best!

3. St Patrick’s Day: The feast of Saint Patrick (Ireland)

17 March 2022 

St. Patrick’s Day, Europe Events 2022
Don your best green attire and join in the St. Paddy’s festivities!

St Patrick’s Day is an official Irish holiday. It celebrates the passing of the patron saint of Ireland. Today, St. Paddy’s is now celebrated by many countries! What will you see? A lot of shamrocks, leprechauns and green-tinged beer. In the capital city Dublin, the festival takes on a whole new meaning. Here, Lá Fhéile Pádraig (St Patrick’s Day in Irish), means parades, concerts and even treasure hunts!

4. Keukenhof: Amsterdam’s Tulip & Flower Festival (Netherlands)

24 March – 15 May 2022

The Netherlands is famous for its tulips.

Keukenhof is also known as the ‘Garden of Europe’. In the space of eight weeks, more than 500 flower growers and bulb purveyors show off what they have in Amsterdam! The Keukenhof garden dates back to the 15th century. It was previously known as the gardens of the Countess Jacqueline of Bavaria. Today it is over 200 hectares and hosts the annual tulip festival. Are you a flower enthusiast? This is a bucket-list event!

5. King’s Day: Amsterdam’s all-day citywide street festival (Netherlands) 

27 April 2022

King’s Day, Amsterdam, Europe Events 2022
A full day of festivities guarantees plenty of fun on King’s Day!

A day-long festival in the capital of the Netherlands, King’s Day celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. Locals, expats and tourists dress in orange from head to toe to honour the Dutch royal family. The family visits a different municipality or town each year. Between 600,000 to a million people head to Amsterdam for King’s Day each year! The events usually start the night before King’s Day (King’s Night) and continue until the eve of King’s Day. The canals are full of different coloured boats (with parties onboard) all day or even week long. You can make your pick from at least eight King’s Day dance parties in the city centre of Amsterdam! King’s Day also hosts the biggest flea markets in the world. Everyone, young and old, trades second-hand goods. Click here to see more of what’s on during King’s Day in 2022.

Related: Find out everything you need to know about celebrating King’s Day in the Netherlands!

6. Stars of the White Nights Festival: St. Petersburg’s annual art festival (Russia)

27 May – 15 August 2022 (TBC)

Stars of the White Nights festival, St.Petersburg, Russia, Europe Events
The fireworks are a true highlight of the Stars of the White Nights festival.

The Stars of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg is one of the most popular musical and cultural events in Russia. The festival runs throughout the season of the midnight sun. This is when night becomes extended twilight, and is a true extravaganza of the arts! You can enjoy music, opera, ballet, film and all sorts of outdoor celebrations. One of the festival highlights is the fireworks display! It marks the appearance of the Scarlet Sails- a fleet of red-sailed tall ships. The Scarlet Sails are inspired by a Russian children’s tale.

7. Chelsea Flower Show: London’s horticultural showcase  (England)

24 – 28 May 2022

Chelsea Flower Show, United Kingdom, Europe Events 2022
We always look forward to seeing the avant-garde pieces at the Chelsea Flower Show!

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, also known as the ‘Great Spring Show’, is a large scale flower and landscaping expo. Gardening enthusiasts travel from around the globe for this five-day event in the United Kingdom. What are the highlights of the event? Many show gardens are designed by the UK’s best landscaping artists. These include avant-garde pieces that would be at home around futuristic structures or historic castles. Some even show how to garden if you have very little space – that could be useful!

8. Fiesta de San Isidro: Madrid’s largest traditional festival (Spain)

13 – 15 May 2022 

Enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of the Fiesta de San Isidro in Madrid.

The Fiesta de San Isidro in Spain commemorates the patron saint of Madrid, San Isidro. It’s the highlight of the city’s springtime calendar. Each year, the festival starts with a procession of giants and cabezudos (giants and bigheads). Then, an opening speech in the Plaza Mayor. Over the next few days, the city becomes a festive riot of Latin culture! 50+ music, theatre and dance concerts take place in indoor venues and alfresco locations throughout the Spanish capital.

9. Ultra Europe: Multi-venue outdoor electronic music festival in Split (Croatia)

8 – 11 July 2022

Ultra Europe, Split, Croatia, Europe Events 2022
Ultra Europe boasts a roster of top EDM artists and DJs every year!

EDM or house music fan? Ultra Europe should already be on your radar! This is one of the world’s premier dance music destinations. It’s a three-day, multi-venue outdoor electronic music festival in Split, Croatia. Ultra Europe offers stadium shows, beach gigs and boat parties. All of this takes place on the stunning Adriatic coast. Recent headliners include David Guetta, Deadmau5 and The Chemical Brothers. That’s what we call a high calibre of artists!

10. Sanfermines: Running of the bulls in Pamplona (Spain)

6 -14 July 2022

Sanfermines, Spain, Europe Events 2022
The Festival of San Fermín attracts over a million people every year!

San Fermines festival is a week-long festival hosted in Pamplona, Spain. It’s seen as one of the biggest Spanish festivals hosted every year and sees over a million people flock to Pamplona annually! It honours Spain’s first bishop Saint Fermín. What can you look forward to? The well-known daily running of the bulls (encierro). Hundreds of men and women run for their lives in the narrow streets of Pamplona! They dress in white clothes and red sachets.  Anyone older than 18 can run and it’s completely free of charge! The festival is a true Spanish celebration. There’s so much to see and do… Live bullfights, flamenco music bands, fireworks, fairs, markets and parades. On 7 July everyone joins in a parade, walking with the 15th-century statue of the saint.

11. Zagreb Folk Fest: Croatia’s rural culture festival (Croatia) 

Mid-July 2022 (Exact dates TBC)

folk festival, zagreb, Europe Events 2022
Discover fascinating Eastern European folklore at the Zagreb Folk Festival!

The Zagreb Folk Fest is Organised by the KULTUR-NIK tourist agency. This annual folk festival shows the music and culture of Croatia and other European countries. There are open-air stages and concert halls all around the city. Who will be performing? Groups and ensembles from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia and more. This festival is a great way to get a taste of each country’s singular folklore!

12. Cambridge Folk Festival: Cambridge’s long-weekend folky fete (England)

28 – 31 July 2022

Cambridge Folk Festival, Europe Events 2022
Enjoy the melodic tunes from the world’s top folk artists at the Cambridge Folk Festival.

Everyone looks forward to the Cambridge Folk Festival. Where do the folks get together? The village of Cherry Hinton. This one is for the whole family!  The festival has famous folk entertainers from around the world. Dating back to 1964, the first-ever line-up included the likes of Paul Simon. Visitors are invited to camp out for the weekend and make the most of this long-weekend festival.  Your options span over more than five stages and entertainment areas.

Travel Tip: Tickets go fast for this event! Make sure that you get yours well in advance.

13. Berlin Beer Festival: The Grey City’s celebration of the golden drink (Germany)

2 – 11 September 2022

Berlin beer festival, Europe Events 2022
Beer and music? We’re there!

2,000 beers from 300+ breweries from 87 different countries?  Amazing! The Berlin Beer Festival celebrates beer culture and everything that goes with it.  Each year, around 800,000 visitors flock to Berlin to experience it! This festival boasts a vibrant atmosphere, world-class beer and some of the best music. There are national and international music acts as well as 20 stages throughout the festival! The venue runs along the scenic Karl-Marx-Allee between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor.

14. Øya: Norway’s international music festival (Oslo) 

10 – 13 August 2022

oslo music festival, Europe Events 2022
Rock out at Oslo’s biggest music festival!

The annual Øya Festival is one of Oslo’s (the capital of Norway) largest music festivals. It draws 60,000+ music lovers to the city’s vibrant east side each year. The event takes place over four days. The line-up always includes big local and international bands and musicians. They also allow newcomers the chance to perform.

15. Sziget Festival: The all-encompassing cultural party in Budapest (Hungary) 

August 2022 (Exact dates TBC)

Sziget music festival is one of the biggest in Europe!

The Sziget Festival in Budapest is a weeklong rock festival and is probably the biggest music and culture festival in Europe! Is it really that big? Each year there are more than 1,000 performers and up to half a million people! The fans come from up to 100 different countries, mainly Eastern and Western Europe. You can expect a real multi-genre line-up with renowned artists such as Rihanna, Pink, David Guetta and Muse performing in previous years. The event takes place on Óbudai-sziget island (Island of Old Buda) in north Budapest. It’s a dream location for a music and art festival. The island is known as Freedom Island, what a great name! The island becomes a world of art projects, visuals and interactive installations, created by local artists by using mostly recycled materials.

Travel Tip: You can buy a 7-day pass, a 5-day or just a day pass. Click here to watch the official after movie and other videos or search for #sziget on social platforms. Sziget is a celebration of music, arts and people. Every music and festival lover should tick this one off their list!

16. Oktoberfest: One of Europe’s largest folk festivals (Germany)

17 September – 3 October 2022

oktoberfest, munich, Europe events 2022
Oktoberfest is an iconic celebration of Bavarian beer and culture!

Drink a toast along with the 5.9 million guests that will be at this year’s 187th Munich Oktoberfest! There is so much German beer to choose from that, during the festival, as much as 7.7 million litres is enjoyed each year! The festival also promotes Bavarian culture. You can dress up and join a parade, or enjoy brass band performances and concerts. Prost!

Related: All you need to know about Oktoberfest

17. Advent Markets: Austrian Christmas festivities in Vienna (Austria) 

November – December 2022 (various dates)

Vienna, Austria, Christmas markets, Europe Events
Vienna is renowned for its exceptional Christmas markets.

If it’s Christmas cheer you’re after, look no further! Vienna has all the twinkles and lights you could wish for. Advent Markets are an age-old tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. Not sure what to get your loved ones? You’re sure to find something with over 20 official Christmas markets. They sell all sorts of seasonal gifts and traditional Viennese treats. You can even choose the location…The City Hall, Belvedere Palace and Christmas Village Maria-Theresien Platz…  Austria and Vienna are home to some of the best Christmas markets in Europe!

18. Lord Mayor’s Show: London’s classic piece of British pageantry (England)

12 November 2022

royal mayor show, London, UK, Europe Events 2022
The whole family will enjoy the Royal Mayor Show’s carnival-like procession.

This is one for the whole family! The Lord Mayor’s Show is a piece of British heritage, which dates back to the 1500s. The role of Lord Mayor of London is separate from the elected mayor of London. It refers to a position at the head of the City of London – not Greater London. In the 16th century, it was ‘The Procession to the Royal Courts of Justice and Presentation of the Lord Mayor to the Chief Justices’. Basically, the newly elected Lord Mayor had to go present himself to the royals. This has become a light-hearted British tradition, just like a carnival!

19. Sinterklaas Procession: Amsterdam’s Christmas Parade (Netherlands)

5 December 2022

sinterklaas, Amsterdam, Europe events 2022
Get into the Dutch festive spirit with Sinterklass!

The Sinterklaas Procession is a delightful Dutch tradition that takes place at the end of November or the beginning of December. Sinterklaas (the very Dutch version of Santa Claus) arrives in Amsterdam in style. He has no less than 600 Pieten (mischievous assistants) with him and he brings plenty of pepernoten (small spiced biscuits). Sinterklaas sails down the Amstel River along its canals to the Scheepvaartmuseum. There, he is greeted by the Mayor! The parade then continues on foot through the city. You can enjoy a children’s musical programme at Dam Square. The day out ends at the Leidseplein where Sinterklaas delivers a message from the balcony of the Stadsschouwburg. All in all, it’s a beautiful look into the Dutch festive traditions.

20. Hogmanay: Edinburgh’s roaring NYE Festival (Scotland)

31 December 2022

Edinburgh, hogmanay, Europe Events 2022
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival is definitely one of the best ways to ring in the New Year!

Hogmanay in Edinburgh is a world-famous New Year’s festival. It’s three full days of fun! There are loads of bands and events hosted by artists from around the globe. You can enjoy street parties, fireworks and concerts with partygoers from around the world. What a way to bring in the new year!

Related: Don’t forget to add these Scottish Events to your 2022 calendar!

What an awesome lineup, right?! We’ve brought you all the popular Europe events! And it’s easy because Europe always delivers when it comes to putting on big and exciting festivities.  Here’s to giving in to that niggling FOMO and joining in on the fun in 2022!

Questions & Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I’m planning to visit Europe alone this coming February. It’s good to know that I will witness the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. I love Jazz music. Actually, I participate in New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. I’m looking forward to joining that festival. But I have to fix my visa first. Luckily here in the Philippines, its easy to process your visa because of there are visa consulting firms that are willing to help you with regards to your visa.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Keith, That is so exciting – we hope you enjoy the festival! It’s great to hear that visas are made a bit easier in the Philippines.

  2. All of them look so colourful and bright. I didn’t know about half of these festivals, thanks for sharing!

  3. I like traveling and I want invitation from every event will happen in new year

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Naveed

      Thank you for your message

      I’ve added you to our mailing list, you will be receiving regular emails regarding our tour.

      We look forward to travelling with you.

  4. i like the traditionel festivals and i hope can i visite them all

  5. wonderful days are coming !

  6. I love traveling and I want visit Europe this time . I need an invitation letter and travel plan for the month of November or December. Kindly guide me
    Best regards

  7. Mr.Chandrashekhar Middya says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Greetings from India,
    In the name of our Lord Jesus I hope this mail will find you in the best of health as i am same here.
    I would like to inform you that i love to visit
    19. Sinterklaas Procession: Amsterdam’s Christmas Parade (Netherlands)..
    20. Hogmanay: Edinburgh’s roaring NYE Festival (Scotland)
    31 December 2021
    kingly send me all details and quotation on further email id.

    i am looking forward and waiting from your side.
    C N Middya

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Mr Chandrashekhar Middya

      Thank you for your comment. We have send you an email and looking forward to your response

      Best regards,

  8. Mia Williams says:

    The festive experiences that you shared in your blog are amazing. I loved your pictures and the pictures of various places that you visited. I am planning to make a trip to Portugal in May or maybe June. Accordingly, I will be applying for a Portugal Visa Online. I hope that I get my visa without any issues so that I and my wife can visit the gorgeous city of Lisbon and relish its beautiful attractions.

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