1. Transylvania, Romania, 2. Whitby, England, 3. Edinburgh, Scotland, 4. Meath, Ireland, 5. Barcelona, Spain, 6. Copenhagen, Denmark, 7. Boscastle, UK, 8. Corinaldo, Italy, 9. Oravsky Hrad, Slovakia. Celebrate Halloween in Europe, the continent of kings, castles, tales and legends and shiver in the best destinations to celebrate Halloween in Europe. We’ve put together a list of Best Halloween destinations in Europe for you!
- Transylvania, Romania
- Whitby, England
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Meath, Ireland
- Barcelona, Spain
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Boscastle, UK
- Corinaldo, Italy
- Oravsky Hrad, Slovakia
Transylvania is the most beautiful region in Romania, and arguably one of the best Halloween destinations in Europe. With timeless villages, colorful citadels, striking fortified churches, and over 118 castles, this place really looks and feels like a fairytale-like realm. For that reason, this place is also home to a variety of myths and legends that really “come to life” during Halloween, when the present is twisted with legends and long-lasting Romanian traditions.
A well-loved Halloween activity here in Transylvania is the Halloween Party at Bran Castle, which is also known as Dracula’s Castle. The castle is located in a small town near Brasov, and it looks straight off the pages of his famous vampire novel. However, Bran Castle is just one of the many magnificent castles dotted around Transylvania. If you want to see a true work of art, head to Hunedoara and visit The Haunted Corvin Castle. Built-in the 14th century in a Renaissance-Gothic style, the Corvin Castle is not only one of the most spectacular citadels in Romania, but also one of its most haunted. With mighty red-tiled turrets, inner stone courtyards, and medieval torture chambers, it seems perfectly fitting for Halloween.
If what brought you to Transylvania in the first place was an appetite for vampire stories, then there’s no better place to spend Halloween than Sighisoara – the “Dracula’s Birthplace”. This place is a UNESCO Heritage Site and is the best preserved still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe. While here, visit the Vlad Dracul House – the place where Vlad the Impaler was reputedly born, which is now a restaurant. Or, better yet, climb the iconic Clock Tower for a fantastic view of Sighisoara and its eerily beautiful surroundings.
Corvin Castle – travelaway.me
The old fishing port of Whitby is cloaked in mystery, located on the coast of North Yorkshire, and is one of the best Halloween destinations in English as well as in Europe. The thing that makes this place such an ideal location to visit during Halloween is the ruins of Whitby Abbey – one of the most visited spots on the North Yorkshire Coast and is home to a rich tapestry of history. The cliff face of the ruin is now dominated by a shell of the Benedictine monastery founded after the Norman Conquest, which in the 13th century was rebuilt in the iconic Gothic style. Today you can follow in the footsteps of artists, writers, and spiritual leaders to explore the soaring ruins, take in the surrounding sea views and uncover centuries of antiquity via an interactive guide.
The Whitby Goth Fest, held every October here in Whitby, is a must-attend event for anyone interested in celebrating Halloween. The Illuminated Abbey event is also held in October is also a great activity. This event is organized in co-operation with English Heritage, and the ruin lights up in various Halloween-themed colors. You can also visit the recently revamped museum to find out more about how the abbey inspired Caedmon (the first named English poet) and Bram Stoker, author of Dracula.
Also, it’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy Whitby’s famed fish and chips atop the 199 steps of the Whitby Abbey ruin. In fact, there has been lots of debate about whether there are in fact 199 at all, which makes this location even more exciting on Halloween. Moreover, from Whitby, you can drive to Thirley Cotes Farm to explore the neighboring towns and villages, such as Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay.
The ruins of Whitby Abbey – broganabroad.com
The ruins of Whitby Abbey during Halloween – twitter.com/WhitbyAbbey
Being a wonderful destination on Halloween, Edinburgh can spook a visitor’s socks off with its many ghost tours. And all of the tours include a visit to Edinburgh Castle – the symbol of the city that turns into a scary and mysterious place every October. However, there are so many other exciting places for you to visit here.
Samhuinn Fire Festival is an activity nobody should miss here in Edinburgh during Halloween. Samhuinn Fire Festival is a modern re-imagining of an ancient Celtic festival marking the end of summer and the rise of winter. The modern event has been held in Edinburgh since 1995. The festival is a unique Halloween night celebration with a familiar mix of neo-pagan theatre, pulsating drums, fire-dancing, acrobatics, over 20 stage performances, and a large bonfire.
Edinburgh Castle – www.europeanbestdestinations.com
Samhuinn Fire Festival – edinburghguide.com
The legends of the ancient Celtic Samhain feast, which marked the end of the harvest season with fire and singing, are buried deep in Ireland’s history. Many people believe that Samhain is where the modern Halloween celebration got its start. The Celtic holiday is said to have started there between the sunset on October 31 and the sunrise on November 1, more than 3000 years ago, on the foggy moors of easterly County Meath. Therefore, Meath, Ireland is the next Halloween destination in Europe that you should definitely check out.
The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival, which takes over the county for a month in October and November, is igniting a wave of new Halloween celebrations appropriate for people of all ages in Meath. The festivities make full use of the relationship the landscape has with the mystical and the macabre, and you can discover everything from the campy to the eerie, including historical re-enactments, spooky walking tours, and everything in between.
Here in Meath, you can also go to the Púca Festival, a festival that aims to introduce people to Irish folklore. Between October 28 and October 31, the activities take place on the mesmerizing Trim Castle grounds and at an old ceremonial hill in Athboy. It’s difficult not to sense the ethereal energy of ancient pagan rites with interactive light and laser shows, spectacular aerialist acts, and the lighting of traditional Samhain fires.
Púca Festival – Discover Boyne Valley
The Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival – The Irish Times
Barcelona is a terrific place to spend a terrifying Halloween, despite how strange it may sound. The first thing to note is that Catalans, like the rest of Spain, are renowned for their exuberance and unmatched party-throwing lifestyle. Second, it should come as no surprise that Halloween in Barcelona is as diverse and colorful as the city itself, given that it is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a wide range of customs, festivals, and breathtaking Gothic architecture.
There is nothing you can’t do in Barcelona for Halloween, from the upscale events held in the city’s upscale clubs to the outdoor music festivals, from the fun Halloween festivities on the beach to the family-friendly shows planned in the amusement park PortAventura.
Dia de los Muertos in Barcelona – www.wanderlust.co.uk
In addition to being a top spring vacation spot in Europe, Copenhagen is also a top Halloween destination that is well-loved by Europeans. Even though Denmark hasn’t had a Halloween tradition for a very long time, the capital city surely comes to life in October. From the famous gardens, and themed parks, to mysterious castles that have been around for centuries, this place has something for everyone.
During Halloween, the famous Tivoli Gardens is a must-visit. It is the oldest amusement park in the world and has been an important part of Copenhagen for more than 175 years. Special Halloween exhibitions and events fill the gardens with the “scary house” which is a big hit among both young and old. The Halloween program also includes the traditional pumpkin competition and the Monsters Night Out parade. Another famous activity in Tivoli is the magical and nostalgic rides that are designed to match Tivoli’s architecture and gardens. Tivoli’s oldest and most popular ride, the wooden Roller Coaster from 1914, is one of only seven roller coasters worldwide that have a brakeman on board every train. Some rides that are designed for thrill seekers could turn you upside down at 100 km/h.
Get yourself to Kronborg Castle in Helsingr if you want a calm evening. It’s better known as Elsinore, the castle where Hamlet from Shakespeare’s play pondered whether or not to be, and it makes the ideal setting for spooky ghost tours in Copenhagen during Halloween.
Tivoli Gardens – VisitCopenhagen
Kronborg Castle at night – Ole Thomsen for Flickr Visit
If you are a Harry Potter fan, The UK must be the go-to location for you when Halloween comes. But do you know where in England the place to celebrate Halloween and witchcraft? Got to Boscastle, Cornwall, North Coast of England to witness the 200-year-old village come to life during Halloween, join special Halloween events, and visit one of the world’s largest Witchcraft and Magic museums.
The Boscastle village becomes the focus of folklore and the center of all things strange and wonderful for one day and night of the year when people here celebrate the Dark Gathering. The annual Dark Gathering is a colorful afternoon-and-evening event that serves as the perfect precursor to Halloween. The event celebrates the dark, toasts the occult, and pays tribute to folklore in all of its various shapes and sizes. Differences are traditionally recognized in this feast for the senses and anyone, with any alternative viewpoint, is welcome to witness the frivolities, from the energetic performances by not-your-run-of-the-mill Morris dancers to the folky musicians who sing of strange and unsettling tales.
And the main character of Halloween in Boscastle is no other than the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. This museum explores British magical practice, making comparisons with other systems of belief, from ancient times to the present day. It houses exhibits devoted to folk magic, ceremonial magic, Freemasonry, and Wicca, with its collection of such objects having been described as the largest in the world. The museum is a popular tourist attraction and is held in high esteem by the British occult community.
Inside the Witchcraft Museum – www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk
The Annual All Hallow’s Gathering At Boscastle – Kernow Viddy
Corinaldo has two faces – that of a friendly city, a pleasant location recognized by the European Commission for its extraordinary natural beauty and scenery; and that of a mysterious and scary place especially when Halloween comes. Having said that, you should also be aware that the citizens of Corinaldo are descended from the witches that they worship. On the last weekend of October, Corinaldo goes from being the most beautiful village in Italy to be the national capital of Halloween, also known as the capital of Halloween.
During Halloween, the city of Corinaldo becomes an open-air amusement park. Every year since 1998, on the feast of Halloween, the historic center of the town is transformed into a dark horrific place among candles, cobwebs, pumpkins, fascinating scenery, and terrifying characters. In other words, it’s a sort of exciting autumn carnival where masks are an absolute must! For the occasion, there is all kinds of entertainment in the streets, decorated taverns, music, fire shows, and various attractions such as the tunnel of fear and other scary places.
Thousands of tourists of all ages crowd into Corinaldo, but kids are the real stars and can take part in the many workshops and shows where the Zuccotto (a man dressed up as a pumpkin) is the mascot. During the event, there is also a contest to choose the “Miss Witch”, in which anyone can take part.
“Miss Witch” in Corinaldo – blog.dhvillas.com
Oravsky Hrad, Slovakia
The last destination on this list is ranked one of the scariest places to spend Halloween in Europe – the Orava Castle in Oravsky Hrad, Slovakia. This castle was the place where the silent film “Nosferatu” by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau was shot. The film was made in 1922 and it was so haunting that a judicial decision to suppress all copies of the film was made in 1925. Therefore, it is believed that you can really explore vampire legend here on Halloween.
The famous castle of Oravsky Hrad lies deep in Slovakia’s forests and perched precariously atop a limestone rock on the banks of the Orava River. Visitors have been mesmerized by it for generations. The imposing fortress-turned-castle was built in the 13th century and has continued to evolve over time, becoming an equally astounding marvel of architecture and resiliency.
Take an autumnal tour of the castle and listen to the audio tour to hear blood-curdling tales of murder, injuries, and ghosts that still roam the halls. You will also hear blood-curdling tales of vampire lore. The castle has 154 rooms and approximately 660 stairs, so this won’t be a quick tour. The majority of excursions involve a vertiginous ascent via a maze of tunnels, courtyards, and displays, as well as stairs reminiscent of the famous movie scene with the hunched vampire, to panoramic views of Oravsky Hrad’s lush mountain panoramas.
Orava Castle – www.europeanbestdestinations.com