I love food. I also love traveling. So, naturally, I’m always looking for ways to combine these two passions. And I’ve found them in Europe’s most incredible food festivals. While most people think of Europe as a place where you can experience world-class culture and history by day, the truth is that European cities also offer tons of incredible culinary experiences by night—and sometimes all day long if they happen to be hosting one of these amazing festivals:
No other food festival is as famous or as large as Oktoberfest. Held annually in Munich, Germany (and sometimes in other cities around the world), this 16-day celebration of beer, Bavarian culture and German pride attracts millions of visitors each year. The festival takes place over two weeks from late September to early October.
As Europe’s largest fairground event with more than six million attendees per year, it’s easy to see why Oktoberfest is such a big deal–there are dozens upon dozens of different beer tents serving up all kinds of delicious dishes from across Germany’s regions and beyond–from sausages to cheeses and pretzels!
Cheese Fair in Graz, Austria
The capital of Styria and home to a huge cheese festival? Yes! This city is not only known for its delicious dairy products but also as the “City of Music”. It’s located in south-east Austria and has been an important center for trade since ancient times. In fact, it was once referred to as “the gateway to Italy” because it was so close to Venice (just across the border).
The Grazer Cheese Fair takes place every year from April 15th until September 30th–so you can go anytime during those months if you want!
Winter Bavaria’s Salzburg Christmas Market
If you’re looking for a Christmas market with a difference, Salzburg is the place to be. The city’s famous Christmas market has been running since 1628 and attracts over 2 million visitors each year.
The market takes place in the heart of Salzburg’s Altstadt (Old Town) and stretches along several streets including Getreidegasse (the main street), Residenzplatz, Kapitelplatz and Karrner Gasse. It features traditional wooden chalets selling gifts, decorations and food items while musicians play festive tunes on accordions or saxophones. There are also plenty of themed performances including ice skaters performing acrobatics on frozen ponds as well as horse drawn carriage rides through town during daylight hours – if you get too cold from standing outside then there are plenty of warming drinks available at one of many restaurants nearby!
Christmas Market in Brussels, Belgium
If you’re looking for Christmas markets, Belgium is the place to be. With over 200 different markets spanning the country, Belgium has the largest number of Christmas markets in Europe. Brussels is home to one of Europe’s best and most famous: the Grand Place Christmas market.
The Grand Place is a UNESCO World Heritage site and dates back to medieval times when it was used as an open-air market place where traders would sell their goods in front of City Hall (Hallepoort). Today it’s still used as a public square but has been turned into an outdoor shopping center filled with food stalls selling everything from mulled wine and chocolate-dipped waffles to hot chestnuts and fries with mayonnaise sauce! There are also plenty of attractions on offer including an ice rink (which opens until January 6th), Ferris wheel (open until December 26th), Santa’s house where kids can meet him face-to-face; plus there are plenty more fun things happening throughout December too so make sure you check out their website before visiting!
The Taste of Kiel, Germany
The Taste of Kiel is a food festival held in the city of Kiel, Germany. The festival takes place over a period of four days and attracts more than 1 million visitors each year.
The Taste of Kiel is one of the most popular food festivals in Germany, with an estimated annual turnover of around EUR 14 million (USD 15 million).
La Tomatina Festival in Buen Retiro Park, Spain
The Tomatina Festival takes place in Buen Retiro Park, Spain on the last Wednesday of August. It’s one of the largest food festivals in Europe, with an estimated crowd of about 30,000 people. The festival starts at noon and lasts all day long!
The event is organized by El Tomate de Villamartin–a group of volunteers who help organize this unique event every year. They also provide free buses to take you from Madrid to Valencia before returning at night so you don’t have worry about driving home after eating all those tomatoes! You can find more information about how they operate here: https://www.facebook.com/tomatinafestival/.
Eataly World Tour (Prague & Turin)
Eataly World Tour is a chain of food markets that has locations in Turin and Prague. It’s the world’s largest chain of food markets, with over 50 stores across North America, Asia and Europe.
In addition to its retail operations, Eataly also hosts events like cooking classes and wine tastings–and even offers culinary tours. If you’re looking for something more than just eating at one of these markets (though we highly recommend it), there are plenty of ways to get involved!
Experience Europe’s food culture at these festivals.
There’s nothing like a European food festival to help you experience the rich diversity of Europe’s culinary heritage. The festivals are fun, they’re an excellent way to experience local culture and they give you an opportunity to try new foods.
The best part? You don’t even have to leave home! Just put on your party pants and get ready for some serious eating with these top five European festivals:
We hope this list of food festivals has inspired you to visit Europe and experience its rich culture. The continent offers an abundance of culinary delights that can only be found in these special events, so don’t miss out on them!