August in Europe: a jam-packed calendar of cultural events and inspiring destinations to visit. Planning your summer holidays to catch the best of the August rays can be overwhelming, so we’ve collected some of the best events and destinations for your next break in Europe.
1. Barcelona, Spain
Why Barcelona? Great weather with a long list of beaches and festivals.
The capital of Catalonia needs no introduction. Let’s start with La Rambla – the city’s vibrant boulevard packed with wall-to-wall shops, eateries and drinking spots – and who could forget Gaudi’s iconic Sagrada Familia and Park Güell?
There’s never really a bad time to visit Barcelona, but the month of August stands head and shoulders above the rest for many travellers. With temperatures averaging 28 degrees during the day, it’s a great time to head to any of the city’s 10 beaches and soak up some rays.
Culture vultures will also have their plates full, as the city hosts a number of festivals throughout the summer months and August is no exception. The ‘Musica Als Parcs’ programme is a selection of free concerts running throughout June, July and August in the parks of Barcelona, while the local fiestas in Gracia and Sants offer everything from firework displays to highly-competitive street decorating contests for the locals!
2. London, UK
Why London? It’s party time as Notting Hill Carnival takes place from August 26th to 28th!
This annual celebration of all things Caribbean has gone from strength to strength over the years and can now claim to be Europe’s biggest street festival. 50,000 performers and one million attendees should tell you all you need to know!
The carnival kicks off on Saturday evening and runs until its grand finale on Monday, and there’s a designated ‘family day’ on Sunday afternoon. You can expect to find costumes, performances, parades and just about everything else over the space of these two days – not to mention some of the best street food this side of the Caribbean!
3. Berlin, Germany
Why Berlin? Get your drink on at the International Beer Festival on the weekend of August 4th – 6th.
Clocking in at over 1.3 miles long, this international booze-up holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest beer garden. Showcasing over 300 breweries from a quite incredible 86 countries, Berlin’s International Beer Festival should be on the bucket list of every beer lover.
The festival kits on sale come highly recommended, as they include a taster glass and a map of the stalls. Visitors don’t have to waste any valuable sampling time with claiming glass deposits, or traipsing from stall to stall searching for a beer that suits them.
If beer isn’t your tipple then fear not – it’s not all about the booze. The three day festival is also accompanied by numerous musical performances, and the all-round camaraderie should ensure a good time for all!
Top tip: The festival opens at midday on Friday – arrive early to beat the crowds!
4. York, UK
Why York? What better reason than Yorkshire Day on August 1st?
With its cobbled old streets steeped in history, you don’t need an excuse to visit York. However if you’re really looking for one, then look no further than Yorkshire Day.
The folk in Yorkshire are a proud bunch, and this day is a celebration of Yorkshire ale, Yorkshire puddings and anything else pertaining to Yorkshire culture. They say that to properly celebrate Yorkshire Day, it’s essential to read the ‘Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity’ and there is no place better to witness this than York itself; the Yorkshire Ridings Society makes the declaration in the city four times throughout the day!
Head to the famous ‘Bettys tea room’ for a unique twist on the day. Did you know that August 1st is also the national day of Switzerland, which just so happens to be where Bettys founder Frederick Belmont was born? Don’t miss their unique selection of Swiss-Yorkshire treats – a must for any sweet-toothed foodie!
5. Cornwall, England
Why Cornwall? Music festivals, family fun, tons of beaches, we could go on…
Host to a number of events aimed at all ages and walks of life, you’d need to find an excuse not to visit Cornwall in August.
Music lovers can get their fix at Cornwall’s biggest festival, Boardmasters, from August 9th – 13th. This year’s weekender will be headlined by Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J and Jamiroquai with many other local and international acts rounding out the bill.
For a different vibe, check out Falmouth Week which runs from August 4th – 13th and includes live music from Blue, Imelda May and many more. There’s also a Red Arrows display and dragon boat racing for those not so musically-inclined.
Taking a break from the festival scene, one of the more unique events taking place is the ‘Flight of the Rainbows’. At 2pm every day, over 40 green-naped lorikeets are released from their enclosure to mingle with the crowds of visitors at the Paradise Park wildlife sanctuary. Visitors can buy a pot of nectar for £1 and enjoy all the attention that comes their way!
With a variety of events catering to all tastes and ages – not to mention the likelihood of great weather – there are few better times to take a holiday. Whether it’s a day trip, a staycation or a longer jaunt abroad you’re seeking, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs in the month of August. Search for any of these destinations on our homepage.