Halloween is the perfect opportunity to make all your spooky dreams come true. From how you dress to how you decorate your home to the parties and events you attend, on this one day a year, there is no limit to how terrifying you can be! The thing is, if you live in Europe or happen to be there during Halloween, you will notice that Europeans don’t go as hard for the holiday as Americans do. But that being said, it does not mean that you cannot have a blast celebrating Halloween in Europe.
Europe might not have the fanfare the US has for Halloween celebrations, but it has the history. European history is full of the most terrifying and bloody stories you can ever imagine! Wherever you are in Europe, all you need to do is follow the (metaphorical) trail of blood to the spookiest experience of your life! Halloween in Europe is not for the faint of heart. So, if you are up for a terrifying adventure, you came to the right place.
Experience the Spookiest Halloween in Europe
Heed our warning; the following events and experiences are not for children. If you are looking for some mild Halloween fun where the whole family can have a great time, there are plenty of Halloween festivals and carnivals in most European cities. These street fares are more about community, funny costumes, and candy than spookiness. They are the best for children and people just looking for a fun night out.
However, if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush and a Halloween to remember, then European cities can provide that! From real haunted houses and castles to catacombs and abandoned graveyards, Europe’s bloody history offers plenty of places and events to fuel your Halloween adventure.
We’ll tell you about the spookiest places you can visit in Europe, as well as plenty of adult-oriented Halloween festivals that take place in various European cities. This October, you will have the best and scariest time of your life!
Lose Your Mind In London
The city of London sure knows how to celebrate Halloween. With its permanently cloudy and gloomy weather, centuries-old buildings, and stories of serial killers, some might argue that London is a Halloweentown all year long. The city that gave the world Jack The Ripper, a murderous serial killer who roamed its streets looking for his next victim, is not for the faint of heart. London knows how to use its spooky vibes to give its visitors the best Halloween in Europe experience.
The London Dungeon
There is no better way to immerse yourself in London’s perilous past than to visit The London Dungeon. This attraction is usually fully booked during Halloween as it is the most thrilling Halloween experience in town. No one wants to miss it!
The London Dungeon offers visitors a thrilling adventure as they get to relive the city’s most notorious past. You will see, hear, and smell the most horrendous events London has witnessed. The adventure starts with a descent into the dungeon, where you get to hear all about the bloody events you are about to witness firsthand. From Henry VII’s wrath to torture chambers to escaping the Great Fire of London, you will not have a moment of peace.
So, if you are up to meeting the notorious Jack The Ripper, Sweeny Todd, and Mrs Lovett, The London Dungeon is the place to be this Halloween. Just make sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible, as they sell out fast!
Dare to Step In Derry
When a city calls itself City of Bones, you know they are legit. Derry (or Londonderry) has one of the most spectacular Halloween celebrations in the whole world! In 2015, USA Today magazine even called them “The Best Halloween Destination”! The city completely transforms itself into a Halloween extravaganza, using its rich history to give visitors the most unique Halloween experience. If you are looking for a whole experience that can go as hard and as scary as you will ever need and at the same time cater to a more relaxed Halloween enjoyer, then Derry is where you want to go.
The Derry Halloween festival is a four-day extravagant celebration that transforms the whole city. With multiple events happening throughout the duration of the festival, everyone can find something to enjoy. From terrifying stories to ghost tours, haunted houses, and creepy art programs, Derry Halloween has got it all!
The highlight of the festival is the Awakening The City Trail. It is a three-day adventure where you get to walk around the city and discover the history, folklore, and heritage behind the Derry Halloween celebrations. You will get to learn about the ghosts and spirits that haunt Derry and the festivals and tributes people used to do in the old days. Learning about Derry’s spooky history is not like a school lesson, though! Fireworks, aerial performances, illuminations, music, and pyrotechnics will be your teacher as you experience a Halloween like never before!
Whether you take part in Awakening The City Trail, enter The Garden of Reflection or meet the Devil with Stingy Jack, Derry Halloween will give you the best Halloween in Europe experience! Many of the Derry Halloween events are free to attend. However, some special events are ticketed, and tickets sell fast.
Tread Lightly In Transylvania
If Halloween is all about spookiness, then where is a better place to celebrate it than the homeland of Dracula? The infamous vampire who haunted our dreams, our stories, and our films for centuries was created in no other than Transylvania, Romania. The land of haunted castles, legends, dark stories and myths is the best place to be if you want an authentic Halloween experience: no pumpkin lanterns and candy, but plenty of bone-chilling experiences.
Bran Castle, located in a small town near Brasov in Transylvania, is a gothic fortress that looks like it came straight out of Bram Stoker’s bloody novel. It is mostly known as Dracula’s Castle, even though it actually has nothing to do with Dracula or the famous book. But because of its shape and spooky vibe, tourists and locals alike have dubbed it as Dracula’s Castle.
Every Halloween, tourists and locals come to the castle for a spooky night full of stories, costumes, and a night tour of the mesmerising fortress. You might not find the typical Halloween celebration of candy and jack-o-lanterns in Bran Castle, but you will surely have a Halloween to remember, surrounded by legends and scary myths.
Now, if you’re looking for something a little more based on reality and not myths and tourist traps, then you must visit Sighisoara. Sighisoara Is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the person whom Stroker used as inspiration to create Dracula. Visiting this UNESCO Heritage Site feels like travelling in time to medieval Europe.
The pastel-coloured houses, alleyways, fortified walls and watchtowers look like they came straight out of a novel. You can also visit the house where Vlad The Impaler was born and see for yourself where all the legends surrounding him started. Transylvania is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween in Europe if you’re looking for something unconventional and untouched by capitalist hands.
Alluring Parties In Amsterdam
Are you up for some adult-only Halloween parties? Bar crawls and responsibly drinking the night away wearing exuberant costumes? Welcome to Amsterdam, the city of your Halloween nightmares! Known for its extravagant parties, bars, restaurants, and exciting nightlife, Amestradam sure knows how to celebrate Halloween. That doesn’t mean that the city can’t offer family-oriented entertainment, but you get the best out of Amsterdam as an adult.
Red Light District Halloween Bar Crawl
The Red Light District in Amsterdam is known as a not-very-savoury place. It’s not for everybody, to say the least. However, on Halloween, a major celebration takes place! The infamous Red Light District Halloween Bar Crawl is the ultimate Halloween party. Take your friends (absolutely no one underage!) and put on your most extravagant costume for a night full of alcohol, dancing, and partying with strangers. It’s definitely a night for extroverts who want to take it to the extreme. Who said Halloween in Europe is boring? Definitely not the people in Amsterdam!
Amsterdam Halloween Party
If a bar crawl on Halloween is not your thing, don’t worry! Amestrdam still has a lot to offer, namely Amerstrdam Halloween. Amsterdam Halloween Party is a yearly themed event that takes place in the Westergasfabriek district. This year’s theme is Super Villans. Everyone who wishes to attend must be dressed to the nines as a Super Villan to attend this once-in-a-lifetime party. The event is restricted by age, as you have to be 18+ to enter the venue. It’s the party of a lifetime, so make sure you get your tickets before they run out!
Ponder the Secrets of Paris
The City of Light might not look like the place to be on Halloween. Like most European cities, glittering black and orange decorations, pumpkins, and lanterns have no place in Paris. Walking down the streets, you might not even know it’s Halloween! However, if you look closely, you will find some beautiful ways to celebrate the occasion—even darker and more spooky ways than you have imagined.
Paris Dark City Secrets Tour
The city of Paris might be known as a place for lovers and art enthusiasts nowadays, but it has a very dark history full of blood and some of the most terrifying events humanity has witnessed. These events give the city an eerie vibe that people use on Halloween to get their spook on! From ghosts to ghouls to murder stories, the Paris Dark City Secrets Walking Tour takes you on a walk across the darker sides of the City of Light.
Learn more about the demons of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the infamous Paris Catacombs that inspired so many tales and bedtime stories. This tour is a look into Paris’s mystical history and is very suitable for Halloween vibes.
Halloween in Disneyland Paris
If you are not the type to go hard on spookiness on Halloween, then the Halloween celebrations in Disneyland Paris will give you what you’re looking for. Disneyland goes all out for Halloween in Paris! The magical land transforms into a Halloween wonderland with parades, festivals, costume competitions, concerts, and events for the whole family. Granted, there is no dull day in Disneyland. But Halloween is just different! Tickets are hard to get, though, so if you plan to go, book well in advance.
A Halloween to Remember in Europe
Europe is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of Halloween celebrations. The truth is Halloween celebrations in Europe mostly revolve around religious celebrations like All Saints Day in France or the Celtic festivals of Samhain in Ireland and Scotland. People tried to use their own traditions and folklore to turn it into a celebration that resembles Halloween in the United States. And if you ask us, they made it even better!
While children might enjoy trick or treating or watching a semi-spooky Halloween family movie at night, young people and adults would rather have an adventure. Europe, with its rich (and bloody) history, gives Halloween the scary bone-chilling vibe it needs. Treading through haunted castles and exploring dungeons and long-forgotten catacombs will make your Halloween a night to remember!
Wherever you are in the world, Halloween can be a fun celebration. It doesn’t have to look like the American version. You can make Halloween your own by looking into your own history and tradition and finding the Halloween in there. But if your culture doesn’t celebrate Halloween and you want a piece of that cake, then Halloween in Europe might be your next favourite adventure!