Events and inspiration for a short break in Europe

Looking for a great excuse to head to Europe in the next few months? Here are ten events for an enjoyable short break between now and May.

Netherlands Ice Sculpture Festival, Zwolle, the Netherlands

Dates: 14th December 2019 to 1st March 2020

Over 100 ice and snow sculptures, made by world-famous artists, are displayed during the three months of the festival. It’s a totally family-friendly event, with exciting activities for both kids and adults, so you won’t regret visiting. Zwolle is only an hour away from Amsterdam by train too, so you can make it a day trip.

Carnival of Venice, Italy

Dates: 8th February – 25th February 2020

In Europe, the month of February is known for its carnivals. The colourful events are held all over Italy, Spain, France, and other southern countries. The most famous and fabulous of all is the Carnival of Venice. The program is full of interesting events and parades. You can choose any day you like and you’re sure to spot something interesting at this festival of colour and light. 

Carnivals of all kinds also happen in Las Palmas, Nice, Cologne, Cadiz, and Tenerife.

Lemon Festival, Menton, France

Dates: 15th February – 3rd March 2020

Started in 1933 as a fruit show, this event has grown significantly since then and has become world-famous, bringing in around 160,000 visitors every year. The city of Menton, situated only 20 miles from Nice, is proud of its lemons, which are known all over the world. The festival boasts a colourful carnival atmosphere and a vibrant programme which differs from year to year.  

Berlinale, Berlin, Germany

Dates: 20th February – 1st March 2020

One of the world’s largest film festivals and media events, Berlinale has been held every February since 1978—before that, it was a summer event. Each year, around 400 films are shown in different selections and 20 of them win awards. Visit the Berlinale website for this year’s programme. If you are a visual arts enthusiast, you can’t miss this event!

Taste Florence Food Festival, Italy

Dates: 7th – 9th March 2020

The festival presents products and ideas brought to Florence by 300 different food companies from all over Italy. It’s a real haven for lovers of Italian food. You can also enjoy the cultural heritage of Florence, and adore the warm Mediterranean climate of Italy.

Las Fallas Fiesta, Valencia, Spain

Dates: 15th – 19th March 2020

This festival is known all around the globe for its traditional costumes, fascinating music, fireworks, great satire shows, and plenty of lights. The event is held in the city of Valencia, Spain, known for its warm winter, great Mediterranean climate, and many exciting events. 

Feast of San Giuseppe, Florence, Italy

Date: 19th March 2020

Every year, on 19th March, the Italians commemorate the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Joseph (known here as San Giuseppe). They have a colourful street procession and tasty food. The traditional food of the festival is zeppola: deeply fried dough balls, shaped into nests and filled with custard—sort of an Italian doughnut! Different tournaments take place on this day, and bonfires are lit in the evening. 

Keukenhof Flower Garden Spring Festival, Lisse, the Netherlands

Dates: 21st March – 10th May 2020

Keukenhof, situated in Lisse, between the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague, is a 79-acre flower park, known all over the world. It is open every year from March until May and offers the most incredible and unique flower displays, consisting of tulips, daffodils, crocuses, and hyacinths. The park boasts 800 different kinds of tulips alone. 

Also, the Bloemencorso Flower Parade is held every year in April. This year it will take place on 25th April 2020 between the towns of Noordwijk and Haarlem. 

Koningsdag (King’s Day), Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Date: 27th April 2020

On 27th April, the people of the Netherlands celebrate the birthday of their reigning monarch, King Willem-Alexander. Although celebrations are held throughout the country, the main event setting is, of course, Amsterdam, which becomes a huge flea market. People wear orange or paint their faces in the colours of their national flag: red, white, and blue. Parties are held all over the city. If you are not a party person, you will definitely enjoy the street theatre performances. 

Mostra delle Azalee, Rome, Italy

Dates: mid-April to mid-May

In the middle of April, the Spanish Steps, a popular tourist spot in Rome, is decorated with hundreds of vases with azaleas. It’s been a tradition for 80 years, and these brightly coloured, beautiful pink, white, and red flowers remain decorating the stairs until mid-May. It’s a sight worth seeing.

Now all you’ve got to do is choose an event and book your trip. Don’t forget your travel insurance!