With freezing temperatures continuing across the UK, we look at some of Europe’s best events over the next few months.
1. Dance away the winter cobwebs at one of Vienna’s grand balls
Vienna’s hugely popular ballroom dancing season runs until 25th February and offers 2,000 hours of dancing! The most famous event is the Opera Ball which offers a unique backstage view of the Opera House.
After whirling your partner around, make sure to take in sights including St. Stephen’s Cathedral and warm yourself up with a traditional strudel.
Temperatures up to 4C (39F).
2. Gorge on chocolate alongside the canals of Amsterdam
Chocolate lovers flock to Amsterdam’s Chocoa Festival (25th – 26th February) where some of Europe’s finest chocolatiers display their wares and visitors indulge in what is on offer.
Possibly a perfect late Valentine’s Day present but be warned, you might need to spend a few days wandering the canals of this famous city to work off those calories.
Temperatures up to 8C (46F).
3. Join in with a Greek carnival
The carnival season peaks on 26th February and the seaside town of Patras is the undisputed home of Greek carnivals. The Night and Grand Parades see thousands of revellers hit the streets with huge models and lanterns paraded through town.
Visitors may combine this with a few days in Athens or on one of the 6,000 Greek islands.
Temperatures up to 14C (57F).
4. Discover more than tulips at Dutch flower festivals
Two of Europe’s largest flower festivals are held simultaneously in the Netherlands, with the Keukenhof Flower Show (23rd March – 21st May) and the Bloemencorso display (19th – 23rd April) drawing crowds.
Entrance to Keukenhof costs around £14 and is 45-minute journey from Amsterdam.
Temperatures up to 12C (54F) during April.
5. Celebrate the season at the Budapest Spring Festival
This long-running festival (31st March – 23rd April) combines a huge array of classical music, jazz, opera and theatre, all set within Budapest’s historic centre.
Between performances, don’t miss St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Chain Bridge. Many choose to have dinner on a luxurious river cruise along the Danube which divides the city.
If it gets chilly, warm yourself up with goulash, Hungary’s national dish (a beef stew with paprika).
Temperatures up to 15C (59F).
6. Watch fantastic films in Brussels old town
A regular on the European film festival circuit since 1983, the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (4th – 16th April) specialises in science fiction, thriller and horror films. Just ensure you try some of the luxurious chocolate before you leave.
Temperatures up to 13C (55F).
7. Stroll around the world’s best gardens in France
The International Garden Festival (from 20th April) in France’s Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire region will appeal to those with green fingers. This long-running festival attracts gardeners and visitors from around the globe and could be an alternative for regulars of the Chelsea Flower Show.
With Paris under three hours away, it is possible to combine this event with a city break.
Temperatures up to 11C (52F).
8. Taste the best ice cream Florence has to offer
Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss Florence’s annual Gelato Festival this April (21st – 25th), when gelato lovers flock to this famous city, eager to combine great architecture with the world’s tastiest ice cream.
Accessible from many UK airports and with a wide range of accommodation options, Florence is a popular choice year-round. The world famous Uffizi Gallery (free on the first Sunday of the month) and Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo di Firenze which adorns every city guide), ensure there is plenty to appeal to those looking to soak up some culture.
Temperatures up to 19C (66F).
9. Sample the finest wines from Barcelona
The Priorat Wine Fair (30th April – 1st May) offers the finest in Catalonian wine, whilst tantalisingly close to the city of Barcelona. There really is something for everyone in this seaside city, boasting great food, culture and architecture.
Football fans won’t want to miss a tour of the legendary Camp Nou for £22, and may even catch a glimpse of Messi at a game.
Temperatures up to 18C (64F).
10. Enjoy Maltese fireworks in the Med
Held annually since the country’s entry into the EU in 2004, the Malta International Fireworks Festival in late April has increasingly attracted visitors to the island’s capital, Valletta.
Excellent museums and churches, such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral, have boosted Valletta’s reputation as a cultural hotspot, and the warm weather makes it a perfect destination for a short break.
Temperatures up to 19C (66F).
These are just ten of hundreds of unique events occurring across Europe. If these don’t appeal there’s bound to be something to suit to your interests!