It's always you that goes to Europe for holidays, but have you ever wondered when Europe goes on holiday? If you've ever been to Italy in August, then you will know the answer to this already. Italy and the whole continent may be perfectly basked in the August sun, but if you have ever tried driving somewhere during this period then you are more than likely to have spent a fair few hours playing "I Spy..." trying to pass time on the Autostrade!
August is when all the families all go on their annual holidays. Factories in France and Italy shut down due to it being too hot and you can't blame them! It is when the beaches are at their best and when school is out for Summer. This does have an impact on travellers as well and it's not necessarily bad.
The roads will be busy and (some) beaches may be packed but all these families must have come from somewhere? Whilst it would be wrong to say it is just like Winter, visiting the cities in Europe in August can be less busy than June and July! The streets can be quieter, the restaurants aren't all full BUT whilst the classic morning commute may be quieter, it is also the busiest period for tourists. Can't beat them all!
August is a great time to visit Europe though and is full of unique festivals for you to experience such as:
Sziget, Budapest In the Hungarian language, Sziget means island, but in Budapest, Sziget means a festival best described as “an electronically amplified, warped amusement park.” It's a 24-hour non-stop mix of music, art, food, performance and regional culture. It has become one of Europe’s most popular summer festivals, recently having received the honour of “Europe’s Best Major Festival .”
Rock en Seine, Paris Not just where Oasis called it a day, the Rock en Seine festival in the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud park west of Paris is the city's premier annual rock festival
Guca Trumpet Festival, Serbia A brass band festival like no other, this - the country village of Guca goes absolutely mental every August when it fills with thousands of musicians and thousands more who come to hear, watch, dance to the cacophonous sounds of Balkan brass and traditional gypsy wedding music being played absolutely everywhere, at speed and all at once.
Air Guitar World Champ, Finland Remember the good old days of the power ballad, when you used to bust out on the dance floor with some epic air guitar during AC/DC's "Back in Black." Well, here is your chance to show off those moves again in front of thousands of adoring fans at the Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu, northern Finland.
Phantom instruments come alive as air rockers strum like guitar greats like Jimmy Hendrix and Queen. This event is called the championships for a reason, though. Throughout the four-day event there are workshops on how to best exaggerate picking motions and demonstrations from some of the previous world champions. As any air guitarist can tell you, it's not what you play but how you play it!
Probably best summed up by their promoters - "wars end, climate change stops and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar." This goes to explain the mantra for the festival—"Make Air not War."
Edinburgh Fringe Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world, taking place most of August each year, packing theaters, pubs, and streets making a massive canvas of human creativity.
If you love the arts, Edinburgh offers a virtual ticket every summer when the Edinburgh Festival Fringe happens. With a programme of over 40,000 performances, 3,000 distinct shows and artists from nearly 50 countries, it’s no wonder that nearly 2 million people come out for the festival every year. Whether you’re into concerts, plays, and ballet; or opera, synchronized pyrotechnics, and improv comedy, there’s something on the schedule for you.
La Tomatina, Bunol During La Tomatina (the Tomato Throwing Festival) the streets of Buñol, Spain, turn into a free-for-all food fight. Trucks roll into town hauling over 130,000 kilos of juicy tomatoes, and 30,000 revelers go medieval.
Notting Hill Carnival London’s Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest street festivals in the world, and when you’re dancing in the middle of narrow alleys, it sure feels that way. This celebration of diversity was founded to help overcome racial tensions; throw a massive party for everyone to dance away their differences, and introduce culture through something everyone can enjoy—music. More than 40 years later, Notting Hill has gone from poor to posh, and this carnival is one of the wildest outside of Rio.
You can read more about these and many more festivals here.
A good article about the Ferrogosto in Italy (15th August) which is the mid-Summer national holiday, go here.
Come on over and experience the official holiday month of Europe!