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9 European festivals in October and November you need to attend

Some of the best festivals in the world are in Europe. Here’s where you have to be this October and November.

Throughout the year, revellers flock to Europe to live it up at some of best dance and music parties in the world.

Dress up and get down in Prague at the sexiest Halloween party or an epic trance night. Check out Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest that needs no introduction, or head to Tarragona to see a tower made of humans.

If you are stuck on where to go this October and November, here is the ultimate guide to the top music, arts and culture festivals that you just can’t miss.

Top 4 European arts and culture festivals in October

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Image: Oktoberfest

1. Oktoberfest | 22 September - 7 October 2018

The world’s largest beer fest is Munich’s famous 16-day festival, filled with traditional costumes, food, games, parades and very large quantities of beer - more than 7 million litres to be exact.

While the beer is the obvious main attraction, leave some room for the parade of colourful brewery wagons, brass bands and the funfair.

If this sounds like the place to be for you, get yourself into a beer tent, grab yourself a greasy sausage or two and drink the night away.

Book an Oktoberfest tour


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Image: Frieze Art Fair

2. Frieze Art Fair | 4-7 October 2018

Some of the world’s most exciting artists come together annually to exhibit at this international contemporary art fair.

The 2017 fair will feature more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries, and visitors can view and buy art from more than 100 artists. Typically, there are also sections dedicated to live performances, ‘90s art and emerging talents from Shanghai to Berlin.

This highly anticipated fair will take place at the beautiful Regent’s Park in London.

Browse flights to London


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Image: Cafe Budapest

3. Cafe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival | 5-21 October 2018

The Cafe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival offers more than a hundred different programs in design, literature, music, dance and more. The shows, concerts and exhibitions are held at various venues across Budapest, with some offering free admission. Local Hungarian artists are featured alongside an array of international artists.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the festival. If you love contemporary art, this is the place to be.

Book Budapest art tours


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Image: Salon du Chocolat

4. Salon du Chocolat | 31 October - 4 November 2018

Salon du Chocolat, or the Paris Chocolate Show, is a delicious yearly affair that’s back for its 24th anniversary this year.

The exhibition space will see 200+ pastry chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners from all over the world come together for one chocolaty affair.

Learn about chocolate from the experts and get delicious recipes from some of the best chefs in the world. There are tastings and conferences with highlights including live performances and even a space dedicated to junior chocolate lovers.

Book a Parisian food tour



Top 5 European music festivals in October and November

AmsterdamMusicFestival.Viagogo

Image: Amsterdam Music Festival

1. Amsterdam Music Festival | 20 October 2018

Nestled within the heart of the annual Amsterdam Dance Event conference, this music festival is coming back bigger, better and louder. For an immersive night unlike any other, Amsterdam Music Festival celebrates some of the biggest names in the electronic music industry. This year welcomes David Guetta, B2B and Dimitri.

When it comes to parties, Amsterdam really knows how to live it up. Come for the dance music mecca and stay on for a sensory treat.

Buy tickets to Amsterdam Music Festival


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Image: BIME Live

2. BIME Live | 26-27 October 2018

This autumn music festival is pushing onto its 6th year, and despite it being a relatively new player in the scene, it’s quickly established itself as a puller of big names.

2018 will see this music mega event held at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre in Spain. You can expect to see big names in the rock, pop and electronic music scenes gracing the stage this year including Aphex Twin, MGMT, Editors and Slowdive.

Its sister act, BIME Pro, is a meeting point for the music and tech industries that features international speakers at a three day conference. When it comes to BIME, it’s all work and all play.

Buy tickets to BIME Live


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Image: Transmission

3. Transmission | 27 October 2018

Transmission is much more than just another trance festival - it’s a rite of passage.

Returning to Prague for another epic night of music, Transmission is a mega trance party and one of the best indoor dance events in the world.

This year the festival has secured Paul Van Dyk, Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Vini Vici and more to grace its lineup. Before you arrive, brace yourself for complete immersion into the Transmission world where everything is bigger-than-life: the acts, the tailor-made laser shows, the smoke displays and the sound systems.

This one-night-only event will leave you in awe and counting down the days to the next one.

Buy tickets to Transmission


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Image: Pitfork Music Festival

3. Pitchfork Music Festival | 1-3 November 2018

If mainstream isn’t your thing and you’re in the mood for an eclectic mix of something a little different, book your tickets to Paris for the Pitchfork Music Festival.

This alternative festival in the French capital really knows how to mix it up. With an unpredictable lineup that features a collection of big names, indie favourites and emerging bands, it truly has something for everyone. The festival also prides itself in being green, so expect cleaner fuel and food options that are as varied as the lineup.

Set yourself up for a great autumn weekend; Pitchfork is where you need to be this November.

Browse flights to Paris


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Image source: Bloody Sexy Halloween

5. Bloody Sexy Halloween VIII | 2-3 November 2018

Celebrate Halloween in style at Prague's biggest dress-up party.

Go crazy with costumes and make crazy memories at this one-night-only event known for its outrageous get-ups, performances by local and international DJs, sexy dancers and majestic fire and lights shows.

Meet people from all around the world and party till dawn for an unforgettable, spooky and sexy night.

Browse flights to Prague


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5-day Munich Oktoberfest tours from $715

Valid on select departures from 26 September - 4 October 2018. Includes accommodation, meals and more. T&Cs apply.

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Valid on select departures from 21 September - 7 October 2018. Includes accommodation, meals and more. T&Cs apply.

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Valid on select departures from 21 September - 7 October 2018. Includes accommodation, meals and more. T&Cs apply.

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Valid on select departures from 21 September - 8 October 2018. Destinations are London, England and Munich. Includes accommodation, meals and more. T&Cs apply.

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11-day Oktoberfest tour from $4,660

Valid for travel on 23 September - 3 October 2018. Destinations are Berlin, Venice and Munich. Includes accommodation, meals, guide and more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 5% off 4-night Munich Oktoberfest tour

Valid for travel from 20 September - 10 October 2018. Includes accommodation, meals, guide and more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to 17% off 4-day Munich Oktoberfest camping

Valid for travel from 21 September - 6 October 2018. Includes accommodation, meals, guide and more. T&Cs apply.

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Up to $700 Europe and North Africa flight credit with tours

Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Mykonos, Greece, Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, Russia and Scandinavia, Morocco, Amsterdam and more. Flight credit amount varies based on length of package booked. T&C's apply.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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