Halloween Destinations in Europe

Halloween (Oct 31) is a celebration observed in many countries on the eve of All Saints Day (Nov 1).

Scientists cannot agree on how exactly Halloween came into existence. Some say it has the roots in Celtic harvest festivals – thus having pagan roots -, while others say it has begun as a Christian holiday.

While the American version is very well known across the pond and many of its activities have been imported – such as costume parties and pumpkin carving -, Europe does Halloween totally different.

Just in time for the upcoming holiday, the team at Looknwalk.info has put together a list of some spooky and interesting Halloween destinations in Europe. Want to come visit?

Transylvania, Romania

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Romania doesn’t lack scary and spooking places, but Transylvania takes the cake as one of the best Halloween destinations in Europe. We can thank Bram Stoker for this, as he set his Dracula novel in this part of the world.

While Dracula was based on Vlad the Impaler, a real historical character, the ruler doesn’t have a real connection with Bran (aside from a brief imprisonment). He was born in Sighisoara, a superb medieval fortress still inhabited, and had his Poineri Castle, perched high atop the mountains.

Yes, Halloween parties are quite abundant and, especially at Bran, they are done for the foreign travelers. But you can always avoid them and visit some of the really spooky places, such as Sighisoara or Baciu Forest (in Cluj Napoca).

>>read more about Top Haunted & Scary places in Romania

Rome, Italy

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/37996603499@N01/2436386058/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/37996603499@N01/2436386058/

Crypts and Halloween go well together. If you are looking for a creepy way to celebrate, the Capuchin crypt under the church called Santa Maria della Concezione die Cappuccini will do the trick. The skeletons of 4,000 monks have become ornaments and you bet they are going to make your hire rise.

And even if you prefer to skip the crypt, many of Rome’s old churches have a very weird and spooky feeling anyway.

Dublin, Ireland

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/80824546@N00/22516047231/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/80824546@N00/22516047231/

Called Samhain Night, the festival originated as a way to celebrate the harvest and, yeah, it was when the dead were coming to revisit the mortal world. Nowadays, it is one of the best Halloween destinations in Europe, with various parades, scary movies, ghost tours and fireworks.

Prague, Czechia

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A torture museum, some very creepy statues on Charles Bridge and the setting of “The Witch of Prague” by Francis Crawford, Prague is not disappointing when it comes to the creepy feeling and can easily be one amazing Halloween destination.

If you are looking for a costume party, yes, they have it.  Bloody Sexy Halloweekend is the biggest in town.

London, England

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How about a trip to Jack the Ripper’s playground? After all, London is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Europe. On top of the many dungeons and creepy places to visit, there are a ton of parties ready to spook you for eternity.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/40415490@N02/5144404592

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/40415490@N02/5144404592

Remember that history bit in which I mention the Celts? Right. Edinburgh remembers them every year, making the Royal Mile and the castle a very interesting and creepy place to be for Halloween.

Even outside of the Halloween celebrations, all you need in the city is some fog and the eerie feeling is guaranteed.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/84938488@N02/22680012966/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/84938488@N02/22680012966/

If you are in a party mood then Amsterdam’s Halloween Festival is the place to be. Three days of fun and super interesting workshops and, of course, quite a lot of parties.

A walk on the streets on the night of Halloween ensures quite a lot of spooky costumes spotting.

Sedlec Ossuary , Czehia

Photo credit: http://sedlecossuary.com/

Photo credit: http://sedlecossuary.com/

The Church of Bones is located in Sedlec and, looking at it from outside, you really cannot tell how creepy it is. But, once inside, you see the bones. Remains of 40,000 skeletons are here. Don’t forget to look up to see the impressive chandelier of bones.

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33 thoughts on “Halloween Destinations in Europe

  1. These look awesome! I would absolutely love to go to Romania – the history and the landscapes look amazing not only on Halloween. And as far as Edinburgh is concerned, I am actually a bit upset because I will just miss it – going for the first time in mid-November. I had no idea that it is such a spooky destination!

    • Hi Annika, yeah, Romania is beautiful…and spooky, given the right conditions. Well, mid-November can be spooky enough anywhere. The fog and old cities mix well to be creepy! Enjoy Edinburgh!

  2. I wouldn’t have thought about Edinburgh for Halloween as I loved these little doll houses, beautiful streets and lanes. But you made me remember of all these underground and cemeteries tours. So Edinburgh is a perfect place for Halloween!

    • Hi Stephanie! Thanks for the comment. I am pretty sure any old city can easily become a perfect Halloween spot 🙂 A bit of fog, some cemeteries :))

    • I hear you on that! In Romania we have St. Andrew on Nov 30 which is the local “Halloween” but , of course, import took over and …Dracula isn’t helping either lol
      I haven’t traveled for Halloween (yet) bur Dublin or Edinburgh are also on my list when I decide to do it 🙂

  3. This looks like an incredible European list for best Halloween spots!! Esp Romania!! I feel like it’d be so fun to dress up and experience that there!

    • I would say that it won’t be fun to “dress up” for a party here in Romania. It would be fun to visit one of the spooky places, though. 🙂 But that’s just me 🙂

    • There is still debate where Halloween came from, whether it’s Christian or pagan. Day of the Dead or All Saints Day is on Nov 1st and it “may” be related to that. I, for one, think it’s pagan:)

    • The Dracula and Romania connection is purely fiction. Bram Stoker never set foot in Romania, but he used Vlad the Impaler as a “guide” to create his Dracula character.
      Bones (and mummies!) make me shiver

    • Welcome to Europe. The short of it is, yes, we celebrate. Halloween isn’t actually American, it crossed the ocean from Ireland 🙂 But Americans took it to a different form. Fear not, we have the parties. HaHa

  4. I’ve actually been to four on your list! I’ve also heard that Frankenstein Castle in Darmstadt, Germany has a great Halloween festival. I can’t wait for costume parties this year!

  5. Aaaah this is so the perfect list…. The weekend just before Halloween coincides with my two years anniversary with my husband and we want to go somewhere to celebrate ! We only considered train because we don’t have a lot of time but now I’m gonna check for Transylvania and Edinburgh!!

    • Happy anniversary! We also always travel for ours but that’s in May (we wanted late spring hihi).
      Transylvania is just perfect at that this time of the year!

  6. This is super interesting! I know that at least in the Czech Republic, Halloween is now a thing because of how popular it was made in the United States.

    • Funny thing is that in Romania we have a “local Halloween” on Nov 30th on St. Andrew’s Day. But the imported holiday got more traction…

  7. Yay! I love this time of year! Especially since we never really celebrated Halloween in Australia. I love seeing all of the decorations and visiting pumpkin patches and spooky places. I’ll have to put Europe on my next Halloween list!

  8. I love your list! I did a Jack the Ripper Tour in London- and it was a creepy, foggy night! If you take those tours- watch out for pickpockets, as a few people in our group had things lifted. I’m assuming someone in the group was the actual pickpocket!

    • Ah pickpockets, sorry, they don’t scare me. I hail from Romania where I go to the market and I keep my backpack in my front not back. I actually wrote about how not to get pickpocketed in Athens haha But this article is NOT about that.
      I hardly do tours, though.

  9. You don’t really have to convince me too much about Halloween in Romania. I love the idea of exploring the Dracula castle or the town during those final days of October. I think I even have holiday that weekend from a Religious Spanish holiday. The rest of the locations don’t really appeal too much to me and especially not the Crypt in Roma with the monk mummies.

    • Hi, yes it is All Saints Day on Nov 1 so it’s related to a religious holiday.
      We have imported Halloween but then again Dracula can make it perfect haha

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