7 Incredible Fall Festivals You Need to Explore

7 Incredible Fall Festivals You Need to Explore

Looking to take advantage of the time before winter to sneak in one more trip? Most people associate going to a festival with the summer sun, but fall is the perfect time to go to a festival. The autumn leaves set a gorgeous backdrop for events that celebrate food, music, lifestyle, and culture all around the world.

From the stunning festivals of light in India to brewing celebrations for beer lovers in America, we’ve put together a list of 7 must-visit fall festivals you should explore during your lifetime. We also include ticket prices, top tourist destinations in the nearest city, and top-priority snacks to try on our list.

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1. EDC China

  • Dates: October 2nd through 3rd, 2023
  • Location: Suzhou, China
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: EDC China is being held in Suzhou, China, which is nearest to Shanghai.
  • Ticket Prices: Tickets start at 906 Yuan, which is around $125.
  • Why You Should Visit: How many people can say they’ve been to an electronic dance festival in another country? Take your musical exploration global this year with a trip to EDC China and explore Shanghai before or after for the perfect fall trip.

 EDC is a well-known global musical festival brand that is coming to China for two days this fall. For those who enjoy electronic music and want to broaden their horizons, EDC China may just be the perfect combination for you! For two days, you can enjoy well-known DJs like Afrojack, Steve Aoki, and DJ Snake in Suzhou, China, just west of Shanghai.

EDC China 2023: A mesmerizing stage lights up Suzhou. Experience the global musical sensation this fall!
Photo: Taya Ovod/ Shutterstock.com

 A trip to Suzhou and Shanghai is incomplete without a visit to the Suzhou Museum, the Yu Garden, and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. The city of Shanghai holds a great deal of Chinese culture to explore as well. You also must try Shanghai soup dumplings, also known as xiaolongbao, when you visit!

 Book a hotel in Suzhou

2. Oktoberfest

  • Dates: October 6th to November 4th, 2023
  • Location: Leipzig, Germany
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: The Leipzig Oktoberfest Festival is held at the Trade Fair Grounds in Leipzig!
  • Ticket Prices: Oktoberfest in Leipzig is a free-to-the-public event.
  • Why You Should Visit: Like many other festivals on this list, you should visit Leipzig for Oktoberfest simply because of the heavy dose of German culture you will get in one visit! Celebrating Oktoberfest with the Germans is a wonderful way to spend a fall trip and enjoy beers the way the Germans do.

Another fall festival commonly associated with a country is Oktoberfest, the German beer festival. Of course, the reference to fall is in the name itself, so it’s clear to see why Oktoberfest is an autumn classic in Germany. More specifically, Oktoberfest celebrations in major German cities, including in the city of Leipzig, with other events taking place around the world to pay homage to German heritage.

Oktoberfest 2023 in Leipzig: A toast to tradition with authentic German brews and bites!
Photo: Alexander Raths/ Shutterstock.com

 Over 40,000 attendees flock to Leipzig for plentiful beer and entertainment. While in Leipzig, you must visit the Museum of Fine Art and the Zoo Leipzig. You should also drink a traditional German beer if you partake and eat some apfelstrudel and schnitzel!

Book a hotel in Leipzig

3. Amsterdam Dance Event

  • Dates: October 18th through 22nd, 2023
  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: As this event is located in the city proper, you should be able to attend parties and DJ sets by using public transportation and selecting events you would like to attend.
  • Ticket Prices: Tickets can be purchased by event, by day, or as a full ADE ticket for up to 440 Euros.
  • Why You Should Visit: The Amsterdam Dance Event is one of the biggest dance party festivals in Europe and features an impressive lineup of music performers in one of the most exciting European cities you can visit. 

 Interested in dancing in Amsterdam in the autumn? You should consider attending the biggest electronic dance festival in the Netherlands this fall. With over 300 scheduled parties and at least 2000 DJs, the Amsterdam Dance Event is a dance festival unlike any other. ADE is also more than just a casual weekend affair, as the festival runs for five days and five nights of music-filled fun.

Amsterdam Dance Event 2023: Where beats meet the streets of Europe’s dance capital! Dive into five days of electric rhythm and explore Amsterdam’s vibrant essence.
Photo: Party people studio/ Shutterstock.com

 Amsterdam is an iconic European city filled with culture and historical marvels. While you are visiting, you should also be sure to visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House and eat some stroopwafels and bitterballen.

 Book a hotel in Amsterdam 

4. Harvest on the Harbor

  • Dates: October 25th, 2023
  • Location: Portland, Maine
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: Harvest on the Harbor is centrally located in Downtown Portland!
  • Ticket Prices: Tickets are priced per event and range from $75 to $110 per person.
  • Why You Should Visit: If you are looking for a vacation filled with good food and drink and classic autumnal harvest vibes, Harvest on the Harbor is a must. Maine in October is brisk, and the trees are filled with gorgeous oranges and yellows that make for the perfect photo-op.

One of the most popular American autumn festivals takes place in the northeastern state of Maine. Harvest on the Harbor is a tribute to local food and drink in Maine, featuring local brews, distilled beverages, and classic oysters caught right on the coast of Maine.

Harvest on the Harbor 2023: Dive into Maine’s culinary treasures with fresh oysters and exquisite champagne amidst the vibrant hues of autumn in Downtown Portland!
Photo: Shvaygert Ekaterina/ Shutterstock.com

While in Portland, Maine, you take advantage of your stay in “The Foodiest Small Town in America” and explore the local eats. Other must-dos include the Portland Museum of Art, the Victoria Mansion, and the Portland Lighthouse Cruise Tour.

 Book a hotel in Portland

5. Dia de los Muertos

  • Dates: November 2nd, 2023
  • Location: Throughout Mexico
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: Major cities host celebrations in downtown areas.
  • Ticket Prices: Dia de los Muertos celebrations are usually public events, but you may encounter ticket prices at private venues and restaurants.
  • Why You Should Visit: If you’re looking for a way to appreciate Mexican culture, there’s no better way to do it than to witness the country’s most iconic celebration. With food, music, and brilliant colors, celebrating Dia de los Muertos in Mexico should bring enough joy for you to get through the winter!

You may be familiar with Dia de los Muertos either through Mexican heritage or popular culture, such as its representation in the Disney movie Coco. But did you know that you can visit Mexico to take part in Dia de los Muertos festivities? It’s true! The brightly colored papel picado flags and orange marigolds are plentiful around major Mexican cities in early November.

Dia de los Muertos in Mexico: Dive deep into vibrant traditions with colorful painted faces and heartfelt celebrations. Experience the beauty of life, remembrance, and heritage!
Photo: Moab Republic/ Shutterstock.com

The festival in Oaxaca City is well-known for its impressive display for Dia de los Muertos and is a top recommendation from locals. Also, Mexico City hosts a fantastic parade and features a large celebration. During the holiday, you can expect to see dancers and singers in costumes, lively parades, music, and delicious food. Speaking of food, when you’re there, you must try the traditional treat of the festival, pan de muerto.

 Book a hotel in Mexico

6. Guy Fawkes Night

  • Dates: November 5th, 2023
  • Location: the United Kingdom
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: Guy Fawkes Night celebrations can be found throughout London, with fireworks set off at major locations such as Wimbledon Park, Battersea Park, and Alexandra Palace.
  • Ticket Prices: Guy Fawkes Night usually consists of free or low-cost events.
  • Why You Should Visit: For the story! Not many people outside of the UK know about Guy Fawkes Night, and the action-packed holiday can make for a great time, especially combined with other tourist activities around England. 

Ever heard of Bonfire Night? Or Fireworks Night? How about Guy Fawkes Night? While this UK holiday celebration might be slightly obscure, Guy Fawkes Night is a historical holiday that commemorates a failed political plot involving explosives and thus serves as a national day of thankfulness in the United Kingdom.

Guy Fawkes Night in London: A fiery celebration of history and community. Join the locals around the bonfire and immerse yourself in a uniquely British tradition!
Photo: Mitotico/ Shutterstock.com

 All throughout the United Kingdom, celebrations with fireworks, food, and companionship take place. The best place to participate in Bonfire Night is none other than London, England, where you can turn your trip into an exploration of England’s most populous city. Must-dos include visiting prominent landmarks such as Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace, and you can’t visit England without a taste of fish and chips and an English cup of tea!

Book a hotel in London

7. Diwali

  • Dates: November 12th through 17th, 2023
  • Location: India and globally 
  • How to Reach from the Nearest City: Diwali celebrations are traditionally held in the city streets in major cities in India.
  • Ticket Prices: Diwali is a free to enjoy celebration.
  • Why You Should Visit: While Diwali is a religious festival that not everyone may celebrate, there is no better way to immerse yourself in a culture than to celebrate as the people do. Diwali is one of the most stunning festivals in the world and is observed by multiple religions worldwide. 

While Diwali is an Indian festival that can be celebrated from anywhere in the world, a visit to India during Diwali will be an experience unlike any other. As Diwali is a festival of lights, visitors can expect firecrackers and fireworks to be plentiful. There are five days of Diwali, including days of preparation and prayer, as well as lantern lighting, gift giving, and the sharing of meals.

Those who want to journey to India for Diwali can find massive celebrations in major cities, including Jaipur, Kolkata, Goa, and Varanasi. While you are visiting, be sure to sample some of the traditional food offerings such as samosas, paneer tikka, and aloo bonda.

Book a hotel in Diwali

Diwali in India: A mesmerizing dance of lights and tradition. Immerse yourself in the beauty and spirit of this age-old festival, illuminated by countless candles.
Photo : Vectonauta/ freepik.com

Have you selected your autumn vacation from one of the festivals on our list? Whether you have or you’re still pondering where to go, you can search for deals on accommodations with ZenHotels.

ZenHotels allows you to search for the perfect place to stay for your next vacation to find the best prices and have more money to spend on souvenirs, tours, and food wherever you choose to go in the world!

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