West Europe August, Best Cities

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Bavaria, Germany. Thomas Wolf

Head north in August? The Blue Lagoon, Iceland.  Photo by Jim.

Europe August Weather

Aargh, if it’s not one thing it’s another. Monstrous crowds, heat, humidity and even rain likely in Belgium, St. Petersburg. Avoid prime tourist locations in August if you value your elbow-room, though parents with school-age kids are short of low-cost options. We’d head for north Europe where temperatures should be unusually comfortable and the milling herds of tourists are less visible.

Some excellent northerly tourist destinations are Iceland, Stockholm in Sweden, Norway, Germany’s Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and  Heidelberg. Germany even has a ‘Romantic Road’ that makes a great tour running from Würzburg to Füssen through Bavaria’s spectacular attractions such as  Neuschwanstein Castle, baroque Würzburg, and medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Scotland: Edinburgh Festival, a huge range of arts, esp. drama, from the sublime to the ridiculous – a monster art attack in a great, grey city. Not to be missed. Most of Aug.

England: London, Notting Hill Carnival, late August, 2 days.

Italy: The Palio of Siena (medieval, bareback horse race) about 2nd July and 16th August.

Spain: La Tomatina, messy tomato fights in which you can participate, Bunol, Valencia, end of August.
Feria de Malaga – the biggest party in town with fancy dress, exotic food and dance, and fireworks. One week mid August.

France: Festival d’Avignon (theatre) mid July-mid August.
Chaumont Garden Festival – thirty wonderful and sometimes wacky show gardens around a perfect chateau (castle), every year 15 May-19 October.

Germany: Wagner Festival, Bayreuth (very expensive and elitist) Late July-late August.

Berlin International Dance – a wide range of innovative, international dances. Mid August-early Sept.

Ireland: All Ireland Fleadh Ceoil (Irish music & dance festival)moving venue, seven days late Aug.
Rose of Tralee Festival (wacky beauty contest++), Tralee, 3 days, 3rd week of August.
Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry. A large and loony street fair with plenty of singing, dancing and horse shows, and all overseen by King Puck – a goat. 2 days.

Poland: Music in Old Krakow Festival, Krakow.

Hungary: Nagykallo, Folk Arts Festival.

Austria: The Salzburg International Festival (music), late July and August. ‘Europe’s most prestigious summer musical event. ‘ Very large, very expensive. Every year in Mozart’s pretty home town.

Greece: Athens Festival, drama and music in ancient theatres. June-Sept.

Denmark: Copenhagen Summer Festival, chamber and classical music, July-mid Aug.
Tonder festival (folk music), end of August.

Also see European Festivals or Arts Festivals for suggestions, information and dates.