Are you fascinated by the world of ghosts, witches, zombies and vampires? Are you wondering where to go for Halloween? There are plenty of places around the world that can make your next Halloween holiday a truly terrifying experience. Discover the many enchanted houses, sinister cemeteries, haunted swamps or even entire bewitched neighborhoods where the Halloween experience will be much more than a night when kids have fun knocking on neighborhood doors in search of sweets. Here is a nice list of the best destinations for Halloween.
If you think the best places to celebrate Halloween are only in America, you’re right for nothing. Europe knows how to put on a costume and celebrate and go do trick or treat. The second most commercial party in the world after Christmas is a good opportunity to travel the world, meet other cultures and live at least for a moment like someone else. If you want a unique Halloween experience, you don’t have to go to the United States in October, you can have maybe even more fun in many places across Europe and we’ll tell you where exactly!
1. Best places to celebrate Halloween: Salem, Massachusetts (USA)
The Salem Witches’ Museum commemorates 26 people who were tried and sentenced to death in Salem to practise witchcraft. Today, this small town in the north of the United States is one of the most famous Halloween destinations in the country where Halloween is one of the most important holidays of all. In Salem, Halloween-related events are celebrated during the month of October, including guided tours of the town’s most frightening places, re-enactments of witch trials, executions, but also fireworks and a large parade.
You can also visit the famous “Witch House Museum”, with continuous and expanded during the month of October. As well as the old house of Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges of the “witch trials” which currently houses a museum where you can relive the daily life, architecture, furniture of the seventeenth century. It is definitely one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.
2. Dracula Castle, Transylvania (Romania)
Where to go for Halloween? Is there anything better than spending Halloween in Count Dracula’s area? There are numerous holiday homes in the mountains of Transylvania in Romania, quite close to the famous Bran Castle, once home to the terrible Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker for the famous film Count Dracula.
Vlad the Impaler was known for his incredible cruelty and torture, demonstrated by impaling thousands of enemies and leaving their bodies in disarray. Today the castle is open to the public and a special Halloween Tour can be made to let you know the truth behind the terrible legends.
Not only that, Transylvania is also the most beautiful region in Romania, so it is definitely one of the best places to celebrate Halloween. The place contains an incredible collection of palaces, villages that seem as if they were frozen in time, more than 118 castles, ancient cultural cities such as Sibiu and wonderful squares. Although we must disappoint you and say that the urban legend has only a grain of truth within itself, imagine a great authenticity, rich culture, eternal traditions, delicious cuisine, fascinating local festivals and turbulent past that has given rise to a variety of myths and legends and you will surely have one of the best Halloween destinations in Europe.
In addition to the house of Vlad the Emperor in Transylvania you can visit and discover villages, towns and manors that seem to have frozen over time.
Read also: Best capitals to visit in Europe
3. Where to go for Halloween: Paris, France
Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Montmartre, are just some of the many wonderful attractions that make Paris the most visited city in the world. But Paris is also full of mystery and if we visit the city for Halloween we can not leave out the Cemetery of Pere Lachaise and the Catacombs of Paris.
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery stretches for miles and among the tens of thousands of graves includes those of celebrities such as Chopin, Edith Piaf or Jim Morrison. The atmosphere of the cemetery is truly disturbing and considered by many to be bewitched. Even more terrifying is perhaps how much we hide under the streets of Paris. In the Catacombs of Paris the skulls of millions of Parisians cover the walls of the tunnels, exhumed from the tombs and placed here in the seventeenth century. The catacombs of Paris served as a source of inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most important writers of terror of all time.
The atmosphere, in fact, is a bit ‘disturbing and even more so are the underground catacombs that hold hundreds of skulls.
Paris is not only the city of love, but it is also the top destination where to go for Halloween because it hosts many places shrouded in mystery.
For those with children in their care, the ideal place to spend Halloween in Paris is Disneyland Paris.
4. Best places to celebrate Halloween: New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)
The disturbing Manchac Swamp, northwest of New Orleans, undoubtedly has all the appearance of a bewitched place, shrouded in silence, with its fog, and centuries-old trees covered in abundant moss. The nightly visits will allow you to get to know the stories of hundreds of people who died here as a result of a flood and you will discover why this place has become synonymous throughout the world with the “Haunted Swamp”.
Also, the city of New Orleans itself is one of the best Halloween holiday destinations as it is Halloween itself that is the second most important holiday here, only after Carnival. The city is also known as the voodoo capital of the United States and a specific guided tour of “Haunted History Tours” will get you in touch with the most terrifying stories of the French Quarter and includes visits to the city’s most famous cemeteries.
5. Oaxaca, Mexico
For Halloween the streets of Oaxaca become a huge festival for the celebrations of the “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead). Following the thousand-year-old Mayan and Atzeca traditions and legends, each person should be disguised to visit the local cemeteries and all streets are decorated with flowers, skulls and skeletons. The celebrations of this special day take place throughout Mexico, but the most heartfelt and largest one takes place in the Xócalo, the main square of Oaxaca, where between food, tequila and music the dead are celebrated until dawn, with joy, Mexican style.
Read also: Most interesting things in Mexico City
6. Where to go for Halloween: Venice, Italy
You don’t have to go far if you want to know ghost stories and haunted houses. Venice, also because of its rich history and its special atmosphere, is probably the Italian city with the most secrets. One of the most famous is the one that surrounds Ca’ Dario, a beautiful building that overlooks the Grand Canal with a particularity: all its owners or even tenants are destined to die in a violent or sudden way. The last of a long and terrifying series were the financier Raul Gardini and the bass player of Who John Entwistle.
There are also many legends and mysteries, handed down from generation to generation, concerning the city of Venice, especially the areas of Rialto, Cannaregio and Castello. There is a guided night tour not to be missed.
You’ve all heard of the Venice Carnival, but guess what, Halloween is also the right time to visit this Italian pearl since it’s not too cold, the lights are incredible and the city is not crowded. Don’t go there unprepared and find some hats, dressed as a witch, skeleton bones, devil’s horns or whatever you like and celebrate Halloween in Venice. The evening is always designed with many different offers to suit everyone’s taste, from coffee and hotel parties to alternative venues and theme nights, and if you add to that the city’s past, you can’t help but have fun.
Read also: Best places to visit in Rome
7. Best places to celebrate Halloween: London, United Kingdom
In London, the Halloween party is very popular and celebrated, almost like in the United States. But London is also full of infested and really scary places and that is why it is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween. The most famous is probably the Tower of London, on the banks of the Thames. Here in 1536, Anne Boleyn was assassinated by her husband, King Henry VIII, and according to legend her ghost continues to manifest itself with some frequency.
There are so many tours to discover the ghosts of the city, which would seem to infest places so popular and popular as the Underground or the British Museum, or the area of Piccadilly, where there is the most famous haunted house, at number 50 Berkeley Square. We can then conclude our visit to London’s most terrifying, visiting the monumental cemetery of High Gate, a true Gothic open-air museum, where there is also the tomb of Karl Marx.
Thanks to the grey sky and the fog, London on Halloween is always shrouded in an air of mystery.
In addition to the main attractions of the British capital during this period we suggest you to retrace the places where the crimes of Jack the Ripper occurred and go to discover the different buildings infested with spirits and ghosts.
Among them the Tower of London, the various city cemeteries or the magical and dark places related to the saga of Harry Potter. In addition, on 31 October, parades and masked events for young and old are organised in different parts of the city.
The beautiful British capital is the place where to go for Halloween if you can survive in one of the most haunted cities in the world. London’s bloody past, its ancient buildings, narrow streets, dark dungeons and the memory of the world’s most famous serial killer, Jack the Ripper, are more than enough to make it clear why the city has gotten that title. Halloween in London is celebrated with many mysterious and spectacular attractions across the city. You can choose from themed dinners and scary tours to club events and extraordinary parades, so there’s no chance to be wrong if you visit London on October 31st.
8. Sleepy Hollow, New York (USA)
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving is one of the most famous ghost stories in the United States, which inspired the director Tim Burton for his famous film with Johnny Depp. The most incredible thing is that in this village not far from New York the sightings of the terrible “Headless Knight” continue. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery organises both daytime and night-time visits, with the light of a lantern alone. It’s best to book in advance, especially if you want to visit one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.
Read also: Best places to visit in December
9. Dublin, Ireland
It seems that the origins of Halloween and the commemoration of All Saints’ Day are to be attributed to the pagan festival of Samhain which dates back to the Celts.
This holiday celebrates the end of the harvest season and the arrival of winter. In Dublin, on the occasion of the festival, young and old flock to the streets dressed as witches and monsters participating in an annual parade that passes through the topical places of the city.
Along Parnell Square through O’Connell Street to Temple Bar, goblins, dancers and ghosts dance to the sound of scary music. Isn’t that one of the best places to celebrate Halloween?
10. Best places to celebrate Halloween Berlin, Germany
The German capital is perfect for a Halloween of thrills and fun. Wandering in the dark through the Spreepark, the abandoned amusement park in the heart of Berlin, visiting the huge military hospital in ruins that once housed Adolf Hitler are perfect experiences for those who love tension.
Not only can you reach the Teufelsberg “devil’s mountain”, where there is a former Soviet espionage station, now abandoned.
Finally, to end the evening, all you have to do is choose one of the many legendary clubs where you can dance electronic music until late.
11. Edinburgh, Scotland
What comes to mind when we think of Scotland? A cold and desolate moorland, wrapped in fog and castles infested by ghosts. Of course Scotland is much more but Halloween is really the best time to get closer to the most ghostly Scotland. Edinburgh is the ideal city to do this, with its narrow streets around the Castle, evocative and disturbing. For Halloween, Edinburgh hosts many events and the Royal Mile becomes a great stage, where ghost stories are told in the light of torches.
But the Underground is the most terrifying and haunted place in Edinburgh. Built in 1645 when the city was struck by the plague, hundreds of people died here, walled up alive because of the disease and many believe that their presence can still be perceived. A guided tour will allow you to see for yourself one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.
Halloween is much more than just putting on a costume or going to do trick or treat. It also has traces of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, whose festivities are still well preserved today in Ireland and Scotland. The beautiful city of Edinburgh with all its features, from the cozy Royal Mile full of historical and sometimes gruesome traditions to glorious castles and occasionally reported paranormal activity, shows why it is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween. Go there and enjoy the theatre, club events, film screenings and more.
Read also: Best Christmas markets in the world
12. Where to go for Halloween: Stockholm, Sweden
In Sweden, Halloween is not celebrated by carving pumpkins and dressing up as witches, but by organizing intimate and suggestive ceremonies in memory of the dead.
In Stockholm, people go on night tours through the city’s cemeteries, taking part in traditional vigils in memory of the dead.
After sunset, the tombs of loved ones are decorated with garlands and small candles and thousands of candles make the atmosphere authentic and evocative.
Don’t miss the night-time guided tour of the historic Skogskyrkogarden, the “Cemetery in the Woods”, a World Heritage site on the first Saturday in November.
13. Best places to celebrate Halloween: Palermo, Italy
If the Sicilian capital is often associated with Baroque beauty, the sea and the sun, not everyone knows that this city also hides dark corners and a bit ‘macabre. Actualy it is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.
The Catacombs of the Capuchin Friars of Palermo house 8000 mummified bodies, many of which are still perfectly preserved.
In the nearby castle of Carini, then, you can come across the ghost of Baroness Laura Lanza and in the small village of Cefalù you can visit the abbey of Thelema now abandoned but once inhabited by the esoteric Aleister Crowley.
14. Prague, Czech Republic
The capital of the Czech Republic is considered the city of esotericism because it has many places shrouded in mystery.
Legend has it that the Holy Wenceslas left his sword to behead his enemies on the famous Charles Bridge.
In the Jewish Quarter, however, legend has it that the Golem was built with mud to protect the community, where the famous ghosts of the Strangler or Jewish Dancer live.
Considered one of the capitals of esotericism, Prague has a large number of mysterious and legendary places, starting with the famous Charles Bridge where, according to legend, the Holy Wenceslas left his sword to decapitate all enemies of the city if needed. The legend of the Golem, built from mud by a rabbi in the 16th century to protect his community, concerns the Jewish Quarter, where the ghosts of the Strangler or the Jewish Dancer are also known.
The Czech capital is so proud of its ghosts that it has even built a monument to one of them: the statue of the Iron Man, representing the ghost of Jáchym Berka, a man who over a hundred years ago killed his wife and who since then has been condemned to wander around the area of Platnerska hoping for redemption.
Prague itself is the Gothic capital of Europe with its breathtaking architecture, medieval streets and mysterious castles. If you ask any questions of a Czech person where to go for Halloween, he won’t be too excited about Halloween. However, the city seems to have been specially designed for this kind of celebration. There are many Halloween attractions in Prague, such as the old Jewish cemetery, the Museum of Medieval Tortures, the Sedlec ossuary and the Charles Bridge. In addition, the old people have a long tradition of vampires, as archaeologists have found much evidence that in the past people have taken precautions to keep the dead from ascending. Already afraid? There is a reason: Prague is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.
15. Barcelona, Spain
You may be surprised to see Barcelona on the list of the best places to celebrate Halloween, but you should know that the whole Spanish nation is popular for the way they party. And a city with spectacular Gothic architecture like Barcelona must be the winning combination, right? The night offers you many possibilities, so be sure to visit some of the most interesting parties in the city’s most prestigious clubs, outdoor music festivals, beach events and family shows in the Port Aventura amusement park. In addition, the day after Halloween Barcelona celebrates La Castanyada and the Dia de los Muertos festival with a stream of cultural events, street fairs and traditional goods.
Read also: The most beautiful beaches in Spain
16. Best places to celebrate Halloween: Ostend, Belgium
Welcome to the Halloween city of Belgium! Every year Ostend starts with celebrations well before any other European or even American city. With October 1st, the place is full of decorations, scary creatures and terrible events. And on the same Halloween night, even on the very day the legendary Houdini died, you’ll have the chance to participate in the Night of Magic at Kursaal in Ostend. Don’t think twice about it and get in touch with the paranormal and you will be amazed by the sixth sense thanks to many illusionists who will keep you entertained.