Our pick of the best festivals coming up in 2012

Friday, 13 January 2012 10:09 AM

There is no better short break than jetting off to festivals in Europe for a few days of sunshine and culture. Across the continent there are several great events coming up on the 2012 calendar you may have trouble choosing between, so here's a guide to a few of the best.

Las Fallas

This is a truly quirky event, with the streets of Valencia playing host to a multitude of large, brightly-coloured sculptures.

The caricatures are created to poke fun at their subjects and the March festivities are certainly an occasion with a difference.

Queen's Day

Amsterdam's Queen's Day is a national holiday for the people of the Netherlands in honour of Queen Beatrix's birthday.

Koninginnenacht - or Queen's Night - gets the party started in style, while the next day a huge flea market practically takes over the city, making this a great event for bargain hunters.

San Fermin

For nine days each July, the streets of Pamplona in Spain becomes a spectacle of music, culture and sporting events, as the people celebrate the annual San Fermin festival.

The pinnacle of the event is the bull run that takes place every morning of the fiesta and you can get involved by racing down the streets with the creatures and countless people.

La Tomatina

The infamous tomato throwing event in Valencia attracts tens of thousands of people each year, all looking to get stuck into the world's biggest food fight.

Although not taking place until the end of August, don't leave it too late to book your festival accommodation, as places are likely to fill up quickly.


The German beer festival is the largest of the world fairs and even if you're teetotal, you can expect to sample a host of delights while you are there thanks to the plethora of food stalls.

You also have plenty of time in which to visit, as it runs for more than two weeks from the end of September to early October, giving you the choice of taking a short break or staying longer.

St Patrick's Day

Of course you will most likely be familiar with this celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, but there is nowhere better to experience it than in Dublin.

The Irish capital hosts parades, music concerts and plenty of other special events on the big day, while you will be able to raise a glass of Guinness to St Patrick in his homeland.

Why not start planning what festivals you will visit in 2012?

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