Halloween is one of the most fun holidays. It’s a time for dressing up, eating too many sweets, and creeping out your friends. But sometimes the same old routine on October 31st gets a little old, and there are many great places to celebrate Halloween around the world if you want to shake things up a little!
If you want to experience something different for your next Halloween and discover how other cultures mark the holiday, consider visiting one of these amazing cities during the spookiest season of the year!
Note: If you’re American and planning to visit any of these cities outside the US after Halloween 2023, it’s likely you’ll need to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization first!
The Halloween atmosphere in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh is famous throughout the world. If you’re interested in ancient Pagan traditions, you should definitely attend the unique Samhuinn Fire Festival held on Calton Hill.
You’ll also find plenty of haunted places in Edinburgh to explore on a ghost tour! These include Greyfriars Kirkyard, said to be home to a particularly active spirit, and Mary King’s Close, an underground street that was closed off centuries ago after an outbreak of plague.
Derry, Northern Ireland
Ireland is essentially the birthplace of Halloween. It originated on the island over 2000 years ago, when local pagans gathered to celebrate Samhuinn. Fittingly, the city of Derry in Northern Ireland is home to one of the most historically and culturally significant Halloween celebrations in the world.
Derry’s ancient streets and alleys have many legends about ghosts, witches, and murders which make it an atmosperic Halloween destination. Additionally, it plays host to a huge Halloween festival over 4 days across the last weekend in October, which includes bonfires, concerts, and a massive fancy-dress parade!
If you want to experience one of the most vibrant Halloween celebrations in the world at least one during your life, then you should head to the capital of Mexico in late October.
In particular you have to attend the Festival of the Dead in Mexico City on October 31. During this large celebration, revelers wear masks and costumes while parading through the streets to honor their ancestors. The festival is a great opportunity to learn more about Mexican culture, as well as its celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
New Orleans, Louisiana
If you’re looking for a city that truly celebrates the spooky, there’s no place like New Orleans. The Big Easy has long been known for its jazz music and Mardi Gras celebrations, but what many don’t realize is that this iconic city also seriously knows how to throw a Halloween bash and is full of legendary fancy dress parades and balls on October 31st!
New Orleans is also considered one of the most haunted cities in the US, and there are plenty of ghost tours and spooky old buildings in the French Quarter you can check out. Be sure to pass by Saint Louis Cemetery, where you can find the grave of Marie Laveau—the most famous voodoo queen in America who is said to grant wishes to visitors!
If you’re looking to spend Halloween in one of the most haunted cities in Europe , you’ll want to head to Prague. The imposing Old Town is rife with ghastly legends, ancient graveyards you can see on a ghost tour, and even a Torture Museum!
Although the capital of the Czech Republic doesn’t traditionally celebrate Halloween, the rise of tourism in the capital has also brought with it a number of Halloween parties and fancy dress parades you can enjoy as well!
Salem is a perfect Halloween destination. The city is well known for its prominent role in the Salem witch trials of 1692-93, which resulted in the execution of 20 supposed ‘witches’.
To this day, it remains one of America’s most haunted cities and attracts thousands of visitors year round. But it’s especially popular on Halloween weekend, when it celebrates more playful aspects of witchcraft with parades, costume balls, haunted house tours, seances, and many other events!
Famous for being the home of Count Dracula, Transylvania is surprisingly one of the most popular destinations for Halloween tourism. Its spooky gothic castles, medieval architecture and beautiful autumn landscapes make it a fantastically atmospheric place to spend the holiday.
Bran Castle (which inspired Bram Stoker’s famous novel) is the obvious main draw, but there are also a number of other spooky places you can visit on a ghost (or vampire) tour! The capital of Romania, Bucharest, is also a great place to crash a Halloween party!