Best Events in Europe This February
February may still be a little chilly on the European continent. But despite (or maybe because of) this, it’s surprisingly festive. Carnivals, festivals, and events abound. Here are a few of the best events in February if you’re in Europe.
Events in February
1. Berlin, Germany – Berlin International Film Festival
If film is your thing, then hop on a train to Berlin this February. The Berlin International Film Festival is one of the country’s most prestigious events, and it showcases more than 400 films each year. There’s also an award aspect to some of the films, with winners in certain categories picking up a Golden Bear. Winter may be a little cool in the German capital, but this festival, from February 9 to 19, is worth braving the cold for.
How to get there by train: Berlin is a well-connected rail hub in Germany with several daily trains from throughout the country. There are also regular long-distance and international trains from across the continent.
2. Terni, Italy – St. Valentine’s Day
If you find yourself in Europe in February, and feeling a little romantic, then head to the place where Valentine’s Day all began – Terni, Italy. There are events and celebrations taking place there throughout the month. Most focus on the date that so many people love to hate – February 14. This was the date that Saint Valentine’s remains were laid to rest. You’ll find a hive of activity around the town’s Basilica.
How to get there by train: You can easily reach Terni by rail from across Italy. It’s just one hour north of Rome by rail.
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia – Dubrovnik Winter Festival
The Dubrovnik Winter Festival celebrates the city’s multiculturalism. You can expect to see performances from across the continent, but with a strong focus on Croatia’s neighboring countries. The festival has been around since the 14th century, and you can expect a good mix of music, street theatre, dances, and colorful parades. It starts in November, and culminates in Carnival-style celebrations from February 24 to 28.
How to get there by train: There are no direct trains to Dubrovnik. The most popular and convenient option is to take a train to nearby Split, and then connect to Dubrovnik by either bus or ferry. Find out how to get to Dubrovnik with the Eurail Pass.
4. Ivrea, Italy – Battle of the Oranges
There’s something cathartic about launching food at another individual, especially if it doesn’t result in you getting scolded. The residents of the Italian town of Ivrea obviously agree, and each year in February more than 3000 people split into nine teams wage war – with 400 tons of oranges. Officially it’s a team-only event. But with that much fruit flying around, bystanders naturally get involved. If fruit throwing isn’t your thing, there are also interesting parades of decorated carriages. It takes place from February 25 to 28.
How to get there by train: TrenItalia operates trains in and out of Stazione Ferroviaria di Ivrea. There are regular trains to Ivrea from throughout Italy, as well as connections from international destinations including Switzerland.
5. Cologne, Germany – Cologne Carnival
If you missed out on Oktoberfest, fear not. The Cologne Carnival is fast becoming a top contender to the famous Munich event, at least in terms of number of visitors. It runs from late February to early March, reaching a climax with the popular Rose Monday, the 42nd day before Easter. You can expect traditional activities and events, colorful parades, and a wide range of local music. And if you’re after some alcohol-induced fun, you’re also in luck. Bar and pub closing times are usually extended, allowing the parties to run into the early hours. Visit the Cologne Tourism website for essential dates.
How to get there by train: Cologne is a large, central rail hub in Germany, and there are several trains approaching from all directions.
These events in February can easily be added to your travel itinerary. This time of the year is quieter than the summer months, offers better deals, and is packed full of interesting events and festivities. And with many festivals running over several days or the entire month, it’s easy to tick a few off in one trip with a Eurail Global Pass.
Can’t make it to these events in February?:
6 European festivals to go to in your lifetime
Oktoberfest: How to get there by train
The 5 biggest European music festivals this summer