Best International Cities to Visit to Celebrate Halloween

Fear,’ the doctor said, ‘is the relinquishment of logic, the willing relinquishing of reasonable patterns. We yield to it or we fight it, but we cannot meet it halfway.’

Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Last week I dove into the best cities in the USA to visit if you want a Halloween celebration like no other. This week, we’re taking it to an international level. Something about celebrating Halloween in a foreign country where the history dives much deeper back in time gets me excited. While Americans get ridiculously excited about Halloween, it did get its beginning in Europe. It’s only fitting that my post right before Halloween celebrates not only where it began but other creepy destinations to put on your list for years to come.

London, England

London is no stranger to hauntings, bloody history, and creepy backstreets. From ghost tours, Jack the Ripper tours to parades and costume parties, London really has it all when it comes to Halloween. Explore the pumpkin markets, visit historical sites with sordid tales from the past, take a twilight tour to put you in the Halloween spirit, visit a haunted house, or you can dance the night away at a club with a Halloween theme. The possibilities are endless here.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Tower of London
  • Bruce Castle Museum in Tottenham Castle
  • Old Operating Theatre Museum
  • The Ten Bells
  • Epping Forest

Boyne Valley, Ireland

Halloween began in Ireland as the Celtic festival of Samhain. Celebrating Halloween in the country that started it all is next-level in the best possible way. Today you can attend the PĂșca Festival for a modern version of this centuries-old tradition. Regardless of where you visit in the valley (think Dublin) you’ll get to experience fortune telling, bonfires, sweet treats, parades, ghost tours, haunted houses and more.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Kilmainham Gaol
  • The Hellfire Club
  • Dublin Castle
  • The House of Bram Stoker

Transylvania, Romania

Is it possible to do a list about Halloween destinations and not mention the place where Dracula originated? It is, but that list wouldn’t be great. Transylvania is a country filled with dramatic-looking castles and villages frozen in time. Add to that a history full of scary legends and you’ve got a perfect place to explore for Halloween. While Romania as a whole isn’t huge on celebrating Halloween, the celebrations (especially in Bucharest) continue to grow each year. Now, you can even party it up at Bran Castle. There’s really no better place to celebrate Halloween than at Dracula’s Castle itself.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Bran Castle
  • Hoia Baciu Forest
  • Poemnari Fortress
  • Chiajna Monastery
  • Banffy Castle
  • Corvin Castle
  • Gugu Peak

Paris, France

Parisians are huge on Halloween or trick-or-treating, but they do celebrate All Saint’s Day/ La Toussaint every year. Much like Dias de Los Muertes, it remembers friends and family who have passed. There are tons of more light-hearted celebrations you can attend and Disneyland Paris hosts a massive party for the event. Paris is much more treat than trick, so it’s the perfect place to visit for Halloween if you want something other than haunted houses and creeptastic events. HOWEVER, Paris is no stranger to haunted and spooky locations. You can make your own Halloween tour with ghost tours, visits to the catacombs and by visiting other spooky sites in the city.

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Paris Catacombs
  • Le Manoir de Paris
  • Vampire Museum
  • Palais Garnier Opera
  • Rue des Chantres

Borgo a Mozzano, Italy

A small town in Tuscany just a short drive away from Lucca doesn’t seem like a fantastic place for Halloween at first glance, but you’d be mistaken. The Garfagnana area where Borgo is situated has a long history of witchcraft associated with it. The town hosts one of the biggest Halloween parties in the region that is quickly gaining fame around the world. There’s even a bridge spookily named Devil’s Bridge. Legend has it the devil appeared to a master builder to help him build the bridge and the myth grew from there. Today, it draws people celebrating spooky season from all over.

Nearby Spooky Places to Visit:

  • Museum of Torture in San Gimignano
  • Castle of Poppi
  • Witches of Volterra
  • Castle of Brolio

Hong Kong

While you won’t find trick-or-treating here, you will find massive celebrations. Theme parks go all out with decorations and Halloween parties so you won’t want to miss Disneyland Hong Kong or Ocean Park’s full lineup of special events. Lan Kwai is famous for its annual Halloween street party if you’re looking for a party. If spooky is more your vibe, the Hungry Ghost Festival is one you won’t want to miss. It pays tributes to ancestral spirits and other ghosts that may be wandering nearby.

Nearby Spooky Places to Visit:

  • Dragon Lodge
  • Nam Koo Terrace
  • Bride’s Pool
  • Sai Ying Pun Community Complex
  • Tak Tak School
  • White House Compound

Edinburgh, Scotland

I saved the most haunted for last. Whether you participate in the Samhuinn Fire Festival or take a ghost tour, Edinburgh has something for everyone on Halloween. Similar to Ireland, Scotland has a deep history of celebrating Halloween and given Edinburgh’s deep history, it comes as no surprise that it’s considered one of the most haunted places on the planet. Get your tricks with the haunted houses, underground passages, vaults, and more. During the day you can also experience the treats with traditional activities like apple dunking and Halloween parades!

Haunted Spots to Visit:

  • Edinburgh Castle and Dungeons
  • Greyfriar’s Kirkyard
  • West Bow House of Horrors
  • Edinburgh Vaults
  • Mary King’s Close

Which International Destination Intrigues You the Most?

Ireland, Paris and Hong Kong would be my top picks. I’d love to see where it all started in Ireland. Paris looks so creepy and fully what I’d love to experience on Halloween. Hong Kong would be a refreshingly fun take on Halloween to celebrate more of the treat rather than trick I’m used to for this holiday. Let me know what you think!

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