12 Halloween Destinations Around the World for a Spooky Time

12 Best Places to Celebrate Halloween Around the World

Head over to these destinations for a good scare.

Halloween, originating from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, is a pagan religious celebration to welcome the harvest at the end of summer. Back then, people would adorn costumes and light bonfires to ward off ghosts. Today, it is an occasion to dress up, go trick-or-treating, and take part in many other festivities! And since it’s a popular holiday across the globe, there’s surely no shortage of Halloween destinations to travel to.

Expect a day (or even a weekend!) of vibrant fashion, lively festivals, and long-standing traditions. Without further ado, here are the best places to visit for Halloween around the world!

Also read: 10 Best Halloween-Themed Airbnbs Around the World

Best places for Halloween in North America

1. New Orleans – Louisiana, United States

halloween 2022

Image credit: Jake Cvnningham

Nicknamed The Big Easy, New Orleans is known for its happening nightlife and exciting live music scene. Tapping on its rich culture and arts scene, the city puts its own spin on the holidays, injecting them with vigour and vibrancy. As such, holidays in New Orleans promise to be a unique experience for travellers. Halloween is certainly no exception. Celebrate Halloween New Orleans-style with the Krewe of BOO! — their official annual festivity for the spooky season!

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Parade down Elysian Fields Avenue to North Peters Street
  • Dress as a zombie on the Zombie Run
  • Enjoy the bars and street bands playing on Frenchmen Street

2. Sleepy Hollow – New York, United States

best places for halloween

Image credit (L-R): NatalieMaynor; Daniel Case

Not to be outdone by its American counterparts, New York State is also one of the best places to celebrate Halloween. Sleepy Hollow, in particular, is famous among tourists for its October festivities. This little village was named by Dutch settlers for its dreary atmosphere and supernatural occurrences — the most famous being the tale of the Headless Horseman. 

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Visit the Old Dutch Church on the cemetery tour
  • Ride down Albany Post Road on a hay wagon
  • Take a photo at the Headless Horseman Bridge

Also read: 16 Fun Things to Do in New York City

3. Oaxaca – Mexico

mexico the day of the dead

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Oaxaca de Juárez, simply known as Oaxaca, is one of our favourite Halloween destinations — albeit for different reasons than one would expect. Here, Halloween is overshadowed by Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). Celebrated from 31 Oct to 2 Nov, the day represents the veil between the world of the spirits and the living being lifted. This allows deceased loved ones to travel back. Even in modern times, this holiday is still widely celebrated around Mexico, with Oaxaca being the centre of the festivities. 

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Get your face painted for the celebration
  • Visit cemeteries (just make sure you take off your face paint first!)
  • Set up an altar to pay respect to your ancestors

Also read: 14 Food Destinations Around the World for a Gastronomic Tour

Best Halloween destinations in Europe

4. Dublin – Ireland

halloween festival

Image credit: William Murphy

With Halloween originating from a Celtic festival, it’s no wonder it’s celebrated in Ireland with extra fervour. With its historical significance, the Emerald Isle is definitely one of the ideal Halloween destinations. This is especially so in Dublin, where all the festivities are centred. The numerous haunted castles, wild parties, and family-friendly activities, Dublin is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween.

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Embark on the Hooky Spooky Forest Trail, Saggart
  • Celebrate the legend of Dracula at the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin Castle
  • Join the Samhain festival in Marlay Park

Also read: 12 Best Countries for Extroverts Who Love to Travel

5. London – England

best cities for halloween

Image credit: Jim Linwood

As one of the best cities for Halloween, October in London is always a time of spooktacular fun. With a huge lineup of creepy activities, Halloween in London promises to be a blast! Whether you’re looking to enjoy a good horror film or join a thrilling haunted tour, there are plenty of scares to go around in this ideal Halloween destination.

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Catch some horror classics screening at Price Charles Cinema
  • Shop in Monster Supplies Pop Up on Hoxton Street
  • Explore the immersive world of Hallowed Peak

6. Edinburgh – Scotland

halloween celebrations in scotland

Image credit: Ad Meskens

Home to some of the most haunted places in Europe, the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is another city known for its electrifying Halloween celebrations. Like the Irish, the Scots have a long history of celebrating Samhain and incorporate many of its traditions into their festivities. The blend of tradition and contemporary practices creates an authentic experience that makes Edinburgh the ideal Halloween destination!

Things to do on Halloween:

  • Escape from Edinburgh’s scariest escape room, The Anatomist
  • Visit the Edinburgh Zoo for family-friendly frights
  • Enjoy seasonal crafts, games, and a scarecrow quiz trail at Almond Valley Heritage Centre

7. Sighișoara – Romania

best places to go for halloween

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Perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of the iconic Count Dracula himself, Sighișoara is definitely among the essential Halloween destinations. Located in the historic region of Transylvania, it is a well-preserved ancient walled town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During Halloween, the walls come to life with themed parties and tours around the city.

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Learn about Transylvanian folklore in the Ritual Killing of the Living Dead
  • Join a Romanian party in Dracula’s medieval birthplace – the Sighișoara Citadel
  • Watch Vampiresa Hunting, an impressive ballet performance

Also read: 10 Best European Countries That Won’t Break the Bank

8. Prague – Czech Republic

medieval architecture

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Although the Czech Republic doesn’t traditionally celebrate Halloween to the same extent as other places on this list, Prague is certainly a fun place to go during this time of the year. The city is one of the most spectacular Gothic cities in Europe, with its medieval architecture and long, winding lanes. Aided by spooky local legends and haunted cemeteries, the city has a mysterious, even macabre allure!

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Explore dungeons on the Ghosts, Legends, Medieval Underground & Dungeon Tour
  • Put on your scariest costume for the Luna Festival
  • Unleash your creativity by decorating pumpkins in Botanická Zahrada Praha

9. Ostend – Belgium

streets of ostend

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Halloween is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated holidays across Belgium. While Brussels may be the more popular tourist destination, we recommend Ostend as the best Halloween destination! During this season, it hosts various ghoulish events, creepy costume parades, and more. The city definitely deserves its reputation as Belgium’s Halloween City.

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Party all night long in your favourite costume Top Off x SCARY HALLOWEEN
  • Join the Halloween workshop, Herfst
  • Get your sugar fix by joining a chocolate workshop

Best cities for Halloween in Asia

10. Jakarta – Indonesia

Although Halloween has its roots in the West, the tradition has spread to many countries across Asia! Indonesia, with its large expat community and rich culture, is certainly no exception. The capital, Jakarta, offers many exciting things to do during Halloween. From costume parties to trick-or-treating, Jakarta promises a vibrant Halloween.

Things to do on Halloween:

  • Party all night at Empirca’s Halloween event
  • Go trick-or-treating around housing estates
  • Feast on Tim Burton-inspired food at Three Buns restaurant

11. Seoul – South Korea

Granted, South Korea doesn’t celebrate Halloween in the traditional European way (i.e., trick-or-treating or carving pumpkin heads). Nonetheless, the event has gained popularity in recent years. In Seoul, the result is a wholly unique Halloween celebration that incorporates some elements from the Celtic tradition. Don’t worry — donning a stunning costume is definitely still part of the celebrations!

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Get your adrenaline pumping at Daegu E-World
  • Roam around the streets of Itaewon in your best costume
  • Brave Seoul’s spooky streets on the Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk

Also read: A 48-Hour Seoul Itinerary: Experience the Best of Seoul’s Autumnal Beauty

12. Taipei – Taiwan

taiwan at night

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Halloween in Taipei is also called Wang Sheng Jie, which translates to “Million Spirits Festival.” As the celebration draws closer, Halloween stores, costumes, and decorations begin popping up around the city. From family-friendly to frightening activities, Taipei is jampacked with haunted happenings every October, making it one of the best cities for Halloween!

Things to do for Halloween:

  • Join a costume competition at Revolver
  • Bring your pets to the Tamsui Historical Museum for its Furry Pet Halloween Costume Party
  • Get a free shot at On Tap’s annual Halloween party if you wear your costume

Also read: 10 Horror Theme Parks to Visit This Halloween

And that concludes our list of top Halloween destinations around the world. With its increasing popularity, Halloween continues to be a global holiday that can be celebrated in fun and different ways. So, pack your passports and your costumes for a spooktacular season!

Featured image credit: SCStock via Canva Pro

About Author

Chow Cheng Yang
Chow Cheng Yang

Cheng Yang can often be found in his natural habitat — in his bed with a cup of coffee and a science-fiction novel. With his undying love for jazz music and old movies, he likes to think of himself as a bit of a hippie. When he's not busy with work or school, he spends his free time playing the guitar or practising calligraphy.