Friday, Oct 6, 2023
It’s undeniable that one of the busiest travel seasons of the year is Halloween, as this seasonal period brings a unique twist to many destinations, whether the celebrations are new or steeped in tradition. No matter if your clients are restful ramblers or city-loving travelers, there’s a destination that’s perfect for them as destinations all over the world celebrate this time of year in unique and thrilling ways.
Explore our suggestions below for some ghoulish inspiration! And don’t forget that you can access our vast portfolio of accommodation and experiences in our Booking Engine, to make curating your clients’ perfect trip even easier.
We’re talking over 300,000 hotels in trending destinations worldwide, and over 16,000 experiences, so you’re sure to find hauntingly good ideas for your customers!
For clients looking to get off the beaten path while still enjoying a trip that’s influenced and inspired by the end of year atmosphere that comes with Halloween, then these locations are perfect:
Transport your clients to the heart of Transylvania, where the legend of Dracula comes to life. Offer them a spine-tingling tour of the legendary Bran Castle, often called 'Dracula's Castle', inspiring the most vivid nightmares with its dramatic history and legendary tales!
Other sights to see include the UNESCO town of Sighișoara the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (said to have inspired the legend of Dracula), or a ghost walk in the haunted forest of Hoia Baciu, which is the source of multiple sightings of ghosts and UFOs. For party-lovers, Bucharest offers fancy dress events to lighten the mood where visitors can dance the night away!
Whether it’s the Edinburgh dungeons, exploring the dark, twisting passages that venture deep underneath the city, discovering the most haunted sites around the city itself on a ghost tour, or even just getting up close and personal with its witchy way of life in Edinburgh Castle or in its many delightfully esoteric and magical stores, Edinburgh offers many chances to come across the paranormal.
A Ghost Bus experience is one of the best ways to see the city in all its glory without missing a thing, offering insights into the heinous history of this haunted city. And for travelers keen to explore the deeper origins of the holiday, the Samhuinn Fire Festival takes place annually on Carlton Hill on October 31st and is an ancient Celtic festival which marks the end of the summer season, welcoming in winter with a fiery spectacle.
A mere 35 miles north of the luxurious New York City - which we recommend for travelers looking for Halloween on a luxury budget further down in this article - is the most perfect place to celebrate Halloween - Sleepy Hollow! A quick train ride from Grand Central Station brings travelers to this legendary town, which was the setting of the short but iconic story the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. From the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze to evening productions of the famous ghost story itself, we couldn’t think of anywhere better for travelers looking to celebrate in true Halloween style!
Of course, it would be impossible to speak about Halloween without mentioning one of the most famous locations in history, From grand parades, musical and pageantry events, hauntingly good marketplaces, witchy city tours and free events such as pumpkin-decorating, seances, and even pet costume competitions, Salem, Massachusetts is a spooktacular destination for those looking to immerse themselves in all things Halloween.
In true Halloween style, this event is a month-long celebration in Salem and visitors would be remiss not to embrace it and don their most haunting costumes - locals and guests alike are encouraged to get into the ‘spirit’ of things and put their best (or worst) face forward!
Of course, how could we not mention the spectacular and world-renowned celebrations that occur in Mexico?
While there are familiar traditions that take place on October 31st which visitors might recognize, such as parties, pumpkin carving and ‘trick or treating’, Mexico’s most important celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd; the world-renowned Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.
It’s important to remember this is not a Halloween celebration, but a sacred cultural event which recognizes and celebrates the spirits of the dearly departed, as they return from the afterlife for a few fleeting moments. From vividly decorated streets, colorful costumes, music, amazing food, to the local traditions that vary from region to region, this is the time when the dead are remembered and celebrated in a joyous manner.
There are many different ways that visitors can get involved in this cultural event, and many differing shapes it takes place depending on location! One of the more customary ways to celebrate is for locals to decorate the graves of loved ones and friends during this time, usually with the brightest marigolds (cempazúchitl) that can be found. Another unmissable location is Mixquic, which prides itself on the centuries-old traditions for Dios de Los Muertos held there! In this pre-Hispanic town, the main event is the Alumbrada - the illumination of graveyards with thousands of candles.
Additionally, one of the most famously haunted locations in Mexico is the Isla de las Munecas, the Island of the Dolls, a chinampa of the Laguna de Tequila located in the channels of Xochimilco, south of the center of Mexico City. With a tragic past attached to it, this location has drawn many visitors over the years, seeking to determine whether the dolls are indeed haunted by the spirit of the little girl said to have motivated the creation of this island.
For travelers eager to experience the more authentic side of Halloween, as conscious travelers looking to connect with local communities or enjoy a more serene, nature-focused time away this season, we’ve got the perfect destinations!
Perched precariously atop a limestone rock on the banks of the Orava River, deep in Slovakia's forests, Orava Castle is best known as the shiver-inducing backdrop in 1922’s vampiric cinematic masterpiece Nosferatu.
A seasonal walking tour of the castle is the ideal way to experience this natural, imposing piece of history through its 154 rooms and around 660 stairs!
For horror fans looking to be immersed in chilling legends of ghosts and vampire lore while also keeping their trip as low-impact as possible, this is the perfect place - plus, Slovakia offers many stunning hiking routes and gorgeous towns and villages to explore after this eerie time of year like Bratislava, Košice and the High Tatras mountains.
What about offering your clients a seasonal hike in the stunning Hoge Kempen National Park? Not only does this nature reserve promise gorgeous heathlands, woodlands and unique landscapes, but during Halloween the park also organizes a unique Halloween hike which lets guests explore its deep, mystical depths and trails.
The Caves of Han in Han-sur-Lesse also offer a truly eerie experience for travelers keen to keep things natural - as darkness falls, they can venture deep into the underground maze of tunnels to uncover the true meaning of ‘Hanlloween’.
What’s more, Belgium is accessible via train from many other destinations on mainland Europe and the UK, making it a great location for travelers who are looking for a memorable Halloween but who are also eager to reduce their impact on the environment while journeying there.
Despite being a fairly new celebration adopted by the culture, Halloween is a BIG thing in Japan - one of the biggest events in the calendar! Because of its newness, Halloween in Japan doesn’t come with many of the traditions that other countries have - you won’t find any trick or treating here - so it’s a chance for Halloween-lovers to dive into this event with brand new appreciation for all things terrifying, cute, and eccentric!
Halloween in Japan is all about being creative with costumes, and events like zombie runs, flash mobs and street parties are more than typical as the city descends into paranormal celebration.
Some of the best and biggest street parties and celebrations can be found in Roppongi Hills, and Shibuya in Tokyo, where the Shibuya Crossing and Center Gai are closed off and the partying lasts into the early hours! In Ikebukuro, a major hub for Japan’s anime culture, costumes are all about manga and anime characters rather than ghouls or monsters. What’s more, many of the trains in Japan - particularly in its busiest cities - transform into party trains! They’re one of the trendiest places to go during the celebration, and it’s not unusual to see trains full of costumed partiers alongside regular commuters.
An exciting and intriguing destination at any time of year, Savannah, Georgia really comes into its own during the month of October! Heralded as one of the United States’ most haunted cities, it's the perfect destination for your clients to be thrilled and chilled with memorable experiences that dive deep into the history of this city.
Why not offer ghoulish tour of Savannah’s historic district, showcasing tales of murder, mayhem, ghosts and inexplicable phenomena which have plagued the city!
As much as Paris is known for its elegant luxury and rich artistic culture the city also has a more macabre side, and is renowned for its vast cemeteries which are also the final resting places for cultural figures like Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin and Edith Piaf.
But what could be a better way to celebrate Halloween than in the Paris Catacombs? With roughly six million decoratively arranged skeletons forming a haunting maze underneath the city, this is certainly one of the more thrilling and history-rich places to spend Halloween. Père Lachaise Cemetery is said to be the most haunted in Paris, while Le Manoir de Paris takes the title of most haunted house in the city, offering themed rooms and thrilling encounters with actors.
For less of a ‘close encounter of the fifth kind’ and more family friendly encounters with much-loved characters, Disneyland Paris is, of course, one of the most popular destinations for this season. Each year the park puts on its festive colors and throws massive parades for all ages. Don’t miss the Tower of Terror and the Phantom Manor! Tickets are in hot demand every year, so we strongly recommend that visitors looking to experience the wonder of Disneyland during Halloween should book well in advance, as Halloween 2024 will arrive before they know it ...
While there is no doubt that travelers to New Orleans will be short on Halloween parties, this culture and history rich destination offers the perfect opportunity to explore some darker traditions. Encourage your clients to stop off at its unique museums like the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, the Museum of Death or the Bloody Mary’s Haunted Museum, before learning a thing or two about its dark past with a guided tour.
Don’t miss The Mortuary, a 150-year-old Victorian mansion turned haunted house, or the memorable Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade to witness the spectacle of its marching bands and performers along an impressive 4.8km route.
If your clients are seeking ghoulish adventures in a city that’s overflowing with supernatural and terrifying history, then London is about as haunted as a city can get! From the macabre to fun-filled celebrations of this mystical time of year, London offers everything your city-loving clients could want.
Of course there are countless parties and celebrations to keep Halloween-lovers on their feet all night, but what about a trip on its iconic Ghost Bus Tour? Or offer a chance to be immersed in the city’s gory history with a descent into the London Dungeons? From haunted walking tours, visits to some of London’s most iconic haunted pubs, or even a trip to Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London for a look into its dark and regal history, or even a visit to the innocuous Hyde Park for a peek at London’s largest pet cemetery - there are endless opportunities for all thrill-seekers in this fiendish city!
What could be more luxurious than a trip to New York City for Halloween? The city comes alive with glittering parties, ghoulish extravaganzas and night-time celebrations which make for a perfect way to indulge as the veil thins between worlds, and mystery reigns. From the annual Greenwich Village Parade which draws in large celebratory crowds, to wandering the streets of Upper East Side to see the stunning, over-the-top decorations, New York is a feast for the senses during this thrilling season.
For the ultimate adrenaline rush, dare your clients to experience Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights. Here, they'll come face-to-face with their worst nightmares, as their favorite movie sets transform into haunted mazes and terrifying scare zones. Each of the parks celebrates the season in their own way, so there are events for all ages!
Naturally, Disney World and Universal Studios are recognized as two of the most popular destinations for Halloween around the world, and something that most-definitely deserves a high budget to really make the most of its opulent and themed experiences. They're perfect for a luxury traveler looking for a family-friendly experience that goes all out! So make sure to encourage your clients to book in advance - Halloween 2024 will come around quicker than they think …
This tiny mountain town in Colorado goes large for Halloween, and is a great destination for travelers looking for a luxurious getaway in one of the most beautiful mountainous regions. Those with families can enjoy a trick-or-treat at the local firehouse, or those looking for a more discerning gathering can dance all night at the private Caribou Club on the only night it opens its doors to all guests! Costumes required, of course.
But for lovers of traditional spooktacular events, a ghoulish walking tour rounded off by one of Aspen’s many fine dining establishments is a fine way to spend Halloween!
Did you know that we run promotions throughout the year, that allow our clients to maximize the opportunities that come along with seasonal events like Halloween? Offering incentivizing prices to travel during these busy periods is one of the best ways to capitalize on demand, and ensure you’re not losing potential customers to your competition!