Imagine experiencing history in real life.
Movies are great, I love an historical series marathon but at Medieval Fairs, you can touch, smell and taste the European medieval lifestyle in a way that no film or series will ever give you.
The European continent is full of medieval castles, for example in the UK there are more than 800 castles and you can visit about 300 of them. With so many castles available, it’s not hard to imagine why medieval fairs are so popular.
How about spending a day experiencing the traditions of this very important period in European history?
So grab your mug of mead and your suckling pig sandwich and let’s watch the jousting tournament or throw sharp axes to pass the time.
In which European countries is it possible to visit a medieval fair?
Most European countries have medieval fairs. Some are simple, with hundreds of visitors but others have international prominence with thousands of visitors.
The United Kingdom is an excellent choice to visit a medieval fair, as there are options nearby and easily accessible if you are staying in London.
Portugal also has two fairs, in Santa Maria da Feira and Matosinhos, which are smaller but still quite fun.
In addition to the UK and Portugal, there are good medieval fairs in Spain, France and Germany.
What are the most famous medieval fairs in Europe?
- England Medieval Festival – United Kingdom
- Battle 1066 – United Kingdom
- Medieval Fair at Windsor Castle – UK
- Colchester Medieval Festival – UK
- Bosworth Medieval Festival – UK
- Medieval Fair of Santa Maria da Feira – Portugal
- Obidos Medieval Fair – Portugal
- Coimbra Medieval Fair – Portugal
- Medieval Fair of Matosinhos – Portugal
- Medieval Fair of Barcelona – Spain
- Medieval Fair of Segovia – Spain
- Medieval Fair of Cantabria – Spain
- Pforzheim Medieval Fair – Germany
When do medieval fairs take place in Europe?
Generally, the events take place during the European summer, between June and the end of August, however some take place during the end-of-year festivities, such as in Barcelona, Spain, and Pforzheim, Germany.
What is there to do at a medieval fair?
Visiting a medieval fair in Europe is the perfect opportunity to make the most of the culture and history of that continent. There, we can walk around in armour, sword and all or dress up as a lady and no one will consider us crazy or strange.
You will be able to try craft beers with many following recipes from the period, see different craftsmen at work producing items in leather, stone or metal and interact with beautiful birds of prey such as hawks, falcons and owls.
At some fairs, it is possible to stay in castles or tents set up in the medieval style.
I think the best part is the re-creations and re-enactments of historic battles. Some are so real, it feels like you’re stepping back in time or jumping into a period movie.
The experience as a whole is spectacular, especially if you have children. Not to mention that it’s an excellent way to teach your children to appreciate history and understand how the world has changed since then.
There is so much to do at these fairs! We have already mentioned some activities such as jousting and falconry, but there are many other fun activities such as axe throwing, archery and sword fighting. For children, there are schools for knights and ladies, crafting and the court parade.
There are other activities, of course, but these are the most common and fun ones.
Unmissable at Europe’s Medieval Fair
- Taste beers created by monks
- Taste the beers crafted by Vikings
- Taste medieval cuisine like melting pork sandwichs
- Visit artisans’ workshops
- Try mead
- Watch jousting
- Interact with birds of prey
- Dress up as a knight or lady
- Attend a medieval banquet
- Stay in a medieval tent
- Visit the castles and the village where medieval fairs take place
Feel like visiting a medieval fair? Finding options in Europe is not difficult; all it takes is a little planning so that the dates of the fairs and your trip coincide.
The cost is usually low. Both the price of admission and food and drinks are very affordable. What can get more expensive is staying in tents or castles, but many of these events offer an exclusive feast for those who decide to spend the night, so it might be worth the investment.
Spending the day surrounded by knights, court ladies and craftsmen is an incredible experience that is only possible to experience at a medieval fair which is why we recommend it to anyone who loves history, especially if you are travelling with your family.