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Kemwel Travel Blog

Kemwel makes it easy to book the best discounted travel services and car rentals in Europe. Whether you need a rental car, a buy back auto lease, airfare, hotel reservations, or even a luxury auto rental, Kemwel can meet your needs. Check out our car rental guides for useful travel and driving information. Drive Europe!

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Winter Events in Europe 2015

Winter Events in Europe 2015Whether you are looking to do some Christmas shopping or simply kick your winter off with a bang, Europe is home to a number of spectacular Christmas markets and winter festivals this year. From the food-frenzy festivals in Bologna to the child-friendly Christmas markets in Hamburg, Europe has a winter celebration for everyone!


Check out these winter events in Europe 2015 and discover the best European winter celebrations around:


Innsbruck Christmas Markets

Innsbruck Christmas Markets

Innsbruck, Austria
November 15 – January 6

This small city has around half-a-dozen small markets, with Altstadt being one of the highlights. Surrounded by medieval houses, the stalls sell Christmas-themed gifts like wooden toys and gingerbread. Try to catch a group of carol singers to really get in the festival mood!


Feria de Santa Llucia

Feria de Santa Llucia Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain
November 28 – December 23

Barcelona’s Feria de Santa Llucia has been an annual tradition since 1786, with over 300 stalls selling local gifts and Christmas decorations. The festival also celebrates Christmas Catalan-style, with an unusual character called the caganer (also known as “The Defacator”), which can be bought from the market along with other traditional Catalan instruments.


Soleils d’Hiver

Winter Suns Festival Angers

Angers, France
November 28 – December 27

The Soleils d’Hiver (Winter Suns) festival in Angers offers gourmet food and drink from all over France. Taking place at the Place du Ralliement, sip on mulled wine, taste dreamy nougat and enjoy a tasty toffee apple to toast in the Winter Solstice. You can also shop for unique Christmas gifts while children ride the carousel.


Hamburg Christmas Markets
Hamburg Christmas Markets

Hamburg, Germany
November 23 – January 6

From late November Hamburg sets up 15 different festive markets in its beautiful historic port. Selling everything from sweet treats to handmade crafts every market specialises in something, for example if you have kids you can take them to Spielzeuggasse, also known as Toy Street for some Christmas inspiration. If you are looking for romance then head to Jungfernstieg or Fleetinsel where fairy lights light the water’s edge.


Bologna Christmas Market

Christmas Market Bologna

Bologna, Italy
November 17 – January 7

One of the oldest Christmas Markets in Italy, Bologna’s festive markets are famous for their fabulous foods, from chocolate-covered citrus peel to seasonal nougat made from nuts and honey. Try the warm and cozy Fiera di Natale for some Christmas treats and that warm festive feeling.



Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm Christmas Market

Stockholm, Sweden
November 21 – December 23

Taking place in front of the Nobel Museum, the Christmas Market in Stockholm only sells gifts and products made in Sweden, and offers items at a number of price ranges. Adults can enjoy some homemade mulled wine while kids can nibble on some pepparkakor (ginger cookies).



St. Gallen Christchindli

St Gallen, Switzerland
November 26 – December 24

Set in a postcard-perfect location, St Gallen is surrounded by snow-covered mountains, with a stunning Baroque cathedral, a medieval library, and half-timbered merchant’s houses. Just an hour’s drive from Zurich, the market opens with the lighting of Switzerland’s tallest Christmas tree. Enjoy the typical food and drink at Christchindli market and spend your evening warming up in one of the local pubs nearby.



Worms Christmas Markets

Worms Germany Christmas

Worms, Germany
November 24 – December 23

An hour’s drive from Frankfurt, Worms is said to be the oldest city in Germany. One of the smallest cities in the country, the winter markets revolve around the central market square and feature an ice rink, a manger full of live animals, and Santa’s Grotto. Music of all kinds also fills the market, from classical instrumentalists to festive carol singers.

Visiting the Winter Festivals in Europe This Year

With record-low prices thanks to a strong US dollar, this year is the best time ever to visit some winter festivals in Europe! Whether you’re looking to shop at Christmas markets or take in some entertainment at a concert, check out Kemwel’s great travel deals and book your trip at an incredibly low price. With everything from the best hotels to cheap airfare, Kemwel is your one-stop shop for travel. Look into our offers online or give us a call at 1-877-820-0668 and start planning your visit to some winter festivals in Europe today!

Europe Winter Festivals 2015

Inside Berlin’s Carnival of Cultures 2015


When people think of festivals in Germany, the first thing that typically comes to mind is beer at Oktoberfest. However, many people do not know about the other fantastic events that they can visit with their rental car in Germany, such as the Carnival of Cultures, known as Karneval der Kulturen in German.

For four days every spring, the streets of Berlin are filled with people celebrating diversity and inclusion in a colorful and peaceful manner. This year Carnival of Culturesberlin-carnival-of-culture-food will be held from May 22 to May 25. During that time, there will be several events, including a parade, live music, theater, and educational workshops.  In addition Carnival of Cultures also has exotic food, good drinks, a fun craft market, and exciting children’s programs.

The Carnival of Cultures dates back to 1996, when Berlin was becoming an international city with 500,000 foreign residents from over 180 nations. To counteract the nationalism and racism in Germany at the time, the city decided to host a festival aimed at making minorities more visible and guiding the city to be more inclusive. Every year, the event grows and the city of Berlin is transformed into a self-empowering, heterogeneous, pluralistic safe place for all people, no matter their cultural background.


The Parade

The Carnival of Cultures parade is an opportunity for people of all backgrounds and age groups to demonstrate their artistic talents while participating in an event that celebrates cultural identities. With over 80 groups and 5,000 participants, this large-scale parade, is a spectacle not to be missed. People watching the parade will witness several dance styles and outfits, ranging from traditional folk to hip-hop. At the Carnival of Cultures parade, spectators will experience the samba rhythms of Brazilian drummers, listen to Congolese singers, and watch larger than life puppets march through the streets.


Live Music and Performances

On the street-fest stages and off-stages, popular artists and up-and-coming bands showcase their talents. Over 100 bands and DJs, plus over 200 performers and artists participate, creating four jam-packed days of live music and theater. Any type of music is welcome, so festival-goers can expect to hear classical music, reggae music, and anything in between. Other performances include stilt-walkers, acrobats, magicians, and more.


Workshops and Conferences
Last but not least, the Symposia component of the festival provides opportunities to discuss critical issues, such as artistic practice and political engagement. These workshops and conferences provide unique learning opportunities for anyone and everyone.

In the last 20 years, the political situation in Germany has changed for the better; yet, Germany is still not a pluralistic society. Therefore, the Carnival of Cultures continues to grow in size with each passing year. With over 1.4 million people attending, Carnival of Cultures is able to make a lasting difference in just four short days.

Carnival of Cultures is one of the best festivals in Germany that you’ll have unrestricted access to when you rent a car in Berlin. Attending this event is sure to create joyous vacation memories full of laughter and fun in an open-minded community!


Going Green: St. Patrick’s Day

For those who can’t make it to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day do not despair. Cities and countries, from across the globe pay tribute to St. Patrick’s Day and have been going green for years.

Worldwide Revelries

In Chicago, the action begins Saturday with the dying of the Chicago River. This idea was borne from happenstance when it was realized a liquid used by the city plumbers was found to turn a perfect Irish green color. From the spark of an idea that was quickly fanned into a flame, the success of the first river dying has made it a continual feature of Chicago’s St. Pat’s Day celebrations for the past forty years.

Going Green - The Chicago River

If you take a dip in the Chicago River near St. Patrick’s Day, expect to be a little green afterwards
You can find one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades outside of Ireland in Munich, Germany. The parade route goes between Münchner Freiheit and Odeonsplatz, where the after parade party commences. Order a stein of dark Irish stout and follow it with a tasty German Doppelbock.

Sydney, Australia incorporates a family day theme along with their St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza, creating a series of events fit for entertaining all ages. The exterior of the Sydney Opera House is bathed in greed light as a nod to the religious saint. If you’re considering adding this activity to your itinerary, Sydney’s holiday is being celebrated on Sunday, March 16th instead, so that more people may participate.

Even cities like Tokyo in the Land of the Rising Sun puts on St. Patrick’s Day festivities!

Faux Pubs

The discerning drinker knows you can slap an Irish name on a bar sign, and put together a menu of Irish food and bevvies, but that doesn’t automatically make it an Irish pub.

Lucky for us, wherever there is a contingent of Irish diaspora, an authentic Irish run pub, owned and operated by one of their kin is likely nearby.

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, many establishments of the dining and drinking persuasion get into the festive spirit by swathing their buildings, food and staff in the quintessential, brilliant emerald green. They have a ready supply of Guinness kegs in the back, corned beef and cabbage as a special, and pre-recorded Irish reels echoing through the speakers in effort to lure in celebrants, but we all know where the real action is.

Going Green - A Few Pints of Stout

May the room above us never fall in, and may the friends beneath it never fall out.” – Traditional Irish Toast
The Allure of an Irish Pub

As someone who thoroughly enjoys the Cheers-like atmosphere of my favorite local watering holes, it’s comforting to know that wherever I travel to in the world, the dark wood paneling, dim lighting and invariably affable lilt of an Irish brogue, as I pull a stool up to the bar, are reassuringly familiar.

With St. Patrick’s Day parties in full swing, you’re more likely to have to squeeze your way through the crush of the beer and whisky-laden crowd, but there’s no better place to be than the infectiously convivial atmosphere of an Irish bar. Cheerful pub-goers are hoisting pint after pint aloft to toast the day, and it’s not long before you’re taking turns buying rounds with new friends and acquaintances.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Going Green - Eat - Drink - and be - Merry

There’s a right way and a wrong way to pour a Guinness

An unspoken expectation of St. Patrick’s Day is that at least one of your meals be the time-honored dining tradition of corned beef and stewed cabbage. This can be accompanied by a loaf of soda bread, and washed down by a pint of Guinness or Jamesons, neat.

Play Me A Sprightly Tune

Accordions, fiddles, flutes and guitars, bodhrans, banjos, uilleann pipes and harps: these traditional Irish instruments strike up a seemingly unceasing stream of music. When one musician begins to falter, there’s always someone willing to step-in and keep the boisterous tunes going, particularly on a holiday. Irish music ranges from the sprightly tunes to haunting ballads that will make you shed a tear in your beer.

Get up out of your seat, find a partner from the crowd, and avail yourself of the spirited sounds emanating from the band to dance.

Going Green

Some of the reasons that are purported to have influenced the color green being associated with St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s nickname as the Emerald Isle, as a nod to the green in the Irish Flag, and also the color of the three-leafed clover that was incorporated into the religious teachings of the Saint Patrick.

The custom of pinching a person who does not have any of the correct green color on is most widely recognized as an American addition, so perhaps this is once custom that can be left at home.

St. Patrick’s Day is an excellent time to give yourself and your Kemwel car rental a rest from the road, whether you’re commemorating Saint Patrick himself, or simply socializing as part of the contemporary interpretation of the holiday.

When you’re looking for the means to travel extensively and independently from strict times and others itineraries, Kemwel provides thousands of accessible rental car locations worldwide. Rent a car online quickly and easily with Kemwel’s reliable booking engine. Keep up with our travel specials by subscribing to our free email newsletter. For further assistance, please contact our toll-free number to speak with a car rental reservation specialist at 1-877-820-0668.

***Kemwel encourages you to drink responsibly over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend and designate a driver. We also offer chauffeur and transfer services as an alternative form of transportation to facilitate both a fun and safe experience.***

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Discount long term rentals!

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If you need to rent a car in Europe for more than 17 days, we can save you money. More information...
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