Germany — Festivals and Events
Germany has many festivals for visitors to enjoy throughout the year, including some famous world over like Oktoberfest. Perhaps not that well-known outside of Germany, Fasching (the German version of the carnival) is a fun season for adults and children alike. Participants dress up and there is partying until the early morning hours. There are also plenty of local festivals which visitors can enjoy in villages outside the main cities.
Bruchsal Asparagus Festival
The white asparagus is revered in Germany and many look forward to asparagus season, known as Spargelzeit. Eaten with butter or hollandaise sauce with a slice of ham or a crepe, there are many asparagus festivals in Germany, but the biggest by far is the one in Bruchsal (near Stuttgart), in southern Germany. The festival is held in the middle of May and attracts asparagus connoisseurs and buyers from all over Europe. Come and taste fantastic produce and then visit the beautiful Baroque palace of Bruchsal.
Dresden Music Festival
This annual festival takes place in May and June, and showcases some of the best classical musicians, orchestras, ensembles, choirs, and opera singers. With a history of over 30 years, this is one of the leading music festivals in Germany and attracts music lovers from all over the world. Tickets for concerts should be bought well in advance.
Museum Bank Festival (Museumsufer Fest)
A popular and fun event in Frankfurt is the Museum Bank Festival, which takes place for a two-day period in August along the banks of the Main River. The event gives visitors a chance to visit all the museums in town for one price. Both sides of the river are packed with shops, bars, and food stalls, as well as treats for children. Many of the famous eateries in Frankfurt set up booths, making this a great time to sample a wide variety of dishes, as well as get some culture.
The most famous festival in Germany and possibly the world, Oktoberfest actually takes place at the end of September and into October. Held in Munich, it is the best place to enjoy great beer, local food, and a boisterous atmosphere. All beers served must be brewed within the city limits so rejoice in regional delights. If Dirndl-clad ladies serving beer is your dream, then don’t miss it! The Oktoberfest attracts over six million visitors, so booking rooms and flights months in advance is a must.
Some call it Fasching, some call it Karneval depending where you’re from. Generally starting on November 11 at 11:11 a.m., some regions celebrate it on January 7. It is a crazy festival, with lots of good and bad jokes, costumes, confetti, bead necklaces, parades, and celebrations. Don a crazy getup and expect to hear different Fasching calls depending on where you are like Helau! (Düsseldorf) and Alaaf! (Cologne and Bonn).
Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt)
If you’re spending Christmas in Germany, almost every city or town will have a Christmas market, generally starting in early November and running until the holidays. The most famous are those in Rothenburg, Nüremburg, and Cologne where there is great food, rides, and ornaments for sale. Not to be missed is the glühwein (hot wine) or jagertee (rum and black tea), which will warm you up on cold winter nights. Most Christmas markets are open until 10:00 p.m..