Bavaria and Oktoberfest

When Travel to Germany

As the country where the medieval meets the modern, Germany is definitely something you must experience at least once in a lifetime. Only few countries had such a big impact on the world like Germany, from history to art and technology. With its population of 82 million people, it is a European definition of melting pot really worth seeing since each culture contributed to what is today known as one of the most advanced countries worldwide, popular among tourists as well. Anytime is good time to visit Germany, but there are still few periods when you will have the most of your trip, and we are here to tell you when and how!

When it comes to choosing when to travel, it may come down to how high your budget is or are you a crowd-loving person or not.

Most people (German, of course) would agree that the season between May and October is a perfect time for your trip, for generally sunny (yet unpredictable) wheather and lots of tourist events.

May: During May Germany is less crowded than in the peak of the summer tourism high season. Also, it is much easier to find accommodation in May than later on. After a long and cold German winter, people welcome meals outdoors, cherry blossoms, spring fairs and well-known Biergartens.

  • Labor Day – May 1st: Many families use this public holiday for a picnic in the park, while whole villages in Bavaria come together to raise a traditional “Maibaum” (Maypole) with colorful ribbons and carved figures to celebrate the end of cold season.
  • Carnival of Cultures – May 13th-16th: This four-day open-air festival with exotic food and drinks, concerts, performances and parties is taking place in Berlin and its culmination is a massive parade of cultural floats filled with the diverse communities that make up the city.
  • Hamburg Hafengeburtstag – May 5th-11th: the Hamburg harbor, one of the biggest in the world, celebrates its anniversary with a three-day festival. The festivities include a parade of historic ships, dragon boat races, and the tugboat ballet.
  • Rhine in Flames – May 7th: During this 5- city festival, the stunning landscape of the Rhine valley is illuminated by firework and thousands of Bengal fires bathe river, banks, and medieval castles in magic colors.

Hamburg city center with town hall and Alster river, Germany

June: In June Germany’s summer festival season is very active and you can enjoy some of the best German events and festivals. Many festivities will be outdoors, so you can fully experience Germany’s warm June weather.

  • Handel Festival – June 2nd-4th: The city of Halle pays tribute to the German composer Georg Friedrich Handel by hosting the annual Handel Festival. Come and hear international musicians interpreting Handel’s works.
  • Kiel’s Sailing Week – June 18th-26th: The largest sailing event in the world dating back to 1882 attracts 5,000 sailors, 2,000 ships, and more than three million visitors every year.
  • Fete de la Musique – June 21st: Berliners celebrate the longest day of the year and the official beginning of summer with this city-wide, free music festival since 1995. More than 80 open-air stages at the street festival offer everything from reggae and jazz to hip hop andelectronic music.
  • Elbhangfest – June 26th-28th: The festival takes place along the Elbe with three main stages in Loschwitz, Wachwitz and Pillnitz. Over 200 events in a seven kilometer stretch offer local handicrafts, guided tours and traditional food and drink.

July: At the peak of summer season (as in August, too), Germany becomes a bit more expensive enjoy as a tourist. However, the country does not lack events regarding art and culture.

  • Mercedes Benz Fashion Week – July 1st: International designers present their latest collections in the German capital during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (Berliner Modewoche), so stay tuned and save money.
  • Munich Opera Festival – July 19th-31st: Dating to 1876 the festival offers an excellent program of opera and ballet performances, as well as free open-air concerts “Opera For All” on July 8th and 9th.
  • Richard Wagner Festival – July 25th: With this festival, the Bavarian town of Bayreuth celebrates German composer Richard Wagner. The world’s largest Wagner Festival has been sold out since 1876, and Wagner fans get their tickets years in advance to enjoy some of the composer’s best operas performed in the Festspielhaus.
  • DOM Festival in Hamburg – July 29th: In the centre of Hamburg, Heiligengeistfeld, you can visit one of the largest open-air fun fairs in northern Germany.

Berlin - city view

August: Enjoy warm temperatures, long and sunny days, colorful open-air festivals, and many outdoor activities prepared for this time of season.

  • International Berlin Beer Festival – August 4th-6th: This three-day festival celebrates the unofficial drink of Germany. The festival ground is divided into areas according to the geographical origins of the beers, such as Bavaria and Saxony, but even Vietnam and Japan.
  • Young Euro Classic – August 18th: Compositions from Beethoven and Shostakovich as well as contemporary pieces by composers from all over the world attract a large number of tourists to the Konzerthaus at Gendarmenmarkt.
  • Long Night of Museums – August 19th: At the Long Night of Museums, more than a hundred museums and cultural institutions exhibit their collections at unusual hours so the visitors can admire the paintings, sculptures and installations, but also watch a number of art performances and concerts.
  • Potsdam Palace Night – August 19th: This night makes the luxurious lives of the Prussian kings come alive. For several hours, the gardens, temples and palaces around Sanssouci Palace open their doors for visitors and allow them a glimpse into the baroque royal lifestyle.

September: The beginning of the fall colliding with last days of summer season is for many tourists the most beautiful time of the year. Colorful streets and high temperatures attract many people on streets which look for something fun to do.

  • Music Festival Berlin – September 1st-18th: The festival attracts hundreds of musicians as well as thousands of fans of classical music from all over the world. Over the course of 18 days, around 30 events featuring over 70 works by 35 composers, 20 orchestras, instrumental and vocal ensembles and soloists perform at the Philharmonie.
  • Bread & Butter – August 1st-3rd: The three-day fashion and lifestyle event at the Arena Berlin, open to the public, comprises three segments: a platform where international fashion brands present their latest collections, it deals with entertainment around fashion, and is a conference on the digital future of fashion with international bloggers and professionals.
  • International Literature Festival Berlin – August 6th-16th: In the period of 11 days, the festival presents latest works in prose and poetry by contemporary authors from all over the world.
  • Berlin Art Week – August 12th-17th: Each year the Berlin Art Week provides visitors with the opportunity to gaze at works of international and local artists exhibited in hundreds of galleries.

Stuttgart (Deutschland) Schlossplatz im Sommer, Blick vom kleinen Schlossplatz

October: Germans surely know how to end the tourist season in the right way. During September and October the most famous beer festival in the world takes place, but if you don’t like the crowd, there are other places to go to as well.

  • Stuttgart’s Cannstatter Volksfest – September 23rd-October 9th: This is Germany’s second largest folk festival behind the more world famous Oktoberfest in Munich which centers around a special emblem, a 26-metre high “fruit column”.
  • Oktoberfest Munich – September 16th-October 3rd: This is the ultimate experience for all the beer lovers coming from all parts of the world and for those who just love to party.
  • Filmfest Hamburg – October 5th-14th: Filmfest Hamburg shows about 140 national and international feature and documentary films as world, European or German premiere. The program varies from sophisticated arthouse films to the mainstream cinema.
  • Halloween in Frankenstein Castle – October 20th-November5th: This event near Darmstadt is organized by the Halloween team which brings the classic act to the stage of Frankenstein Castle in order to celebrate Mary Shelley’s scientific revolution in shape of Dr. Frankenstein.

  1 Comment

  1. Tammy Corbett   •  

    The International Berlin Beer Festival is a beer lovers dream! 350 breweries from almost 90 countries serve over 2,000 different beer specialities. I suggest if you’re going to travel through Germany in August take advantage of ACP Rail’s Summer savings on rail passes and get the scenic view of Germany while you travel.

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