There are plenty of reasons to visit Germany in the summer. The country’s vibrant cities come to life under the glorious sunshine, and the beautiful countryside just begs for a visit from outdoor enthusiasts looking for great hiking and cycling opportunities. But perhaps one of the biggest draws to visit Germany in the summer is the huge wealth of exciting festivals.
When many people think of German festivals, they probably think of pounding electronic music, and copious amounts of beer and spirits. While these things are in plentiful supply at some of the festivals listed below, there are also some surprising German festivals that offer a unique draw for curious visitors.
If these festivals call out to you and you decide to include them on your German travel itinerary for 2022, make sure to check Germany travel requirements for your nationality before planning your trip!
It’s no secret that Germans love to celebrate some of their favorite cuisine and beverages with festivals. But you might be surprised to learn that some of the biggest food festivals in Germany revolve around asparagus.
Asparagus is harvested in Germany between April and late June. Many of the biggest asparagus festivals take place towards the beginning of the season, from mid-to-late April.
While they can be found all over the country, some of the biggest take place in towns such as Beelitzer, Walbeck, and Schwetzingen, considered the asparagus centres of Germany. In addition to sampling a range of asparagus-related delicacies, many also offer visitors a range of live music, entertainment, and asparagus-peeling competitions.
If you decide to travel to Germany later in the year and visit in the autumn, you might also want to check out some of the many onion-themed harvest festivals in the country.
Berlin’s Carnival of Cultures
If you’re looking to experience the vibrant mix of cultures in Germany’s capital city, then the best travel advice for Berlin will tell you to check out this colourful carnival that celebrates the diverse ethnic population.
Held annually in late May or early June, the four-day street festival is full of vibrant parades, outlandish costumes, and a range of musical, dance, visual arts, and acrobatic performances. The biggest parade, on Pentecost Sunday in Kreuzberg, often draws over half a million spectators.
Although the festival was not held in 2021 or 2022 due to pandemic restrictions, several smaller corona-compliant events were held instead. The full carnival celebrations are expected to return in 2023.
The Rhine in Flames
Rhein in Flammen is not just one event, but 5 separate spectacular firework displays that place along the river Rhine throughout the summer. Spectators ride along the river on brightly illuminated boats to the location of the show, while the banks of the Rhine are lined with wine festivals that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The first show is held in Bonn on the first Saturday in May, while the second takes place in the Rüdesheim-Bingen area in July. The biggest fireworks display is held in Koblenz in August. You can also catch two additional events in September, in Oberwesel and Sankt Goar and Sankt Goarshausen, respectively.
One of the biggest music festivals in the summer in Germany, Fusion Festival is often referred to as the “German Burning Man” because of its free-wheeling, alternative vibe.
Held at a former Russian military airport in Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg in either June or July, the festival draws roughly 55,000 attendees on an annual basis.
The open-air festival draws free spirits from all over the globe due to the lack of stylistic restrictions on the music played, and many dress in colourful costumes and bring their own instruments to join in with the fun. The programme also includes a film festival and an impressive lineup of art installations.
The largest club festival in Europe, Reeperbahn is also one of the biggest events in September in Germany. Held in the northern port of Hamburg late in the month, the festival offers over 800 concerts that take place in a variety of bars, clubs and venues across the city.
The festival is widely considered to be one of the most important meeting points for fans of electronic and underground music. It also hosts a variety of networking events and award shows, and attracts a large number of scouts from music publishing companies looking for the next big talent.
Wurstmarkt Wine & Sausage Festival
Some of the biggest food festivals in Germany are held as the summer draws to an end. This is the case with this traditional festival in Bad Dürkheim, which takes place on the second and third weekends of the month.
The festival dates back to the year 1417, and focuses on hosting wine tastings from the region’s 36 historic wineries. There are also plenty of opportunities to try the region’s famous pork-based exports such as bratwurst.
One particularly fun aspect of the festival is that it takes place in and around Bad Dürkheim’s Dürkheimer Riesenfass (Giant Cask) – the largest wine barrel in the world. The town center is also temporarily filled with brightly illuminated fairground rides, and, of course, more food stalls than you can shake a stick at.
Oktoberfest Beer Festival
There is perhaps no better way to see out the summer in Germany than this world-renowned event, one of the biggest beer festivals in the world. Despite the name, Oktoberfest runs for 17 days throughout September until either the 1st or 2nd of October, depending on the year.
Held in the Bavarian capital of Munich, the event draws over 7 million annual visitors, who consume an estimated 8 million gallons of beer. However, the festival is about far more than just drinking, as guests can expect to enjoy a range of fairground rides, traditional cuisine, and colourful parades.