Great Events for less $$$
Germany’s calendar is loaded with annual fairs, festivals, concerts and parties and most of them don’t cost a penny.
In early spring Carnival is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is a time of elaborate street parades, masks, balls and official madness, and generally takes place seven weeks before Easter. Towns famous for their Carnival celebrations include Aachen, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz, Munich and Münster.
Germany’s warm summer brings with it a whole host of fun events. Nuremberg, on the Romantic Road, is home to the Blue Night, which is a recurrent big art, culture and museum night event. Museums, churches and other cultural institutions open their doors – until the early morning hours. Worthwhile is the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin held each year at the end of May. This splendid four-day street festival celebrates Berlin’s multicultural spirit in the city’s Kreuzberg district. Carnival groups from more than 70 countries dance through the streets and exotic food and drinks add to the atmosphere. In Coburg, Franconia, the streets explode in a feast for the senses during Europe’s biggest Samba Festival, which draws around 50 bands and as many as 200 dancers, not to mention hundreds of thousands of visitors each July. A summer highlight on and by Lower Saxony’s largest lake is “Steinhude Festival Weekend“- a dreamlike backcloth of illuminated boats, an aerial firework display and numerous attractions take place on its shore. Throughout the summer the spectacular “Rhine in Flames” event takes place – visitors can enjoy impressive firework displays set against the dramatic backdrop of the Rhine.
Fall is when Germany’s most famous event and the world’s largest beer festivals take place. Every year, the Theresienwiese fairground in Munich is transformed into a city of beer tents, amusements, rides and kiosks selling snacks and sweets for the world-famous Oktoberfest. Around the same time, Stuttgart hosts the second largest beer festival in Germany, the Cannstatter Wasen which also offers a host of entertainment.
Early in December, hundreds of Christmas Markets open their doors throughout Germany. Every year people from all over the world come to visit colorful stalls which sell mulled wine, arts and crafts, grilled sausages, gingerbread and much more. There are no entrance fees and you’ll be able to enjoy free Christmas concerts and find very reasonable priced handmade items and traditional Christmas decorations to take home.
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Museum festivals are just as popular in many German cities. The Museum Embankment Festival in Frankfurt is one of the top events in the annual festival calendar for example. Concentrated around the Eiserner Steg footbridge, the festivities stretch for eight kilometerss on both sides of the River Main.
Many German cities host so called Museum Nights. Each Fall Cologne has its “Long Night of Museums” where about 40 museums keep their doors open until late into the night. Late-night opening for museums, a concept popular in a number of other cities, takes also place twice a year in Berlin. More than 110 institutions take part in the event, ranging from museums and archives to memorial sites.