Whether you’re headed for Germany during spring, summer, autumn or winter, there’s always an exciting event taking place. As a country renowned for its multicultural capital, Berlin, yet also famed for its traditional culture, cuisine and classical music, there’s something to suit every interest in Germany. You could book a holiday during Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest, sampling the finest beer and bratwurst in the country, or spend a long weekend in Berlin during the film festival, enjoying some of the world’s best cinema. Whether you’re planning for a specific event, or your holiday coincides with a festival, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained when holidaying in Germany.
Top events and festivals in Germany
Of course, if you are planning to visit Oktoberfest or the Rose Monday Parade, you’ll know that hotel prices soar during events in major cities, whether you’re headed for Berlin, Munich, Cologne or Leipzig. That’s where HomeAway comes in, offering affordable and comfortable holiday rentals in every region of the country. We have thousands of German holiday rentals, whether you want a rural retreat with easy access to attractions, or a central apartment at the heart of the action. Book a private holiday rental in advance, and not only will you enjoy all-important privacy and space, but make fantastic savings in the process. Simply read on for the best German events, and find out where to call home for the holiday.
Oktoberfest in Munich
Today, the Oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, welcoming over 6 million visitors to Munich to enjoy everything that’s great about Germany. Although dates change annually, the festival is usually held between late September and early October, and sees visitors eating traditional German sausages, listening to street-side Bavarian bands, and drinking local beer out of huge, heavy steins! Dress up in your most elaborate costume and head for an Oktoberfest beer tent: with over 30 to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Of course, there are numerous attractions aside from beer, including circuses and roller-coasters!
Bach Fest in Leipzig
Bach Fest is one of Germany’s best known music festivals, and an unmissable event for lovers of classical music. Dedicated to the works of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the unique festival is held in Leipzig for two weeks during June, and has been since 1904. Previously known as Bachwochen (Bach Weeks) or Bachtage (Bach Days), today the festival takes on a different theme each year, and sees over 100 events take place. While it boasts an exciting combination of secular and chamber music by major composers, the famed last day celebrations are eagerly anticipated, as Bach’s Mass in B minor is performed in St. Thomas Church.
Berlin Film Festival
The Berlin International Film Festival is the best of its kind in Germany, rolling out the red carpet each February to the film world’s rich and famous. From its beginnings in post-war Berlin, it has become one of the world’s most prestigious film events, equally rivalling the likes of Venice and Cannes. Over 400 international films are screened each year, covering a wide range of genres both experimental and mainstream: it’s an unmissable event for the cinephiles amongst you! There are also plenty of parties and special events besides, many of which are open to the public: from exhibitions to panel discussions, it’s certainly an action-packed event.
Rose Monday Parade in Cologne
The Rose Monday Parade takes place during the Carnival of Germany - known to locals as the Karneval or Fasching - an event held during spring every year. Known as the ‘Fifth and Foolish Season’, it’s an explosion of colourful costumes, masked balls and parading floats, making it one of the most exciting events on the calendar. Caricatured figures throw sweets, toys and confetti to spectators, who often come dressed in elaborate costumes themselves! But for the very best Carnival festivities, simply book Cologne accommodation: over 10,000 participants and 100 floats take to the city’s streets each year!
Carnival of Cultures in Kreuzberg
Germany’s Carnival of Cultures takes place in Berlin, and attracts over 1.5 million visitors to the district of Kreuzberg every year. A four day festival in May, it’s packed with exotic food and drink, colourful costumes and all-night parties, celebrating the multicultural spirit of Germany’s cosmopolitan capital. You can attend the famous procession which sees over 4,800 participants take to the streets, or attend large open-air music concerts, which span almost every genre of music: whether you’re a fan of Samba, Reggae or Calypso, you’ll find it all and more at the Carnival of Cultures.