Germany top 5 summer fests

Germany top 5 summer fests

by Kristi Adams
Stripes Europe

The days have finally grown wonderfully long and sunsets push well past 9 p.m. Weekends are punctuated with volksmarches and wine festivals, and flowers test boundaries of their window boxes as blooms tumble over the edges. While there may be fewer public holidays in Germany during the summertime, there is certainly no shortage of festivals. Here are five fantastic ones not to miss.

Rhine in Flames

Summer calls for fireworks and in Germany there are several opportunities to catch this magnificent show. One of the most well known displays is Rhein in Flammen, or Rhine in Flames. And there is no exaggeration in the title! The picturesque Rhine River fills with cruises and party boats as spectators enjoy German wines as fireworks sparkle in the night sky. 

There are several dates to catch Rhine in Flames, as events run through September. Although visitors can watch the show from boats, riverside towns also host festivals in conjunction with the fireworks, offering multiple venues to enjoy fireworks and fun.

Rock am Ring

When a festival calls for a custom-made beer pipeline system to meet demand, you know you’re in for some serious partying. Now in its 33rd year, the Rock am Ring music festival delivers nothing short of awesome entertainment. Over three jam-packed days (June 1-3, 2018), music lovers can enjoy over 60 performers, including Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Ice-T, Bullet For My Valentine, Marilyn Manson, Good Charlotte and many more. 

Many festival goers choose to make Rock am Ringa 72-hoursoiréeas there are numerous campsites and caravan areas available – effectively making the party 24/7.

Tollwood Festival

From its humble beginnings of one tent and a few stalls, the Tollwood Festival in Munich has grown into one of the most popular music festivals in Germany. Tollwood quickly endeared itself to fans and now hosts both summer and winter iterations, with each festival spanning nearly a month. Visitors are treated to a series of concerts, art, street theater, gourmet restaurateurs and vintners, and more.  

The 2018 Tollwood Summer Festival takes place June 27 – July 22, offering multiple opportunities to join the fun and sun!


Set against a dreamy hillside valley along the Elbe River, Dresden’s Elbhangfest might well be one of the longest fairgrounds in Germany. The fest stretches seven kilometers!

From June 22 – 24, the tranquil countryside transforms into a magnificent festival. Multi-hued artwork springs to life as canvases fill with paint, parades meander through the streets, and all variety of music fills the air – spanning from rich orchestral sets to ethereal electronic and new wave. Village squares and parks become marketplaces as local vendors set up shop offering crafts, culinary specialties and the best wines in the region.

Tip: Dresden is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, and at first glance – visitors might just believe they’ve been transported to Florence, Italy. Attend all three days of Elbhangfest, or just one, but put Dresden on your bucket list!   

Kiel Week

Spanning the last full week in June (June 16 – 24), Kiel Week is one of the biggest volksfestsin Germany! The Kiel Regatta is the largest sailing event in the world and attracts all manner of nautical vessel in addition to millions of visitors each year.

Kiel Week is a combination of both regatta and festival. Over 2,000 yachts are expected to moor, bringing an estimated 5,000 yachtsmen and women from over 50 countries for a gathering of the sailing world. But it’s not a highbrow event solely for Olympians and the rich and famous; dinghies and surfboards join the fun too.   

The main festival opens in the Town Hall Square on June 17, and there are 300 musical concerts throughout the city. City streets turn into pedestrian food and drink paradises with waterfront views, and hot air balloons float lazily above the ship masts. 

With over 2,000 events offered throughout Kiel Week, there is something for the whole family to enjoy.

Summer weaves a powerful spell with the warmth of long sunshine-soaked afternoons, the initial sip of your favorite ice-cold beverage, boom and crackle of fireworks as they echo into the night sky, and fairytale-like twinkle of fireflies at dusk. Add in some of the best summer festivals Germany has to offer and you truly have magic.   

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