Festivals in Germany in January

Find Out What's Happening in Germany this January

Bundle up if you travel to Germany in January – temperatures can be freezing. While there is less on than other months after the mad rush of Christmas Markets, you will be rewarded with low rates, small crowds, and some great German events and festivals. Here is what’s happening in Germany in the month of January.

Note that January 1st (New Year's Day) is an official holiday with closures of businesses and offices across the country, while January 6 (Epiphany) is only a holiday in a few states.

  • 01 of 09
    Berlin Marathon Kudamm.JPG
    Erin Porter

    If your New Year’s resolution is to work out more, you can start with an a light Berlin New Years Run. It is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and starts at the iconic Brandenburg Gate and leads you past many of the most famous Berlin sights. No reservations required, kids are welcome, and donations are appreciated. Start your new year right!

    When: January 1
    Where: Pariser Platz / Brandenburg Gate and through the center of Berlin

  • 02 of 09
    Sophiensaele Studio
    Sophiensaele GmbH - Joe Goergen

    It's time to dance. Days of Dance (Tanztage) is a contemporary dance festival in Berlin. This showcase for choreographers and dancers is an inventive mix of visual arts with commentary on current events and pop culture.

    When: January 4 - 14, 2018 


    Where: Sophiensaele in Berlin-Mitte

  • 03 of 09

    Bavarian Sledding Championships

    Sled Race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
    GettyImages / Thomas Lohnes

    In the winter wonderland of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the adults take to the sleds. Semi-professional teams of four race down the mountainside on traditional wooden horn sleds at speeds up to 100 km/h in the Hornschlittenrennen (annual horn sled race). Some of the sleds used are practically antique at over 60 years old.

    On another mountaintop? Gunzesried also holds sledding championship, as does Ostrachtal (but that is in February).

    When: January 6
    Where: Olympic Ski Stadium car park (Karl-Martin-Neuner-Platz) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

  • 04 of 09


    Epiphany carolers in Wildbad-Kreuth
    Johannes Simon / Freier Fotograf

    For a more traditional Epiphany or Three Kings Day, head to Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony-Anhalt where it is a public holiday. And the traditional celebration is children dressed as the Three Kings and sternsinger (star singers) going door-to-door caroling and collecting money for charity. They leave the mark of a blessed house with a chalk “C+M+B” (Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) with the date written on either side (for example in 2018: 20*C+M+B*18).  

    Celebration actually begins on January 5 when friends and family gather to prost to a new year over a strong bockbier. The holiday also centers on church service with a prominent krippe (crib) display.  Children act out the Christmas story with crib scenes in the home as well. Homes and stables are cleansed by burning frankincense.

    When: January 6
    Where: Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony-Anhalt

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Cologne Music Week

    Cologne's party season is strong throughout the winter and this is the first of many celebrations. Over 50 acts at four locations take place over seven days.

    When: January 15 - 20, 2018
    Where: Various locations

  • 06 of 09
    Berlin Fashion Week
    GettyImages / Anita Bugge

    Berlin Fashion Week happens twice a year with collections from German and international designers. The shows are on the cutting-edge of the fashion world with plenty of theatrics and avant garde design. Sustainable fashion has been a focus in recent years with Greenshowroom und Ethical Fashion Show dedicated exclusively to this trend.

    They are followed by important trade fairs and legendary after-parties.

    When: January 16- 19, 2017
    Where: various

  • 07 of 09
    International Green Week in Berlin
    GettyImages / Carsten Koall

    Berlin's International Green Week (IGW) touts itself as the world's largest exhibition for sustainable food and agriculture. The BioMarkt presents fresh goods from produce to sausages to beer and wines. There are also presentations and talks concerning ethical forestry, renewable resources, and breeding of livestock.

    When: January 19 - 28, 2018
    Where: Messe (Fair Grounds), Berlin

  • 08 of 09
    Sylt Gourmet Festival

    Thousands of foodies flock to the German island of Sylt in the North Sea to indulge in this 4-day long Gourmet Festival. Top chefs and sommeliers from around the world prepare their feasts in the best restaurants of Sylt, offering everything from fresh-caught lobster, and fine French wines, to Spanish Tapas.

    When: January 17-20, 2018
    Where: Island of Sylt

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Oktoberfest Hacker Pschorr beer tent
    GettyImages / Andreas Rentz

    Herbst (or Fall) sound like a long ways away? Not for Oktoberfest. For your best chance of reserving a table, try making reservations during January and February with confirmations sent out around March.

    This is the best time to make an ideal hotel reservation in Munich.

    When: January