Are you visiting Germany in March? It is the low season so your travel dollar should go father, especially for hotels. But it is also the heart of the winter season so pack appropriately and don't forgot a scarf.
No matter whether you call it Karneval or Fasching, for most of the country this festival is a big deal. Join the colorful costumed celebrations, street parades, and costume balls that take place in Cologne, Aachen, Düsseldorf and many other German cities.
Carnival season actually starts with the planning that begins on November 11th (11/11) by the Council of Eleven, but the bulk of the partying takes place during Weiberfastnacht (Women's Carnival Day) with its ritualistic tie cutting, Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) which is parade day and Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday) when things finally settle down.
When: February 28th - March 5, 2019
Where: Most German cities. The biggest festivities are in Cologne, Münster, Düsseldorf, Aachen, and Mainz
Enjoy the vibe of the Golden Twenties in Dessau, the birthplace of German composer Kurt Weill. Famed for his "Three Penny Opera", the festival celebrates with a week-long music festival. Dessau's Bauhaus buildings act as the ideal stage for Weill's compositions.
When: March 1 - March 17, 2019
Where: Anhaltisches Theater, Dessau
Described as the “insider's Oktoberfest" and the fifth season, Starkbierzeit (strong beer time) is when locals shake off winter hibernation with beers of Herculean strength.
Popular brewers Löwenbräu, Augustiner, and Hacker- Pschorr brew just enough to satisfy the season. Opening festivities go down at Paulaner's Festsaal (festival hall) where it first took place in 1870. Beers are traditionally served in a 1-litre stein, called a Keferloher.
The city of Cologne hosts a large literature festival with internationally renowned authors from around the world. They cover every genre from non-fiction to crime to Nobel laureates.
The Cologne Literature Festival is famous for its unusual locations and events; you can listen to crime stories at the Cologne police headquarters, or enjoy poems on a ship.
When: March 19 - 30, 2019
Where: Various venues in Cologne
This was an important meet-up during the DDR era with readers and sellers from the East and West. The event has continued to grow since reunification and includes nearly 3,000 events at 350 different venues for over a quarter of a million people.
When: March 21 - 24, 2019
Where: Various venues in Leipzig
Just because you are in the land of reinheitsgebot (beer purity law) doesn't mean you can't enjoy a Guinness.
The St Patrick's Day parade in Munich is the biggest celebration in Germany with thousands of people taking to the street to enjoy a foreign beer, Gaelic bagpipers, and beer-themed party gear.
Berlin also hosts a St. Patrick's Festival at Urban Spree with Irish drinks and food, live music, and Irish dancing.
On St. Patrick's Day, Irish pubs across the country will open their doors with live music and kegs full of beer.
When: weekend of March 17th
Where: Various events around the country
Internationale Tourismus Börse (or the much easier ITB Berlin) is the world's largest travel trade fair.
Begun in 1966, it now brings in 10,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries as a B2B (business to business) platform. Tourism departments, tour operators, airlines, and hotels arrive ready to impress.
When: March 6 – 10, 2019
Where: Berlin Messe (Messedamm 22, 14055 Berlin)
This traditional spring festival arrives early and welcomes the upcoming warmer days. It consists of several days of celebration with dancing and shows, and includes a large parade that dates back to 1879 with colorful floats and more than 1,000 participants.
When: March 22 – 30, 2019
Where: Eisenach, Thüringen