Festivals in Germany in March

What's on in Germany in March

Are you visiting Germany in March? It is the slow season so your travel dollar can go farther, and as this is the heart of the winter season you can enjoy the best of Germany's ski slopes or ice rinks. This means it is a chilly time so be sure to pack for the cold. There are also several cultural events that lift the gloom of end of winter.

Here is the best events for Germany in March.

01 of 08

Kurt Weill Music Festival

 Kurt Weill Fest 

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: February 28 - March 15, 2020
  • Where: Anhaltisches Theater, Dessau
02 of 08


Berlinale Palast at the Berlin International Film Festival

Dirk Michael Deckbar

Berlin's Berlinale is one of the most well-respected film festivals in the world.

For 10 days, the red carpet is rolled out at the cinema at Potsdamer Platz and neighboring theatres. World-famous stars step and repeat before entering the theatres for international premieres. Over 500,000 attendees are also welcome to buy tickets and be some of the first in the world to see the movies everyone is going to be talking about for the next year.

This is also a chance to peek behind the curtain with director and cast often available for Q&As after the screening. And even after the credits roll there is more to do. The biggest screenings are followed by the hottest parties in the nightlife capital of Germany

  • When: February 20 - March 1, 2020
  • Where: Potsdamer Platz (Potsdamer Straße 5, 10785 Berlin) among various locations
03 of 08


Munich's Starkbierzeit
GettyImages /Johannes Simon

Germans love their brew and there is a reason for celebration almost any time of the year. Oktoberfest is far from the only large-scale bierfest in Germany, or even in Munich.

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.

  • When: March 13 - April 5, 2020
  • Where: Nockherberg (Hochstr. 77, 81541 München). Each beer hall and brewery host their own Starkbierfest
04 of 08


 Ralf Juergens / Getty Images 

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 10 - 21, 2020
  • Where: Various venues in Cologne
Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Leipzig Buchmesse

Tom Schulze

Leipzig is known as the city of music, but that is not its only arts scene. One of the first book fairs, the Leipzieger Buchmesse, is among the largest in the world.

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 12 - 15, 2020
  • Where: Various venues in Leipzig
06 of 08

St. Patrick's Day

 David Pursehouse (CC BY 2.0) / Flickr

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, 2020
  • Where: Various events around the country
07 of 08

International Travel Trade Show (ITB)

 Adam Berry / Getty Images

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 11 – 13, 2020
  • Where: Berlin Messe (Messedamm 22, 14055 Berlin)

UPDATE: This event has been cancelled for 2020. The event should resume in 2021.

08 of 08

Sommergewinn Eisenach

 Fotostudio Thurau

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 20 - 29, 2020
  • Where: Eisenach, Thüringen
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