Festivals in Germany in May

May is a wonderful month to travel to Germany! The weather is (usually) warm and sunny, the summer crowds haven't arrived yet, and you can take part in many German festivals, events, and holidays.

  • 01 of 09
    View of people raising a maypole, Unterbrunn, Starnberg District, Upper Bavaria, Germany
    altrendo images/Altrendo/Getty Images

    May 1st is "Tag der Arbeit", or Labor Day. It is a public holiday in Germany.

    Many families use this day-off for a picnic in the park, while whole villages in Bavaria come together to raise a traditional maibaum (Maypole) with colorful ribbons and carved figures to celebrate the warm season.

    In Berlin and Hamburg, these celebrations have a more anarchist background that government organizations are doing their best to turn into neighborhood wide festivals.

    When: May 1
    Where: Everywhere in Germany 

  • 02 of 09
    Germany-spargel.PNG
    German Spargel. Erin Porter

    Spargelzeit (white asparagus season) is a serious obsession in Germany. The "King of Vegetables" appears on every menu, grocery store and German's palate. For true devotees, buying it in the stores is not enough. Spargel-lovers must go to the source.

    The states of Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony are two of the most important asparagus growing regions, with the city of Beelitz claiming the north-eastern title. Each region claims to grow the best Spargel, but the only way to know for sure is to tour them all. Popular routes allow visitors to buy straight from the farms and go to the many festivals devoted to the veggie. 

    When: April - June 24
    Where: Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and the city of Beelitz

  • 03 of 09
    Erin Porter

    Just 30 minutes away from the capital, most of Berlin descends on Werder (Havel) in the first week of May. Baumblütenfest (“Tree Blossom Festival”) is the ideal kick-off to summer and the largest fruit wine festival in the country.

    When: April 28 - May 6, 2018
    Where: Werder (Havel)  

  • 04 of 09
    Rhein in Flames in Koblenz
    Rhein in Flames in Koblenz. Peter Stehlik - https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16133615

    This 5-city festival stretches out from spring until fall and features the stunning landscape of the Rhine valley illuminated by fireworks. The Rhine river, charming villages, and medieval castles are bathed in color for all to see.

    Thousands of visitors watch from the Rhine promenade in Bonn. To get the best view, book your spot aboard one of the illuminated Rhine ships that parade down the river.

    When: Begins May 5, 2018  (plus events through September)
    Where: Begins in Bonn (with festivals running long the Rhine with the largest in Koblenz in July)

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  • 05 of 09
    Hamburg hafenfest
    GettyImages / Westend61

    The Hamburg harbor, one of the biggest working harbors in the world, celebrates its anniversary with a massive three-day festival. Hamburg's Port Anniversary festivities includes a parade of historic ships, dragon boat races, and the tugboat ballet.

    When: May 10 - 13, 2018
    Where: Hamburg harbor (St. Pauli Landungsbruecken)

  • 06 of 09
    Berlin Mosque.jpg
    Berlin Mosque. Erin Porter

    Its not just the beloved döner kabob that Germany's largest immigrant population has contributed to German culture. There are an estimated 4+ million Muslims in Germany and Ramadan is the largest festival of the year.

    he ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a time of fasting, purification of the soul and prayer. Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual intimacy and negative behaviors like swearing, lying or engaging in anger from Imsak (just before sunrise) until Maghrib (sunset).

    When: May 15 - June 14, 2018
    Where: Everywhere in Germany

  • 07 of 09
    maennertag beer bike.JPG
    Beer Bike. Erin Porter

    Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) is held on a Thursday in May. It is a national holiday around the country and the Friday following is usually also a day off making it an ideal excuse to vacation or just enjoy the first warm days with family and friends.

    For many of the country's men, however, the day is better known as Vatertag (Father's Day) or Männertag / Herrentag (Men's Day). It is a day for men to be boys, ride bikes, get out in nature and drink beer. Lots of it.

    When: May 17, 2018
    Where: everywhere in Germany

  • 08 of 09
    Berlin Karneval der Kulturen
    GettyImages / Christian Marquardt

    Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures) is international Berlin's own version of Karneval.

    More than 1.5 million visitors flock to Kreuzberg once again to celebrate the multicultural spirit of Germany’s capital. A four-day open-air festival with exotic food and drinks, concerts, performances and parties culminates with a massive parade of cultural floats filled with the diverse communities that make up the city.

    When: May 18 - 21, 2018
    Where: Kreuzberg, Berlin

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  • 09 of 09
    Wurzburg wine
    GettyImages / TomekD76

    Elegant Würzburg on the Romantic Road celebrates its wine on the last weekend in May. This is the first of many wine festivals to be held throughout the year. Wine has been grown here for 1,200 years and it has been perfected into an art.

    The weindorf (wine village) is located in the middle of Würzburg's market square. Weinprinzessin (wine princesses) from all over Franconia preside over the festival and about 40 different area vineyards offer 100 different wines. Wine is available by the glass or by the bottle and pair perfectly with the culinary specialties of Franconia.

    When: May 25 - June 3, 2018
    Where: Würzburg