Germany's Best Festivals in Summer

There's no better way to enjoy Germany's summer months than by hitting a music or art festival; here is an introduction to some of the best summer festivals in Germany, from music festivals, to art events and street festivals - all of them are either open-air or take place in a truly unique setting... Enjoy!
  • 01 of 10
    Germany, Berlin, Carnival of Cultures, dancing women
    ••• Tibor Bognar/Photononstop/Getty Images

    Berlin celebrates its own unique carnival in summer, the colorful Carnival of Cultures - more than 1,5 million visitors pay tribute to the multicultural spirit of Germany’s capital with this four-day street festival. Enjoy exotic food and drinks, concerts, and parties. The highlight of the festival is the street parade on Sunday with decorated floats, singers, and dancers from over 70 different countries.

    When: May 13th-16th, 2016
    Where: Berlin

  • 02 of 10
    Rhein in Flames in Koblenz
    ••• Rhein in Flames in Koblenz. Peter Stehlik -

    This festival invites you to see the Rhine's natural beauty in a whole new light with thousands of Bengal lights, stunning fireworks, and illuminated steam boats gliding down the Rhine, bathing the river banks, vineyards, and castles in a magical glow. Watch from the shores or board one of the boat for a magical journey.

    When: various weekends May-September
    Where: Bonn, Ruedesheim, Koblenz, Bingen, Oberwesel, St. Goar

  • 03 of 10

    Fusion Festival, which takes place at a former Russian military airport in Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg, is the "Burning Man" of Germany. The eclectic program of this 4 day open-air festival follows the motto “anything goes” and fuses electronic music with film, theater, and art. Up to 55,000 free spirits come here every year to camp, party, and dance, dance, dance.

    When: June 29th-July 30th, 2016
    Where: Flugplatz Lärz, Neustrelitz

  • 04 of 10

    The setting of this music festival, which features classic, pop, jazz, and electronic music, is impressive: The concerts take place in the former smelting works in Duisburg, where blast furnaces, gas tanks, kettles, pipes, and chimneys create a unique backdrop for concerts, light shows, and visual projections.

    When: June 17th-19th, 2016
    Where: Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    ••• Leizpig Tourism and Marketing GmbH, Photo: Bader

    This world-class music festival in Leipzig commemorates the life and work of the city's most famous resident, Johann Sebastian Bach. Renowned artists from all over the world perform Bach's classical masterpieces in historical venues like the Thomaskirche (Thomas Church), where Bach worked as a cantor for 27 years.

    When: June 10th - 19th, 2016
    Where: Leipzig

  • 06 of 10

    More than 150,000 rock music fans gather each summer at the racetrack of the Nuerburg Ring to get up and get down at "Rock am Ring", one of Germany's largest open-air music festival. The star-studded lineup of international rock bands, which include the likes of Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Volbeat, keeps the fans dancing for three days.

    When: June 3rd - 5th, 2016
    Where: Nuerburg Ring, Eifel

  • 07 of 10
    CSD Bus.JPG
    ••• Erin Porter

    Berlin's Gay Pride events are a highlight of the city's summer season. Known by the more common name in Europe of Christopher Street Day (or simply CSD), there are serious debates (Germans love endless discussion), concerts and after-parties plus the largest CSD Parade in Berlin which attracts some of the largest crowds on the continent. Over 500,000 people gather to dance and celebrate, adorned in fetish gear, elaborate costumes or absolutely nothing at all.

    When: July 23rd, 2016
    Where: Parade Route - Starts on Kurfürstendamm (corner of Joachimsthaler Strasse)

  • 08 of 10
    Hafenfestin Berlin
    ••• Erin Porter

    Hafenfests throughout Germany bring the party to the water each summer. The perfect accompaniment to a summer weekend, let me help you find a Hafenfest in die Nähe.

    When: Weekends throughout the summer
    Where: Various German cities

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Berlin's International Beer Festival

    Berlin International Beer Festival.JPG
    ••• Erin Porter

    The Internationales Berliner Bierfestival is leaps and bounds away from the German tradition of only featuring local beers. The "Mile of Beer" welcomes beers from around the world. From the mainstream best-sellers to a growing microbrew scene to beers that are downright weird (banana beer anyone?), the mile-long offerings along Karl-Marx-Allee have something for every type of beer drinker.

    • When: August 5th to 7th, 2016 
    • Where: Berlin
  • 10 of 10
    Photo of Hamburg Germany
    ••• Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images

    The famous harbor of Hamburg, the second busiest port in Europe, turns into a stage during the international jazz festival “Elbjazz”; more than 50 concerts take place at Hamburg's waterfront and you can swing and clap at the docks, on cargo ships or in the fascinating harbor museum. A free ferry shuttle connects the different venues and offers a great view of Hamburg’s cityscape from the water.

    When: Pause in 2016; June 2nd & 3rd, 2017
    Where: Hamburg harbor