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
    Women bellydancing at the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin
    Tibor Bognar / Photononsto/ Getty Images

    Berlin celebrates its own unique carnival in summer, the colorful Carnival of Cultures, where 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.

  • 02 of 10
    Fireworks over the river for the Rhein in Flames Festival in Koblenz
    Peter Stehlik / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    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 boats for a magical journey.

  • 03 of 10
    Wide view of the Fusion Festival grounds on a sunny day
     André Stiebitz / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

    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.

  • 04 of 10
    A crowd watches a band perform in an industrial setting
    Christophe Müller-Girod / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 

    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 at Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord in Duisburg, where blast furnaces, gas tanks, kettles, pipes, and chimneys create a unique backdrop for concerts, light shows, and visual projections.

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  • 05 of 10
    Leipzig rooftops at dusk
    Bader / Leizpig Tourism and Marketing GmbH

    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.

  • 06 of 10
    A view of the massive crowd at the Rock am Ring festival
    Marc Pfitzenreuter / Redferns

    More than 150,000 rock music fans gather each summer at the racetrack of the Nürburgring in Eifel 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.

  • 07 of 10
    Revelers on the Berlin Pride Festival bus
    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 march—the parade starts in Kurfürstendamm, at the corner of Joachimsthaler Strasse—dance, and celebrate. Bring your fetish gear, elaborate costumes, or absolutely nothing at all.

  • 08 of 10
    Crowds at a Hafenfest in 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.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Berlin's International Beer Festival

    A woman serves beer at the Berlin Beer Festival
    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.

  • 10 of 10
    Aerial view of Hamburg and Hamburg Harbor
    moerschy / Pixabay

    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.