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German Spring Calendar: 10 Best Art and Culture Events
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German Spring Calendar: 10 Best Art and Culture Events

Picture of Sarine Arslanian
Updated: 6 January 2017
Spring is an ideal time to travel to Germany. The country welcomes the season with a festive mood, celebrating Easter in various ways and offering a wide range of festivals and fairs as well as a thriving art and culture scene that features events and exhibitions in all of Germany’s major cities. This handpicked selection includes ten unmissable art and culture events taking place across Germany in spring 2014.
La Bayadère: a Classical Repertoire Piece
La Bayadère: a Classical Repertoire Piece

La Bayadère: a Classical Repertoire Piece | © Bayerische Staatsballett


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Dance | The Munich Ballet Festival Week

4 – 13 April

The tradition of classical dance goes a long way back in Munich. Since 1960, when the first annual ballet festival week took place under the direction of Heinz Rosen, the Bavarian state ballet has developed into an outstanding multicultural company of renowned dancers coming from over 30 countries. Every year in April, the Bavarian State Ballet organizes its annual Munich Ballet Festival Week held at Munich’s National Theatre to celebrate classical dance, constantly readapting their favorite work from their very diverse repertoire. The most highly praised performances in previous years have included a reinterpretation of Swan Lake with a German touch and choreographies of Johann Sebastian Bach’s masterpieces. This year, the classical ballet, La Bayadère, is a highlight of the Ballet Festival Week’s program.

Ballet Festival Week, Bayerisches Staatsoper, Max-Joseph-Platz 2, Munich, Germany, +49 (0) 89 21 85 01

New Town Hall Munich
New Town Hall Munich | © Tspec7/WikiCommons



10 – 13 April

Since 1967, ART COLOGNE has welcomed international galleries to display their sculptures, paintings, photographs, prints, installations, and other artworks in Cologne, making it the world’s oldest fair for 20th and 21st century art. ART COLOGNE is an outstanding event offering the space to observe, discover, and purchase art. For the 48th edition, more than 200 international galleries are attending to showcase their very best modern and contemporary artworks. This event is open to collectors as well as art lovers because the art comes in all price brackets, and the museums nearby open their door to new exhibitions.

Various locations across Cologne

Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern Bridge
Cologne Cathedral and the Hohenzollern Bridge | © jiugwangw/Flickr


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Culture | Frankfurt Spring Dippemess

11 April – 5 May

Since the 14th century, Dippemess has been one of the premier folk festivals of the Rhine-Maine region. Originally, the fair served as a medieval market for local products, particularly ceramic pots and bowls which are called dippes in the local dialect. With time, more popular attractions started appearing to complement the market. Today, the fair is famous for its fireworks, roller coaster rides, and numerous stalls. In 1950, the spring fair was relocated to the more spacious fairground, and it has expanded quickly ever since. The Dippemess is a very popular Easter event attracting 2.5 million visitors each year and featuring the very best of the most recent high-tech attractions.

Dippemess, Festplatz, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, +49 (0) 69/21 23 89 90


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Art | Movimentos Festival

22 April – 1 June

More than the home of Volkswagen, the Autostadt, or ‘car city,’ of Wolfsburg is also home to an annual six-week contemporary art festival. Starting as a contemporary dance festival in 2003, the Movimentos Festival now includes jazz, classical and pop concerts, discussions and literary readings. The theme that’s going to be explored during this year’s 12th edition is ‘happiness.’ Artists from different corners of the world will attempt to bring their own understanding to what it means to be happy. This festival is one of Germany’s most renowned cultural events for the performing arts, attracting an international crowd from all around Europe.

Movimentos Festival, Autostadt GmbH, Stadtbrücke, Wolfsburg, Germany, +49 (0) 5361 400

10 Years of the Movimentos Festival since 2003:


Art | 10th Gallery Weekend

2 – 4 May

For the 10th time in a row, Berlin’s creative scene will open to art lovers during the Gallery Weekend with a discovery tour of a variety of galleries and art spaces. It is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this contemporary art in the capital by joining guided tours, taking part in exclusive viewings, and attending events. Exhibitions will be free of charge. Another advantage of the weekend is that it gives the chance to meet and mingle with the artists themselves. More than 50 galleries are expected to participate in this exciting event, meaning that there will be more than enough to keep busy.

Various locations across Berlin

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History | 1914 – 1918 The First World War Exhibition at the German Historical Museum

29 May – 30 November

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, the German Historical Museum will be holding a special First World War exhibition displaying throughout 14 different sites the various locations, themes, and effects that the Great War had on the globe. Covering a surface area of over 1,000 square meters, the locations illustrate battlefields such as Tannenberg, Verdun, or Gallipoli as well as political and cultural centers such as Berlin or Petrograd. Moreover, lecture series, readings and panel discussions will supplement the event.

First World War Exhibition, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 20304 750

Culture | Carnival of Cultures

6 – 9 June

Every year, the very unique Carnival of Cultures attracts millions of visitors around Blücherplatz in the Kreuzberg district to celebrate Berlin’s multiculturalism. The country’s capital is by far the most international city in Germany, and this four-day open-air street festival reflects how diverse ethnic groups peacefully coexist in Berlin by offering a range of activities from performances to international concerts and parties along with food distinct to each country. There is also an arts and crafts market for the adventurous spirits ready to find hidden treasures from around the world. The highlight of the festival is Sunday’s street parade where over 4,500 musicians and performers in their national costumes come together, dancing through the streets of Berlin.

Carnival of Cultures, Street Festival, Around Blücherplatz, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 609770 22

Carnival of Cultures, Street Parade, Hermannplatz (U-Bahn Station), Berlin, Germany

Last year’s Carnival of Cultures:

Art | 34th Long Night of Museums

17 May

Initially starting as a simple concept, Berlin’s Long Night of Museums idea has evolved into becoming a major event that, twice a year, brings together Berlin residents and visitors. Each year, around 80 galleries, museums, memorials, archive centers, and exhibition halls welcome a cultured crowd throughout the night. Shuttle buses help visitors get around from one location to another at all hours of the night to visit the collections of their choice. With one ticket, visitors can get access to all participating museums and cultural institutions from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. This will be the 34th time in Berlin’s history that visitors will spend the night exploring the city’s art scene.

Various locations across Berlin

Stuttgart's International Festival of Animated Film
Stuttgart’s International Festival of Animated Film | © ITFS


Film | Stuttgart’s International Festival of Animated Film

22 – 27 April

To the delight of film lovers, Trickfilmfestival, or Stuttgart’s International Festival of Animated Film selects the best of animated films to screen at cinemas around the city center and in the ‘festival garden,’ the free, open-air cinema located on Stuttgart’s Palace Square. Established in 1982, this festival has acquired a worldwide reputation thanks to its comprehensive and outstanding program, which consists of expert presentations, exhibitions and screenplay workshops, paired with hundreds of film screenings. Last year, the festival attracted over 80,000 visitors, including 2,500 professionals. It is the ‘entire spectrum of current animated film productions’ that is taken into account according to the organizers, ‘including the intersections between games, architecture, art, design, and fashion.’

Various cinemas across Stuttgart

ITFS 2014 Trailer:


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Music | Leipzig Bach Festival

13 – 22 June

Johann Sebastian Bach was by far Leipzig’s most renowned resident which is why, since 1904, a music festival has been held in his memory. His classical masterpieces are performed in the Thomas Church where he exercised as a cantor for 27 years. Despite the fact that the city of Leipzig has a very small budget compared to other German cities who hold Bach festivals, the Leipzig Bach Festival still continues to attract large audiences who come for the quality of the performances and the authenticity of the location on the other. The opportunity to play in historical locations offers an extra incentive to the well renowned artists to perform in the city of music. This year, as 8 March marked the 300th anniversary of Bach’s second oldest son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, the festival will commemorate the event.

Bach Festival, Thomaskirchhof 15/16, Leipzig, Germany, +49 341 9137 300