Munich is the third-largest city in Germany and by far the largest city in the south of the country, so it’s no surprise that there’s always something going on in town. Here’s our picks for the best things to see/watch/do in Munich in the coming year.
Gymnastics Fireworks Festival
January 13, 2018
On January 13, 2018, acrobats, gymnasts, and other aerial artists will descend on the Olympiahalle in Munich for Feuerwerk der Turnkunst, Europe’s most popular show of all the impossible ways in which the human body can bend, twist, and flip.
Olympiahalle, Spiridon-Louis-Ring 21, Munich, Germany, +49 89 30670
If you can’t wait all the way until October, or you just fancy some of the deep, dark stuff, then the Starkbierfest, or Strong Beer Festival is the place to be. Traditionally served during Lent (the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), strong beer was first made by Munich’s Paulaner monks who started brewing strong beer about 350 years ago. The festival itself runs from March 2–25, 2018.
Die Lange Nacht der Musik
One night, 100 stages playing music ranging from classical, sacred and folk, to funk and jazz and reggae, all the way to prog rock and metal – that’s one long night indeed. The concerts are on April 28 in 2018, start at 8pm and go on until 3am. Tickets are €15 and include a shuttle bus to get you quickly between venues. Make your master plan with the venue schedule here.
Though they have a reputation for being too snobby to have fun, in reality, Bavarians need next to no excuse for a party. For April 20–May 6, the city welcomes spring with Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival) – essentially a mini-version of Oktoberfest. There’s beer tents and lederhosen, of course, but also a giant flea market, fireworks displays and thousands of happy revellers.
In 2018, Munich will turn 860 years old, an achievement that is being celebrated on June 16–17 through the medium of a massive street party. Expect live music, dancers, a craftsman’s market, several special events for children and, since this is Munich, nearly unlimited chances to enjoy a beer in the biergarten. Lederhosen optional, but if you have a pair, why not?
Knights, jesters, jugglers, damsels, freaks and fools – what could possibly go wrong? About 50 kilometres due west of the city, the Kaltenberg Knights’ Festival is a cavalcade of colour, bravura, and swords. Watch a medieval rock concert, swill some mead and head to the area to watch heroes, arch-villians and damsels in distress do their thing. The 2018 festival runs from July 13–29.
Christopher Street Day
On July 14–15, Munich will come alive with drag queens, feather boas, and all manner of leather outfits and accessories for a joyous Christopher Street Day weekend. Concerts, a parade, and a high-heel race are only the tip of the party iceberg. Christopher Street is a reference to the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York and every year cities all over Germany have their own Christopher Street celebrations.
Almost every city in Germany has several Christmas markets, but in almost every city in Germany they are more than a little bit magic – Munich included. The first stop has to be the traditional market in Marienplatz, but after that there’s a market for every taste. Fairytales, international gifts, nativity scenes – there’s even one with two curling rinks.