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Spring is finally here in Munich, or at least they’re not forecasting snow this week so let’s just call it Spring. With the weather warming up, Munich is coming back to life with a whole host of festivals, giant flea markets, and street art festivals. Grab your lederhosen and get ready to see what the city has to offer in April.
Perhaps the best known of everything that’s going on in April, Frühlingsfest is also affectionately known as “little Wiesn”, the little Oktoberfest. Like it’s big brother, there are plenty of rides and two large beer tents selling the special “festbier”. A maß will set you back €9.50, a slight price increase on last year. If you like vintage vehicles, make sure to check out the collection of vintage cars, buses, and tractors at the Oldtimertreffen.
From 13th April, the little Olympia hall is transformed into a celebration of all forms of street art. Spread over 2,500 square metres, there’s everything from optical illusions to wacky sculptures filling the vast hall with colour. You can also see works by Loomit, considered the father of Munich street art and who is still active in the city today. Almost all the artwork has been created especially for this event, so make time to see the magic side of Munich art.
Muncheners love a good market, but Riesenflohmarkt is in a class of its own. With over 2,000 vendors, it’s Bavaria’s largest flea market. Everything from arty prints to bicycles can be found on the rows and rows of picnic tables assembled at Theresienwiese. With so many vendors, there’s healthy competition to stand out – many using brightly coloured tarpaulins, funny signs, or playing music. This Spring tradition has been going for over 25 years, with up to 80,000 bargain hunters descending on the market each year.
If the good weather has inspired you to get back in the saddle, head down to Olympiapark for the annual Sattelfest. Bike enthusiasts and vendors come from across the region to showcase the latest trends, and put them to the test with demonstrations and tough assault courses. If you really want to put both a bike and your legs to the test, try tackling the 50 m high Olympiaberg. Your legs may be sore at the end of it, but you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view of Munich and even the Alps if it’s a clear day.
Eternal weather optimists, Wannda brings a bit of outdoor showmanship to April at this former cattle yard. Built with food trucks, brightly coloured tents, and plenty of bunting, this festival is packed with atmosphere. Open daily until 1st May, you can catch everything from stand-up comedy to peaceful yoga sessions, and just about everything in between. If you don’t go for the acts, go for the food: you’ll be spoilt for choice between vegetarian kebabs, homemade burgers, and spicy Indian food.
The Münchner Volkstheater takes the lead in bringing together theatre companies from across Germany for edgy, modern performances. Since 2005, the festival has given young directors the chance to showcase their talents, and this year you’ll find productions from Hamburg, “If the role sings or the perfect angler”, and the “Troublemakers” play by the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. If you’re strapped for cash in tax season, don’t worry — many of the supporting acts and programme is free.
If you didn’t get enough wear out of your lederhosen or dirndl at the beginning of the month with Frühlingsfest, there’s another chance right at the end of the month with the Auer Maidult. The traditional fayre takes place around the Mariahilfplatz in the Au district and is part festival, part market, and part an excuse for good food. Must-try snacks include Flammkuchen (think pizza meets pitta bread but with a creamy base), and the stecklerfisch (fish that’s been spit-roasted on an open flame). Food in hand, wander around the many stalls selling everything from everyday kitchen objects and household items to antiques and dodgy taxidermy.
Support young, up and coming artists from many different fields with a trip to the Gasteig, Munich’s most famous cultural institution. There’s everything from hip-hop to electro-pop, as well as light shows and artwork by young artists from the region. Now in its sixth year, the whole thing is organised by trainees at the Gasteig giving them a chance to hone their event skills. Constantly adapting to incorporate the latest trends, this year the festival will include film for the first time.