1. Oktoberfest, Munich
Think Germany, think festival, and Oktoberfest comes to mind. It’s no surprise that this global bash, known for its bratwursts, beers and Bavarian bands welcomes over six million revellers to its Munich streets and platforms every year. With worldwide parties celebrating Germany’s delectable and delicious array of beers, along with their favourite lederhosen and pretzels galore, party-goers mark the festival in their must-go event lists. Every year from around late September to early October, Munich becomes a hive of activity with committed costumes, circuses and rollercoasters. And not to mention over 30 beer tents to choose from!
From Munich central station, it’s just a 10-minute walk to reach the main beer tents of this festival.
2. Berlin Film Festival, Berlin
Every February, Berlin Film Festival welcomes silver screen royalty to its red carpet and plays host to the very best in the year’s adaptations, biographies and fiction favourites. A prestigious event for both the rich and famous, it is Germany’s answer to France’s Cannes and Italy’s version of Venice, housed in the beautiful and historic capital. The Film Festival showcases over 400 films from all corners of the globe, featuring a wealth of diverse genres for all those avid cinephiles that like to catch an iconic franchise’s latest instalment just as much as an experimental, subtitled cultural entrant. They say variety is the spice of life, and so it’s not just films that Berlin train travellers can enjoy. Parties, exhibitions and plenty of special events are on the calendar too. Located all around the city, you will be able to easily access all the different venues on public transport when arriving into the main station.
3. Carnival of Cultures, Berlin
If you haven’t quite had your fill of Berlin and you’re itching for more — and who could blame you with so much to do and see — then the capital’s Carnival of Cultures is the place to be for those who want to sample the extraordinary exquisiteness of Germany. With over 1.5 million visitors descending on Berlin’s district Kreuzberg for the annual celebrations, the four-day festival is a plethora of delightful traditional cuisines and bright extravagant costumes. If you’re a lover of music and dance, then the cosmopolitan and cultural hotspot is the perfect choice with an all-night party in store. Carnival of Cultures has a variety of flotillas, where over 4,800 participants walk around the open-air music concerts and dance in May’s midnight sun to scintillating Samba and riveting Reggae.
Arrive in Berlin’s main train station and simply hop on the metre for 20 minutes to reach the starting point of this outdoor festival!
4. Bach Fest, Leipzig
A music lover’s go-to event, Bach Fest is a hub of classical music that takes its name from iconic composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Held in Leipzig in Germany’s eastern state Saxony, the two-week, one-of-a-kind festival has been going strong since 1904 and marks the start of the summer period in June.
The well-known festival adopts a unique theme every year, with the event calendar featuring over 100 tasks and events. Undoubtedly the highlight of the celebrations is the composer’s Mass in B minor that is held in the city’s St. Thomas Church for adoring fans.
5. Rose Monday Parade, Cologne
Germany’s carnival, otherwise known to the locals as Fasching, is a memorable festival that annually takes place in Cologne. Altogether, 100 floats and over 10,000 people emerge onto the city’s streets from Cologne’s train station for the celebration. Extending along the River Rhine, masked balls, a range of exotic floats and exuberant costumes appear as confetti, sweet treats and even toys are offered to visitors by the Rose Monday Parade characters.
The festival season is not just for the summer months – head to Germany by train all year round for your taste of fine music, beer and celebrations. Need more information on the German rail network? Check out our dedicated page to trains in Germany.