Make your trip to Germany a special one – check out my event recommendations

Are you a food or music lover? Maybe relaxing in a spa after spending the day doing a favourite outdoor activity is more your thing. Whatever it is, you should definitely check out my event recommendations in Germany. In my view, it’s a great idea to combine a city break or holiday with some events that match your interests. Perhaps you’d like to surprise your other half and book an event and plan an unforgettable trip as a present?


If you’re a cycling lover…

In my last blog, I wrote about a family who visited the Black Forest in the summer of 2017. While they were there, they discovered that the big four-day Tour de Germany (Deutschlandtour) was taking place. To their delight, the Tour de France winner and Team Sky cyclist, Geraint Thomas, was participating in this four stage race. A brilliant highlight to their holiday!

Black Forest Tour de Germany cycling event in Stuttgart

Copyright: Andrew Davies

I love events!  

There are some fascinating events going on in Germany every year, which you can check out on my Facebook event calendar and on my website. I do this because I genuinely think that these events are well worth looking at. Maybe you’ve already been to a German Christmas market or two, but there are plenty of other events taking place between May and September. These include food and wine festivals, city events and music festivals, as well as numerous trade shows for special interests. Even at the beginning of the year or in October or November, there’s always a good reason to plan a trip to Germany.


‘Boot’ in Düsseldorf is the world’s largest water sports trade fair

Every year in January, Düsseldorf attracts boat and water sports enthusiasts to its ‘Boot’ trade fair. This year, it ran between 19th and 27th January 2019. Dates for 2020 are: 18th – 26th January 2020.

Boot Düsseldorf is the largest boat and water sports trade fair in the world, and it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. The trade fair presents fascinating boats and yachts, innovations and inspires with the latest trends. Visitors can get information on diving, fishing, surfing, as well as seeing the latest equipment. I’ve been there a couple of times, despite not having a boat licence or doing water sports on a regular basis. However, it was fascinating to go to the exhibition and learn about the new trends hitting the market.

Boot Düsseldorf trade fair

Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, C. Tillmann

‘Alaaf!’, ‘Helau!’ or ‘Narri Narro!’ – traditional sayings you might hear at a carnival

Did you know how much Germans love to party during the carnival season? This year’s carnival season (in German called Karneval, Fastnacht, Fastelovend or Fasching) kicks off on 28th February, and finishes on 6th March 2019 (20th – 26th February in 2020). This is the time of year when people dress up in costumes and party in the streets, festival halls and bars. The carnival is only celebrated in certain regions, cities and towns. Cologne and Düsseldorf are very popular and well-known cities for the carnival celebrations, as well as certain places in Hesse (Mainz, Frankfurt). Although the carnival season officially starts on 11th November, the peak time for celebrating is during this one week in February or March.

Various carnival clubs organise parades through the cities, with the main parade taking place on Rose Monday (Rosenmontag). The parades are always a great event for the whole family to enjoy. In November 2017, I went to a carnival party on a KD boat in Cologne.  It was a great atmosphere with everyone dressing up in some amazing outfits and dancing to the live music. Cologne’s people are known to be open-minded and relaxed, and it was wonderful to be part of the fun. You can learn more about the history behind the Germany’s carnival celebrations here.

Germany Carnival parade

Copyright: Pixabay

Veggieworld is a big trade fair for a vegan lifestyle

When I visited the Düsseldorf gourmet festival in August 2018, I chatted to one of the organisers who told me about the Veggieworld trade fair. I don’t know how you feel, but despite enjoying eating meat occasionally, the idea of moving towards a more vegan lifestyle is beginning to grow on me. I’ve recently started writing a food diary for my family, as I wanted to see what we actually ate on a regular basis. I totally resonate to the idea, or shall I say warning, that we all need to cut down on our meat consumption, as well as being more critical of what we buy.

So, this is why I’ve included the Veggieworld trade fair in my event calendar. To me, it sounds really interesting and inspiring, whether you’re a vegan or vegetarian; or something in between like myself. The fair takes place in several places throughout Germany, as well as other European countries. I’ve pencilled them in my diary, and hopefully I’ll get to go to one of them.

Dates: Wiesbaden 8th – 10th February; Hamburg 16th – 17th March; Berlin 23th – 24th March; Dortmund 14th – 15th September; Düsseldorf 26th – 27th October; Munich 16th – 17th November. All the cities are also well-worth visiting for a spot of sightseeing, and Berlin has plenty of shops offering vegan products.

Veggieworld trade fair for a vegan lifestyle

Copyright: Veggieworld

Spectacular Rhine in flames firework display

Finally, I’d like to introduce you to the Rhine in flames events in the Rhine Valley. These spectacular, historical events run between May and September in five different places (for dates see below) along the Rhine River. The firework display takes place on the river, and the castles nearby are spectacularly illuminated.

From Friday to Sunday, visitors can enjoy a large entertainment programme, with live music, wine tasting, food stalls and children’s entertainment. The firework display takes place on the Saturday. You don’t need to purchase tickets If you’d like to watch the fireworks from the riverbank, but tickets can be bought for the boat trips, which usually include food and drink. It must be amazing to watch the display from the water’s edge, and it’s also the perfect place to see the beautiful castles dotted along the river.

The Rhine Valley is also a well-known wine growing region, and the vineyards along the Rhine are beautiful areas for walking. I’ve walked part of the Rheinsteig trail, which is a beautiful 320km walking trail connecting Bonn, Koblenz and Wiesbaden. You’ll have fascinating views and you can stop in between for some wine tasting.

So, in my view the Rhine in flames events are a great reason to visit this area and to combine it with doing some alternative activities. I’ve stayed in some really nice hotels there, which I recommend in my itineraries – along with other useful tips. It’s a really good idea to book your accommodation and boat tickets for these dates well in advance as they get booked up very quickly. If you’re interested in my Rhine Valley itinerary, just send me a message on Facebook with your email address or write to me on nadja@nadjasgermany.com.

You can read some reviews about the Rhine in flames events on Tripadvisor here.

Rhine in flames Koblenz

Copyright: Koblenz Tourismus, Thomas Frey


Some more events I personally think are worth checking out as a traveller to Germany are:

Tour de Germany (Deutschlandtour): 29th August – 1st September 2019 (stages will be announced in March 2019!)

Events in Düsseldorf:

Metro marathon: 28th April 2019

Japan festival: 25th May 2019

Gourmet festival: 23rd – 25th August 2019

Rhine fun fair: 12th – 21st July 2019

Firework display: 19th July 2019

Festival of lights (Benrath Castle): 13th July 2019

Caravan salon: 30th August – 8th September 2019

Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle):

World equestrian festival CHIO Aachen: 12th – 21st July 2019


Juist island:

Juist music festival: 30th May – 1st June 2019


Rhine Valley:

Rhine in flames, Bonn: 4th May 2019

Rhine in flames, Bingen/Rüdesheim: 6th July 2019

Rhine in flames, Koblenz/Spay: 10th August 2019

Rhine in flames, Oberwesel: 11th September 2019

Rhine in flames, St Goar/St Goarshausen: 21st September 2019


Worms (close to Frankfurt am Main):

Worms Backfischfest wine festival: 24th August – 1st September 2019


Bad Dürkheim (between Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg):

Bad Dürkheim wine festival: 6th – 10th and 13th – 16th September 2019


I’d like to show you more events in my upcoming blogs. So look out for them, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me for advice about planning a trip to Germany.

Learn about the history of the Rhine in flames events


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About the Author

By Nadja Thom / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

Follow nadja-thom
on Feb 03, 2019

I’m Nadja – a mum to a nine-year-old and a dog lover. I’m German but I’ve been living close to London since 2004. I absolutely love the British humour, traditions, landscape and culture and London inspires me every time I go there. Since living in the UK, I look at my home country from a completely different perspective. I now travel to Germany as a ‘tourist’, exploring and rediscovering it with new eyes. I hope my website and blog inspires you to discover my home country.

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