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10 unmissable events taking place in Germany in 2024

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected]
10 unmissable events taking place in Germany in 2024
A German sailing crew compete in the regatta during Kiel Week 2023. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sascha Klahn

From the biggest European football tournanment to a showstopping Harry Potter exhibition, these are the events in Germany to pencil in your diary for 2024.


It's the start of a brand new year in Germany - and it's set to be an incredible one for big sports and cultural events around the country. 

So get your calendar out, grab a pen, and start jotting down some of the biggest and best events you want to visit in 2024. 

Caspar David Freidrich Anniversary 

This year marks the anniversary of the birth of one of Germany's most treasured painters: Caspar David Friedrich. Born in Griefswald on September 5th, 1774, he is seen as a giant of the Romantic era, known for his atmospheric and deeply emotive landscapes.

In 2024, events and exhibitions will be taking place throughout the year to celebrate the life and work of this renowned figure in German art. One major exhibition is already taking place at Hamburg Kunsthalle, running until April 1st, which will be followed by special exhibitions at Berlin Alte Nationalgallerie and Dresden Albertinium.

You can also catch numerous events and festivals in his home town of Griefswald in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania throughout the year, including the opening celebrations on January 20th and a big party in the market square on September 5th to celebrate his birthday. 


Carnival, February 8th-14th 

No list of unmissable events would be complete without mentioning carnival; the time of year in February when cities like Mainz, Cologne and Düsseldorf dress up en masse in colourful costumes and hold impressive street parades. Of course, Fasching celebrations also happen in Bavaria, so be sure to look out for those if you're in the area. 

People dressed up for the start of Carnival in Cologne on November 11th.

People dressed up for the start of Carnival in Cologne. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Rolf Vennenbernd

Though carnival technically kicks off in autumn, the big week to watch out for is the one leading up to Ash Wednesday (Aschenmittwoch), and Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) in particular, when the revelry tends to reach its peak. 

READ ALSO: What you need to know about celebrating carnival in Germany

Berlinale, February 15th - 25th 

Movie moguls and casual cinema-goers alike flock to Berlin each year in February to check out the best new films from around the world at the International Film Festival, otherwise known as Berlinale.


This year looks set to be another bumper festival, with legendary US film director Martin Scorsese receiving an Honorary Golden Bear for his life's achievements in cinema. The full programme of films and events will be published on the Berlinale website from February 6th. 

Dresden Music Festival, May 9th - June 9th 

One of Germany's most exciting and diverse music festivals, Dresdener Music Festspiele will return this May for its 47th year under the theme: "Hozironte" (Horizons).

Alongside breathtaking classical performances in some of Dresden's most iconic locations, rock and pop fans can also catch Sting at the Dresden Messe, preview the next generation of talent at the "Night of the young stars" and dance to funky beats from Dresden-based electro-pop duo Ätna.

Harry Potter Exhibition, May 10th - September 5th 

Aspiring witches and wizards of all ages won't want to miss the arrival of Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Germany for the first time ever. Arriving at Munich's Olympiahalle in spring, this innovative and immersive experience will run throughout summer, offering fans the chance to relive their favourite scenes and gain insight into the making of the films.

If you want to dine in the magical Hogwarts dining hall or find out where the sorting hat will place you, tickets start at €29.90 for a timeslot and run to €79.90 for a VIP ticket. 

Professor Umbridge's office in the Harry Potter Experience in Macau.

Professor Umbridge's office in the Harry Potter Experience in Macau. Photo provided by the Harry Potter Experience.

European Championships 2024, June 14th - July 14th 

Wherever you are in Germany this summer, you're unlikely to be far from the action as Europe's best footballing nations battle it out to become the European champions.

After die Mannschaft kickstart the tournament in Munich in mid-June, there'll be nail-biting matches in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen - so be sure to try and snap up tickets if you want to soak up the action live.


If you're wondering how it all works and what chances you've still got to nab seats at a stadium near you, check out our recent explainer below:

What to know about the next ticket phase for Euro 2024 in Germany

Kiel Week, June 22nd - 30th 

Whether it's nippy dinghies or grand historic cutters, you can see just about every type of ship imaginable at Kieler Woche - one of the largest sailing festivals in the entire world.

Breathing in the fresh sea air, you can watch skilled sailers compete in a nine-day regatta, or soak up numerous other events in the coastal city, from boat tours to open-air concerts and fireworks.

Adrenaline junkies shouldn't miss the Ocean Jump World Cup, in which bikers and wind surfers compete to perform the best tricks as they leap off a ten-metre high platform into the water. 

Oktoberfest, September 24th - October 6th  

Undoubtedly the most famous folk festival in Germany - if not the world - Munich's Oktoberfest needs no introduction, but this beer-soaked celebration should be on everyone's list to visit at least once.

Alongside the famous beer tents, fairground rides and hearty fare, Oktoberfest can be a great place to do some celebrity-spotting. In 2023, filmstar Arnold Schwarzenegger made a guest appearance at the Wiesn - so who knows who could be there this time around? 

Oktoberfest 2022

Guests celebrate the reopening of the first Oktoberfest since the pandemic in 2022. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Hörhager

Of course, if you'd like a little less of a tourist vibe, there are plenty of charming folk festivals around that are less well known, including Nuremberg Folk Festival, Stuttgart Beer Festival, Kulmbach Beer Week and the beautiful German-Swiss Oktoberfest at Lake Constance, to name just a few. 

76th Frankfurt Book Fair, October 16th - 20th 

For bookworms, there's no more significant event on the calendar the Frankfurter Buchmesse, where thousands of publishers gather each year to present their best new releases. Though the fair is restricted to a professional crowd during the week, the public gain access to the magnificent displays at the weekend - so it's well worth checking out if you're looking for inspiration for your bookshelf. 


Alongside the trade fair, there are numerous literary talks and cultural events for the general public, and the winners of the German Book Prize and the German Youth Literature Prize will also be announced during the week.

35th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall, November 9th 

The result of peaceful protest and years of struggle, the fall of the Berlin Wall is arguably the most important event in recent German history, and this year marks the 35th year since that symbol of segregation was razed to the ground. 

Though exact details haven't been released yet, there are big plans underway for celebrations, talks and other cultural events to mark this momentous anniversary. We'll keep you informed as soon as we hear more. 

READ ALSO: Six things you need to know about the Berlin Wall



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