For members


7 unmissable events taking place across Germany in April

Spring is in the air and April is packed with events to celebrate the end of winter in Germany. Here are some of our top picks.

Stuttgart spring festival
Balloons and carousels at the 82nd Stuttgart Spring Festival. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Schmidt

1. March 31st – April 23rd: Dippemess, Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt’s largest and oldest folk festival takes place twice a year in the festival square on Ratsweg. This year’s spring edition of the festival kicks off on the last day of March. 

The Dippemess is a tradition which dates back to the 14th century, when the “Maamess”, as it was called back then, was a medieval market for household goods. Potters from the surrounding regions would come to sell their ceramic bowls and containers – known as “Dippe” – which gave the event its name.

Over the years, the ceramic sellers were joined by a wider variety of stalls and popular amusements and, in the 1960s, the Dippemess eventually moved from the city centre to the fairground on Ratsweg.

Today, visitors to the Dippemess can expect a mix of modern amusements – such as fairground rides and sweet stands – and traditional offerings, such as stalls selling Apfelwein (apple wine) and typical sausage delicacies. 

2. April 2nd – 10th: Festival Days at the State Opera, Berlin

The Berlin State Opera’s annual classical music festival is one of Germany’s cultural highlights in April. It’s been running since 1996 and offers a varied programme of musical theatre and concerts with international stars at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Philharmonie Berlin.

Former conductor of the Berlin State Opera and founder of Berlin’s Festival Days at the State Opera, Daniel Barenboim, at a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. Photo: picture alliance / Benjamin Petit/dpa | Benjamin Petit

This year’s festival will be dedicated to the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner and the programme features some of his most famous operas – including ‘The Valkyrie’ and ‘The Rhinegold’.

3. April 8th – 23rd: Nuremberg Folk Festival

Bavaria’s second-largest folk festival kicks off over the Easter Weekend and runs for two weeks. On Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday, a troupe of easter bunnies will deliver sweets to children to celebrate the holiday. 

As well as the rides and confectionary stands which will be up for the duration of the festival, there will also be plenty of fun events, such as a Spanish-themed evening to celebrate Nuremberg’s twin city Cordoba in Spain and a light show on ‘Magic Friday’. 

4. April 18th – 23rd: International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund+Cologne, Dortmund 

The International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund+Cologne is Germany’s largest forum for women in the film industry and presents outstanding films by women spanning all genres and styles.

For almost 40 years the festival has been promoting the influence of women in all fields of the cinema industry, mainly as directors, but also as cinematographers, producers, scriptwriters, composers, songwriters and actors.

The Spring edition of the festival will be taking place in Dortmund and the programme has a special focus on films for children and young people.

5. April 21st – May 7th: Spring Festival, Munich

The spring festival, sometimes called ‘little Oktoberfest’, could not be more jam-packed with events and activities.

Over 100 stalls, 2 beer tents with daily live music, an all-weather beer garden, a beer carousel from Hofbräu and the Hacker-Weissbieralm await visitors on the Theresienweise in April 2023.

Visitors to the spring festival walk over the Theresienwiese in Munich, 2022. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk

Some of the events put on by external organisers – such as the flea market of the BRK or the classic car meeting of the ACM – are particularly worth a visit.

6. April 22nd to May 14th: Spring Festival, Stuttgart

Europe’s largest spring festival is always worth a visit, especially for families.

What began over 200 years ago as an agricultural festival with horse races and prize-winning livestock is now a huge event which attracts around 1.2 million guests each year over 3.5 kilometres along the Neckar river.

Balloons fly about in front of the Ferris wheel during the 82nd Stuttgart Spring Festival at the Cannstatter Wasen. in 2022. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Schmidt

There’s fun on offer for the whole family, with a wide variety of gastronomic delights, fast-paced rides and nostalgic stalls. In the middle of it all and not to be missed is the Königsalm – a traditional wooden alpine hut made of centuries-old wood – where visitors can dine on local specialities and try fruit brandies.

7. April 28th – 30th: Gallery Weekend, Berlin

Describing itself as one of “the leading events for contemporary art in Germany”, Berlin’s Gallery Weekend features open exhibitions from young and established artists in 55 galleries across the city.

Highlights include a joint exhibition by Anna Boghiguian and Alice Creischer at KOW Gallery and David Claerbout’s exhibition ‘Hemispheres’ at the Esther Schipper Gallery.

A full list of participating galleries can be found here.

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For members


EXPLAINED: What to know about Germany’s youth culture pass

Young people turning 18 in Germany this year are getting a voucher 'birthday gift' to enjoy culture. Here's why and how they can use it.

EXPLAINED: What to know about Germany's youth culture pass

What’s Germany’s culture pass?

The KulturPass – or culture pass – is a bit like a voucher that young people in Germany can use to buy tickets to cultural events, or even products like books or sheet music.

Those turning 18 in 2023 – estimated to be about 750,000 people – can get their hands on the pass. They will have €200 credit that they can spend on a special culture pass platform over two years for event tickets and other cultural offers. 

It’s worth noting that the digital pass, which launches in mid-June, is available to all young people living in Germany, even if they don’t hold German citizenship.

How is it given out?

The pass won’t be handed out automatically – those who are eligible have to sign up and prove their identity and age.

Cultural venues can also sign up to sell their tickets or entrance cards via the Kulturpass app and website, so they can get a boost to their sales by promoting it on this central platform.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in June 2023 in Germany

Why is Germany doing this?

The move follows similar youth culture projects by other countries, including France, Italy and Spain. 

The German government initiative has two major aims: the first is to give young people an opportunity to get out and experience live culture in a way they weren’t able to during the pandemic.

Culture Minister Claudia Roth said last year that she hoped the KulturPass would get “young people go out and experience culture, see how diverse and inspiring it is”.

The second aim is to help give a boost to cultural institutions like theatres, galleries, live music venues and similar businesses. 

The culture industry was one of the hardest hit in the pandemic, due to the Covid shutdowns put in place by the German government to combat the spread of the virus. 

Venues have struggled to encourage people to break out of their pandemic habits and get out to live events again.

What kind of events can young people go to?

The emphasis is on live events to get people away from their home and to give the arts scene a boost. Theatres and concert venues will likely be a popular choice, but also independent bookshops, art galleries, and small business cinemas.

Amazon, Spotify, big chain movie theatres – those kinds of vendors are excluded. So think local, think independent, think higher culture like opera, theatre, and concerts.

Are there plans to roll it out to other age groups?

At the moment, this is a pilot project for people turning 18 this year. Depending on how it goes, the government may be looking at plans to roll such a pass out for 16 and 17 year-olds as well.

To hear more on this story, tune into our Germany in Focus podcast episode released on Friday, March 26th.