What’s on in Germany: July 15 – 21

This Week's Highlights: BMX in Cologne, short films in Frankfurt, and Schlager music takes over Hamburg.

What's on in Germany: July 15 - 21
Photo: Chris Van Hanja/Edgerider/Sipa


Classic Open Air

Some of the finest in classical, opera and pop-symphonic music comes to Berlin’s majestic Gendarmenmarkt this summer for a series of outdoor concerts. Though ticket prices may seem steep for an open air performance, the quality is well worth it. Of course, you can also enjoy the show on the surrounding square for free.

Price: €38 – €97 (free on the square)

Location: Gendarmenmarkt

Times: July 15 – 19

Phone: (030) 31 57 54 0

More Information: Berlin Classic Open Air


Comic Opera Festival

Just as the city’s other performance venues are winding down for the season, Berlin’s Komische Oper kicks off its 2010 line-up with a festival of six different comic operas: Verdi’s Rigoletto, Reimann’s Lear, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Handel’s Orlando, Beethoven’s Fidelio and Offenbach’s La Périchole.

Price: See website, or inquire and book at (030) 479 974 00

Location: Komische Oper

Times: July 13 – 18, daily 8pm

Phone: (030) 4799 7400

More Information: Comic Opera Festival Website



Cologne Lights

A stunning series of pyrotechnic displays, dramatic lighting of buildings and candles makes Cologne Lights in an exciting participatory event. As a parade of rocket-shooting boats makes its way down the Rhine, onlookers bear candles handed out to the public at bars and restaurants. For the finale, a boat loaded with fireworks is towed into the harbour so as to “crown” the neighbouring cathedral.

Price: Free

Location: City centre

Times: July 17

Phone: (02171) 3803

More Information: Cologne Lights Website


BMX Masters

Around 300 BMX competitors from across the globe gather in Cologne’s Jugendpark for the BMX Masters this week. Stunned audiences look on as contestants give new meaning to the term daredevil: extreme tricks are sure to please, as extremely talented athletes defy gravity. The even is considered one of the most important freestyle sporting events of the year, so don’t miss it!

Price: €8 – €45 (3-day pass)

Location: Jugendpark

Times: July 16 – 18

Phone: (0221) 81 11 98 0

More Information: BMX Masters Website



Christopher Street Day

Combined with its sister parades in Berlin and elsewhere in Europe, Christopher Street Day parades make up one of the largest sequence of gay celebrations on the planet. Frankfurt’s rendition is anticipated to draw some 100,000 people with a parade that will snake through the city’s streets followed by an ample supply of parties.

Price: Free, parties vary

Location: Konstablerwache

Times: July 16 – 18

Phone: (06181) 44 06 260

More Information: CSD Frankfurt Website

Shorts at Moonlight

Frankfurt’s short film festival – featuring films are short as one minute – takes place against the striking backdrop of Höchst Castle in the city’s similarly named western district. The freshest short films from across Germany are shown on an outdoor screen, featuring everything from comedies to horror. A diverse programme keeps things interesting: in the end, viewers even get to decide who the festival’s Škoda Award goes to.

Price: €8 single ticket, €20 festival pass

Location: Höchst Castle

Times: July 15 – 18

Phone: (06192) 901764

More Information: Shorts at Moonlight Website




One of the most prominent German music festivals of the summer, Melt hosts some of the biggest names in electronic and indie music – making the trip well worth it. Ferropolis – an island in a lake between Berlin and Leipzig – serves as the festival location. This year’s line-up features Massive Attack, Modeselektor and WhoMadeWho. The festivities are currently sold out, although tickets can still be won (see website for details).

Price: €94 (3-day pass)

Location: Ferropolis

Times: July 15 – 18

More Information: More Information: Melt Festival Website




It’s an extreme – and extremely good – time for the most dedicated Schlager fans, and maybe even some newbies, if they get enough to drink. Schlagermove takes over Hamburg’s Heiligengeistfeld, as well as a large chunk of the St. Pauli district with its truck parade, complete with shiny clothes and non-stop dancing. The party tents are where it’s at following the Saturday parade: brace yourself for a nice helping of classic and cult Schlager hits.

Price: Free

Location: Heiligengeistfeld

Times: July 16 – 17

Phone: (0) 40 380 236 50

More Information: Schlagermove Website



Classical Music on the Odeonsplatz

The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 10th anniversary of classical performance on Munich’s Odeonsplatz. What started as a one-time event in the year 2000, has since become an annual affair, drawing around 16,000 people to the square over two days. The evening setting allows audiences to enjoy the performance under a star-lit sky, surrounded by some of the city’s most incredible architecture, including the Theatinerkirche and the Royal Residence.

Price: €26-69

Location: Odeonsplatz

Times: July 17 – 18

More Information: Classical Music on the Odeonsplatz Website


Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.