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The 7 best events taking place across Germany in April

This April is full of activities to celebrate Easter and welcome in the spring.

The 7 best events taking place across Germany in April
The illuminated fortress Ehrenbreitstein in Koblenz. Photo: DPA

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

Two ladies in dirndls in one of the fetival's two beer tents. Photo: DPA

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

80 showmen, a flea market, fairground rides and two beer tents will descend on the Theresienweise, the location of Oktoberfest in Munich. 

Much like Oktoberfest, there will be a parade of breweries and live music, but unlike the autumnal celebration there will also be a firework display on April 28th, and screenings of football matches as FC Bayern play in the German Football Asscociation Cup (DFB Cup) and the Champions League. 

2. Achtung Berlin! New Berlin Film Award, Berlin, April 19th-26th 

A 2011 advertisement for the festival. Photo: DPA

 

This week-long festival celebrates films that were partly if not wholly filmed in and around Berlin. Said to be the the third biggest film festival in the capital, it has taken place since 2004.

 

Documentary films, short films and feature films are shown in different cinemas in the capital before their official release. Over 80 films are to be shown this year, and the film crew and casts will attend the showings. 

 

The festival shows contributions from both famous directors and younger talents, and also includes the distribution of awards, workshops, panel discussions and film parties.

 

3. Volksfest Spring Fair, Nuremberg,  April 15th – May 1st

The Nuremberg spring festival by night. Photo: DPA

 

Taking place next to the Dutzendteich lake, the event offers dance, traditional food and music, fairground rides and a concert stage.

Since the event falls around Easter this year, there will be egg painting and Easter egg hunts to take part in too. 

4. The Swabians: Between the Myth and the Brand,  Stuttgart, April 1st – 23rd

The exhibition poses the questions 'where is Swabia?', 'who is a Swabe?' and 'what is Swabian?' . Photo: DPA

Now in it's final month, this is your last chance to catch this exhibit, which is centred on the ancient German region of Swabia, nowadays split between Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. 

To answer the question who or what is Swabian, almost 2,000 years of history, Swabian art and the Swabian dialect are analysed through 300 objects on show. 

The exhibition also seeks to challenge the Swabian stereotypes of diligence, thrift and cleanliness.

SEE ALSO: Introducing Swabians – 'the Scots of Germany'

5. Ostermünde, Lübeck, April 14th – 17th 

Easter decorations are hung from trees in Lübeck. Photo: DPA

We've heard of an Australian Christmas on the beach, but what about celebrating Easter at the shore?  This family orientated event means you can do just that.  

The four-day programme includes  musical performances, a warming bonfire, painting activities, Easter-themed storytelling, and of course a visit from the Easter bunny himself.

Certainly a unique way to spend the Easter weekend!

6. Wine Festival, Würzburg, April 7th-8th 

The Bürgerspital Würzburg. Photo Bürgerspital/DPA 

If enjoying wine and food sounds like your kind of activity, then head to Würzburg. 

The Bürgerspital, a 300-acre wine estate, is holding a two-day wine festival to welcome in the spring. 

One of the oldest wine estates in Germany, it is a member of the Association of German Top-Quality Wine Estates (VDP), a group of Germany's elite wine producers, so quality is assured! 

7. Fortress Illumination, Koblenz, 13th-17th and 21st-23rd April

The Ehrenbreitstein fortress in Koblenz lit up with coloured lights. Photo: DPA

Prepare to be dazzled by illuminations as the clifftop Ehrenbreitstein fortress in Koblenz is colourfully lit up for seven evenings. 

Taking place between nightfall and midnight, the fortress, which overlooks the river Rhine, will exhibit eight light installations, which make use of shadow and sound as you admire the courtyard of the fortress and explore its secret passageways. 

The final evening also promises a firework display, which you can feast your eyes on at 9.30 pm. 

LIVING IN GERMANY

Five of Germany’s most magical Christmas Markets to visit in 2021

Despite rising infection numbers, most of Germany’s Christmas markets will be open to fill our hearts with festive cheer this year. We give you a rundown of five of the country’s most magical Christmas markets.

Five of Germany's most magical Christmas Markets to visit in 2021
The entrance to the Stuttgart Christmas market in 2019. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Tom Weller

In 2020, many Christmas markets in Germany had to close or were scaled back massively because of the pandemic. This year – at least at the time or reporting – lots of markets are set to open in the coming weeks. 

Here are five we love at The Local Germany. If you have any suggestions for magical Christmas markets in Germany, please leave a comment below. 

Maritime Christmas Market on the Koberg, Lübeck

Lübeck, the so-called “Christmas city of the North”, will be welcoming the festive season this year by lighting up its old town with over 500,000 Christmas lights.

The northwest of the old town island is where you’ll find the maritime-themed Christmas market which has been going since 2011.

Centred around the gothic, middle-aged church of St. Jacob, this Christmas market celebrates the city’s historical sea-faring residents by creating a cosy harbour atmosphere with old wooden barrels, nets and a stranded shipwreck as well as a Ferris wheel with an unforgettable view of Lübeck’s old town and harbour.

Culinary stands offer visitors sweet and savoury dishes, and beverages such as hot lilac punch, mulled wine and, of course, rum.

Extra info: The current rules for events and hospitality in Schleswig Holstein is that 3G applies (entry for the vaccinated, people who’ve recovered from Covid or people who show a negative test)  but from Monday, November 15th, indoor areas will be enforcing the 2G rule (excluding the unvaccinated).

The Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Christkindlesmarkt, Augsburg

With its origins in the 15th century, the Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg is one of the oldest in Germany, and the Renaissance town hall provides a particularly beautiful backdrop to this winter wonderland.

As well as a wide variety of stands selling handcrafted nick-nacks and tasty treats, the Augsburg market also has some especially magical features, including the “Heavenly Post Office,” and “Fairytale Lane”: an animated fairytale depicted in ten scenes in decorated shop windows around the market place.

Extra info: In order to keep dense crowds to a minimum, the Angel performance will not take place this year. The market will also be spread out over more locations in the historic centre and there will be fewer mulled wine stands than in previous years. The stalls will be distributed over the Hauptmarkt, Lorenzer Platz, Schütt Island and Jakobsplatz.

Meanwhile, masks will have to be worn due to the high Covid numbers in Bavaria – and there will be 2G rules around the mulled wine stands, meaning unvaccinated people will not be served alcohol.

READ ALSO: State by state – Germany’s Covid rules for Christmas markets

Medieval Market and Christmas Market, Esslingen

The Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen, with its backdrop of medieval half-timbered houses, offers visitors a trip back in time, with traders and artisans showing off their goods from times gone by.

The stands show off the wares of pewterers, stonemasons, blacksmiths, broom makers and glass blowers, as well as some old-fashioned merchants selling fun themed goods like drinking horns and “potions” in bottles.

Extra info: This year the number of stands will be reduced from more than 200 to around 120 and the stage shows, torch parade and interactive activities will not be taking place.

View from above the historic Streizelmarkt in Dresden. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Streizelmarkt, Dresden

No Christmas Market list would be complete without the Streizelmarkt – Germany’s oldest Christmas market in the “Florence on the Elbe”.

This market, which you will find in Dresden’s city centre, first took place in 1434, and since then it has acquired quite a reputation.

The ancient market is home to the tallest Christmas pyramid in the world, as well as the world’s largest nutcracker.

Amongst the dozens of traditional stands, visitors to this market must also try the Dresdner Christstollen: the famous fruit loaf that is baked according to a traditional recipe with chopped dried and candied fruits, nuts and spices and dusted with powdered sugar.

Visitors can also take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel and gaze down upon the lovingly decorated huts of the Striezelmarkt.

Extra info: This year there will be no stage program and the mountain parade has been cancelled.

Old Rixdorf Christmas Market, Berlin

Although not as well-known as some of Berlin’s other Christmas Markets, the Old Rixdorf Christmas market is a romantic and magical spot which is well worth a visit. In the south of city in Richardplatz, Neukölln the old village of Rixdorf was founded in1360.

This charming setting is home to historic buildings such as the Trinkhalle and the Alte Dorfschmiede, and is illuminated every year with kerosene lamps and fairy lights. The stalls and booths are run by charitable organizations and associations. There are homemade trifles and handicrafts, but also culinary delights such as fire meat, waffles, pea soup, and numerous varieties of mulled wine and punch.

Extra info: The Old Rixdorf Christmas Market will be following the 2G model, meaning that all visitors over the age of 12 will be required to be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

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