Long Night of the Museums in Munich (October 14th)
Although everyone's favourite beer festival comes to an end at the start of the month, there is still plenty to do in Munich this October, including marvelling at the Bavarian capital's cultural heritage at the dead of night. Starting at 7 pm, the long night of the museums goes on until 2 am, with around 90 museums, galleries and churches participating.
The night has been going on for almost two decades. The theme this year is energy – so be prepared to see some science and technology.
To help you get your money’s worth, the organisers are running shuttle buses to ferry you from museum to museum.
Humboldt University lit up as part of the Festival of Lights. Photo: DPA
Berlin has two different light festivals happening almost simultaneously this October. Berlin Illuminated runs for the first half of the month, while the Festival of Lights starts on October 6th.
At the 13th Berlin Festival of Lights, 11 different artists from 5 countries have designed displays for some of the city’s most recognisable landmarks including the Brandenburg Gate and the Fernsehturm.
The two festivals make it much easier to trudge out in the increasingly chilly evenings and see the best buildings our capital has to offer.
The Neustadt an der Weinstraße parade. Photo: DPA
If traditional country fairs are more your thing then head out to Neustadt an der Weinstraße’s annual wine grower’s festival, which is also a combination of not one, but two festivals put together.
Wine festivals aren’t exactly an endangered species deep in the German countryside, but this one boasts the crowning of two different wine queens, one for the Palatine area and another for the whole country. Plus it has the largest winegrower’s parade in the whole of Germany.
The parade is expected to garner more than 100,000 visitors and there will be fairground rides and live bands on site, making it more of a party than anything else.
If you can’t find any wine you like, there’s also another, smaller festival next door called the w.i.n.e FESTival which, aside from the funky name, has a Mediterranean garden and live music.
Hamburg film festival (October 5th-14th)
Hamburg Film Festival. Photo: DPA
Back for its 25th anniversary, the Hamburg film festival is always a top pick on our lists. Every year, the ten-day festival pulls in more than 40,000 attendees and this year won’t be any different.
For its 25th year, 120 films both national and international are being shown on eleven screens. There’s also something for the little ones as the Michel children and youth film festival is also taking place from October 6th to 14th in the nearby Abaton cinema.
Weimar’s Onion Market (October 13th- 15th)
The 2016 Onion Queen. Photo: DPA
Perhaps one of the weirder German festivals, Weimar’s Onion Market is Thüringen’s oldest public festival, dating back to 1653.
The three-day-long fair is attended by hundreds of merchants trying to peddle their produce to approximately 275,000 visitors, who come to try and buy all things onion.
Onions are present in all shapes and sizes. You can buy plaited onions, two-colour onions and even taste a piece of onion cake.
If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of the year’s Onion Market Queen, who is chosen annually to honour the festival.
Back in the capital, Berlin’s fourth annual food week is coming to Kaufhaus Jandorf. The so-called “House of Food” will provide a roof for more than 70 companies offering their tasty treats, as well as workshops and cooking shows for those more interested in cooking than eating.
The festival aims to make Berlin an international food metropolis, by displaying regional and international cuisine, as well as teaching visitors about nutritional awareness and sustainability.
Regardless of your food preference, if you’re a chef, blogger, restaurateur or just a food junky, this festival is for you.
Frankfurt Trade Book Fair. Photo: DPA
For our final choice, we’ve gone for the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the biggest book fair in the world. More than 7,100 exhibitors from over 100 countries present 400,000 book titles at the five-day fair, although only the last two are open to the public.
Our personal recommendation is that you go on the last day, as all the books on offer are available to buy at their retail price. So if you’re looking for your next page-turner you can take your pick of what traders have to offer and start reading as soon as you leave.