10 of the best things to do around Germany in 2020

Germany is not only known for its Berlinale and Oktoberfest. So check out these 10 activities ranging from variety shows to treetop strolls. Here are some of our top picks.

10 of the best things to do around Germany in 2020
The Baumkronenpfad, or canopy walkway, just outside of Berlin in Brandenburg. Photo: DPA

Der König der Löwen das Musical (Hamburg)

Hamburg is renown for its harbourside appeal, Reeperbahn and its incredible “Stage Theater an der Elbe” where dozens of musicals are performed throughout the year.

READ ALSO: Seven events you can't miss in January 2020 in Germany

“Der König der Löwen” (The Lion King) takes place almost year round, and remains one of the most popular musicals in Germany. It has even won over 70 international awards for being the most successful musical worldwide.

This unique experience begins even before the show starts with the transfer of the shuttle ferry from the gangplanks to the theatre.

Once the musical starts, you will be engulfed by colourful scenery and beautiful costumes, authentic sounds and wonderfully emotional songs – everything with an authentic African touch to it.

If all this does not blow you away yet, then the beautifully performed story about the circle of life, love and responsibility will.

A scene out of the musical Lion King in Hamburg, Photo DPA

“Beethoven. Welt.Bürger.Musik” (Bonn)

This year marks classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th Birthday, which is being celebrated with an exhibition about his life.

The exhibition has already begun and will be held until April 26th in the “Bundeskunsthalle” in Bonn – Beethoven’s birth city.

It not only thematizes his music but also his other major life stages.

All this will be portrayed through 250 never-before shown object loans from German and international collections, and live concerts throughout the exhibits.

Film music concerts (Germany-wide)

If you love the epic music from fantasy films then you should definitely check out these concerts.

Starting last week, a Lord of the Rings music concert kicked off its tour in Germany (Leipzig, Rostock, Berlin and other regions are included) and will be taking place until February 28th, 2021. So if you love the Shire and the heroic music of Rohan then you definitely should see this concert.

Another major concert coming up is “Die große Nacht der Filmmusik -Sternstunden der Filmmusik 2020”, which takes place on January 26th in Bremen.

Here, the most successful and most popular soundtracks of the greatest film moments will come alive. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly are just the beginning.

These concerts can be pretty pricey, ranging from €30 to over €100, but can you really put a price tag on experiencing epic film music live?

Movie marathons (Germany-wide)

If you enjoy film music then you will definitely enjoy movie marathons of popular films on the big screen.

For example, all Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films can be seen in the Babylon cinema in Berlin. On Friday, September 27th, the highlight begins with free breakfast and 24 hours of entertainment.

Another movie marathon will take place in Munich at the Cineplex cinema, with 1350 minutes of Middle Earth and of course a coffee-flat rate to stay awake (The date of the screening is not known yet).

These events sell for around €50, and can be found all over Germany in the original version or in German.

Travemünder Woche mit Segelregatta (Ostsee)

Annually, Travemünde hosts a “Segelregatta” (sailing regatta) during their ten-day local fest (July 17-26th, 2020), which encompasses local food, music, sports, and a laser- and pyro show.

Here, you can observe the sailing tournament either with your binoculars or broadcasted to you live on a screen.

Around a million viewers visit this event each year, especially because the sailing regatta is the second largest.

Serengeti Park (Lüneburger Heide)

Visitors driving by fallow deer in the Serengeti Park Germany, Photo DPA

If you love nature and especially close-up viewings of cute animals, then you must visit Europe’s largest safari park in Lower Saxony.

The Serengeti Park boasts over 1500 free-range animals that you can see almost in the wild, either from your car (while driving through the jungle-safari) or while standing directly next to them (in the petting-safari).

Throughout the park you will spot giraffes, zebras and antelopes, and might even get lucky and have a monkey visit you by climbing on your car.

You can purchase a day pass, spend the entire weekend there, or even buy a special ticket to see the zoo behind the scenes.

Baum und Zeit Baumkronenpfad Beelitz Heilstätten (Brandenburg)

If you are sick of city life, and would like a day free from cars, noise, and huge buildings, then you should visit the treetop trail, and barefoot trail in Beelitz Heilstätten.

The “Baum und Zeit Baumkronenpfad (canopy walkway)” is a huge forest park of around seven hectares, where you can enjoy the fresh air while 23 meters in the air on the treetop trail or walking about the park.

Here you can see World War ruins of the Alpenhaus, beautiful architecture overgrown by trees, and enjoy the sun and nature with a seasonal dish or a cup of coffee.

The tree top path is also connected to a 40 meter high lookout tower, which can be reached either by stairs or an elevator.

You can also simply enjoy the forest in the barefoot park, where you can rejuvenate your body and your soul.

The barefoot park is especially ideal for families with children, since the purpose of the park is to take off your shoes and walk barefoot along a designated path.

You'll stroll over different stones and pebbles, pinecones, water, walk through different types of mud, learn about nature on the way, and finally come to an herb garden where you can touch and smell the fresh growing herbs.

After around one to one and a half hours of walking barefoot through nature you will feel truly relaxed.

Variety show in the Chamäleon theater (Berlin)

Situated in the centre of Berlin, the Chamäleon theater hosts performers from around the world present their variety shows here.

The audience is seated at small tables (four seats), where they can enjoy an assortment of food and drink, while enjoying the show.

The shows mainly contain acrobatic performances with incredibly impressive stunts (where one is afraid to even look) combined with humour and accompanied by music.

Karneval der Kulturen (Berlin)

This cultural street fest and parade will take place from May 29th-June 1st this year, and it consists of three main parts: The street food, handicrafts, and the parade. 

A dancer at Karneval der Kulturen. Photo: DPA

The street food comes from all around the world, ranging from empanadas to coconuts filled with coconut water and rum, and the handicrafts are all made by local companies or individual producers. Here, you can purchase paintings or wallets for example.

However, the highlight of this event is the parade which will take place on May 31st, flooding the streets with colourful costumes and dancing.

It consists of random groups that signed up for this event. The groups are dressed in wonderful costumes, and usually dance, sing or walk on stilts, and often support a specific cause.

Overall this event embraces multiculturalism and underlines the beauty of diversity. 

Hostaria del Monte Croce (Berlin)

If you are looking for a special restaurant to eat at and impress someone with, this could be the place to go.

This Italian restaurant has a monthly seven course meal.

Usually, it consists of around four appetizers, three main dishes, and a dessert served with espresso.

Included in the price is a red and white wine, and water flat to accompany your evening.

The courses are served with perfectly long pauses in between in order for your stomach to settle, to then continue on with the next course.

Often, a guitarists will come by and play some traditional songs to accompany your stay.

This place is wonderful for spending time with the people you like while enjoying specialty Italian foods, talking and drinking good wine.

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Seven must-attend online events in Germany in April

Most cultural institutions remain closed in April, but there's plenty of activity happening online. Here's a list of online events for you to attend in Germany in April from the safety of your own home.

Seven must-attend online events in Germany in April
Semperoper in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Deutsches Theatre, Berlin, Interactive online event, until April 16th 2021

‘‘16-year-old Laura finds a message in her locker on the last day of school before the lockdown. A classmate is in danger and asks her for help. But Laura cannot solve the riddles she finds in her exercise book. Since she can no longer trust anyone at her school, she asks four outsiders for help’’. 

This is the plot of the interactive game with live performers hosted by Deutsches Theatre. Viewers get deeper and deeper insights into the dark machinations of the school via Zoom, Telegram and websites. In the style of escape rooms and detective games, a microcosm of corrupt clique leaders, illegal events and frightened schoolchildren unfolds.

To participate, you need a PC, a smartphone with the Telegram messenger app and a stable internet connection

Semperoper, Dresden, Virtual performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, starting April 5th 

Starting on Easter Monday, the Semperoper in Dresden invited its audience members to attend a virtual performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. A recording of Dresden’s latest opera can continue to be viewed free of charge. 

Volksbühne, Berlin, Digital Collection, until further notice

        Photo: DPA

Volksbühne in Berlin has various online events to check out. These include a production of Oedipus, talks on the role of instruments in the pandemic (‘Piano against Corona’) pieces by the Rosa Kollektiv in collaboration with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and more.  

Arab Film Festival, April 21st-30th

With a selection of fresh films, the festival will present the latest film making from the Arab world. Impressive film art, gripping stories and blunt statements are the focus of this year’s official selection, paired with strong protagonists. Feature films and documentaries deal with topics such as migration, gender roles and the culture of remembrance and show a contemporary and often personal image of a turbulent region.

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, DIGGIN’ OPERA II  April 25th 6 pm-7:30 pm

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is showing an opera production produced entirely by high school children, including writing music, creating the stage sets and costumes. Under the guidance of the best specialists in their field, the young people have worked over several months to put together a music theatre production which they will now be presenting at the Festspielhaus online 

Virtual Marathon, Germany, April 11th

At the Virtual Marathon Germany, you can run anywhere in the world, alone or with friends! You can choose to run a distance of 21, ten or five kilometres.

You can set a training goal for yourself for April 11th and as a reward, you will receive a marathon package in the mail – including a medal and running shirt. In the virtual marathon, each participant can choose his or her own route. There are even prizes for winners, for which more than three hundred people have already registered.

Gämeldegalerie, Berlin, Online collection, until further notice

The National Museums in Berlin have published another virtual tour of one of their museum collections: Following the Bode Museum, the Gemäldegalerie can now also be explored digitally in its entirety and in both German and English. The gallery is showcasing its 58 rooms, 112 panoramas, and 1,200 works of art.