In Frankfurt, the locals love to be outside, livening up the streets especially during the summer months. Kicking off in April, with Dippemess and ending with the Christmas Market, is a string of exciting festivals and markets happening all over Frankfurt am Main.
Here is a low down of some of the best festivals happening in Frankfurt and what to expect:
Dippemess (Frühling or Herbst / Spring or Autumn)
Where: Festplatz am Ratsweg
When: April + September
Frankfurt’s largest fair, and Germany’s most popular Easter event is Dippemass. Kicking off in April, is Spring Dippemess and repeating again in September with Autumn Dippemass. This large folk festival is perfect for a family event with exciting fairground rides, food stalls and party pavilions.
Where: Various locations
A festival of light culture, taking place every two years, alongside the international trade fair for lighting and lighting technology. Light + Building. Artists from across the blog, present their work through sculptures, installations, and live shows. Beautiful shows and installations take place in various locations, both private and public buildings and the Frankfurt skyline is also included.
Where: Freßgass, Große Bockenheimer Straße
One of the first street festivals in the year. Spring has arrived when Freßgass Fest begins. A weeklong, traditional and relaxed street party. Offering an opportunity for a nice stroll along the Freßgass, with an enormous variety of culinary specialities, fine wines and beer. The atmosphere at this fest is second to none, with the warm weather slowly creeping and locals’ moods rising. Various live performances and a large children’s programme take place over the weekend.
Where: Frankfurter Stadtwald
Waldchestag or ‘Forest Day’ is a celebration taking place after Pentecost (A Christian holiday). The festival takes place across four days with the final Tuesday (Walchestag) being the main celebration. This festival is unique because of its beautiful location in the Frankfurt City Forest. A great place to enjoy a drink under the treetops or bring the whole family to enjoy the rides and traditional German food.
Grüne Soße Fest (Green Sauce Festival)
Frankfurt locals love to celebrate their food specialities and Grüne Soße is no exception. That’s right, they have a seven-day festival, dedicated to sauce. Grüne Soße is a speciality of the German state of Hesse, made from seven different chopped green herbs. This festival is a great place to try the different versions and dishes that contain the sauce, including the traditional and popular serving with potatoes and eggs. On the final night of the fest, 49 Hessian Restaurateurs compete to make the best in the city with the winner being announced at a grand finale in the main tent. Various guest artists also attend the festival with shows such as cabaret, comedy and live music performances.
Bergerstraße, is an attractive shopping mile with tons of restaurants, bars, shops and a weekly market. Every year, this street celebrates its multicultural vendors, with a street festival. Attracting thousands of visitors over one weekend with a huge range of international food and drinks. There is a children’s programme making it great for the whole family as well as live music, entertainment and evening cocktails.
Parade der Kulturen
Where: City Centre
The Parade of Cultures is a festive parade through the city centre. Organised by Frankfurter Jugendring, an organisation for young people, this festival is a celebration of Frankfurt’s multicultural society. More than 100 organisations get on board with the parade, including dance and music groups from all different parts of the world.
Where: Schweizer Straße
The charming Schweizer Straße in Sachsenhausen, has a reputation for its variety of bars, delicatessen shops and traditional German cider houses. Every year in June, this street becomes a festival mile attracting locals and tourists with traditional German food, drinks and music. A very merry atmosphere, with a variety of stalls for food and drink as well as multiple stages for the performances and shows.
Where: Alte Oper
The Alte Oper, is one of the most beautiful attractions in Frankfurt. Every year, a ten-day summer party emerges right in front of it. The Opernplatz fest is a fantastic way to spend the weekend or an evening, offering visitors a range of international food and drinks, and well as various live music acts such as reggae, jazz, pop and electronic music.
Christopher Street Day (CSD)
Christopher Street Day is an annual European LGBT celebration and demonstration. The Frankfurt CSD begins on a Saturday with a parade through downtown Frankfurt. The CSD is an incredible expression of freedom and is a warming celebration. During the weekend is an air-disco and a big stage offering live music of all kinds, as well as cabaret and karaoke. When the street party finishes, the celebration continues into the early hours throughout the numerous bars and clubs in the area.
Where: River Main
This classic folk festival is a highlight of the summer and great for the whole family. It has a true fairground style, with a large selection of carousels, rides, games and shooting ranges across the river bank. The festival starts at the Römerberg with live music and a traditional opening ceremony with wine from the justice fountain. The true highlight is the following Monday, when the festival ends with a magnificent firework display over the river.
This riverbank festival attracts more than three million people across three consecutive days, every year. Every August, the riverbank of the Main, turns into one of Germany’s largest cultural festivals offering international street food, live music, shows, dance, art, sales and more, with a beautiful backdrop of the Frankfurt skyline. Frankfurt pays tribute to its incredible museums, located along the riverbank which keep their doors open into the night during the festival.
Apfelwein Fest (Apple Wine)
It wouldn’t be Frankfurt, without a dedicated festival to Apfelwein. (A Frankfurt specialty, non-gas apple cider). Every year, tourists and locals gather to celebrate the beverage by enjoying live music and entertainment with a glass of the famous beverage. Various types and blends are sold, along with lots of Apfelwein merchandise such as glasses and utensils.
On a Thursday night in August, Frankfurt’s famous red-light district comes alive in a whole new way. Kaiserstraße closes for vehicles, and the Bahnhofsviertel transforms into a huge street party. Food stalls and wine tents pitch up, as the street attracts its biggest crowd. A night of music and drinking, you might want to consider taking the Friday off work. The party finishes at midnight but moves on to many of the other bars and clubs in the area.
The Osthafen Festival is one of the most beautiful harbour festivals in Germany. This festival is an experience, with various programmes including arts and culture, sports, children’s events, and an extensive music programme. The evening, transforms into a music festival with five live stages, 50 bands and DJs of various genres.
Rheingau Wine Fest
The Rheingau region surrounding Frankfurt has around 3 thousand hectares of vineyards, so what better way to spend the summer than at a wine festival? Local winemakers, come to Frankfurt at the end of August to present their wines. Stretching along Freßgass, this wine fest becomes one of the longest wine bars in the world with 100s of wines, over 30 stands. A must visit for any wine lovers!
Martinsfeuer, is an annual bonfire celebration that takes place the night before St. Martin’s Day (a Catholic holiday). Every year, locals gather around a huge bonfire in Günthersburgpark for an atmospheric evening of mulled wine, music and bratwurst. The local children also perform a devised play of the history of St.Martin.
Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market)
Where: Hauptwache to the River Main
The best time of year to be in Germany has to be Christmas, and Frankfurt boasts one of the largest and most beautiful Christmas markets in all of Germany. Starting at the end of November and running right through until the day before Christmas eve. The streets are illuminated with beautiful lights, and decorated with Christmas trees, there is a smell of gingerbread and mulled wine that fills the air. As well as the decorations, food and drinks you can shop at the souvenir and craft stalls for some unique Christmas gifts.
Make sure to try Frankfurt Bethmännchen, a Christmas cake made from marzipan, almonds and hot cider.
(Words Contributed by Kira Crabtree)