Festivals and Events in Hamburg

A calendar of festivals, musical events, major international competitions and trade fairs throughout the year, with information and descriptions of the events and links to their websites where available...


Alstervergnügen: Street parties take place all around the River Alster at the end of August, featuring food, drink, and musical performances along the Binnenalster lake, and a three-day international fireworks festival.

  • Further information is available from the Hamburg tourist office: Click here

Alstereisvergnügen: This winter event is very rare, but when it takes place, all Hamburg celebrates on the frozen Alster with hot wine and sausage stands all along the Außenalster. Two weeks of freezing conditions are necessary, and when the ice measures 20cm, the city allows pedestrians, skaters, cyclists and skiers onto the Alster.

Hafengeburtstag: At the beginning of May every year, Hamburg hosts the world's biggest harbour party. The celebrations begin with ships coming in on Friday and end with a big parade going out on Sunday. There is music and food all along the harbour from Fischmarkt to St. Pauli and in the Hafen-City.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival: Every year in May the longstanding friendship between the Japanese community and Hamburg is celebrated with a spectacular fireworks display above the Alster at the "Kirschblütenfest".

Christmas Markets: Many Christmas markets are held in the City of Hamburg and in various boroughs, all with hot wine, food and a great variety of gift stands. Enjoyable markets are also held in Bergedorf, Lübeck and Lüneburg.

Hamburger Dom: The largest public fair in northern Germany takes place three times during the year: there are spring, summer and winter Doms, all with thrill rides, roller coasters and a giant wheel.

Sports Events

Vattenfall Cyclassics: International professional and hobby cycle races taking place in August. 800,000 spectators line the streets as riders pass through the city centre and areas around Hamburg, while normal traffic has to give way.

Haspa Marathon Hamburg: The Hamburg marathon race, with more then 20,000 participants, ranks among the top ten in the world. Professionals and amateurs start together for the 42,195 Km through the city, with thousands of fans lining the route. The event takes place in April.

Cultural Events

Schleswig-Holstein-Musik Festival: This famous classical music festival with renowned local and international orchestras, performers and conductors, is held during the summer months in locations all over the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Hamburg Ballet Days: This summer festival is a traditional highlight at the end of the ballet season, usually with a world première by the John Neumeier Ballet group and a guest company. Performances take place in the opera house, Hamburgische Staatsoper.

Elbjazz: A festival held in May bringing jazz concerts to fascinating locations on and around the harbour, the docklands and in the Hafen-City. There is a public ferry to the concerts and visitors can meet performers and orchestras. The festival features stars and newcomers, local bands and those from abroad, all performing first class jazz.

Film and Cinema

Filmfest Hamburg: The Hamburg Film Festival shows new films ranging from debut productions to films by renowned international directors. Sections include, among others, documentary and feature films. The festival opens at the end of September.

Hamburg International Short Film Festival: The Festival for Short Film presents the diversity of contemporary short film. Over 200 short films compete in the international and German short films' sections, and there is an experimental non-budget section for innovative films. The festival takes place in May/June.

Trade Fairs

Du und Deine Welt: Hamburg's shopping and event fair takes place at the end of September in the CCH trade fair halls in the city centre. Companies meet their clients and consumers, and sell products and services for health, wellness, leisure, kitchen, cuisine, gifts and many more.

Hanseboot: The Hamburg International Boat Show is a trade fair presenting products and services relating to sailing, motor boats, charter and travel, trend sports and angling. Held at the CCH trade fair halls every year at the end of October, the show attracts more than 17,000 visitors.