Festivals and Events in Munich

Munich has a full calendar of events and festivals throughout the year, including Oktoberfest and Fasching. Here you will find information on these major events , with links to their websites where available...

Though located in the relatively conservative Bavaria, Munich is known as a progressive and vibrant city. The annual calendar offers a wide variety of festivals and events.

Auer Dult Festival

The thrice-yearly Auer Dult folk market is a week of shopping, food, music, carnival rides and fun activities for children at the Mariahilfplatz (in the Au). Second-hand and new items are for sale as is art, furniture, herbs, clothing and myriad other items for the home.

Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Markets)

Germany in December is an atmospheric and festive place, with strolling through Christmas markets a popular holiday activity. The biggest market in Munich, with hundreds of stalls, is in Marienplatz. Vendors sell Christmas decorations, gifts and holiday foods and drinks including Glühwein (mulled wine), Lebkuchen (similar to gingerbread) and Plätzchen (a type of cookie). The Munich Office of Tourism has comprehensive information on the various markets open in the season.

Christopher Street Day Munich

Christopher Street Day is not just one day, but an annual week-long gay pride event in Munich held to promote gay and lesbian equality and draw attention to issues that the gay and transgender community faces. The week includes a gay pride festival, street fair, information stands, clubbing and fun competitions.

Fasching (Carnival)

A celebration beginning on 7 January and ending on the Sunday (Faschingssonntag) before Shrove Tuesday, when Lent begins. Fasching involves fancy masquerade balls where attendees dress in formal wear and ballgowns, celebrations involving music, food and a great deal of alcohol. Many traditions are maintained each year, including the washing-out of purses in the Fish Fountain at Marienplatz.

Filmfest München

The Munich Film Festival, created in 1983, draws thousands of industry professionals (and members of the public) for over a week of screenings, discussions, workshops and other events associated with the movie industry. The festival normally takes place in June/July. Festival passes are available online through the festival website.

Oktoberfest

A massive annual celebration and arguably the world’s largest festival, Oktoberfest draws millions of visitors to Munich for beer, hearty cuisine, music and dancing. The festival starts in late September, runs for 16 days, and ends on the first Sunday in October. Large tents house the festivities and reservations are highly recommended well in advance (reservations open nearly a year in advance). Reservations can only be made at the tents. Individual reservations are not possible; only entire tables of 10 must be reserved. Table reservations are free but food and drink coupons must be purchased when booking the reservation. The price of the coupons vary depending on the reservation time and tent.

Münchner Opernfestspiele

The Munich Opera Festival, usually in late June through July, features opera, ballet and symphonic concerts at various locations throughout Munich. The festival typically features new productions by the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera). Tickets are available at the festival website.

Tollwood Sommerfestival

The Tollwood Summer Festival is a nearly month-long festival of music and culture that includes markets, theatre performances and entertainment for children. At the Olympiapark Süd, most of the activities and concerts are free.