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Munich's Top 10 : Festivals & Open-Air Events

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National Theater

Bibliophiles can forage for reading material at the Münchner Bücherschau at the Gasteig in November/December.



  1. Munich Biennale

    This music theatre festival was founded in 1988 by composer Hans Werner Henze. The city of Munich commissions young composers to write their first full work for the festival. Now a bi-annual event, the festival has become an established highlight in the cultural life of the city, with a broad programme.

  2. Blade Nights

    As many as 300,000 in-line skaters take advantage of Blade Nights, held between May and September since 1999. Roads are closed to traffic on Monday nights along five alternating routes – meaning no holds barred.

  3. Filmfest München

    Smaller than the Berlin film festival and not quite as star-studded, Munich’s festival has made a name for itself as a festival of the people. There are screenings of international films in several cinemas throughout the city. Gasteig is the festival centre, and free open-air screenings are held here in the evenings.

  4. Tollwood

    This lively festival is held twice a year, in summer and winter with music, dance, and theatre in tents. Formerly an alternative event, it has matured into a major festival with a wide-ranging programme of performances, vendors, and beverage and food stalls.

    • Summer festival (Jun–Jul) in south Olympiapark, Winter festival (Nov–31 Dec) in Theresienwiese

    • www.tollwood.de

  5. Opern-Festspiele

    Under Ludwig II, Munich grew into a centre of music, and was the site of premieres of Wagner’s operas and of a major Mozart festival. In 1910, the Richard Strauss festival week was launched, a tradition continued in the Opern-Festspiele, which features both classic works and contemporary pieces, accompanied by the innovative Festspiele programme.

  6. Königsplatz Open Air

    The pompous backdrop of the Königsplatz (Royal Square) seems tailor-made for open-air events. In summer, usually in July, you can enjoy classic concerts and even opera performances. To round out the programme, the large square is also used as a stage for rock and pop concerts and film screenings.

  7. THEATRON MusikSummer and PfingstOpenAir

    According toThe Guinness Book of Records,MusikSummer is the longest open-air festival in the world. It boasts 24 days of free musical entertainment under the open skies in the Olympiapark amphitheatre. Concerts range from rock and pop to classical music. A weekend festival, PfingstOpenAir, is staged in May.

  8. Oktoberfest

    More than six million visitors make the pilgrimage to the world’s largest popular fair, the Wiesn, which takes place over 16 days in September.

  9. Dance

    An innovative dance festival organized by the city of Munich, in collaboration with local and international partners. Many of the productions are multidisciplinary – and always beyond the ordinary.

  10. SpielArt

    Munich’s “Window on the World of Theatre” presents theatre productions from around the world at various venues, usually with a focus on one country each season.

Top 10 Other Events

  1. Ballet Week

    Staatsballett and guest performances.

  2. Frühlingsfest

    Little sister to the Oktoberfest, the Springfest is also held on the Theresienhöhe.

    • mid-Apr–early May

  3. Internationales Dokumentarfilmfestival

    International documentaries, premieres, and films by up-and-coming new filmmakers.

  4. Stadtgründungsfest

    Cultural events between Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz.

    • 1st weekend in Jun

  5. Brunnenhofkonzerte

    Classical music, but also tango, movie scores, and many other genres are presented in free concerts in the Brunnenhof of the Residenz on warm summer nights.

  6. Klaviersommer

    High-calibre stars and international concerts, from classic to funk.

    • Jul

  7. Christopher Street Day

    Gay street parade, shows.

    • Jul

  8. Fantasy Filmfest

    Horror films, trash, and more for B-movie fans.

  9. Comicfest

    Three days of comics, the New Art: pictures, books, and action on Praterinsel.

  10. Lange Nächte

    Late nights for music, theatres, museums, bookstores, and so on.

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