Dusseldorf Events and Festivals

(Dusseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany)

Picture of the annual parish fairThe city of Dusseldorf celebrates nationwide holidays with as much fervour as other major German cities. Vibrant local events help to keep the city's calendar busy throughout the year, with plenty of things to see and do in Dusseldorf. There are several magazines in Dusseldorf that regularly feature listings of forthcoming events and festivals, such as Prinz, Uberblick and Coolibri, and these are available at all newsagents.

The cold weather in the winter season provides for a magical build up to Christmas, the highlight of the year, while the summer months see outdoor activities, musical events, carnivals and lots of beer drinking in Dusseldorf.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January (New Year's Day)
  • Late March or early April - Good Friday / Easter Sunday / Easter Monday
  • 1st May (Labour Day)
  • Early May - Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter
  • May / June - Whit / Pentecost Sunday and Monday
  • 3rd October (Day of German Unity)
  • 25th December (Christmas Day)
  • 26th December (Boxing Day / St. Stephen's Day)

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year's Day - is a public holiday throughout Germany. It is a day to relax and recover from the previous night's partying
  • Carnival - begins on New Year's Day when the Carnival Prince and Princess are crowned. Between New Year and Ash Wednesday, over 300 events take place such as the annual raid on the Town Hall. The climax of Carnival takes place on Rosenmontag, the Monday before Ash Wednesday, when hundreds of people in fancy dress parade through the city's streets for three days, ending on Ash Wednesday with the burning of the Hoppeditz


  • There are no significant events and festivals in Dusseldorf in February


  • There are no significant events and festivals in Dusseldorf in March


  • Easter - despite losing much of its religious significance, Easter is still celebrated nationwide. Today, the holiday has become a lot more commercial and focuses around the Easter bunny and chocolate eggs. Local churches hold Easter services to commemorate the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ


  • Labour Day - held on 1st May every year, it is a time for people to enjoy a day off work. A relaxing day where people can unwind in parks, cafés and bars


  • 6 Tage Oper - is a six-day event which offers visitors and locals the chance to enjoy operatic and other musical performances by many modern European composers. This festival takes place every two years and offers an unrivalled opportunity to listen to musical theatre and chamber opera by contemporary European composers. The programme of events usually contains some very experimental pieces and showcases groundbreaking new works


  • Dusseldorf's Grosste Kirmes am Rhein - this is Dusseldorf's biggest festival and it takes place over nine days at the end of July. The festival was originally created in celebration of St Apollinaris, the patron saint of the city, and it now attracts over four million visitors every year. Highlights include a circus, fairground rides, food and drink stalls and an impressive fireworks display on the Rhine River.


  • Brazilian Night - every August, the Rhine's main promenade becomes a focal point of Latino music and beats. Samba rhythms fill the air while Brazilian dancers, barely dressed, whip the crowds into a frenzy as they move in time to the music. One of the highlights is the Mr. and Mrs. Copacabana competition, where the winner walks away with a cash prize


  • Altstadt-Herbst - Dusseldorf's Old Town plays host to the annual Youth Culture Festival. Over 80 events are held and over 100,000 visitors descend upon the city. There is a variety of venues holding events which range from choral concerts and orchestral recitals to dance performances and literary readings
  • Internationaler Ko-Lauf - this annual run is organised every September and offers different levels for each member of the family. Over 14 different events take place which includes a short children's run, a competition for competitors with disabilities, a skating competition and the main highlight, the Aces Run, which sees top athletes competing from across the world


  • German Unity Day - held on 3rd October, this day is a national holiday which marks the merging of East and West Germany in 1990. There is a number of events held in the city throughout the day


  • Weihnachtsmarkt - this traditional Christmas market opens at the end of November and carries on until Christmas. Tens of thousands of eager shoppers flock to the market to pick up decorations, gifts and carvings. If you're all shopped out, enjoy a rest and a glass of glühwein or a hot snack. If you're not keen on large crowds, visit during the week


  • Christmas Day - sees families gather together and give and receive presents. It is typically a day to enjoy lots of food and indulge in a few bottles of wine as well as a time to spend with loved ones. With the exception of attending a church service, most people don't leave their homes