Whatever your idea of a good day/night out is you should be able to find something appropriate in Franconia on this list, cinemas to festivals, sports clubs to Christmas Markets. There really is something going on for everyone!


– TIP – Look out for OV or OmV after the title, this film will be in the original voices it was filmed in, English/US films will be shown in English, usually with German subtitles.
– The adverts will always be in German, whatever the language of the film, think of it as free language practice


Lamm-Lichtspiele – A two screen independent cinema which shows a decent number of films in English. Less big budget films here, expect more arty independent type films. Prices for drinks and food aren’t extortionate and everyone gets in for 6 euro on Wednesdays! Online they show which films are on about a week in advance, it is worth signing up for the newsletter. Their website

Manhattan-Kino – A four screen cinema, right in the centre of town, it’s not obvious from the outside that it is a cinema but once you’ve found this gem you will be happy you did. Run by the same group as the Lamm-Lichtspiele, here you will find the more big budget type films. Happily they too show a decent number in English too. Their website

CineStar  Added to the list as it is a cinema in Erlangen but since they has never shown a film in English in the last two plus years I’ve never even set foot inside. Now that I can sit through a whole film in German I still prefer to give my business to the two above (in Erlangen) as they cater better for my needs as an expat.


Cinecitta – A huge place with cinema, bar, restaurant etc all under one roof, there are a LOT of screens! They usually show at least one (and sometimes 5 or 6) film in English every week and it will be a big budget new film. Always book ahead of time as the English versions of films tend to be sidelined to the smaller (and smallest) screening rooms, it can also sometimes be a bit of a walk so make sure to arrive early as queues can get long. Their website

Roxy – The recently reopened independent  “Fremdsprache” cinema that has been going since the 50s. You get a mix of big budget and arty films and a proper retro cinema experience. My last visit however was horrible, cold, crowded, noise from outside the theatre, as much as I love to support this kind of venture I probably won’t bother again. Check them out


Roethelheimbad – Hartmannstrasse 121 91058 Erlangen
Was redeveloped fairly recently so the facilities are in really good condition. There are plenty of grassy areas surrounding the pools, so bring your blanket and picnic in addition to your towels. Standard sized lane pool in addition to a more fun based large pool which has slides and spa areas, also a kids shallower pool suitable for all ages. There is parking available and it is on a bus route.
If you decide to visit regularly it is worth considering your ticket options, a season card means you can skip the sometimes substantial queue to get in!

Freibad West – Damaschkestrasse 129 91056 Erlangen
A little bit more dated than the Roethelheimbad but still a great place to cool off on those long summer days. If you like to dive this place has great boards and a specialist pool for them, in addition to a regular swimming pool and a children’s pool suitable for all ages. There are shady and sunny areas to cool/dry off surrounding the pools and convenient parking and bus stops nearby.

Festivals & Events

The big two festivals locally are the Erlangen Bergkirchweih and the Annafest in Forchheim. This is the time to get out the dirndl and lederhosen and maybe book a few days off work!

Festival season 2014 

As always these are the big two in my humble opinion, the rest of the list is in the order they appear in 2014.

The 259th Erlangen Bergkirchweih 05/06-16/06
All the local breweries will be there, food, entertainment and a ferris wheel!
Open daily from 10am-10pm and 9.30am on Sundays More details

The 174th Annafest Forchheim 25/07-04/08
Held in the towns Kellerwald, choose from 23 Beer cellars and wear sensible shoes (you can thank me later)
Open daily from 1pm-11pm More details

I’ve made a distinction between the big two festivals and the smaller more local festivals for ease of viewing. These smaller festivals still have plenty of beer but are usually held in the town centre and focus on local speciality products as well as acting as a meeting point for neighbours and friends. At these events there will be less tourists and maybe less English speakers so make sure you can order that beer in German!

The 17th Fränkisches Bierfest im Burggrabben (Franconian beer festival in the castle moat Nürnberg) 18/06-22/06
Over 30 Franconian beers to enjoy, and it takes place in a moat (a dry one, so long as the rain stays away). Always a great atmosphere here. Recommended.

The 39th Herzogenaurach Altstadtfest 20/06-22/06 Open shopping Sunday 22/06
A weekend of music and local specialities in the traditional old town part of Herzogenaurach.

35th Annual Zollhausfest – Erlangen 29/06-01/07
Erlangens biggest street festival, great food, beer and entertainment. 11am-8pm (residential area). Recommended.

Kirchweih Erlangen Bruck 27/06-30/06
A lovely local beer festival, very little parking so don’t take the car.

Tag der Erlanger Altstadt – Martin Luther Platz – 29/06 11am-6pm
Entertainment, food, beer and some of the shops will open for the occasion (residential area)
As with most events it’s family friendly and a great atmosphere. Located just off Martin Luther Platz, follow the music! Recommended

Herzogenauracher Sommerkirchweih 04/07-13/07
Herzo really comes to life and knows how to party, beer, food and entertainment.

Klassik Open Air Nuremberg 27/07
The Nürnberg Philharmonic Orchestra play for free for these open air concerts. 11am “Family concert” and 8pm “Russian Dreams” themed repertoire, bring your picnic essentials and enjoy a free concert, arrive early to bag a good spot.

Altstadtfest Erlangen 01/08-03/08
On the Altstädter Kirchenplatz, sample some traditional Franconian foods and beer. Friday 5pm-Sunday 11pm. 

The 39th Bardentreffen Nürnberg 01/08-03/08
A free world music festival held in the city over a weekend, you get loads of interesting bands and performers attending this event and it is usually a great laid back atmosphere. On the downside it can get pretty busy.

Kirchweih Alterlangen 01/08-04/08
A relatively small beer festival, which centres around the Drei Linden restaurant (home of the giant schnitzel). Friday 4pm11pm Sat/Sun 10am-11pm.

Kirchweih Büchenbach 08/08-11/08
A really lovely smaller beer festival, centred around one of the towns traditional restaurants. Very family friendly as always and the entertainment is always traditional. Recommended.
Friday 4pm-11pm Sat/Mon 10am-11pm Sunday 11am-11pm

Klassik Open Air Nuremberg 09/08
8pm outdoor concert with the Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra “La Primadonna”. Take a picnic and get there early to find a good space at this free event.

Kirchweih Tennenlohe 15/08-18/08
Another small beer festival, an opportunity to mix with locals and go on the bumper cars!
Friday 4pm-11pm Sat/Mon 10am-11pm Sunday 11am-11pm

Erlangen Augustmarkt 21/08-28/08
Not strictly a festival but more of an event, at this market you can buy all kinds of household goods and keep an eye out for the dental implements stall (I kid you not).
Weekdays 8am-6.30pm Sunday 11am-8pm

The 37th Erlanger Marktplatzfest 23/08-24/08
You will find this beer festival on the Marktplatz (surprisingly). Good food, entertainment and beer. The shops will also be open in the Altstadt on the Sunday 1pm-6pm. Recommended.

Kirchweih Eltersdorf 05/09-08/09
Another of the smaller beer festivals, very relaxed and as always family friendly.
Friday 4pm-11pm Sat/Mon 10am-11pm Sunday 11am-11pm

Kirchweih Dechsendorf 05/09-08/09
Not so small but exceedingly fun all the same. The food and beer is always local and delicious.
Friday 4pm-11pm Sat/Mon 10am-11pm Sunday 11am-11pm

Kirchweih Ebermannstadt13/09-15/09
Traditional and small but wonderful none the less, take the train and enjoy the stunning countryside as you enter Franconian Switzerland. Recommended.

Kirchweih Hüttendorf 13/09-15/09
Very small and traditional, but a wonderful cycle ride out to there from Erlangen, you can also visit Huckepack whilst you’re there. 10am-11pm.

Erlanger Herbst Verkaufsoffener Sonntag 19/10 1pm-6pm
The shops will all be open and Erlangen will be bustling with people. Best not to try and do any actual shopping lest you be moved down by the crowds (just joking but it does get pretty packed). Many shops offer special discounts and the streets will be full of food and drink vendors.

Erlanger Waldweihnachtmarkt 28/11-24/12
The more traditional of the Christmas Markets in Erlangen, although it does have it’s own charm particularly around the central area where the is a stage for entertainment and wooden carvings a plenty. Located on the Schloßplatz there is also a free  ice rink (just pay skate rental or bring your own)opposite.
Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm Sunday 11am-9pm and closes at 2pm Christmas eve.

Erlangen Historischer Weihnachtsmarkt 28/11-24/12
A middle ages themed Christmas market with wonderful food, drink and entertainment. It can get pretty packed so stake your claim to space and be prepared to defend it, the open fires are wonderful in the biting cold of winter.
Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm Sunday 11am-9pm and closes at 2pm Christmas eve.

Silvesterball (New Years Eve party) 31.12
New years eve is something Germany does well and this is an all night party with food and entertainment (70 euro a head)

Festival season 2013

Erlangen Bergkirchweih 16/05-27/05
Local beer, food and music up on the towns very own Berg (Mountain)
Open daily from 10am-9/10pm (not yet confirmed) and Sundays from 9.30am Details here
Annafest Forchheim 20/07-29/07
Fabulous beer festival, more for locals than tourists, great beer, sensible footwear advisable.
Open daily from 1pm-11pm, Tuesday & Thursday 1pm-8pm are designated family days (cheaper prices on rides for the kids) Details here

The 38th Herzogenaurach Altstadtfest 05/06-06/06 Open shopping Sunday 06/06
A weekend of music and local specialities in the traditional old town part of Herzogenaurach.

Big Band der Bundeswehr – Schlossplatz Erlangen – 29/05
German Army band hold a free concert in the square, it’s a fun event, concert starts 7pm

Herzogenaurach Altstadtfest 31/05-02/06 Open shopping Sunday 02/06
A weekend of music and local specialities in the traditional old town part of Herzogenaurach.

Tag der Erlanger Altstadt – Martin Luther Platz – 16/06
Entertainment, food, beer and some of the shops will open for the occasion 11am-6pm (residential area)
As with most events it’s family friendly and a great atmosphere. Located just off Martin Luther Platz, follow the music!

34th  Annual Zollhausfest – Erlangen 29/06-01/07
Erlangens biggest street festival, great food, beer and entertainment. 11am-8pm (residential area) Details

Altstadtfest 2013 – Altstadter Kirchenplatz Erlangen 02/08-04/08
Celebrate with Franconian food and beer and enjoy the music an entertainment. 5pm Friday-11pm Sunday

34th Annual Erlangen Marktplatzfest 24/08–25/08
Local beer, food and entertainment in the Marktplatz, remember your suncream!
Shops in the Altstadt will also be open on Sunday 1pm-6pm

Augustmarkt Erlangen 22/08-29/08
Big market at the Schlossplatz, lots more household, clothing and gift stalls than a usual daily market

Altstadtfest Ebermannstadt TBC
Sample regional beer, wine and food in this lovely traditional town in Franconian Switzerland

11th Annual Erlanger Nachtlauf – 06/09
Night run in the Roethelheimpark area of Erlangen. Kids and adults can both run in this event (up to 12km).
Open from 7.30pm, bonfire, food and drink available for supporters and runners alike. Register here
Altstadtfest Nuremberg 12/09-23/09
Within the cities walls you will find extended markets, entertainment and the usual local beers and foods Details here

Stadtfest Würzburg 13/09-14/09
Plenty of music and merriment this weekend Programme here

Baiersdorfer Krenmarkt 15/09
Celebrate with the village and their Meerrettichkönigin (horseradish princess), eat some local specialities and check out the open shops!

Erlanger Herbst Verkaufsoffener Sonntag – 20/10
Erlangen shops (including the Arcarden) will be open between 1pm-6pm this Sunday

Christmas Markets

Erlangen (Traditional) Christmas Market 29/11-24/12
Found on the Schloßplatz, a traditionally set out market with stalls selling Christmas gifts, a nativity scene and plenty of room to enjoy the atmosphere and Glühwein. There are a few small rides for kids and last year an ice rink opened up on the opposite side of the square, look out for the programme of live music.

Erlangen (Historical) Christmas Market 29/11-24/12
Found on the Neustädter Kirchenplatz, my personal favourite and a more intimate atmosphere with real roaring fires and medieval costumes. You can always find something new here and I heartily recommend the Feuerzangenbowle (its not for kids) and stick around for the entertainment.


One Response to “Events”


  1. Feeling on top of the world…. | The Erlangen Expat - April 25, 2014

    […] Things to do […]

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