Thursday, April 30, 2015

May 2015 - Overview

Holidays (Federal or Bavaria specific) and Important Dates   

May 1 -- Tag der Arbeit/Labor Day STORES CLOSED Also, May Day more on that tradition here.
May 10 - Mother´s Day (Muttertag).
May 14 - Ascenscion Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) Also Father´s Day in Germany. Read here about the Father´s Day traditions in Germany. STORES CLOSED
May 24 - Pentecost Sunday (Pfingstsonntag)
May 25 - Pentecost Monday (Pfingstmontag) STORES CLOSED

School holidays 
May 25- June 5 - Schools closed - Pfingsten vacation 

What to do when everything is closed? Click here for many Nürnberg museums and their special hours for holidays (see Sonderöffnunfzeiten an Feiertagen). NOTE: Even though they still say 2014, the dates are for 2015

Events (by no means a complete list)


May 1-2 Weekend of Fear, E-werk horror and obscure movie festival. Many in English
May 1 Erlangen Radli - family bike ride! €1,50 per person or €3 per family. various routes.
May 15- Erlangen Star Night- Shopping until 11pm- Inner City
May 17 - Bike tour of Erlangen´s gardens and green spots €7 
May 17 - International Museum Day. Participating Erlangen museums here in German.
May 21 - June 1 Bergkirchweih, Erlangen

Every Thursday, City Marketing Nürnberg publishes weekend tips! 
April 30 - May 1 (morning) Dance in May! Freudenpark
May 2 - Blaue Nacht Tickets from €14,30 adult Note: includes VGN transportation (Kombi ticket), see here for details in German
May 8 - English Children´s Stammtisch
May 8-9 Flea/Antique Market. 4,000 vendors
May 10 - Multi-cultural Mother´s Day event with DAI. Yoga, hiking, more. €3 per person
May 17 - International Museum Day. Participating Nürnberg museums here (in German)

April 30 - May 17 Volksfest, Bamberg
May 1- Mayfest, Hirschaid
May 1 - 3 Walberla Fest, Walberla
May 1 - 5 Historic Train to Fränksicher Schweiz opens for the season! Ebermannstadt Ticket prices and route in English here.
May 3 - Museum Anniversary Festival, Frankisches Freiland Museum tickets €5
May 3 - World Heritage Run, Bamberg - race sold out, come cheer the runners on in the 2nd biggest running race in Bavaria.
May 8 - 17 International Puppet Theater Fest- various locations Nürnberg, Erlangen, Fürth. Some in English, many events for children.
May 8 - 24 Culture Days at Juliuspital, Würzburg. Wine tasting, tours, music.
May 13 - 15 Craft Beer Festival, Regensburg 
May 16 - Jethro Tull´s Ian Anderson, Regensburg - tickets from €30,90
May 16- 17 Burgenfest, Bad Berneck- Middle Ages festival. More on the beautiful town of Bad Berneck in English here
May 17 - Herb Day at Freiland Museum, Warmensteinach
May 17 - International Museum Day. Participating museums in Bavaria here (alpha by city). Many are hosting special events, some are free of charge for the day.
May 17 - Day of Open Gardens, Bamberg. Food trucks available at many locations. An easy walk around the gardener area (veggies, herbs, flowers) of ths city. Program and map here. Free.
May 19 - All You Need Is Love, Beatles musical, Bamberg. Tickets from €41,90
May 21 - 25 Spring Music Festival, Castle Seehof, Memmelsdorf. Tickets from €19
May 22 - 25 Trucker and Country Festival, Geiselwind. Ticket prices vary by day. 
May 22 - June 28 Mozart Festival, Würzburg
May 23 - 25 Gardenfest Castle Eyrichshof, Ebern. 16 and over €9 
May 24 - 25 Seefest, Pottenstein
May 29 - 31 Rockavaria, Munich. Metallica, Muse, Faith No More and others. Tickets from €85
May 29 - June 7 Wine Village, Würzburg. Adorable little huts in the main square serving 100 types of wine. 

Other things to do? 

KERWA SEASON! Though Kerwas or Kirchweihs can be found year round, this is the start of high season (through October). Bamberg and vicinity here. Nürnberg (PDF) here, see here for links to the websites when available. Highlights of Erlangen´s Kirchweihs and other events here. Frankischer Schweiz Kirchweihs here. Click here (see left hand side) for Franken in general.

Check out the Fränkisches Freiland Museum, Bad Windsheim - great with kids. 
Click here for a list of tours in the area in English, many are indoors (museums). 

Visit the Nürnberg Planetarium

Find a local Beer Keller here! My personal favorites here

Traveling to Berlin (tickets on long distance buses are around €20!)- Slow Travel Berlin has a daily event guide here

Pick your own berries and currants, and even asparagus! click here or here for a few places in the Nürnberg area. Check the individual websites for more information.  

Go (indoor) rockclimbing. Kids just €2,50.   

Rock cut beer celler tours (Nürnberg) every Sunday 11:30am in English. €5 

Take a hike! Link to VGN hiking information site here (English). Combine hiking and beer with the 5 Seidla Tour (English). Hiking trails in and around Herzo here. Nature parks in the region may be found here (link in German, click on interaktiven Karte for the map). 

Head to the Frankischer Schweiz (link in English) for breweries, hiking, castles, rock climbing, canoeing and more. An interactive map of hiking trails in the Frankischer Schweiz can be found here

Take your own wine walk in Nürnberg (link in German, map on right hand side of page)

Visit a pool or sauna- Atlantis is in Herzo, Nürnberg has many to choose from (link in  German), Stein (near Nürnberg) is home of Palm Beach, Bamberg has Bambados Can´t decide?  Schwimmbadcheck is an online review site for public pools, link is in English.

Celebrate all things asparagus at an asparagus festival!

From April - October, take a tasting tour (in German) of Erlangen €25 

Go to a beer keller or garden!  Try Forchheim´s famous Kellerwald (click here for map and description in German). It´s little less than 30 minutes train ride from Nberg Hbf and then a bit of a walk. 

It´s wine festival time! With so many wineries in the lower Franconian region there´s a festival every weekend. Check out the list (in English) here (in English). The area is about one hour from Nürnberg by train. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Beer Keller Season!

This weekend (April 25-26) is the official opening of beer garden season at Forchheim´s Kellerwald (30 minutes from Nürnberg)- a series of beer kellers in the forest. It´s one of my favorite places to spend a day.

The Kellers are all close to each other (some right next to each other) making it super easy to try their various beers and light fare (Brotzeit).

More on this weekend´s celebration (in German) here. On Sunday there is a beer Keller tour (1.5 hours €4 adults or €8 for an entire family) at 16:00 with a beer tasting immediately after (additional €5). Tickets available at the tourist office Haupstraße 24, about a 10 minute walk from the train station. Note: Sunday´s tour is in German, but the tour may also be booked in English in advance. More information here.

A 36km bike tour of Forchheim area Bier Kellers can be found here.

Why are they called Beer Kellers (cellars) instead of beer gardens? Beer Kellers are most often on a mountain or a hill. Beer was (and often still is!) stored in tunnels in the mountain/hill to keep it cold. Naturally, having a beer garden on the hill close to where the beer is stored makes sense. Many brewers brew a special "Keller Bier" specifically for their guests on the Keller. Keller beers can be vastly different from the main beer a brewery is known for. More on Keller Bier from the German Bier Institute here.

Other suggested Bier Kellers?

- In Erlangen, Entla´s Keller. Entla´s Keller offers a large menu and great beers. What sets Entla´s apart, in my opinion, is their event calendar and live music. Open April to September daily at 11am, during Bergkirchweih at 9am. No parking on site. Sunday´s at 11am you can take a tour of the caverns the beer is stored in (in German adults €6 including a beer, children under 12 free).

- Bamberg (45 minutes from Nürnberg) has many in the region. A list, compiled by Stadt Bamberg may be found here. 7.5k walking tour that includes many may be found here.  My favorite in the city is Spezial Keller. Well worth the long walk up the hill from the city for the view alone. For those driving, there is somewhat limited parking available.
Open every day (including holidays!!) except Mondays in good weather, April - September. Though Spezi Keller is open year round, hours vary in other months-check the website. You have the option to bring your own food, or select from their extensive menu and daily specials. There is a small, but adequate, play area for children.

- Also in Bamberg, Wilde Rose Keller is next to Spezial Keller. offering similar views. A more limited menu of Brotzeit (smaller meals), but also good, or bring your own. As with Spezial, they brew a special Keller Bier. From April to September open every day at 4pm (Sundays and holidays from 3). 

- Outside of Bamberg (15 minutes by car, approx. 1 hour from Nürnberg) Felsenkeller on Senftenberg. Open May - September Monday -Friday from 16:30 in good weather only, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 1pm (open in bad weather on weekends). You have the option to bring your own food, but they have a huge menu including breads baked on-site in a wood burning stove and fresh churned butter- well worth the trip. They do not brew their own beer, rather, they serve Gunzendorfer.  Due to the remote location, public transportation would prove difficult. Child friendly.
Senftenberg Keller
Do you have a favorite Bier Keller? Tell us in comments! 

Tag des Bieres - Day of Beer

April 23 is known as the Day of (German) Beer. On this day in 1516 the Beer Purity Law was enacted. This law, the Rheinheitsgebot proclaimed that the only ingredients allowed in beer were water, barley, and hops. More about the Rheinheitsgebot here.

Though the law has changed over the years, the anniversary of the signing of the Rheinheitsgebot in Ingolstadt is still celebrated. The areas largest celebration is in Bamberg from 11am - 5pm at Maxplatz in the heart of the city. Munich (2.5 hours from Nürnberg) celebrates German Beer Week beginning with Tag des Bieres and even has a beer fountain with free beer for visitors! Ingolstadt (45 minutes from Nürnberg) celebrates all weekend long with the Fest zum Reinen Bier.