Preview: Frankfurt Highlights 2020

Frankfurt, the metropolis on the River Main, has plenty of highlights on offer all year round. For an overview of the most unmissable events of 2020, simply read on...

View of the three-gabled Römer, Frankfurt’s town hall, with the Römerberg in the foreground
View of the three-gabled Römer, Frankfurt’s town hall, with the Römerberg in the foreground - © Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt is worth a visit at every time of year. Whether the purpose of your trip is business or pleasure, Frankfurt has a great variety of fairs, festivals and special events to choose from each and every month. If you are as yet unsure of precisely when you’ll be paying a visit to our beautiful city, why not let a look at the following events overview help you to make up your mind.

The first highlight of our 2020 events overview actually begins on 23 October 2019. With “Making Van Gogh”, the world-famous Städel Museum will be presenting an art exhibition that focuses on the diverse synergies between Vincent van Gogh and the German art scene of the time. Running until 16 February 2020, the exhibition will be featuring artworks on loan from some of the world’s most renowned museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York and the National Gallery of Prague, to name just two. We recommend marking the show in your calendar, as it is an absolute must.

Every two years, a spectacular light show known as the Luminale lights up Frankfurt’s imposing skyline. Next year’s biennial will be taking place from 12 to 15 March 2020, being part of the international light and building technology fair, Light + Building (08 to 13 March 2020). A rich cultural social programme and the so-called “Light Walk” – a city tour of the illuminated sights – are the highlights of this impressive event. Featuring various lectures and discussions, the Luminale also provides valuable contributions to the future of Frankfurt’s urban design.

The reopening of the Jewish Museum, scheduled for April 2020, is another event of great importance to Frankfurt. From early next year onwards, the renovated and modernised museum will be presenting a permanent exhibition on Jewish history and culture in Frankfurt as well as continually changing exhibitions. The museum will also be home to a café, a functions room, a museum shop and a library.

The leading fair for the international music industry is turning forty! On the occasion of this anniversary, the general public will once again be able to visit the Frankfurt Music Fair. Held from 01 to 04 April 2020, the fair will be attracting music enthusiasts from across the globe with a series of workshops, seminars and concerts held on the fairgrounds and throughout the city.

The Spring Dippemess, Frankfurt’s most traditional folk fair, is also about to celebrate a big birthday. The famous funfair will be taking place for the 675th time next year, more precisely, from 02 to 26 April 2020. Both the young and the young at heart will be looking forward to this classic festival, which includes a colourfully diversified programme staged in the party pavilion, thrilling fairground rides for both big and small visitors as well as a variety of special activities.

The following month, the action takes to the streets with the traditional German Classic Eschborn-Frankfurt cycling race. Taking place on 01 May 2020, the race will once again be attracting thousands of fans to the roadsides of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region.

Those of you who like it more cosy are sure to take a fancy to the Green Sauce Festival, which will be taking place in downtown Frankfurt from 09 to 16 May 2020. This culinary festival celebrates one of Frankfurt’s most popular dishes, a cold and creamy salsa verde made of seven regional herbs. Every evening of the festival, the day’s best green sauce is chosen. At the end of the event, the daily winners compete for the title of Frankfurt’s best green sauce. The festival also features an entertaining social programme featuring culture and live music.

From Frankfurt’s favourite dish to its most popular holiday: Next year, the Wäldchestag, Frankfurt’s famous forest festival, will be held from 30 May to 02 June 2020. On the Tuesday after the Whitsuntide, Frankfurt’s working population traditionally heads to the municipal forest at lunchtime to celebrate “the most important Whitsuntide day”.

Frankfurt summers are particularly pleasant when enjoyed in the company of live music and a shining sun. Fans of electronic music may experience just such a setting at the World Club Dome. The world’s largest club music show is scheduled to be held at the Commerzbank-Arena from 05 to 07 June 2020, with singing, dancing and partying till the wee hours being at the order of the day.

If, on the other hand, your preference is to enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by live piano music, then you’ll find Opera Square Festival to your liking. The festival, which will run from 24 June to 03 July 2020, is characterised by culinary variety as well as a diversified social programme replete with live-music acts, all held on Frankfurt’s most beautiful plaza.

On 28 June 2020, the metropolis on the River Main will once again be hosting the Frankfurt Ironman, which annually sees the world’s premier endurance athletes swimming, cycling and running through the Frankfurt Rhine-Main region, reaching a scenic finish line on the Römerberg in Frankfurt’s old town centre at the end of their monumental efforts. Those interested in taking part in the event should be well trained and expertly prepared – the triathlon requires participants to swim some four kilometres, cycle a further 185 and finish up with the small matter of a full marathon.

About a month later, the banks of Frankfurt’s famous waterway will be hosting the very popular Main Festival. Taking place from 31 July to 03 August 2020, this time-honoured celebration is held along the riverside and in the nearby Römerberg old town centre. There, festival visitors may expect to find a variety of high-tech rides, a Ferris wheel and ox on the spit, with the famous Fountain of Justice being transformed into a wine fountain.

Frankfurt’s famous apple wine is, as one would expect, the main attraction of the much-loved Apple Wine Festival, to be held at the Roßmarkt from 07 to 16 August 2020. Here, the local beverage of choice is served in many different varieties, including as mixed drinks and cocktails, all made from the famous fruit. The festival is as always accompanied by a highly entertaining social programme.

The Eastern Harbour Festival is an equally colourful occasion. Taking place on 22 and 23 August 2020, the harbour party offers family fun, sporting activities and a live-music programme performed along the scenic riverside.

The majestic River Main will also be serving as the backdrop for the renowned Museum Embankment Festival. Featuring countless arts and crafts exhibitors, food stalls and artists performing on 16 different stages along the riverfront, the Museum Embankment Festival is one of Europe’s largest and most popular cultural celebrations. The festival’s leading role, however, is played by the city’s museums: From 28 to 30 August 2020, some 25 museums along the River Main and in the old town will be keeping their doors open well into the night, inviting locals and visitors to take part in special activities and guided tours that provide insight into their exhibitions and the museums themselves.

The Rheingau Wine Festival, meanwhile, is the perfect way to conclude the summer. From 02 to 11 September 2020, the Freßgass‘ – Frankfurt’s culinary mile – will be transformed into a cosy food and wine market featuring 15 vintner’s stalls serving red, white and sparkling wine from nearby wine-growing regions. An excellent array of culinary offerings of the restaurants nearby helps to sate the appetite between glasses of fine Rheingau Riesling.

Aside from the springtime version of the famous Dippemess fair, Frankfurt also hosts the Autumn Dippemess. From 11 to 20 September 2020, the Ratsweg Fairground will once again be serving as the location of the more rustic and somewhat less bustling autumnal version of the Spring Dippemess, which also features the popular “Family Day” and many more family-friendly fairground rides.

What better way to relax at the end of the summer’s festival season than with a good book! If you haven’t yet picked out the right literature for such an undertaking, then make sure not to miss the Frankfurt Book Fair, scheduled to be held from 14 to 18 October 2020. The theme country of next year’s event – the world’s leading book fair – is Canada. Professional and private visitors may look forward to the new “audience area” with its “Window to the City”, to be located all around Hall 1.

Christmastime is a very special time in Frankfurt, the yuletide season traditionally bringing with it a gigantic Christmas tree set up on the Römerberg, skylines sparkling in the background and church bells chiming harmoniously across town. The famous Frankfurt Christmas Market is known to be one of Germany’s oldest and most beautiful. Next year’s edition will be held, as per usual, on the Römerberg, St Paul’s Square and the Hauptwache from 23 November to 22 December 2020. Known for its seasonal specialities, including hot apple wine, “Bethmännchen” marzipan biscuits and “Handkäs” fondue, the traditional market with its 200-odd sales and food stalls will be ably supported by the “Pink Christmas” and Frankfurt Artists’ Christmas markets.

Finally, the year will end as it had begun, with a retrospective of a celebrated artist. From 09 December 2020 to 04 April 2021, the Städel Museum will be showing a comprehensive Rembrandt exhibition – an absolute must for art aficionados, and those who would like to become such.

 PI Frankfurt Highlights 2020  (pdf - 143.00 kB)