© Mediaserver Hamburg / A. Hornoff

Summer in Hamburg: Festivals, street parties & local culture

Having fun with friends outside

Discover Hamburg’s summer flair

The summer will be urban, colourful and typical of Hamburg: live music with a maritime backdrop, open-air film and literature festivals, evening walks with a view of the shining harbour, a cool beer on the Elbe beach, plenty of flea market treasures to discover, street art and festivals in the local districts. Dive into Hamburg’s cultural scene, let the sun tingle your skin, feel the festival wristband on your hand and enjoy the maritime, multifaceted and party-loving Hamburg summer flair.

Live music in the open air

At last there will be live music in the open air again! Hamburg will be a city of music once more this summer. Lotto King Karl, Silbermond, The Dire Straits Experience, Mike+ the Mechanics, Ska-P, Jack Johnson, Erobiqe: the line-up for this year’s Stadtpark Open Air concerts from 13 May to 16 September is highly impressive! Take in the famous open-air stage at Hamburg Stadtpark and the exuberant party atmosphere.

The banks of the Inner Alster Lake in the heart of Hamburg are also a popular meeting place for cultural events. In June, the Jungfernstieg music festival will line the banks of the Alster with numerous open-air concerts catering to all musical tastes. The SPEKTRUM festival will put today’s beat culture at the centre of the actio on 05 August, inviting people to check out the traditions and crossovers of the wide-ranging hip hop scene. This year, SPEKTRUM will see LUCIANO, NURA, SKI AGGU and many more artists taking the stage.

The two-day ELBJAZZ Festival invites you to the port of Hamburg on 9 and 10 June. In addition to international stars of the jazz scene, a number of blues, swing and pop artists will perform on the open-air stages. Among the special features of the line-up known so far are Cécile McLorin Salvant, Adi Oasis and Dope Lemon. An annual highlight for all jazz lovers!

If you want to shake a leg for three days between harbour flair and industrial charm, Hamburg Wilhelmsburg is the place to be: From 18 to 20 August, the MS Dockville brings together music and art on twelve stages and at numerous stands. The latest beats and sounds will be presented here across genre boundaries, with a focus on indie, hip hop and electronic music. Girl in red, Schmyt and Takeshi's Cashew are the first names to be released at the 2023 line-up. For more favourite artists and newcomers, check out the line-up so far here.

© Mediaserver Hamburg / A. Hornoff
© Mediaserver Hamburg / Lukas Lau
Stadtpark Open Air
© Mediaserver Hamburg / Jörg Modrow

Club scene & nightlife

A beer in the Schanzenpark, dancing the night away in clubs along the Hamburger Berg or at Hans-Albers-Platz, sipping a cocktail above the city’s rooftops. Whether at the Reeperbahn, Schanze or a beach bar: Hamburg will make the summer nights sparkle!

In Hamburg, we let the evening pass by over beer and cocktails with friends, and whoever wants to go dancing later on is certain to find what they like in the city’s clubs! Open air, regional classics and craft beer are all available in the Schanzenviertel at Braugasthaus Altes Mädchen, tasty drinks can be sampled in the huge number of bars, Aperol Spritz and other delicacies are served along the Großen Freiheit while the evening sun and a cool beer can be enjoyed at the various beach bars in the middle of the city.

The Reeperbahn Festival is certain to get the whole of St. Pauli rocking from 20 to 23 September! Europe’s biggest club festival attracts plenty of international artists and party lovers to Hamburg, and to the wide-ranging indoor and outdoor programme offered by the Hamburg club scene.

© Mediaserver Hamburg / Jörg Modrow

Tastings or party night in Hamburg Touring through Hamburg: food highlights and party nights

We have put together a compilation of our favourite tours through the city: from beer to beats, from coffee to concerts, and from festivals to fish rolls. You are certain to find just what you need for your next tour here.

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Text art at the harbour, on rooftop terraces and in the Stadtpark

Text artists at unusual locations: literature will take to the stage in Hamburg on rooftop terraces, in the Stadtpark and at the harbour. Under the motto "Speaking Pictures", the Literaturhaus Hamburg has been showing how mature comic art has become since 2012. This year, the Hamburg Graphic Novel Days will once again invite international and local artists of the ninth art to talk and put stars of graphic literature in the spotlight. The festival takes place from 13 to 16 March.

The battle of the arts (Kampf der Künste) will bring the Stand Up Slam to the Stadtpark on 11 August: today’s most promising stand-up comedians will offer fun-packed and witty performances on the open-air stage at the Best of Poetry Slam.

Those who would rather be seduced into the cosy corners of the Schanze, St. Pauli and the Gängeviertel for some literary browsing can simply follow the 2-dimensional peng words of the Hamburg Comic Festival. From 30 September to 01 October 2023, the festival presents national and international comic artists in a colourful and interactive festival programme and is even in the running for the Hamburg City District Culture Prize in 2023. Let's go, cast off: the slam and literature scene is looking forward to sweetening your city trip to Hamburg with wit and humour!

© Mediaserver Hamburg / HOCH-2 / Henning Angerer
Hamburg Stadtpark
© Mediaserver Hamburg / Pablo Heimplatz
Best of Poetry Slam
© Mediaserver Hamburg / Thomas Panzau

Urban Art, international food culture, flea markets and street festivals

Under the title EMOTIONAL SPACE AGE, the Queer B-Cademy at Kampnagel invites you to exchange and relax in queer safe space from 31 March to 2 April. The focus is on fluidity, diversity and community, presented in the form of contemporary performance art by national and international queer artists. DJ sets and a charming bar crew invite you to linger and share.

From 20 to 29 April, visitors can also gain an insight into the work and developments of Hamburg's cultural scene at the Hauptsache frei festival: Hamburg's independent scene has created a stage for its artistic positions and works and is thrilling its audience. The developments of the scene are presented and discussed: its aesthetics, its contents and its structures. The festival offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in Hamburg's art and culture scene and to experience new encounters.

Those who want to meet the latest street food trends, a colourful band programme and the whole of Hamburg on the streets will find themselves at the Hamburg Hafengeburtstag (birthday of the harbour) from 5 to 7 May. For the 834th time, Hamburg is hosting the largest harbour festival in the world. The grand parade along the Elbe, concerts on the harbour mile and a colourful programme for the whole family make the Hafengeburtstag a major maritime event.  

Based on the values of diversity, tolerance and openness, the altonale dresses the districts of Altona and Ottensen in a colourful festival dress from 16 June to 2 July. The altonale invites visitors to get to know the district's culture and international artists, to stroll through the flea market, and to meet artists from the fields of literature, theatre, film, music and dance. On the last weekend of the altonale, the cultural festival STAMP - The Street Arts Melting Pot - creates space for urban art, artistry and dance and thus a celebration of international art in public space.

The Duckstein Festival in Hamburg's HafenCity will also be up close and unplugged. Art, culture and culinary delights come together to create an atmospheric, urban summer experience: artisans offer their jewellery on the design mile, food trucks serve international cuisine and a freshly tapped beer! In 2023, the festival will celebrate its 25th edition - the festival takes places from 23 June to 02 July 2023.

© Mediaserver Hamburg / Nino Herrlich

Get to know the city while partying The most exciting festivals and street parties

Besides the usual festival locations, there are also plenty of street parties in most districts and they are especially well loved by the Hamburgers. Check out the favourites here!

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Every year, MS Artville invites people to explore contemporary art. On balmy summer evenings, the open-air gallery stages interdisciplinary, progressive and socially critical art. Whether street art, installation or performance - multifaceted art comes together at Wilhelmsburg's Reiherstieg on 13 August.

The International Summer Festival at Kampnagel is not to be missed! Contemporary art from all over the world is presented on the former factory site in Hamburg. For this purpose, the site is transformed into an art leisure park, which shows everything the contemporary, global art scene has to offer with a variety of drink and food offers and in a relaxed summer atmosphere. The opening takes place on 9 August - the programme extends over three weeks and ends on 27 August.

Film festivals & open-air cinema

This year, FILMFEST Hamburg will show the whole spectrum of cinematic art from 28 September to 07 October. The programme selection is impressive - many films of the 2022 festival edition can now be found on renowned long and short lists worldwide. Which stars and starlets will come alive on the screens at this year's festival has yet to be announced.

Film fans will not miss out in Hamburg after the summer months either. From 17 to 22 October, the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival will take place. The festival is Germany's oldest and largest queer film festival and presents filmmakers from the LGBTQIA+ community in all their diversity. Every year, the event attracts around 15,000 visitors to the cinemas in Hamburg and invites them to exchange and celebrate with a dense supporting programme.

Travel is food for the soul! It’s time for a city trip that inspires you and broadens your horizons in a summery, urban atmosphere. Time for live music, dancing, street art and culture festivals. Time to meet other people again and experience some new Hamburg moments!

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THIS SUMMER WILL BE UNFORGETABLE A summer fairytale in Hamburg

Summer in Hamburg is better than its reputation! The sun-crazy 'Hamburgers' exploit this wonderful season more than any other - whether it's to grill in the Stadtpark, jog along the Alster or take part in any of the numerous street festivals, festivals or other events. Join them and take advantage of Hamburg in the Summer!

A summer fairytale in Hamburg
© ThisIsJulia Photography

Dawdling around Hamburg's best flea markets

Rummage around flea markets for all it's worth! Year-round, in summer as well as in winter, at Hamburg's flea markets you'll always find what you've never looked for or never knew you needed!

Hamburg's best flea markets
Hamburger Hafen
© ThisIsJulia Photography

No Budget? Ideas and tips for free experiences

A lot can be discovered and experienced in Hamburg. Your wallet doesn't always have to be drawn. Find out more about the free experiences in Hamburg here.

Ideas and tips for free experiences

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