Five great summer breaks

Short on time? Head for one of SouthWest Germany’s one-of-a-kind towns for a short break. Combine culture and good food; recharge your batteries in the sunniest part of Germany.


Illuminated fountain on the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart | © TMBW, Foto: Gregor Lengler

Stuttgart: Eat, drink and be merry

In the heart of the city, the Summer Festival is like an elegant open-air party (August 1-4). There are white marquees in the Schlossplatz and by the lake in the Oberer Schlossgarten Park. A wide variety of music is played on five different stages; the evenings are long and warm; there is good food and wine. But no tickets are required! At the end of summer, Stuttgart's “Wine Village” is a 12-day extravaganza of quality wines and culinary specialities from the region (August 28 – September 8).

Mannheim: Music, music, music

Nicknamed the "City of Squares", Mannheim has been at the forefront of musical innovation since the latter half of the 18th century, when the first proper orchestra was created here. Today, the city is known for its progressive modern music, the Baden-Württemberg Pop Academy, the Music Park and bands such as Söhne Mannheims. In summer, head for the Maifeld Derby (June 14-16), an indie rock festival, with multiple stages. No wonder Mannheim is a "UNESCO City of Music".

Tübingen: Concert central

This university city has a feel of Oxford or Cambridge. Students even go punting on the River Neckar. But in the summer, Tübingen is known for world-class music. One of the spectacular settings is in nearby Bebenhausen, where chamber music is played in the Gothic hall of the Cistercian monastery. In Tübingen itself, the "Summer of Organ" starts with a concert on the anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach´s death, July 28. As for the “Summer of Sound”, each year brings a new theme for the programme of classical concerts.

Konstanz: All about the music

On Lake Constance, the historic city of Konstanz forgets about the past and boogies on down with the latest sounds for Seenachtfest, the “Lake Night Festival”. Every August for the past 65 years, this has been one of the largest open-air festivals in the region. Party, eat and have fun: the finale is a 30-minute fireworks display, one of Europe’s largest.

Ludwigsburg: Baroque elegance

Just outside Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg’s Baroque palace and churches provide the perfect backdrop for summer events. The Ludwigsburg Horse Market (June) has been around for 250 years. One of the traditional highlights is the Sunday Parade, but nowadays there is much more: an arts and crafts market, a children's festival and a funfair with a beer tent and live music. Another summer special is the Grand Musical Fireworks Display (July) in the palace gardens, with music, thousands of lights and a 20-minute musical fireworks finale.,Len/Home.html

Did you know?

…that Freiburg is known for its Bächle, the little streams that flow alongside the cobbled streets. Originally designed to provide water for fighting fires or thirsty animals, nowadays they are handy for cooling your feet on a summer’s day. But remember: legend has it that if you step in one by mistake, you will end up marrying a Freiburger!