Get your fancy dress ready because February means Cologne Carnival galore. Think clowns, street parties and endless fun parades. However, if you’re not a carnival lover, don’t worry: this month has plenty more to offer. From world-class film festivals such as the Berlinale to glamourous balls in Vienna, February promises to be packed with great events.

WILD FOOD Festival. Photo: © Westfallenhallen Unternehmensgruppe

Hunting & Dog Fair, Dortmund (28 January – 2 February)

The Hunting & Dog is Europe’s biggest hunting fair and it’s held at the Messe Westfalenhalle in Dortmund. It attracts around 80,000 visitors each year and with over 700 exhibitors it showcases a great variety of hunting equipment, dog toys, outdoor gear and more. This year’s fair takes place at the same time as the WILD FOOD Festival – so visitors can enjoy both fairs.
Salons d’art artgenève, Palexpo Geneva (30 January – 2 February)

Join art lovers in the beautiful area of Lake Geneva and celebrate one of the best high-end and internationally renowned contemporary and modern art fairs Switzerland has to offer. Over four exciting days, the art festival welcomes internationally known artists, galleries, curators and visitors. A large area is also devoted to public and private collections.

Salons d’art artgenève 2019, Cerith Wyn Evans, Neon Forms (after Noh III), presented by White Cube. Photo: © Julien Gremaud

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival (31 January – 8 February)

This nine-day event at the Kulm Hotel in St. Moritz brings top chefs together and promises to be an indulging treat for everyone attending. A great range of top chefs show off their cookery skills and not only the chocolate afternoons but also the gourmet safaris in five partner hotels come highly recommended.
Kreativ Mark, Augsburg (1 – 2 February)

At the creative market in Augsburg, you will find anything the arts and crafts lover desires. The self-made designer takes centre stage here and it’s all about handmade items. Passion, a lot of heart and a great deal of creativity make this art fair a very welcoming event. It’s also a great day out with the kids as it’s so much fun to admire the colourful creations.

St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2019 in St. Moritz. Photo: © PPR/Witwinkel/David Hubache

White Turf – International Horseraces, St. Moritz (2, 9 and 16 February)

If you are a horse-racing enthusiast, look no further: this is your event. Held in sophisticated St. Moritz, the White Turf features world-class horse-racing, music events, gourmet food and beverage and much more. Imagine looking at the glistening snowy mountains of St Moritz around you whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly in front of the beautiful frozen lake. White Turf is a spectacular event, which not only attracts locals, trainers and jockeys, but also the rich and famous. Go and get mingling.
Berlin Independent Film Festival (25 – 29 February)

The BIFF is the undisputed home for top filmmakers working with low budgets. It’s held at Berlin’s favourite independent cinema, the Babylon, and celebrates outstanding works by emerging talent from across the world. This is one of the best opportunities to network in a professional environment – especially for newcomers. If you are curious to find out what tomorrow’s Oscar winners might look like, check out the BIFF.

White Turf St. Moritz. Photo: © / Andy Mettler

70th Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival (20 February – 1 March)

Who doesn’t know the infamous Berlinale? Without a doubt Berlin’s most glamorous event of the year, it brings the film industry’s international elite, from actors to critics, but also the largest audience of any film festival worldwide, to Germany’s capital. This year, Dame Helen Mirren will receive the Hommage and Honorary Golden Bear and the opening gala will be hosted by Samuel Finzi. Let’s roll out the red carpet.
Tanzolymp – International Dance Festival, Berlin (13 – 17 February)

The International Dance Festival ‘Tanzolymp’ promotes the motto ‘Dance as a global language’. It is designed for young dancers aged ten to 21 years from all over the world and wants to bring dance as an art form closer to the younger generations. With an exciting mix of workshops as well as competitions with awards including prestigious scholarships for leading international ballet schools, this is a hotspot for tomorrow’s dance talent.

Ball of the coffee brewers. Photo: © H. Prammer leisure and travel fair, Munich (19 – 23 February)

This is the biggest fair of its kind in Bavaria: from deluxe caravans to supreme bikes and artificial lakes to kayak on as well as great climbing facilities, this festival has it all. Around 60 countries come to Munich each year to show the newest trends in the international world of leisure and travel.
Ball of the Coffeebrewers, Vienna (14 February)

Yet again, the ‘Kaffeesiederball’ promises to be an unforgettable night. It would be worth going to, just to see its stunning location, the Imperial Palace, but of course, a wonderful line up of acts await you also. Viennese ball night tradition meets modern event management.

Vienna Opera Ball. Photo: © Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn

Vienna Opera Ball, Vienna (20 February)

The most famous highlight of Vienna’s ball calendar is without a doubt the Vienna Opera Ball. Among the guests, you will find international socialites and stars alike. The very first ball took place back in 1877 and it certainly has not lost any of its glory. Come and join the debutantes on Vienna’s most glamourous dance floor.
Cologne Carnival (20 – 26 February)

The locals call it the ‘fifth season’: Cologne Carnival. If you like fancy dress, this is an absolute must. This massive street party extravaganza marks the biggest celebration of the year in the Rhineland. It features fancy dress as far as the eye can see, traditional carnival songs and beautifully decorated parades with sweet treats. Get your fancy dress ready and hop on a plane.
Berner Fasnacht, Bern (27 – 29 February)

The ‘Berner Fasnacht’ is the third-biggest carnival-related event in Switzerland. During the three days, masked ‘Fastnächtler’ wearing fancy dress walk through Bern’s old town and bring music, theatre and food stalls to the city. A very traditional event that promises to be great fun for the entire family.

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