At different points over the course of the year, Esslingen puts on a wide range of different festivals, ranging from the Citizens’ Festival to the flea market and events held by associations based in Esslingen, and not forgetting the culinary Zwiebelfest (onion festival) and the cultural festival ”stadt im fluss”.
This large festival has its origins in the inauguration of the Vogelsangbrücke in 1973 and has taken place annually ever since.
Always on the first weekend of July the city of Esslingen invites you to the citizens 'festival and wishes you lots of fun, enjoyment, interesting encounters, discoveries and fun at the citizens' festival weekend.
The oath day was a key political and constitutional event and was held in Esslingen on the Sunday after Jakobi right up to the end of the era of imperial immediacy. This tradition has been resurrected and takes place each year in the Schwörhof to kick off the Esslinger Bürgerfest.
Entertainment for young and old
The variety of associations in Esslingen offers a multicoloured programmeprogram of entertainment on different stages. Concerts, performances and visits to various sites promise a highly cultured experience.
The culinary attractions entice you in with local and international specialities, flea markets invite you to take a rummage and children can unwind with hands-on activities at the Spielfest on the Maille.
The highlight of the Sunday during the festival is the Esslinger-Zeitung-Lauf. This Sunday-morning sporting fixture is an inherent part of the festival and is popular among sportsmen and women who come to the festival from far and wide.
The Saturday during the festival sees by far the largest number of visitors to the city throughout the year. A huge number of attractions are set up in the shops and on the streets. For this reason, all car parks within the festival area will be closed. We therefore recommend arriving on foot, by bike or by public transport so far as is possible. If you must travel by car, please make use of the multi-storey car parks.
Points of contact and details for participants
More Festivals in Esslingen
Zwiebelfest (Onion Festival)
Esslingers are called ”Zwieblinger”, so the old saying goes, because a market woman drove the devil out of the city by handing him an onion (german: Zwiebel) rather than the apple that he asked for.
Because of this, the Zwiebelfest (Onion Festival) takes place each year in August on the Esslinger Marketplatz. Amid rustic arcades, eight festival hosts provide an attractive culinary offering. The supporting programmeprogram includes live music as well as the traditional onion competition, a costume day, the choosing of the queen of the Zwiebelfest and much more.
Strawberry and Climate Festival
Each year in June, the Küferstraße-Blarerplatz-Ottilienplatz trading community holds the Strawberry Festival. On this day, the city’s streets and squares are dressed up in homage to the strawberry: they are hung from street lamps, displayed in shop windows and are available for purchase in a range of different prepared forms.
While the public is guided through the Strawberry Festival on a red carpet, in Ritterstraße a green carpet is rolled out for the Climate Festival.
A colourful mixture of information and activities are laid out in various pavilions, which are directly and indirectly related to climate protection. Physical well-being is far from forgotten - everything available is organic, of course.
Strawberry and Climate Festival
Esslingen Spring and Esslingen Autumn
ES(lingen) is all aglow!
Stroll, shop and eat to your heart’s content right up to midnight! On the last Saturday of the holidays, the City Initiative invites you to do just that in the streets of the city centrecenter, which are beautifully adorned with lights for this special occasion.
ES(lingen) is all aglow!
stadt im fluss (City on the river)
The cultural festival "stadt im fluss" (City on the River) designed by the Cultural Office shines the spotlight on Esslingen’s channel landscape every three years.
The cultural festival places special emphasis on the networking of many of the city’s public and private cultural institutions, while simultaneously promoting the active participation of Esslingen’s clubs, schools, and cultural institutions.
The productions successfully present the many known and hitherto unknown places along the arms of the Neckar that flow through downtown Esslingen; artists take possession of Esslingen’s channel landscape and present it from a whole new perspective.
stadt im fluss
The Esslingen Medieval Market and Christmas Market
The Esslingen Medieval Market and Christmas Market is unique – and “more full of adventure than any other in Germany”. With more than 200 booths, the Esslingen Market is also one of the largest in the region.
For almost four weeks at the Medieval Market, merchants in historical garments offer their goods for sale just as they did hundreds of years ago. Craftsmen like pewterers, felt-makers, tinder-makers, blacksmiths, rope-makers, basket-makers, broom-makers or glass-blowers demonstrate their craftsmanship. Furthermore, in the streets and on various stages artists fascinate their audience with juggling, music and nonsense.
All around, Esslingen´s medieval half-timbered houses create a unique and spectacular backdrop. The Middle Ages with all one´s senses, lock, stock and barrel. It is little wonder that crowds flock to this spectacle - from the region, from Germany, from all over the world. Esslingen is never so close to its history and to itself than in the pre-Christmas weeks - when the whole town takes a thrilling trip back in time.