Back when I first started this blog, I created a number of event calendars for regional events, specifically with the local military community in mind. So many Americans stationed out at Spangdahlem would like to be more involved in Festivals and Flohmarkts and Kids’ Events, but they don’t always know how to find out about them.
When I was at Spangdahlem with my parents back in the ’80s, we were very lucky to have German landlords who became very close friends – and later my in-laws – to keep us in the loop. So, we had the inside scoop on a lot of things. However, if you aren’t fortunate enough to have German friends or a solid grasp of the German language, you might miss out on a lot of really cool things.
So, how does one find local events around Spangdahlem?
Unfortunately, my weekend event calendars, which evolved into monthly event calendars, were extremely time-consuming, and I often dropped the ball on them. But I got such great feedback from my readers – especially on Facebook – who found them so helpful because they said I usually had events that they weren’t made aware of through the base.
I have since decided to stop making the event calendars because I just can’t keep up with them in a consistent manner. BUT, I’m going to share with you all of my super secret sources so that you can still find out about all the fun local events going on around Spangdahlem!
My first go-to website for finding things to do around Spangdahlem is https://www.eifel-direkt.de. This website is managed by the Tourist Offices for the Bitburg region. So, the events you will find here are going to be in the immediate vicinity of Spangdahlem. Think basically everything between Spangdahlem and Bitburg, with just the tiniest of outliers.
To find the upcoming events, you need to navigate over to the Veranstaltungen page. Veranstaltungen is the German word for “Events.” I find it’s easiest to just Google through to that page as it isn’t very easy to find from their homepage.
Here is a direct link to the Events page. Just as a tip, you can switch the language of the website to English. The language options are at the very bottom of the page, in the right-hand corner.
You have two options here to see the events. I always use the Calendar of Events.
Once you click over to the calendar, you can either start scrolling down the list of events (which are listed with today’s events first), or you can set a date range. I would mention here that this website gets updated a lot, so one day it might only show four events happening in a specific time-range, but a few days later, that same time-range might bring up seven events. So, definitely check it again as the weekend (or whenever your time-range is) gets closer.
Now, even when you set the language to English, you will still have a lot of German. So, here is a step-by-step guide for setting a time-range:
Once you get to this screen (after clicking on Calendar of Events), you’ll see the current time-range being shown under the Aktive Filter heading. Where it says, “Zeitraum vom 29.04.2018 bis 06.05.2018” is your time-range. This means that the events below are all between April 29 and May 6. The sentence, “Sortierung nach Datum aufsteigend” means that the dates are shown in order with the upcoming events first, and the later events last. To change this, you will click on “Suche Verfeinern.”
Now you have the option to refine your search. In the first line, you can add a town or city. The “Von” field is the date you want to start searching on, and the “Bis” field is the date you want your time-range to end. Once you update your dates, click on “Suchen.” The screen will sort of flash, like it’s updating, but nothing will really change. You have to click the X in the top right-hand corner to get back out to the events.
If you look at that Zeitraum sentence again, you should now see the date range you entered in the filter.
What’s really nice about this website is that as you scroll down the list of events, you’ll see a little pin pop up on the map to your left so you can see where the individual events are. When you get to the bottom of the list, you might have a button that says, “Weitere Elemente Laden.” That means, “Load More.” So, click on that, and your list will get a bit longer. If you don’t see that button, then there are no additional events.
If you see an event that you’re interested in, just click on “Weitere Infos” to get more information.
For instance, I set my date range for the weekend of May 4 – 6 (Friday through Sunday). In going down the list, I saw that there is a Kirmes in Malberg (a Kirmes is like a fun-fair).
As a side-note, I tested this out, and you will get different results if you set the page with the list of events to English. Sometimes, you won’t get any results at all, so you might try it in both English and German.
So, this is what my page looks like once I click to get more information about the Kirmes. You’ll see that the date range of the event is at the top (remember, Germans write the dates as Day.Month.Year), and then there’s a little description of the event. My advice here would be to just copy the text and paste it into Google Translate. It’s never a perfect translation, but it does enough.
So, this event starts at 6pm on Saturday (Samstag ab 18 Uhr). Starting at 9pm (ab 21 Uhr), there will be a DJ playing dance music. On Sunday, starting at 10am (Sonntag ab 10 Uhr), there will be a procession and so on.
If you scroll down, there is usually a link to the affiliated website (if there is one), a phone number, a physical address, and sometimes an email address. There is also a map again so that you can see where exactly the event will take place.
This is also just a great website if you want to get ideas of places to go or things to see in the immediate area. From the homepage, you can change the language to English, and then click through the various menus. Most of these will give you descriptions in English, but you still might get a handful that are only available in German, so it will switch the language back over. But again, just plug the text into Google Translate to get the main information.
Each year, I pick up one of these brochures from the Sparkasse. They usually have a stack of them on a table somewhere around the front of the various bank branches. The people who make them actually pass them out to tons of businesses in the Eifel area, but I always get mine from the Sparkasse. I have no idea which other businesses have them – I just know the Sparkasse isn’t the only one.
As you can see from the cover of the brochure, these events go a bit further out, covering not just the Eifel region, but also the Moselle area, the Saar region, the Hunsrück region, and even parts of Luxembourg.
So, you will find way more events here than you would on the Eifel Direkt page, but these are going to be bigger events (for the most part).
Each brochure has events for the entire calendar year. This includes all of the wine festivals that usually happen in the late summer / early fall, as well as the Christmas Markets. This is perfect for planning out visits. When my mom came to visit last September, I actually used this brochure to plan out (months in advance) which festivals to take her to while she was here.
Unlike the Eifel Direkt website, you don’t get any additional information, though. It’s just the event name, dates, and location. What I have found, though, is that since these are bigger, more marketed events, if you Google them, you can almost always find a website dedicated to the event or an associated Facebook page.
I actually didn’t know this until recently, but you can also download a copy of the brochure from the Aufwind Touristik website. You can find the 2018 calendar here. Or you can just go to their homepage.
The other website that I use a lot is www.eifel.de. This website is dedicated to all things Eifel, and they have a pretty comprehensive list of events happening around the Eifel. Now, you might be thinking that this website will just repeat the same events listed on Eifel Direkt; however, it does not. The Eifel Direkt page focuses on the Südeifel (South Eifel). Eifel.de compiles events from ALL of the subregions of the Eifel.
This map shows you just how big the Eifel region is. It basically goes from Trier to Koblenz to Bonn to Aachen, crossing into Belgium and Luxembourg. It’s important to point out here, though, that these cities that kind of mark the boundaries of the Eifel are not actually in the Eifel. For example, Bonn is not in the Eifel, nor is Koblenz. And although the Eifel is separated from the Hunsrück region by the Moselle River, the Moselle area is usually considered a stand-alone region that is also not part of the Eifel – although, many Germans argue about the actual borders of the Eifel.
My point here is to show you how far the Eifel.de goes out with their event calendar. Not only does their event calendar cover the area highlighted here in yellow, but it also includes some of those outlier cities and regions.
This website has some English options, but like Eifel Direkt, if you switch the language, you won’t see the full list of results. So, I would keep it in German.
From the homepage, hover over the tab that says, “Unsere Eifel.” You’ll get a drop-down menu, and you’ll need to click on “Veranstaltungen.”
You’ll land on this page, where you can set the parameters of your search. Where it says, “Ort oder Suchbegriff,” you can enter a place or keyword. If you open the drop-down menu where it says, “alle Veranstaltungen,” you can pick a specific kind of event (like markets, festivals, concerts, etc.). And then you can set a specific date-range. “Datum von” is where you will enter the start date, and “Datum bis” is where you’ll enter the end date. When you’re finished, you can just click on “Suchen.”
Now, the way this website works, they always start the list of events with those events that are happening in your time-range, but that are also on-going events.
For example, in the screenshot above, you’ll see that these events, at the top of my search for events between May 4 and 6, are long-running events. Look at the entry for “Rotliegend von Rheinland-Pfalz.” That event started in October of 2017 and runs through September of 2018. But because it overlaps with my time-range, it shows up at the beginning of my search results.
You can also see what type of event it is by looking at the “Kategorie” (or Category) description under the name of the event. Notice that they all say “Ausstellung”? An Ausstellung is an Exhibition. These are all various types of exhibitions (taking place at museums and city halls). That’s usually what happens. These on-going events are almost always exhibitions.
Scroll down and you’ll eventually get to the events happening specifically in your date-range.
Each event will give you the date and location, followed by the name of the event, as well as what type of event it is. Here, we have an outdoor event, an exhibition, a play, and a concert. You’ll also see that none of these towns are in the Südeifel. Each of these places are about an hour or so north / northwest of Spangdahlem, but they are (mostly) still in the Eifel region.
If you want to find out more about a certain event, just click on it.
I clicked on the concert, and this is the page it took me to. Now I can see what time it starts, the physical address, and even how much it costs to get in. There is also a description of the concert, and further down on the page, there is actually a link to the theater company’s website.
This particular event has a wealth of information, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes you might just get a place and time, with no description or associated website. But I like the Eifel.de website a lot because it has events that I don’t always find anywhere else.
And like the Eifel Direkt website, this one also has general information about things to do and see around the whole Eifel region. So, it’s another great resource if you’re looking for day trip ideas.
Back on the homepage, just hover over “Unsere Eifel” again, and you’ll see a full list of categories.
Here’s a quick cheat-sheet for the menu: Wochenend-Tipps (Weekend Tips), Urlaub mit Kindern (Vacationing with Children), Wandern (Hiking), Radfahr-Tipps (Bike-Riding Tips), Welnessangebote (Spa Offerings), Sehenswertes (Sights Worth Seeing), Essen & Trinken (Food and Drink), and Freizeit & Sport (Freetime and Sports).
I just translated the ones that would be most applicable to finding day trips or things to see around the area.
Let’s say you’re interested in finding fun things to do with kids. So, you click on “Urlaub mit Kindern.”
You’ll now see a list of places that are kid-friendly, plus on the right-hand side, you’ll see events that are kid-friendly as well. Yes, there is some overlap with Eifel Direkt, but I promise you will also find tons of places you never even heard of before – all within an hour or so of Spangdahlem.
Whew, that was a lot!
So, even though I won’t be making the event calendars anymore, now you can still find out all of the fun things going on around Spangdahlem.