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From 29 to 31 May 2015, Aachen will become an international stage for the stars of equestrian sport. Every year, the biggest names in horseriding descend on the city in the hope of winning one of the coveted gold medals. Disciplines such as show jumping, dressage and vaulting promise plenty of exciting action for spectators.

When visiting Aachen, be sure to explore the historical old quarter around the cathedral. Aachen Cathedral was Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage site – and deservedly so. Built in around 800, the cathedral is of great importance in terms of art history and is a true sight to behold.

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If you love windsurfing, or want to learn, you will be in your element on Fehmarn Island from 14 to 17 May 2015. The Jever Windsurfing Festival is an informative and interactive expo based on a unique concept. It is held on the beach under open skies, there is no admission fee and you can try out the windsurfing equipment free of charge.

Did you know that Fehmarn is Germany's third-largest island? Only the islands of Usedom and Rügen are bigger. Unspoilt nature, mile upon mile of sandy beaches and Rügen's breathtaking chalk cliffs – there are so many reasons to visit Germany's Baltic Sea islands.

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The International Fair for Applied Arts & Design in Karlsruhe will be presenting all kinds of inspirational creations from 8 to 10 May 2015. More than 350 artists from 20 countries will be showcasing their unique works of art at the event. Whether it's fashion, accessories, outdoor designs or pieces for your home, you will find plenty of eye-catching innovations here.

Another top tip: to mark its 300th anniversary in 2015, Karlsruhe is hosting a programme of events throughout the year for visitors of all ages. Come and join in the celebrations!

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The Rheinradeln cycling event will be taking place along an idyllic route between Oppenheim and Worms on 3 May. The old B9 road, which will be closed to cars on the Sunday, will provide the setting for this fun and environmentally friendly festival for cyclists, runners and inline skaters. All the family will find something to enjoy in the varied programme.

Worms is also home to the Nibelung Museum. The Song of the Nibelungs is one of the most famous stories in world literature and was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2009. With an audioguide, you can embark on your very own tour of discovery.

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See Nuremberg in a whole new light on 2 May when the city will be bathed in blue illuminations. You'll be wowed by light shows, special effects and installations by artists from around the world. More than 70 art and cultural venues in the illuminated old quarter will be offering an experience to remember under this year's theme of 'freedom'.

Have you heard of the German Road of Toys? Running between Nuremberg and Erfurt, this themed route is fun for kids and a great opportunity for grown-ups to take a trip down memory lane! Whether it's the Playmobil FunPark in Zirndorf or a fascinating doll workshop, there are plenty of attractions for the young and young-at-heart.

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From May to October 2015, Hannover Zoo is inviting you and all the family to join in its anniversary celebrations. The zoo will be putting on a fun-packed programme ranging from a performance of the family musical Jungle Book to exciting evening walks. A unique attraction in Europe, this long-established city zoo is today a fully fledged adventure park whose various theme worlds are just waiting to be discovered.

Not far from Hannover and definitely worth a visit is Marienburg Castle. Once the summer residence of King George V of Hanover and his wife, Princess Marie, this beautiful castle looks as if it belongs in a fairytale.

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Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains takes place every year on 30 April. More than 20 of the region's towns and villages – including Bad Grund, Braunlage, Schierke and Thale – practice this custom to celebrate the arrival of spring. You'll see people dressed up as witches, devils and demons partying long into the night around the crackling bonfires. A simply spellbinding German tradition!

But it's not just Walpurgis Night that celebrates the myths and legends of the Harz mountains. The Harz Witches' Trail is a walking route that will take you past steep cliffs, babbling brooks and enchanted forests amid a beautiful landscape of idyllic valleys.

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On 25 and 26 April a special weekend of walking is being held on the Rotweinwanderweg, or 'Red Wine Trail', which runs along the Ahr river from Bad Bodendorf to Altenahr. You can walk the entire 35 kilometres or simply pick and choose from the individual sections. The route runs through idyllic landscapes that are dotted with delightful wine villages. This weekend of wine and walking is one of a number of similar events taking place across Germany on these dates.

Did you know that the Middle Rhine Valley is both a wine region and a UNESCO World Heritage site? Between Koblenz and Bingen you'll discover an area of historical castles, picture-perfect palaces and steep vineyard slopes – the ideal setting for walking, cycling and lots more besides.

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On 3 May 2015 Münster city centre will be transformed into a giant banqueting hall. On Prinzipalmarkt, you will be served a fantastic selection of food and drink under open skies. The Hansemahl, or 'Hanseatic meal', is a reminder of Münster's importance in the Middle Ages as a member of the Hanseatic trading alliance. After enjoying your al fresco dining experience, why not take the opportunity do some Sunday shopping in the city's stores?

Münster also has plenty to offer in the way of culture. The Picasso Museum, which is housed in a heritage-listed building, contains more than 800 of Picasso's prints. Art lovers will find plenty to enjoy in a collection unlike any other in the world.

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The 22nd Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film takes place from 5 to 10 May 2015. With a wide-ranging programme of animated films, this is one of the largest events of its kind anywhere in the world. Venues include the Mercedes-Benz Museum. A particular highlight is the open-air cinema set against the breathtaking backdrop of Schlossplatz square.

While in Stuttgart why not pay a visit to the Wilhelma zoological and botanical gardens? This oasis of green in the heart of the city offers an experience for the whole family. It is also one of the world's most bio-diverse zoos, providing a home to around 10,000 animals.

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