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The Palmengarten in Frankfurt has been cultivating azaleas ever since it was founded. You can admire the finest specimens from its collection at the Azaleas exhibition, which runs from 16 April to 4 May. As well as azaleas, which are a symbol of spring and good fortune in Asia, the show will also include bamboo and hydrangeas from the Palmengarten collection.

This year the gardens will once again be taking part again in the Luminale, Frankfurt's biennale of light art. On from 30 March to 4 April, this multifaceted event sees the whole of Frankfurt transformed by spectacular light installations.

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Want to put a spring back in your step? Then the second Wanderfrühling walking festival on Rügen may be just the thing for you. From 15 to 25 May 2014 you can enjoy guided walks, Nordic walking tours and trips to Jasmund National Park, go on expeditions in the Granitz hills and the hinterlands of Rügen or join tours of Cape Arkona and discover the entire island .

So lace up your walking boots, pack up your rucksack and off we go!

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Museums Night in Berlin is an opportunity to explore museums late at night. This year Museums Night will for the first time be taking place on the evening before International Museum Day in May. Which means that on 17 and 18 May 2014 Berlin's famous museums will be dazzling visitors with special programmes and activities throughout the weekend. Getting to the individual museums is hassle-free with shuttle buses operating on several routes. What's more, the majority of museums will be marking the occasion with a programme of concerts, film screenings, performances and other events.

There really is something for everyone on Museum's Night!

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This year the Mannheim May Fair will be taking place from 26 April to 11 May 2014 on the city's Neuer Messplatz square. Mannheim's local brewery, Eichbaum, provides a focal point and meeting area in the form of a beer garden measuring nearly 100 metres in length. The extraordinary fairground park and music create the perfect setting for relaxing and whiling away the hours. There will also be lots of different food and drink stands, children's carousels, freshly roasted almonds and other market stalls.

The fair's official opening event is held on Saturday 26 April 2014 at 5pm when the first keg of beer is tapped inside the 'Circus, Circus' festival tent. On top of all this, there are two family days plus firework displays on both Fridays.

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The XJAZZ festival is being held in the heart of Berlin's trendy Kreuzberg quarter from 8 to 11 May 2014. The three venues – Bi Nuu, Privatclub and Emmaus Church – are all within easy walking distance of each other, so nothing should get in the way of the party vibe!

The partner country for the first ever XJAZZ Festival is Iceland: few other countries in Europe have as innovative a music scene as this island in the north Atlantic. Confirmed acts from Reykjavik so far include ADHD, the Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band and Stereo Hypnosis.

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The Rhine in Flames firework spectacular takes place every year from May to September along one of the most scenic stretches of the Rhine. During the event, the riverside promenades and famous landmarks between Bonn and Rüdesheim are bathed in a red glow and an illuminated flotilla of boats glides down the river as fireworks light up the skies above. A fantastic spectacle for all the family!

This year's Rhine in Flames festival starts on 3 May in Bonn. Celebrations continue on the section of the river between Rüdesheim and Bingen on 5 July, Spay and Koblenzon 9 August, in Oberwesel on 13 September and, last but not least, on the section between St. Goar and St. Goarshausen on 20 September.

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The Port Anniversary in Hamburg, on this year from 9 to 11 May, is a maritimefestivallike no other! In keeping with tradition, the festival will open with an international ecumenical service at St. Michael's Churchon Friday 9 May 2014 at 2pm. This year, for the first time, the festival grounds (previously from the Kehrwiederspitze to the fish auction hall) are being extended to include HafenCity and an area to the west of the fish auction hall.

Further highlights include the grand opening regatta on Friday, the tug boat ballet and spectacular AIDA fireworks on Saturday, and the grand closing regatta on Sunday.

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It is hard to imagine the world of music and operettas without Johann Strauss. This year's Johann Strauss Festival inDresdenfeatures famous works such as Die Fledermaus and A Night in Venice alongside two rarities from Strauss' oeuvre of 16 operettas, The Carnival in Rome and Prince Methusalem. The festivalis on from 2 to 11 May 2014 at the city's State Operetta Theatre.

In the space of just one week, you can enjoy six different dramatic works by Johann Strauss, Bedřich Smetana and Kurt Weill– only the Johann Strauss Festival in Dresden can offer such a wide-ranging programme of musical delights.

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The seven lakes walk, one of Germany's biggest and most popular walking events, is being held on 3 and 4 May 2014 in the Leipzig Lakes. During the weekend, you can take part in over 20 walking tours. The walksare led by professional tour guides and themed on a variety of subjects.

This region of Germany is ideal for combining a holiday in nature with a city break. You can discover a whole host of cultural highlights in Leipzig, for example, which is famous for its musical heritage and is home to the St. Thomas choir, the oldest boys' choir in the world.

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The Baden-Baden State Art Gallery is mounting a fascinating exhibition on the role of the hotel in the arts. As a semi-public space, the hotel became a popular motif for artists. The exhibition looks not only at the hotel as an artistic theme but also at the design of hotel interiors and at the people who occupy them. To accompany the exhibition, there will be an art-themed walking tour through six prominent hotels in the town.

'Room Service – On the Hotel in the Arts and Artists in the Hotel' is on in Baden-Baden from 22 March to 22 June 2014.

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