The Germans’ Oktoberfest

A lot of people have Oktoberfest in Germany sitting somewhere on their bucket list. But did you know it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in Munich? There is ANOTHER Oktoberfest that is 100% worth going to and is frequented by nearly all Germans (vs. the tourists from the US, UK and Australia) and is the second largest beer festival in the world! It’s called Cannstatter Volksfest and it is FANTASTIC. 

This festival runs late September through early October right outside Stuttgart and is in a great spot to do a road trip to other places in Germany in the Fall, which I recommend through and through. You can experience the craziness that is the Oktoberfest beer festival but also then go on to visit castles, mountains and charming old cities with fall foliage at its best. Read on here for ideas for how to do a trip like this.

The reason I liked this festival is because it was authentic. I actually loved the fact that we sometimes struggled to find English speakers, because that underscored the fact that this is a local’s experience. In my opinion, this is why it is better than Munich’s. Not to mention it is a little more manageable being in a permanent fairground a little outside of the city.

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

Festival Highlights

  • Scores of Germans dressed in traditional garb with giant beers and giant smiles
  • Tons of pretzels and sausages
  • Giant tents full of music, beer and dancing on tables
  • Carnival rides
  • Music stages

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

How to get there

You can fly right into Stuttgart, stay in a hotel there, and then take the train to the festival. It’s very easy. Or, you can drive to Stuttgart from another region that you may be coming from, just don’t drive to the festival with all the beer there is to drink! Stuttgart itself can be a pretty quick trip, I’d mostly focus on the festival while you’re there.

So, practice up on your German! If nothing else, learn how to say Ein Bier, bitte! (Beer, please!) and prost! (cheers!). For other ideas for how to work this festival into a bigger trip through Germany, see these related articles:

Photo Journal of Cannstatter Volksfest

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

Cannstatter Volksfest, Stuttgart Germany

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Marissa is a travel consultant and digital marketing professional from Chicago, USA. Her business, Sips & Sojourn, specializes in helping busy people with full-time jobs travel more and travel better. Travel is Marissa's absolute passion but she believes you can hold down a successful career AND travel the globe. Marissa enjoys unique destinations, design hotels, sampling a culture's food and drink and meeting local guides focused on small, immersive experiences.

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