VIDEO: Is this beer festival in Stuttgart better than Oktoberfest?

Shelley Pascual
Shelley Pascual - [email protected]
VIDEO: Is this beer festival in Stuttgart better than Oktoberfest?
Men at the Cannstatter Volksfest in 2016. Photo: DPA.

While many people across the world have heard of Munich’s Oktoberfest, the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart isn’t as well known. But should it be? The Local went there recently to find out.


There’s only one weekend left for you to get your fill of the local culture in the capital of Baden-Württemberg.

The Cannstatter Volksfest, which is also referred to as the Wasen, typically runs from late September to mid October. The annual festival wraps-up this year with a musical fireworks show on Sunday.

The Local's Shelley Pascual made a trip out to Stuttgart last weekend to find out what makes it so special.

Whereas Oktoberfest’s 2017 edition welcomed over seven million guests, the Wasen attracts around four million visitors each year. So what advantages could being smaller in size have for the folk fest?

According to the majority of the people The Local met at the Volksfest, many.

One local Stuttgarter told us the reason why he prefers the Volksfest is because “it’s family-friendly and not as crowded.”

With regards to the smaller crowds, two Americans from Texas and Seattle agree. The couple had visited Oktoberfest the previous week and described Germany's largest beer fest to us as “really big and crazy,” though “just as fun” as the Wasen.

About 15 percent of the Volksfest’s visitors are from outside Germany; it wasn’t hard for us to find other Americans to speak to and even people who had come all the way from Australia, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

One Aussie told The Local that though he’d never been to Oktoberfest, he made a beeline for the Wasen because he knew there’d be good beer there, fewer tourists, and he’d experience a “more typical Germany.”

Meanwhile local residents we met admitted that Oktoberfest is bigger and more authentic. But for them, the Wasen is more laid back in the sense that "you won’t get evil looks if you don't get (or give) a euro tip."

Last year in its opening weekend Stuttgart pulled in twice as many guests as Oktoberfest did within its first three days.

Whatever the final statistics reveal after the Volksfest comes to a close, the secret’s already out.

If you’re looking for a festival experience that isn’t too busy and that has fewer tourists and more of a local feel, the Wasen may just be your best bet.

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