German Beer Festivals – More Than Just Beer

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German Beer Festivals

It probably comes as no surprise that at German Beer Festivals there is a lot of beer.

But did you know that these festivals actually are very family-friendly, including Oktoberfest in Munich? At German Beer festivals, you can find anything from delicious traditional food, funny festival rides, and traditional clothing!


Family Friendly Festivals

What may be unexpected if you are not familiar with German Beer Festivals, is that they are actually quite family-friendly. I’m not just talking about allowing children in the beer tents until 8:00 pm (although some tents do). German Beer Festivals, called Volkfests, or “Festivals of the People” really are for people of all ages. They did originally start off as Agricultural Festivals after all! And Oktoberfest started as a wedding celebration.

Most festivals open with a family-friendly parade and close with fireworks. At the German beer festival in Stuttgart, (Cannstatter Volkfest) the fireworks are set to music – can’t wait to see that next year!

German Beer Festival rides

German Festival rides

There’s also the carnival aspect of German beer festivals. I was impressed with the number and size of the rides at the festival in Stuttgart.

There was something for everyone. From small children to the more daring rides favoured by teens. Also some new ones I hadn’t seen before, like the swing ride, but on steroids. It was so tall; I got dizzy just looking up at it. Now I just have to find someone to go with me. Any takers?

German Beer Festival Food

Traditional German Festival Food

There’s also the German carnival food. Not a hamburger insight, but nowhere else in the world will you taste pretzels as yummy as these or as huge. Come hungry! There’s also my personal favourite, the Lebkuchenherz – the gingerbread hearts with sweet sayings, i.e. “Ich liebe dich” “I love you” in English.


The Lebkuchenherz is the tradition to eat when attending a German Beer Festival
The Lebkuchenherz is the tradition to eat when attending a German Beer Festival

German Traditional Clothing

Families and older children will also enjoy seeing many Germans and tourists alike dressed in traditional lederhosen and dirndls. I still get a kick out of, but perhaps none more than seeing American friends dressed in dirndls (they look fantastic by the way!).

Traditional Clothing on German Beer Festivals
You’ll see traditional clothing  at German Beer Festivals

So while at first glance German beer festivals do not appear to be family-friendly, they actually really are.  To maximize your enjoyment at a German beer festival, I would recommend checking the website of the festival you are planning on attending in advance so you can plan accordingly. You also have a year to find that perfect dirndl or lederhosen costume so no excuses -except me of course 🙂


Most famous German Beer Festival: The Oktoberfest

Convinced you need to go to a German beer festival? There are several amazing festivals around in Germany. The most famous ones are Octoberfest in Munich and Stuttgart Cannstatter Volksfest. Due to its popularity booking in advance and a bit of planning are essential.

Here is the ultimate Oktoberfest guide for your planning. And if you want to explore more of Munich while you’re in the area take a look at this Munich City Guide.

If you want to properly experience the culture of a German beer festival, check out this tour. you can skip the line, get a guaranteed seat in the fun Löwenbrau Tent, a walking tour of the Oktoberfest grounds, and 2.5 litres of beer.

Enjoy your festival experience!

Will you visit a German Beer festival?