Munich’s Oktoberfest might be the mother of all beer festivals, but sky-high hotel prices or the hassle of finding a seat in a tent without reservations are enough to put some people off. Luckily, it’s also possible to get into the spirit of the season by attending an Oktoberfest-style event outside of Bavaria.
Here is a sampling of places where readers can heft a frothy mug of suds in the weeks to come:
The 168th edition of the Cannstatter Volksfest kicks off Sept. 27 and runs through Oct. 13. In addition to the vast quantities of beer, visitors can enjoy market stalls, scary rides and delicious snacks. Program highlights include a festival parade with some 3,500 participants starting at 11 a.m. on Sept. 30 and a musical fireworks show at 9:45 p.m. Oct. 13. For more, see www.cannstatter-volksfest.de.
Locals will head to the Prater, a vast public park and amusement center, to enjoy the Wiener Wiesn Fest, running Wednesdays through Sundays through Oct. 6. This fest is only in its third year, but its previous editions have pulled in hundreds of thousands of visitors. New this year are a wine village and programs designed to highlight the cultures and traditions of Austria’s states. Entry to the festival site is free between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.; tickets are required for the evening shows, many of which feature well-known acts. See http://tinyurl.com/3nkov5h for details.
Rhineland-Pfalz’s biggest Oktoberfest-style celebration takes place at the city’s Messe-park Oct. 10-20. The festival runs from 4-10 p.m. daily except Sunday, when hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Entry is free, but reservations in a tent cost 21 euros per person, 18 euros of which are returned in the form of a marker to be redeemed for food or drink. Each day up to 500 places in fest tents will be available to those who haven’t made seat reservations. Nightly live music promises to create a Bavarian state of mind. See www.oktoberfest-in-mainz.de (German only).
Northern Germany parties from Sept. 27 through Oct. 13 at the city’s Schützenplatz. Enjoy live music nightly and fireworks on Fridays. The fest opens at 2 p.m. and runs through 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, closing at midnight Fridays through Sundays. Get more info at www.oktoberfest-hannover.de (German only).
Visitors to Dublin can enjoy an Oktoberfest-style celebration at George’s Dock through Oct. 6. The party starts at noon on all days and ends at 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 12:30 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Both the beer and the menu will be distinctly German. Entry is free, but reservations cost 100 euros for a table accommodating 10 people and must be booked and paid for in combination with food. See www.oktoberfest-dublin.deFestivals & events, Sept. 20, 2013, and beyond.