Today we welcome guest authors Agness and Cez from eTramping to tell us all about the amazing wine festivals in Germany and how to reach them by train. Take it away guys!
Most beer and wine enthusiasts have heard of the German festival of Oktoberfest. It’s hard not to have heard of it, especially considering that it’s one of the world’s largest beer festivals. Taking place every year in Munich for around 16 to 18 days, it is without a doubt one of the big reasons for visiting Germany in the fall.
However, many people don’t know about the many different wine festivals in Germany throughout the tail end of the country’s warm months. Late August and early September are usually earmarked for such festivals, mostly thanks to the great weather!
So, if you’re thinking about heading to something like Oktoberfest, why not take a little extra time off and head to a couple of other wine festivals as well. They’re fun and enjoyable, and what’s more, getting between them couldn’t be easier, especially if you decide to take the train. Below you’ll find a few of the best locations for them (including Oktoberfest).
Mainz (August 24th – September 3rd, 2017)
Located on the river Rhine, Mainz is a fantastic city with both a great history and an incredible wine festival. Between late August and early September is the time to go. Everyone comes together in the Mainz’s Stadtpark, ready to party the night (or day) away. The park is covered with stalls selling wine, games for families to play, and live music. It’s one of Mainz’ best and biggest events all year, and a definite must for wine (or beer) lovers.
Coming in by train, try to arrive at the Mainz Hauptbahnhof. From thereit’s a relatively short walk to the Stadtpark, or you can always hop on some public transport to get you there even quicker. The Stadtpark is actually very close to the city center (note: we use the US spelling for this) , meaning that before you head to the wine-fest in the evening, you can always explore the city streets and get yourself some incredible German Sausages.
Alternatively, you can spend the day at the wine festival walking around. There’s a lot to see and do and you definitely won’t be the only one there. A lot of the locals tend to enjoy looking around during the early afternoon, then heading into town, and finally returning in the evening. It can be a long day out!
Frankfurt (30th August – 8th September)
Frankfurt is just a short train journey from Mainz. In fact, if you hop on a train at the Mainz Hauptbahnhof and hop off at Frankfurt Central, it should only take you just over half an hour. If you’re planning to tour the different wine festivals in Germany, then you’ve got more than enough time make it between the two destinations.
The Rheingau Wine Festival in Frankfurt lasts for a bit longer than the Mainz wine festival, with an extra five days available for revellers to make the journey between the two cities. More than 600 different brands and companies come together along the Freßgass to show off their latest wines and see what people think of them.
What’s great about the location is that you can quite easily head into one of the many different restaurants along the Freßgass for an incredible meal. The central location makes it easy and comfortable.
Stuttgart (August 30th – September 10th)
The train from Frankfurt to Stuttgart is another reasonably quick one. Just an hour and a half, depending on the time of day. You’ll find the event also scheduled for the end of August and into the first two weeks of September, but we recommend heading to the Stuttgart wine festival after Mainz and Frankfurt because it’s just more convenient. The 2017 festival is currently scheduled to end on the 10th, so a few days after the Frankfurt one.
Stuttgart’s Wine festival has been located in the Stuttgart city center for over 30 years now, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to bringing everyone together. Besides the lure of the area’s best wine and alcoholic beverages, you’ll also be able to partake in local delicacies. You’ll have 28 open-air restaurants to look through and explore, all of which offer up to 500 local varieties of wine.
If you’re looking for something a little quieter, there is usually a smaller event which takes place in Hamburg every year as well. It’s similar to the festivities in Stuttgart, but there’s not quite as many people or varieties of wine.
Bad Duerkheim (8th September – 18th September)
Before heading on to Munich and Oktoberfest, why not head north for a while and relax in the spa town of Bad Duerkheim? Here you’ll find the Wurstmarkt. Held on the second and third weeks of September, the Wurstmarkt translates to something along the lines of ‘sausage market’. Why? Because besides being a wine festival, it’s also one of the biggest celebrations of sausage you’ll probably ever see. There is a huge variety of this culinary treat, available easily from many open-air restaurants and stalls.
Munich (September 17th – September 30th)
Munich’s big festival is Oktoberfest, which is not only one of the biggest drinking festivals in Germany, but also the world! Every year, people flock from around the world to take part. Getting here from Bad Duerkenheim will take you around 4 hours by train. If you decide to skip out on the Wurstmarkt and head from Stuttgart, expect a travel time of just over 2 hours.
Oktoberfest 2017 will start on September the 17 and also has a parade, games, and load of really good food to go with your beer.
So have we convinced you to try out one of the many delightful wine festivals in Germany by train? If so, we recommend checking out the German Rail Pass and some of the other fun sightseeing activities we offer for Germany travel. Happy traveling!