Biggest Beer Festivals in Europe
Looking for the biggest beer festivals in Europe? You’ll find tons of fun and traditional events to indulge in the best brews.
Europe has one of the oldest brewing traditions in the world, so it’s no wonder it’s also home to some of pretty big beer festivals. Whether you want to experience the famous Oktoberfest in Munich, or get familiar with the best ales of the U.K., you’ll easily find something to quench your thirst. We want to make sure you know where the best festivals dedicated to the historic beverage are. Before you plan any further, read our guide to help you find the Biggest Beer Festivals in Europe!
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
Dates: Usually runs from the beginning of Autumn (September 21st) until October 6th.
Price: Entrance is free, but reservations in tents vary in price.
Germany is one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of beer, and Oktoberfest is easily the most famous festival. The festival is based in the Bavarian capital of Munich, and has run for over 186 years. Attendees will typically dress up in authentic lederhosen and dirndl, and love spending a day in the tents drinking and singing all things German! And Germans love it when visitors join in on the traditional costume, so consider finding your own lederhosen or dirndl if you go. It’s one of the most famous and biggest beer festivals in Europe!
As stated above, entrance to the festival is free. However, if you want to participate in the drinking, you’ll have to make a reservation in a tent. Beers are served in traditional litre pitchers, and cost around 10€ each. You can choose from a variety of brews, such as: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Spaten and Paulaner. Veritable delights for the palate!
Aside from the beer, you can also enjoy various food stands, rides, games, and other sorts of entertainment. For the German beer lover, a trip to Oktoberfest is a must!
Where To Stay in Munich
If you plan on attending Oktoberfest, don’t leave making your reservation until the last minute. This is easily one of the biggest annual attractions in Munich, so accommodations goes quickly for these dates. Our top recommendation in Munich is Euro Youth Hotel. While you can walk to the Oktoberfest grounds in only 20 minutes from here, we can’t promise it will only take you 20 minutes to walk back.
Great British Beer Festival – London, UK
Dates: Usually at the beginning of August
Next up on our list of the biggest beer festivals in Europe takes us to Jolly ol’ England. If you prefer a British brew, you can’t miss the Great British Beer Festival in London. This annual festival attracts an estimated 60,000 people each year, and continues to grow in popularity. It’s a great beer party for traditional malts and ciders, but specifically attracts those with an interest in independent breweries. The Great British Beer Festival is organised by the prestigious CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), so you know it takes the craft seriously.
Aside from consuming the beer at the festival, patrons can also purchase products to take home. The festival also hosts lots of food and souvenir, so you can go home with a full belly and a keepsake. Basic entry to the festival is £9, but other packages are available.
Where To Stay in London
Our top recommendation in London is St. Christophers Village. Located near London Bridge, you can easily get around the city on the tube within a few metres from the hostel. Book directly to get your breakfast included in your reservation.
Pilsner Fest, Czech Republic
Dates: Usually in early October
Price: Entrance is free, but beer costs around 45 CZK
Held in the city that gives the brew its name, the Pilsner Fest is one you certainly don’t want to miss. Pilsen is located in the Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, and about a 2 hour train ride from Prague. It’s a beer festival worth visiting, where you can enjoy a festive atmosphere, good music, and a wide variety of incredible Czech beers. You can also book a visit to the Pilsner Urquell factory and taste the unfiltered beer directly from oak barrels.
Where To Stay in Pilsen
The area is rather expensive since it’s also a popular region for weekend getaways. Rather than pay extra to stay close to the festival, book your accommodation with Czech Inn, located in Prague. This beautiful boutique hostel is the perfect place to rest your head after a day of guzzling Czech beer!
National Winter Ales Festival – UK
This is the winter version of the Great British Beer Festival, so if you miss it in the summer, you’re in luck! Each year, a different city in the UK hosts thirsty patrons ready to try the newest and best brews on the market. Attendees can sample any of the 300 beers, both from the barrel and in bottles. And if you’re more into ciders, you can try them here as well.
Where To Stay in London
As before, our top recommendation in London is St. Christophers Village. Guests enjoy a 25% discount on all food and drink at the hostel, so you can take a break at the festival.
Belgian Beer Weekend – Brussels, Belgium
Dates: Early September
Price: Entrance is free, beers cost individually
Belgium is known for its prominent beer culture, so the Belgium Beer Weekend had to make our list! This festival invites beer lovers from all over the world to try some of the most famous Belgian brews. Every year, 60,000 thirsty patrons flock to the Grand-Place in Brussels to indulge and appreciate one of Belgiums finest exports. Is it really any surprise it’s on our list for the biggest European beer festivals? While this country might be tiny, they certainly have a huge appreciation and talent with producing and consuming beer!
Where To Stay in Brussels
Since Belgium is a very small country, you can get from one side to the other within a few hours. If you’re looking to stay outside Brussels, we recommend hoping on a train for the 1 hour ride to Bruges! St Christophers Bauhaus is a cosy yet social hostel located in the quaint Belgian town. Their bar also has an impressive beer selection, so you’ll never go thirsty!
Cannstatter Wasen – Stuttgart, Germany
Dates: Usually runs from the 3rd week of September until the second week of October
Price: Entrance is free, but reservations in tents vary in price
You really shouldn’t be surprised that Germany is home to TWO of the biggest beer festivals in Europe. The Cannstatter Wasen takes place in Stuttgart, and is very similar to Munich’s Oktoberfest. The biggest difference one will note here is the lack of tourists, which will certainly give you a much more authentic experience. There’s good beer, lots of music, and endless food. You can taste gastronomic specialties such as Maultaschen (spinach, sausage, and onion ravioli), Gaisburger Marsch (stewed meat), or the popular Spätzle (gnocchi with cheese sauce).
Where To Stay in Stuttgart
Most people only attend big beer festivals for a single day, so staying in Stuttgart isn’t necessary. Therefore, we recommend staying in Frankfurt. Five Elements Hostel is the top rated hostel in the city, and offers everything from dorms, to private rooms, as well as apartments. They also have an in house bar which has a reputation for a good party!
Biggest Beer Festivals in Europe
We’re sure you’re more than inspired now to visit some – or all – of the Biggest Beer Festivals in Europe! We hope you’ve found our guide useful and inspirational in planning your adventure. While we encourage you to have fun, we also want to remind you to drink responsibly. European beer is often much stronger than brands from other parts of the world, so keep it in mind when you indulge.
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