Brenna LaBine – What started as a Bavarian celebration of a royal wedding between King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen on Oct. 12, 1810, has trickled into a lively festival of brews, brats, culture, and more brews.
In 1811 Agricultural shows replaced the original horse-races. Beer stands replaced agricultural shows. And eventually beer tents replaced beer stands. And the reach of this October celebration has spanned the globe.
So, fellow beer-enthusiasts and travelers, where in the world can you chase the best Oktoberfest celebration 203 years after its inaugural emergence?
Here are the world’s 5 best Oktoberfest celebrations:
1. Munich, Germany: O zapft is! Announces the mayor of Munich every year as he taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer.
My German co-worker put it best: “Munich is not the world’s best Oktoberfest…Munich is Oktoberfest…everything else is just a copycat.” This comes as no surprise… Nobody does a Bavarian festival like Munich, with an estimated five-million visitors and seven-million liters of beer flowing, this is your spot for a quintessential, delightfully genuine Oktoberfest celebration.
2. Blumenau, Brazil: If Germany is too far to travel for an Oktoberfest experience, then come to the largest Oktoberfest of the Americas. Blumenau was founded by the German pharmacist Hermann Bruno Otto von Blumenau in 1850. So this Latin country hosts an Oktoberfest with pure German soul: a colorful festival made up of music, dancing, and of course, the drinking of finely crafted drafts.
3. Dublin, Ireland: There are not many people out there who can drink beer like the Irish. So as you may expect, they know how to celebrate Oktoberfest right… and with more than just the traditional Guinness… With dancing, singing, drinking, and socializing, this is 100% over-the-top and a definite must-see experience. Infused with an Irish flare, this Bavarian celebration is nothing short of “awesome.”
4. Hong Kong: This special Region of China has long been known for its elevated party-scene, and Oktoberfest poses no exception. Hosting not one, but many Oktoberfests throughout the region, Hong Kong has many tempting options for where to get your eating, drinking, dancing, and celebrating on in full-force. Come here and eat beer-flavored food, drink hand-crafted beers, and speed-drink your way through contests.
Hong Kong’s Marco Polo Hotel proves to be host to the largest Oktoberfest celebration in all of Asia. It is, in a word, rowdy.
5. Brisbane, Australia: If you have been to Australia, or even been around a group of traveling Australians, you know that those Aussies sure love to party. Not a group to let that reputation slide, Brisbane, Australia is host to one of the most colorful, energized Oktoberfests in the world. Fashioned after the granddaddy of it all (Munich), at Brisbane’s Oktoberfest you will find an outrageous Bavarian festival with music, food, dancing, and brew… There is fun for the whole family here (aka, this one is not a kid-free zone).