September is the time when Austrians unpack their dirndls and lederhosen. They reserve the last days of the warm sunny weather, before the wintertime, for the celebration of Oktoberfest. It didn’t slip, the Oktoberfest is indeed in September, and if you want to know more about the topic, check out my Guide to Oktoberfest. At this drinking festival, you will not only find good beer but the whole package of good sausages, pretzels, and a lot of music.
Austria, in general, is the fertile soil for the success of the Oktoberfest. The culture and customs of Bavaria and Austria are very similar, and love for the beer is universal. Therefore, almost every town of this beautiful Alpine country has its own version of the Oktoberfest. Here are some of the most interesting ones.
The highest meadow (Wiesn) where the Oktoberfest takes place is located at Zugspitze. At almost 3000 meters of altitude, the famous winter resort organizes Oktoberfest for more than a decade. The Zugspitze is at the border between Austrian Tyrol and German Bavaria regions so that you can experience the best of both countries at this festival. In order to climb the peak of the mountain, you will have to take the gondola. It rides up every 20 minutes during the Oktoberfest. The festival lasts 8 days, and on the weekends the party goes till midnight. Admission to the Oktoberfest is free, but you have to pay for the gondola. However, once you are up, access to various museums and activities on the Zugspitze is entirely free of charge. So you can enjoy a bit of culture before the first beer.
Not far away, at the outskirts of Vienna, the largest Oktoberfest in Lower Austria with the biggest tent in the whole Austria takes place. The festival location is the vast area of the Business Park Campus 21 in the small-town of Brunn am Gebirge. For three weeks in September, the Brunner Wiesn offers a varied program for all ages.
Every year, on the last weekend of September, a rather small Oktoberfest takes place in Hintertux. Hintertux is a small tourist village at the top of the Tuxertal, a side valley of the Zillertal. It is located directly below the famous Hintertux Glacier, where you can ski 365 days a year. This is the place where you can experience real Tyrol. A unique party in beautiful autumn scenery is guaranteed. The highlight of this Oktoberfest, beside the good Zillertal beer, is the promenade of cattle from the Bichlalm, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful mountain pastures in Tyrol. The festively decorated livestock is returning from the high alpine summer pastures to its winter whereabouts.
Besides the Oktoberfest celebrations that I have mentioned here, there are numerous others in Austria, such as the Vienna’s version of Oktoberfest called Wiener Wiesn in the Prater Amusement Park with the Giant Ferris Wheel as its backdrop. All these festivals have few things in common: a vivid atmosphere, good food, traditional music, and enormous quantities of beer. If you are in Austria in September, reserve one day for Oktoberfest, where you will possibly have the time of your life.
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