Can’t wait until fall festival season? Head to Stuttgart for its spring festival

Photos by Thomas Niedermüller
Photos by Thomas Niedermüller

Festival lovers don’t have to wait until fall for Oktoberfest, the Bad Dürkheim Wurstmarkt and for other festivals to come around — the 77th Stuttgarter Frühlingsfest, or Stuttgart Spring Festival, takes place April 18 to May 10 at the Cannstatter Wasen.
At Europe’s largest spring festival, there will be 3.5 kilometers of rides, beer tents, food and beverage stalls, entertainment and good times. Fun is guaranteed.

The festival dates back to 1818 when King Wilhelm I sponsored the festival after years of hunger. Today, the Stuttgart Spring Festival, which is the second largest beer festival in Germany after Oktoberfest in Munich, attracts around 1.5 million people every year, according to the festival’s website.
During the festival, visitors can enter the festival tents for free. However, the tents will be closed as soon as they have reached capacity. Tent reservations are recommended.
One popular tent at the festival is the Hofbräu tent, which offers a varied entertainment program, culinary delights, such as crispy pork knuckle and chicken, and Hofbräu beer. To make a tent reservation, visit
The festival also highlights some of the best rides around, including a looping roller coaster, a swing, a free fall tower, merry-go-rounds, bumper cars and a giant Ferris wheel.
And when visitors have had their fill of the party atmosphere and adrenaline pumping rides, they can head over to the “Krämermarkt,” or hawker’s market, where they can find a relaxed shopping environment. The market sells a variety of items including jewelry, leather goods, herbs and spices and more.
Before visiting the spring festival, visitors should look into purchasing a costume. It is common to see people dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes of lederhosen and dirndls at the festival.


To enjoy the spring festival to its fullest, travel to the festival via public transportation. The local S-bahn trains S1, S2 and S3, as well as the R1, R2 and R8 can be found at Bad Cannstatt, which is within walking distance of the festival grounds.
Visitors who arrive by car should park in parking lots Wilhelmsplatz (Wilhelmsplatz 11), Mühlgrün (Überkinger Strasse 13/1), König-Karl Passage (Badstrasse 17) or Wilhelma (Neckartalstrasse). The festival is located at Cannstatter Wasen, Mercedesstrasse 50, 70372 Stuttgart.
Motorists should be aware that since March 2008 the city has implemented a low emission zone within city limits. To enter the city with a car, an emission badge is required for all vehicles. The badges cost from €5 to €10. Not displaying a badge can result in a fine.
The festival is open from noon to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, noon to midnight Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays. Note the following dates: April 30, the festival will be open from noon to midnight, and on May 1, the festival will be open from 11 a.m. to midnight.