10 places to celebrate Oktoberfest outside Germany

You don't have to head to Munich to get your "oom pah pah" on.

The annual Oktoberfest celebration is knocking on our doors with kegs in Munich and around the world ready to be tapped on 16 September.

It's a time when steins overflow with liquid gold, when German feasts of pork knuckle, sauerkraut and strudel command communal tables and when women dress in dirndls and men in lederhosen to dance the night away to oom pah pah bands.

The official celebration and the ultimate place to be is in the Bavarian city of Munich. If you're travelling around Europe in the next few weeks you have until 3 October to join in the celebrations.

If not, you're in luck because Munich isn't the only city dancing and drinking the night away.

10 of the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest outside Germany


1. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo in Canada together host one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations outside Germany.

Self-proclaimed as "Canada's greatest Bavarian festival", it runs for eight days and boasts 15 festival halls, floats and live performances.

Offering a slightly different experience, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest events also feature Oktoberfest golf, a 5km fun run and a Thanksgiving parade.


2. Blumenau, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Each year the Brazilian city of Blumenau welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to clink glasses and prost to Oktoberfest.

The party is a mix of traditional gastronomy, parades and brewed delights with some official Oktoberfest spills making it on the list.

Brazil's event starts and runs later than the Munich version. This year it's on 4–22 October.


3. Perth, Australia

When it comes to Australia, you can find a rousing beer tent in most major cities this month. That's because of the roving Oktoberfest in the Gardens event. It calls in at Sydney, Brisbane and Perth but we reckon Perth is where it's at.

Think two massive tents pregnant with live music, dance floor and roving food as well as a sideway alley and silent disco.

Perth is also home to Elmar's Oktoberfest which is a Swan Valley favourite renowned for its German festivities. It's managed by a German couple who immigrated to Australia in 1897 so you know it's going to be authentic.


4. Denver, USA

Hailed as the best Oktoberfest in the USA by Maxim and USA Today, Denver offers six rousing days of stein hoisting, keg bowling, bratwurst eating contests and long dog derbying making it one of the most fun-filled destinations on this list.

Established in 1969, this festival attracts over 350,000 Oktoberfest punters.

Passing through? Denver International Airport isn't one to ignore an Oktoberfest either, typically opening a "beer flights" beer garden in honour of the event.


5. Tampa, Florida

After soaking up the sun, party the night away at Tampa's version of Oktoberfest.

It runs for a short and sweet three days and features plenty of traditional games including stein hoisting, keg tapping, carry the wench, grain stack toss and more.

A Mr and Mrs Oktoberfest and Beard and Mustache competition will get the crowd cheering, as will the swills which include pilsner, an Oktoberfest Marzen, dunkels and radlers.

The whole of Tampa International Airport generally gets behind this date too, celebrating with traditional German music to help keep the party pumping.


6. Sydney, Australia

You've gotta hand it to Sydney for knowing how to throw a party like no other.

Its Oktoberfest in the Gardens event pretty much sells out every year and imports beers straight from the Oktoberfest brewery.

The Munich Brauhaus restaurants throughout the city also bring out the drinks, feasts and competitions year on year. This year it's hosting the first Oktoberfest street party in the city.

Bring it.


7. Cincinnati, USA

Officially named "Oktoberfest Zinzinnati", this festival runs for three days and takes over multiple streets in the downtown area.

Highlights include a giant glockenspiel, the largest chicken dance in the world and the adorable running of the wieners parade where dachshunds dressed as hot dogs race.

If that isn't enough to sell you we don't know what is.


8. Hibiya, Japan

Oktoberfest celebrations know no bounds. After all, if the German celebration can make it halfway across the world to Australia, why not Japan as well? No reason whatsoever.

Held in Hibiya Park in Tokyo, it's 10 days of drinking, live entertainment and traditional German fare.

Like the real thing, you have to pay a refundable deposit for your beer glass – but if you want to take home a souvenir, you're more than welcome to take it away with you.

After you finish your drink, obviously.


9. Hahndorf, South Australia

Home to Australia's oldest German settlement, Hahndorf is a beautiful town in Adelaide Hills that is steeped in tradition.

When it comes to Oktoberfest, it doesn't miss a beat celebrating with a day-long event featuring live entertainment and an authentic German bierhall.

The fare is much like what you'd get at the real thing with giant pretzels and metre-long hog dogs to chow down on and German pilseners, helles, weissbier and dunkels by the steinload.


10. Hong Kong

Hong Kong's Marco Polo German Bierfest is the largest Bavarian celebration in Asia.

The name comes about as it's hosted and held within Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel and while it only attracts 1,500 punters per year, it's still a masterful event.

First launched in 1992, highlights include happy hour, traditional German dishes, Erdinger Oktoberfest beers and live music.

It runs slightly later than the official event, typically from late-October to early-November.

Thinking of jetting off? Search for your flights here

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