Every September, Stuttgart hosts the Cannstatter Wasen, Baden-Württemberg's largest festival and one that is ranked as the second-biggest beer festival worldwide after Munich's Oktoberfest. Swabians have a reputation for frugality, but the Cannstatter Wasen shows them in a very different light – as happy, friendly, fun-loving folk with a sense of tradition.
Every year from late September until well into October, hundreds of showmen, breweries and traders set up their tents and stalls at the Wasen, the huge festival grounds in Stuttgart's Neckarpark. Swabian gemütlichkeit and a positively electric party mood in the many beer tents set the Wasen apart from the many other fairs in this region. Millions of visitors join in the excitement, enjoying thrills and spills on the traditional and the modern rides, and savouring a variety of Swabian, German and international food. This is one of Germany's sunniest regions, so wine belongs at this fair just as much as fresh, frothy Württemberg beer, both of which are best enjoyed with friends. Get to the tents early because they soon fill up and close when they reach capacity. Fortunately there are plenty of them, all offering free admission, because everyone wants to have fun at the Wasen, the big, friendly, traditional fair for the whole family.