Wiener Wiesn: Vienna’s take on Oktoberfest

Ogi Savic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The small meadow in Prater Park every September turns into a place where the tradition is cultivated and celebrated. Happy people, colourful variety of dialects, traditional cuisine, dirndls, lederhosen and folklore music or, in short, the best of Austria is what awaits you at the "Vienna Oktoberfest". The festival, which is called Wiener Wiesn or Vienna Meadow in English, is Austria's largest festival of folk tradition and the largest Oktoberfest.

Almost everyone in Austria has at least one piece of tr[aditional attire]( Men have their lederhosen and girls have beautiful folk dresses called dirndl. They are mostly worn on special occasions, such as folk festivals or celebrations. However, every end of September until the mid-October, the streets of the city are overrun by the people in colourful traditional dresses. Then you know that it is Oktoberfest time.

© Wikipedia / Marie Zörnpfenning

Traditional music and cuisine

The Kaiserwiese (Emperor Meadow), with the Giant Ferris Wheel as its backdrop, is the location where the festival is organised. Since 2010, for 18 days, numerous musicians are waiting for visitors with more than 700 hours of quaint live music.  Each of the huge tents offers different program and music. The sound that you can hear is mostly traditional Austrian brass band music, folk music, schlagers or a bit less conventional Austrian après ski music. Everyone who has ever skied in Austria knows this music very well. Although the focus is on the tradition, there is also something for rock music fans, because one of the tents plays rock under the motto “Rock der Wiesn” (Rock the Meadow).

Next to the tents, there is a lovingly decorated festival village, and five Alpine chalets, where you can enjoy local gastronomy and entertainment every day until midnight. In a tradition of Oktoberfest, the famous Austrian breweries are present at the festival.  On individual days, the Austrian provinces are presenting their local customs, craftsmanship, cuisine and music.

Daily routine at the festival    

Every day at 11:30 AM, the festival kicks off, mostly with a tipple to warm up for the day. In the morning and early afternoon, the brass bands are taking the stage. Afterwards, there are free concerts of all kinds of music. At 6:30 PM, the party Vienna-style starts. From this moment, the admission is not free anymore, and you have to pay to see the live acts of popular Austrian bands.  

© iStock / kzenon

In recent years, more than half-million guests have visited the Wiener Wiesn, Vienna’s take on Oktoberfest. If you want to experience traditional Austria, get the authentic Oktoberfest feeling in the heart of Vienna, and have fun while doing all that, you should include this festival in your itinerary.

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