This past weekend, my friends and I decided to go to Fruhlingsfest in Stuttgart, Germany. It is the equivalent of Spring Fest in Munich, but is much less touristy. It ended up being a lot of fun and we were grateful for the chance to experience a festival more like actual Germans do.
Fruhlingsfest is where all of the Munich locals go when Spring Fest hits. As a result, Spring Fest ends up being filled with visitors from all over. Except Germany. Instead of getting a really authentic experience, it ends up being large groups of Americans (and Australians) partying together.
The event in Stuttgart is not quite as big as Spring Fest is in Munich, but that didn't stop us from having fun. We danced, tried some local beer, and were felt like little kids again doing things like bumper cars. All of the local beers had huge tents that they sponsored. They also had some great street food at the stands around the fest. We tried a specialty bratwurst unique to Stuttgart. It had caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and Tajiki sauce. In addition, we got to try some of their delicious fair desserts. In the United States, we have funnel cake and kettle corn at events like this, so it was fun to see the German equivalents of those. One food we tried was Nutella-covered almonds that they had all over the festival. They were delicious and just what we needed after a long day. While it was filled with people, it did not feel overcrowded or like it was filled with tourists. We met Germans along the way (even on the train there) and learned all about how they celebrate in Stuttgart.
This was a perfect example of how staying local can really pay off. We got a more authentic Spring Fest experience without having to pay the cost of farther travel to Munich or the expensive prices that are there.
It's easy when studying abroad to want to travel farther away and see as many countries as possible. It's fun to say that you went to Spring Fest or other big events around Europe. While these experiences can be really fun and create great memories, it's important not to overlook the smaller events and places that are closer to your home city. Traveling to a closer destination or a quieter place doesn't mean that it's any less fun (even if people have never heard of it before). Fruhlingsfest in Stuttgart allowed us to experience that. We had so much fun, we’re thinking of going back next weekend to see their end-of-festival fireworks display.
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<p>My name is Sarah and I am studying environmental studies and journalism. Although born and raised in upstate New York, I now go to college in Washington, DC. My perfect day involves eating lots of good food and getting lost on a hike.</p>