Oktoberfest in July? Absolutely! And More German Bang for the Summer Travel Buck

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More visitors per day, more variety, much more than just beer. The Largest Fair on the Rhine in Düsseldorf – the older, lesser-known cousin of Oktoberfest – offers a lot more.

Largest Fair on the Rhine, Düsseldorf

Rheinkirmes – Largest Fair on the Rhine

The enormous annual outdoor spectacle here called “Rheinkirmes – Largest Fair on the Rhine” takes place the third week in July (2010 dates: July 17 – 25) when the weather in Germany is at its best, and offers a serious alternative to the Oktoberfest in, well, October. However, there is nothing serious about it. In fact, you’ll find even more fun things to do here, which gives the LFOTR a destination appeal for a wider audience, including families, art lovers, and the LGBT traveler. After all, this fair has been developing for 500 years. That’s 300 more than Oktoberfest.

Don’t worry, there’s still a beer area, about 42 acres, to be exact, covered with tents serving the world-famous local Alt brew and many culinary treats, enough to spend days (and nights) eating and drinking. Then there are the rides. To accommodate the huge number of fair-goers, a temporary amusement park is erected right on the river that’s so big and modern it rivals some of the biggest permanent parks. State-of-the-art roller coasters and other amusement rides transform the skyline and turn the riverside into a kaleidoscope of lights and sounds. For even more excitement, on July 23, a major fireworks display will light up the Düsseldorf evening sky, to the awe of all who see it. There are also parades featuring thousands of marchers in uniforms and on horseback, as well as orchestra performances to complete the German fair experience and, like the city, bridge the traditional and the modern. Another example of tradition meeting today: For 20 years now, the Monday of the fair belongs to the LGBT community, and 50,000 members join the celebration, turning the day into “Pink Monday.” Truly an event for everyone.

All this is reason enough to stop in Düsseldorf with friends and family, but the city is not a place of one attraction only, and fair week is no different. An extensive city program supplements the fair, and highlights include art exhibits and lectures by German and Swiss sculptors in an effort to stimulate all parts of a visitor’s brain.

The visitor numbers reflect the appeal: 45,000 visit Düsseldorf daily during fair days – 6,000 more than Munich’s Oktoberfest. And many who come here take advantage of the short distances to other destinations, including the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany’s third-largest, offers several non-stop flights from US cities, as well as convenient connections to many European cities and beyond. Find fair week specials for hotels and air fares at http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.

Düsseldorf, only a short distance from many major destinations, makes possible easy travel to the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as many opportunities for short and long-term stays. For more information on Düsseldorf, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de

Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany’s third largest, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit http://www.fly2dus.com.

Düsseldorf Tourism & Marketing GmbH is the visitors and convention bureau of the city of Düsseldorf. Its responsibilities include tourism and city marketing, as well as conference and meeting marketing, hotel reservation services, fairs and convention services, city event ticket sales and advance ticket reservations. For more information, visit http://www.visitduesseldorf.de.

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