Werder is a sleepy and picturesque riverside village situated on the Havel a short distance from Potsdam renowned for its quiet charms and a quirky fish restaurant. However, once a year the little town opens the gates, runs up the bunting and plays host to the second largest drinking festival in Germany (after the legendary Oktoberfest).
The Baumblütenfest is an annual fruit wine festival, these Volksfestivals take place all over Germany but the one in Werder, which takes place over two weekends in the first week of May, has grown to become the largest and most famous. Some estimates place the number of visitors at around 700,000 over the week long festivities.
Cheap and copious amounts of fruit wine are the main draw and many of the festival goers are young people from the surrounding regions as well as curious day tripping Berliners looking to get off their heads on the potent wines and carouse noisily in the beautiful city square. There’s even a village carnival which climaxes with the crowning of this year’s festival queen.
Wine is good value, prices are as low as €5.50 per litre with the Rhubarb wine proving to be a perennially popular choice.
Like most German festivals there are also stages for variously talented musical entertainments, plenty of smoky and delicious festival foods and of course, a few fireworks at sundown.
If that doesn’t sound like your glass of plum wine then you can slip away from the merriment and find solace idling among the blossoms in the more chilled out surrounding orchards.
The journey to Werder is short (45 minutes) and straightforward from Berlin, however, expect the trains to be very busy and the stations a little chaotic. Take the RE1 (Regional Train) from Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse or Hauptbahnhof to Werder (Bahnhof) and then follow your nose. You’ll need an ABC Ticket.
Check out the BVG website for exact details.