It’s that time of the year again! On Friday it starts again. The entire state of Saxony-Anhalt and, as it were, half the world meet at the Wiese. The tables are ready, the rides are oiled. And the barrel is ready for tapping by the mayor of Eisleben. Hold on. Eisleben? Exactly! Because when the Oktoberfest starts in Munich, a much better party is going on in the Mansfelder Land! The Eisleber Wiesenmarkt opens in my home town. The largest folk festival in central Germany – even confirmed by the highest court.
Why the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt is better than the Oktoberfest
The Oktoberfest is undoubtedly the most famous folk festival in Germany. While the Oktoberfest with its huge beer tents and traditional lederhosen causes a worldwide sensation, the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt has its very own, unmistakable charm. While Oktoberfest is often criticized for being commercial and crowded, Eisleber Wiesenmarkt offers a more authentic and intimate celebration atmosphere. It is a celebration where young and old come together and enjoy the day together. But there are other reasons that speak for the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt.
The Eisleber Wiesenmarkt is one of the oldest folk festivals in Germany
If there is a festival in Germany that is allowed to be called Wiese or Wies’n, then it is the Wiesenmarkt! 2023 the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt is celebrating its 502nd anniversary. 502 held. In 1521, Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire allowed the festival for the first time. The Oktoberfest has only been around since 1810. Lame isn’t it? So that’s like comparing Mozart to Tokio Hotel! By the way, the city of Eisleben wants to apply for the title of World Heritage with the Wiesenmarkt. In Eisleben there are already the Luther sites, which are already World Heritage Sites.
The price of beer at the Wiesenmarkt in Eisleben is cheaper
The Oktoberfest is also very expensive. Beer alone costs between 12.60 and 14.90 euros per liter this year! In Eisleben, you can get the liter for 12 euros. However, you can buy it in Eisleben in half-liter jars at 6 euros. We are, after all, the land of early risers (used to be our official state slogan). Our waiters also run twice to bring you the fresh and still cold beer instead of putting a warm bucket on your table!
The rides at the Wiesenmarkt are at least as good and also cheaper
The companies always bring real highlights to Eisleben for the Wiese, too. Some of them used to go to the Oktoberfest even later. Whether that’s the case this year because of the overlap, I don’t know. But it will definitely be cheaper to ride the carousels in Eisleben. Purchasing power in Saxony-Anhalt is lower than in Bavaria. The ride companies are adapting.
The ultimate guide to the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt
The Eisleber Wiesenmarkt is not only a festival, but a living tradition. For over 450 years, people have gathered in the charming Lutherstadt Eisleben to celebrate this unique folk festival. From exciting rides to culinary delights, the Wiesenmarkt offers something for everyone. But what makes this celebration so special, and how to make the most of it? In our ultimate guide to the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt, we take you on a journey through the history, highlights and insider tips that make this festival an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this guide will help you experience the best folk festival in central Germany.
The best rides at the Wiesenmarkt 2023
In 2023 there will be some interesting rides again at the Wiesenmarkt in Eisleben and there will be ten premieres! Market master Siegmund Michalski has announced some news! With Airborne and Blackout, a couple of real funfair blasts are coming to the Wiesenmarkt. In total, there are ten innovations at the Eisleber Wiese. But that’s not all. Here’s an overview of the crazies and the classics:
- Airborne – The highest flying carousel in the world with 65 meters!
- Air Power: Crazy new rotating swing that was just finished this year!
- Black Out – hyper-fast ride that rotates on three axes.
- King Kong Tower – 20 meter freefall tower
- Project X – irres new rotating ride with 3G forces
- Around the World XXL: chain carousel at a height of 80 meters
- Big Spin: A top spin that bounces.
- Top Spin: The classic. The best vomit mill with rollover!
- Break Dance: It spins and what spins, still spins. Double vomit for vertigo lovers! This year again as Break Dance F1 there.
- Sound Machine: Simply a classic!
Ok. I have to confess to this: I hate this kind of carousel. I get dizzy super fast. And my greatest achievement so far was jumping out of a plane over Lithuania. That’s why I rather like the quieter things. Here, therefore, my personal must-do at the Wiesenmarkt.
- Around the World: This is the highest mobile chain carousel in Europe. It lets you fly 60 meters above the ground. I also like to do that with loved ones in one of the double seats. But be careful: Here you can also lose your cell phone or shoes.
- Haunted houses: There are always some pretty cool ghost rides at the Wiesenmarkt. Those who prefer to stay on the ground can get spooked in the live horror show Ghost Town.
- Bumper cars: It’s actually always fun to crash into friends in other scooters. 2023 will see the arrival of Stardrive, a futuristic bumper car.
The best Wiesenmarkt attractions for couples
- Ferris wheel: The Ferris wheel is, next to the mascot “Wiesi”, the landmark of the Wiesenmarkt. You can always see it from afar when you come to Eisleben for the Wiesenmarkt. At just under 60 meters (200 feet), the Bellevue, the largest mobile Ferris wheel in the world at the time, used to visit Eisleben. In recent years came the Roue Parisienne, but at 48 meters (157 feet) still offers a beautiful view of the Wiesenmarkt. It will also be there in 2023.
- Chain carousel: flying through the air in a double seat.
- White water ride: Why, should be clear 😉
- Shooting range: The shooting ranges are always quite cute. Shooting a small plastic can is fun and you can show off your marksmanship.
- Cocktail bar: Once you’ve made your rounds, there are small cocktail stands next to the marquees, or even the Alm-Hütte. There you can comfortably drink something.
- Fireworks: The fireworks are the closing event of the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt every year. Even as a kid, I could still get here at 10pm on a Monday night to watch. Unfortunately, however, it is only Monday. But pyrotechnically it is really worth it!
More info about the attractions can be found on the website of the Wiesenmarkt.
What is the best day to go to the meadow market?
- Friday: So my family actually always goes right away on Friday. The tents will not be be so full yet. There is also the parade, which can be very nice and actually everyone is happy that finally there is “Wiese” again.
- Saturday: This is the day of the out-of-towners. There’s actually always traffic jams on the roads around Eisleben. Only in the evening it gets a little quieter again. But the huge tent is usually packed anyway. But you can get in and still have fun.
- Sunday: This is always the family day for the children. In the evening it is already much quieter. Sunday night usually doesn’t go as long as the previous evenings either. Many are also saving some liver capacities for Monday.
- Monday: Is the day for the big fireworks. In the morning, many school classes from the surrounding area also go to the meadow. In the afternoon everyone joins again and you drink together towards the fireworks at 10 pm. With the fireworks the Wiesenmarkt ends around midnight on Monday.
What can you eat at the Wiesenmarkt?
The Wiesenmarkt is a fair and there is food galore. I actually always eat my way through the stalls and start with the savory stuff and then top it up with sweets.
Fish roll (German: Fischbrötchen) – somehow belongs to a visit with my family at the Wiesenmarkt. I also eat at least one fish sandwich with herring every year.
Mushroom pans (German: Pilzpfanne) – there are always delicious mushroom pans with mushrooms, chanterelles and delicious spices and herbs.
Langos – is from Hungary and is a deep-fried dough spread with cottage cheese or cheese and ham for example. But there are also other variants for vegetarians.
Bratwurst – the Mansfeld region borders on Thuringia. So here you get excellent delicious Thuringian sausages. Caution: Here they are with caraway seeds, which not everyone likes. But actually the folks in Mansfeld understands something different under Bratwurst: but that’s a different story.
Kräbbelchen – are deep-fried dumplings with powdered sugar – I also eat them every year.
Roasted almonds – another must eat at the Wiesenmarkt
Candied fruit – in all shapes and colors. From bananas to apples to grapes, whatever your heart desires.
Cotton candy – is the first thing I can remember eating at the Wiesenmarkt. That was still in the times of the GDR.
Where can you find the best beer and the best party at the Wiesenmarkt?
The selection is not as huge as at the Oktoberfest. There is only 1(!) tent. It is 60 by 20 meters. For the days of the Wiesenmarkt visitors can already reserve tables in the tent on the website of the Wiesenmarkt. Even if the music is not always to your taste, you have to go there. So that you can drink a little more of the cheaper beer. In previous years, Wernesgrüner or Hasseröder was served, both regional East German beers. Mammut beer, which came from Sangerhausen and used to be served at the Wiese, has unfortunately died out like its namesake.
Whether there is again a smaller Wernesgrüner festival tent was unclear. Unfortunately, probably not. It was a little more cozy in previous years and there the celebration usually did not go on as long as in the big tent. But this year there is no such thing.
But for that you can get your beer at the numerous stands outside or you can bring your own beer. The area is freely accessible, so you can also drag backpacks full of beer bottles. Party is what you make of it!
One should not expect so much from the stage program. They are mainly bands from the region. In the festival tents, however, a little more party music is played after 8 pm. Here you can find the rather disappointing program.
How to dress for the meadow market?
Just as Pippi Longstocking you can come as you like. There are a few people who now also go to the Wiesenmarkt in lederhosen but that is also rather ridiculous. In the Mansfeld region, you wear whatever you feel like. Jeans, T-shirt always fits. But costumes always go well when you want to meet people.
It is more important to bring some rainproof clothes or at least an umbrella. There is also nice weather to the Wiese but the autumn begins and accordingly it is usually rather windy and in on average it rains every other year.
How much money do you need for the Wiesenmarkt?
So you have to plan at least 50 euros for one day. That is actually the lower limit if you want to experience at least something. The rides each cost between 5 and 10 euros on average. The half liter of beer costs 6 euros. The fish roll starts at 4 euros. Admission costs only the rides and attractions. The festival itself is free of charge.
The most important info about the Wiesenmarkt 2023
The Wiesenmarkt is one of the largest fairs in Germany. Around 350 companies from Germany and abroad present themselves with rides and stands on 80,000 square meters (20 acres).
- Friday, September 15 from 3pm to 1am
- Saturday, September 16 from 10am to 1am
- Sunday, September 17 from 10am to 11pm
- Monday, September 18 from 12 to midnight
Already from 1 pm on Friday, there is the opening parade. Starting at 1.30pm, the parade will be followed by a re-enactment of the presentation of the right to hold markets by Charles V to the town of Eisleben in 1521. Reformator Martin Luther who was from Eisleben, is also in on the action. 3pm is followed by the tapping of the keg beer by the mayor of Eisleben.
Kleine Wiese (the small fair)
If you miss the real Wiesenmarkt, you can go to the Kleine Wiese (the small fair) a week later. There are usually another 150 attractions and exhibitors. So it’s worth it, too.
How to get to the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt?
Car: You can arrive by car via the A38 from Göttingen or Leipzig. Or you can take one of the federal roads B80 or B180 to get to Eisleben.
Parking: Around the Wiesenmarkt, the farmland will be converted into parking spaces for guests. The day tickets have so far always cost 3 euros, but could already be 4 euros. If you’re smart, park a little further uptown (around Friedensstraße or Querfurter Straße or down Hallesche Straße and walk. Sometimes, however, there are parking restrictions, so pay attention to the signs.
By train: Alternatively, you can also get to Eisleben by train from Halle, Kassel or Nordhausen with the regional express and from Halle or Sangerhausen with the regional train. The trains usually run until around midnight. The VGS (Verkehrsgesellschaft Südharz) has arranged special buses to the surrounding villages.
Safety on the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt
In terms of security, it’s actually quite stress-free for Germans. Drunk, the Mansfelders are all quite open. But be careful with large groups of young men, especially if they wear Nazi-type clothes. Sorry, but that still exists. But it has already become much better.
If it makes you feel better, the police have extra officers on the Wiese and a riot squad in the back. There is also a security service on the Wiesenmarkt. But they often look more like part of the problem, unfortunately.
On the rides you should dress appropriately. Be sure to close all shoes and bags and if in doubt, leave your valuables on the floor with friends.
If you’re afraid you’re going to puke, tuck your t-shirt into your pants. Then when it comes, you better throw up in there. Otherwise it will fly wildly through the air and spread over you and others. I once got this recommendation from a helicopter pilot.
What else is there to see around the Wiesenmarkt?
The entire street leading to the Wiesenmarkt, Lindenallee, is filled with market stalls. There you can also still see real market shouters. They come further back, just before the entrance to the Wiesenmarkt. They are an attraction themselves. My favorites:
- Aal Volker (Eel Volker) for fish
- Käse-Maik for cheese
- Der billige Dick (The cheap Dick) -> sells sweets – that’s clear, right?
In Eisleben itself, a visit to Luther’s birthplace and death house is worthwhile for culture lovers. Luther was born here and died here. Sadly, he established a tradition there for many Mansfelders. The migration from here is high. But they are all back for the Wiesenmarkt.
In the Mansfeld region
The Mansfeld region as a whole is also beautiful, as we have described in a previous post.
- The Sweet Lake and Lake Castle
- Mansfeld Castle
- Ride with the Wipperliese
- Journey with the Mansfelder Bergwerksbahn from Klostermansfeld to Hettstedt
- Mansfeld slagheaps
- Wettelrode mine
- Wippra Brewery
What you should know before the Eisleber Wiesenmarkt
In order for you to communicate well with the natives, it is recommended to watch a few videos of Elsterglanz and go straight to learning Mansfellerisch rather than German. Elsterglanz are from the surrounding area and in case you ever wondered what kind of weird dialect it is: It’s Mansfeldisch or as we say Mansfellerisch. This can sometimes sound very brute, but is also very direct.
This could also help de-escalate a potential dispute. Just shout “Mache Eier” (Ma-khe Ai-ar) and you’ll be instantly popular with the natives.
Have you been to the Wiesenmarkt? What are your tips? Which folk festivals can you recommend?