5 Reasons to Visit the World’s Largest Pumpkin Festival in Germany

Pumpkin festival in Ludwigsburg Baden-Württemberg, Germany

The world’s largest pumpkin festival is home to some 400,000 pumpkins. It’s held each year in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, located just 17km north of Stuttgart.

The first time I went was three years ago, albeit reluctantly.  J.P. (my German husband) dragged me and said it would be fun.  Having never been to a pumpkin festival and not really having a desire to go, I thought it sounded cheesy and something just for kids.  I’ve since changed my mind and have been each year ever since.  I suspect I’m not the only Pumpkin Festival doubter out there, so here are

5 reasons why I think it’s worth visiting the world’s largest pumpkin festival:

Pumpkin Art

Each year the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival has a theme.  Last year the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival’s theme was under the sea, featuring dolphins and blue whales made out entirely of pumpkins which I really enjoyed.  I was equally thrilled this year to learn that the theme was larger than life dinosaurs made out of pumpkins:
A dinosaur creation at the Pumpkin festival in Ludwigsburg

Pumpkin festival ludwigsburg in Baden-Württemberg, GermanyPumpkin festival ludwigsburg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Pumpkin festival ludwigsburg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Me posing with the mama and baby dino at the Ludwgsburg Pumpkin Festival.

Kids loved seeing the dinosaurs, but so do kids at heart, at least I did.


Not surprisingly the world’s largest pumpkin festival is an excellent place to buy a pumpkin with featuring different kinds from all over the world, many of which I’ve never heard of.  Anything pumpkin is also available, including pumpkin pasta and my personal favorite pumpkin sparking wine, to which I will be devoting dedicated an entire post to later this week as it’s that good!:

Pumpkins from all over the world are for sale

Last year I bought 6 pumpkins and we ate pumpkin something or another for almost 2 months straight.

Pumpkin pasta

I’m dying to try pumpkin pasta, but as I have a gluten allergy, made some delicious pumpkin risotto instead.

Pumpkin sekt is delicious!

I had never heard of pumpkin sparkling wine before last year and tried it out of curiosity with low expectations. Since trying it I’ve never left with less than 2 bottles and that’s with J.P. constraining me.


In keeping with the  theme you can also eat an assorted variety of pumpkin goodies so go hungry.  My favorite is the pumpkin soup, which is consistently the best I’ve ever tasted.  J.P. tried the Pumpkin Rösti (fried grated potato) which had an interesting flavor, although I wouldn’t have wanted to eat a whole plate of it.  The  Maultaschen (the local take on ravioli) looked amazing.

Menu at Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival

The  maultaschen (pictured at the bottom) looked heavenly, unfortunately I’m allergic to gluten so didn’t try it.

See Pumpkins from All Over the World

What would the world’s largest pumpkin festival be without a  judging competition?  The judging doesn’t happen until October but these two unique ones get my vote:

 textured bump covered pumpkin

This textured bump covered pumpkin was from the United States.

odd-shaped pumpkins

This odd shaped pumpkin came from France.

Ludwigsburg  Pumpkin Festival Setting

The festival is nestled in behind Ludwigsburg Palace, one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe.   Just walking through the palace gardens and grounds is worthwhile  in itself, but seeing the contrast of a palace and pumpkins is not something you see everyday.  It’s my favorite castle tour in all of Germany.

 Ludwigsburg castle, where the pumpkin festival is held

The impressive Ludwigsburg Palace is the setting for the pumpkin festival.

Pumpkin festival palace and pumpkins in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

A palace and pumpkins, not something you see everyday, unless you live in Ludwigsburg.


The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival runs from August 30 to Nov 3, 2013.  More information can be found here (available only in German).


  1. RachelW says

    Funny! When I lived in Germany, the people in my community didn’t believe me that you could eat pumpkin. They believed it to be completely inedible & thought I was lying about pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.

  2. says

    wow, that pumpkin festival looks better than the one I went to years ago in California. I like how they use pumpkins to make the dinosaurs! so cute.

    your post reminded me that, it is pumpkin season and also time to make pumpkin pie!

  3. says

    What a fantastic way to welcome in all the festivals of harvest time! I can’t believe all of the variety of pumpkins and the magnificent sculptures on display. This festival looks like so much fun and your pictures convey it well!

  4. says

    A very interesting post. Amazing Palace. We have a boatload of humble pumpkins in Canada and I am ashamed to say we have not taken advantage of this opportunity at all. This post reveals a host of great ideas beyond pies, soup and Halloween carvings. Excellent photos.

  5. says

    Well, it’s original! Never seen sculptures made of pumpkins!

    I don’t mind squash (soup, stuffing for pasta etc. can be very good) but I get slightly annoyed when in October everything becomes something-pumpkins. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin spice drinks etc. Give me back my chocolate instead!

  6. Sabrina says

    This made me hungry and has me looking forward to the next few months where every store here in Texas will be selling pumpkins like crazy. When I moved here, I had never cooked with pumpkin before. Now, I like it pureed in soup, pieces in risotto or stew, and as an addition to pasta sauce. Yummy! I love all the statues by the way! I went to an arboretum in Dallas last year and they had some neat stuff around this time of year as well, but the festival in Germany seems to have much more going on :)

  7. says

    Oh gosh I so want to see this, the I am thinking maybe Sunday as the weather is still so nice, although there is a Weinfest in Göppingen which finishes Monday… oh too many decisions!

  8. Laurel says

    @Rachel – No way? I see pumpkins everywhere here, and pumpkin cakes as well, but haven’t seen any pumpkin pie though, think that’s more of a North American thing.

    @Caanan – I love squash as well, especially spaghetti squash. A pumpkin fest is still a pumpkin fest, even without dinosaurs :)

    @Annie – I like how creative the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is as well. Every year they outdo themselves.

    @Jeff – I agree and it’s so much fun too!

    @Barry – Well see, now you have no excuse not to check out a pumpkin festival. This one certainly surpassed my very humble expectations.

    @John – Yah that could be a bit tricky to find in Nicaragua :)

    @Jul – But the wine is the best! And now you have an excuse to visit Stuttgart.

    @Debbie – Well now it gives you an excuse to visit in the Fall and I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult to come up with reasons to visit the rest of the year as well :)

    @Zhu – Well I’m sure there’s pumpkin chocolate something or other :)

    @Julia – I’m dying to try the pumpkin pasta, and am going through my pumpkin sparkling wine which I bought way to quickly.

    @Michaela – There’s still time, the pumpkin festival runs through until the beginning of November if you’re in the area.

    @Robin – Oh yes, pumpkins are a serious business. I know that I now take my pumpkin sparkling wine very seriously (in other words I don’t like to share it).

    @Sabrina – Really, I can’t believe you hadn’t cooked with pumpkins before. I hadn’t thought of adding it to pasta sauce, will have to try that.

    @Morgenmuffel – Now that is a hard choice!


  9. says

    No I haven’t but now I’m totally adding that to my ever-expanding list of places I’m dragging my husband to lol. Pumpkin food is really hit or miss for me. I don’t really care for most of what I’ve tried although I did have a pumpkin spice doughnut the other day that was delicious. But this seems like a fun fall activity regardless and it’s only about an hour from where we’ll be living. It ends a few days before we’ll be landing in Germany so that’ll have to be an idea for next year.

  10. says

    I was there too! I actually had to look closely to see if you stole my photos (j/k). Going back in a few weeks, what else can you recommend?

  11. says

    Thank you Laurel for the amazing pictures and the interesting article. I wish there was more festivals like this where I live. Seems like a lot of fun! Btw, sad to hear your gluten allergic, my mum is that too and I know it makes life quite difficult at times and especially when travelling. Greetings from Finland.

    • says

      @Viktor – I love festivals, many more in Germany, than in Canada, where I’m from. I found it really easy to be gluten-free in Finland. Even the gluten-free bread was really good!

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