Raise a stein with an Oktoberfest adventure in Europe! Head to Germany and enjoy the world’s largest folk festival to experience everything that this legendary festival has to offer. Drawing over 6 million people a year to its Bavarian beer halls, Munich lights up with singing, swaying, eating, and drinking at this world-renowned festival.
Beer, wine and more beer
The beer at Oktoberfest is by far the event’s most popular attraction. Large one-liter beers are served in traditional German “Maß” mugs. The Club of Munich Brewers maintains strict regulations on exactly which brands of beer can be served at the festival. They must adhere to the Bavarian Purity Laws established in 1487 and they must be brewed within Munich city limits. All of the tents offer wine, and some also offer cider.
When is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest was first held in 1810, in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. But what might come as a surprise to many today, Oktoberfest actually starts in September in order to take advantage of a few more weeks of warmer weather. The annual festival kicks off with the symbolic tapping of the first barrel by Munich’s mayor, and when the mayor shouts ‘O’zapft is!’ the celebration begins!
While the Oktoberfest beer is the primary attraction, the Bavarian eats come in close second and taste even more divine after a beer or two. Various Bavarian specialties are served in the tents such as roasted chicken (Hendl), sausages (Wurst), white sausage (Weißwurst), pretzels (Brezeln), pork knuckle (Schweinshaxe), potatoes (Kartoffeln), cheese egg noodles (Spätzle), sauerkraut, and a fancy traditional cheese spread (Obatzda).
Where is Oktoberfest?
Although Oktoberfest celebrations happen all around the world, the official party takes place in Munich, Germany, at the fairground in Theresienwiese. There’s a huge demand for accommodation in and around Munich, so it is recommended to book in advance. Joining a tour can be a great way to experience Oktoberfest – you won’t need to worry about finding a place to stay, and you’ll have transport to and from your accommodation sorted ahead of time.
Oktoberfest showcases 14 spectacular tents with 1,000 – 8,500 seats which are owned by various restaurants, breweries, and other establishments. There are also a number of smaller tents and beer gardens in the vicinity. All tents are unique and have their own charm, so if you have the time, we recommend trying to check them all out! The tents serve Bavarian beers, and traditional eats, and are booming with live music throughout the day and night.
What should I wear to Oktoberfest?
Embrace the Bavarian culture by sporting your very own Bavarian outfit! Having the right outfit for the festival is key. The tracht (attire) consists of the male lederhosen and the female dirndl. Lederhosen are leather breeches that are either knee length or shorter and can be worn with or without suspenders. A dirndl is a traditional dress that consists of a bodice, blouse, full skirt, and apron. The colors are typically rich and dark.
Why is Oktoberfest celebrated?
Oktoberfest dates back to the marriage celebration of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese in 1810. On this special day, the people of Munich were invited to participate in the celebration which was held for five days on the fields in front of the city gates. What may have started as an average alcohol-fueled wedding party, has since turned into the world’s largest fair. From that day on, the festivities have continued more or less on an annual basis.
Where can I stay during Oktoberfest?
You should book accommodations as far in advance as possible, preferably by May. By summertime, many hotels are fully booked. As Oktoberfest approaches, room prices can triple. Since getting a taxi can be difficult during Oktoberfest, it is advisable to book accommodations within walking distance of the festival if possible. There are many hotels around the central Hauptbahnhof metro station which are within walking distance of the festival.
Is Oktoberfest free?
The enormous folk festival is free to enter, and the main drawcard of Oktoberfest is – not surprisingly – the beer tents. There are 14 major tents, plus 20 smaller tents, and they all have their own claims to fame. Each tent is managed individually and has its own specialty, but they all share welcoming atmospheres, tables full of drinkers, traditional entertainment, and hearty food.
How to prepare for Oktoberfest
Attending Oktoberfest in Germany is considered to be a bucket list experience for many across the world. Here are our top tips to prepare you for this jolly festival to ensure a comfortable, yet memorable experience.
✓ Don’t forget to rock your best lederhosen or a dirndl, make sure you purchase or rent one in advance!
✓ If you’re traveling with a group, designate a meetup spot in case you get separated.
✓ Bring plenty of cash as only a few tents accept cards, and don’t forget to tip your server.
✓ Pace yourself in order to make it to the prime-time evening festivities.
✓ Learn the popular Oktoberfest songs so you can sing along (Ein Prosit, Viva Colonia, Ein Prosit, Sweet Home Alabama…)
✓ Don’t try to steal a Maß, the security guards will catch you (but you can purchase one instead!)
Operators with Oktoberfest tours
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