Contradictory to popular belief, The Munich Oktoberfest is not just about beer. It is the world’s largest folk festival. In the last ten years it has attracted an average of six million visitors a year and the statistics don’t end here! These tourists have consumed an average of almost seven million litres of beer and thousands of grilled sausages, chickens and giant pretzels.
Reason enough to be here!
The festival spans over two weeks and is held annually in a meadow just outside Munich’s city centre. In addition to eating, drinking and dancing, visitors enjoy colourful parades, fair rides and get dressed in traditional Bavarian attire.
Oktoberfest is popular world over and people plan this trip, months prior to the actual dates. Tickets and accommodation have to be booked in advance as a rule.
Oktoberfest dates –
The dates for 2018 are September 22 to October 7.
Origin of this fest –
The original Oktoberfest was held in October 1810, in honour of the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The merriment continued for full five days, wherein the citizens of Munich were invited to eat, drink, enjoy parades, and see horse races held around a meadow on the edge of town. Thus, started the annual event.
Where is it held?
The main Oktoberfest is held at the original meadow. This is a short tram ride from the centre of Munich.
The opening day of the festival is marked by a colourful parade of carriages, floats and people in a variety of costumes, winding its way through the streets of Munich. The Costume und Riflemen’s Procession takes place on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest; a week later there’s the open-air big band concert.
Dress up like the locals –
Nothing like getting into the local clothing and feeling like one of them. Lederhosen for men and Dirndl (a traditional Bavarian dress with full skirt, apron and tight bodice) for women are easily available across the many shops in this area. Enjoy the traditional feel to the hilt.
Local beer thrives here. Munich breweries such as the Augustiner, Paulaner and Spaten are most popular. Don’t forget to try the local flavoured Radler (beer with lemonade).
And there is more to this fest than beer –
The Oktoberfest is like a big merry go round. Families can enjoy a lazy afternoon with lots to do. Spectacular rides such as the ‘Höllenblitz’ (Lightning from Hell), the ‘Skyfall’, the ‘Teufelsrad’ (Devil’s Wheel) are for the adrenaline rush seekers. There also gentler rides for younger kids. Candy floss, food stalls, play areas etc sum up the entire experience.
Most tents offer traditional Bavarian music accompanied with traditional Bavarian folk dances.
How to get there
Munich is connected to most capitals of the world. Getting in here is not difficult at all.