Oktoberfest in Munich
The Bavarian capital of Munich is a city famed for its history, culture, beer halls and the annual Oktoberfest celebration. As the world’s largest and original ‘Volksfest’ (a beer festival and a carnival), Oktoberfest draws beer lovers from all over the world f¬¬or this traditional Bavarian celebration.
As is the annual tradition, the Oktoberfest begins with the Mayor of Munich tapping the first keg of beer to the cheers of the expectant crowd! This year Munich’s Oktoberfest will begin Saturday 16th September and as the keg is opened: so begins the festival for everyone. The celebrations finally draw to a close on 3 October with a traditional ceremony.
Each year millions of fun-loving people from around Germany and the globe gather to come together and be part of this huge annual celebration of Bavarian culture and hospitality. Where better to host such a celebration as Munich?
The Origins of Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest itself grew out of festivities to mark the marriage in 1810 of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese Von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The following year the party was repeated and grew, year on year to become the world-famous celebration that is synonymous with the city of Munich.
While Munich’s Oktoberfest is now a huge world-renowned folk festival, locals still refer to it affectionately as die Wiesn, or Wiesn, after the location of the first celebration on Theresienwiese (Theresia's meadow).
Over the years the festival moved earlier to September to make the most of the warm evenings, allowing people to wander and enjoy the outdoor attractions in better weather but Oktoberfest always ends in early October – a link to the very first occasion.
Oktoberfest is famed for being a festival with lively singing, dancing and drinking (in costume) in its beer halls or tents, but there is much more to enjoy than simply beer and great company. Along with traditional foods and music there are also fairground attractions and rides to enjoy.
Why not take the chance to sample mouth-watering traditional Bavarian food including roast pork, chickens, enormous pretzels, gingerbread hearts and much more? This is also a great opportunity to hear live ‘oom pah’ music performed by traditional Bavarian brass bands, enjoy the fairground attractions and sideshows. This is a celebration suitable for the whole family (children are welcome in tents until 8pm).
The Costume and Riflemen's Parade which is held on Sunday the 17 September 2017 should not be missed! This colourful spectacle winds through the streets of Munich in front of crowds, who gather to cheer those dressed proudly in traditional Bavarian lederhosen or dirndl along the route to the festival site.
The Beer Tents
Entrance to the festival is free but the 14 tents fill up early in the day, so going early is advised although you can reserve seating in tents in advance. Such is the popularity of Munich’s Oktoberfest that booking accommodation in advance is essential - the whole city is filled with beer lovers for this annual event and prices can be very high.
Beer tents opening hours for 2017:
The opening day Noon-22.30
During weekday tents are open 10.00 - 22.30
At weekends and during holidays 9.00 - 22.30
Daily closing 00.30 Käfers Wiesnschänke tent and Kufflers Weinzel tent open until 1.00 am
To find out more about Oktoberfest and the programme of events each year then please click here.