Beer, live music and gigantic pretzels, Oktoberfest is an easy crowd-puller. It’s the largest beer festival in the world that attracts tourists from all over the world. From teenagers to old hippies, you’ll find people of all age groups doing one common thing, drinking 7 million litres of beer in 18 days. However, if this is your first time at the Oktoberfest, we have got you covered. Here are a few things you need to know about the grand beer festival.
Let’s take you back to how it began
Did you know that the original Oktoberfest was held in October in 1810? It was to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. All the fine locals of Munich were invited to join in the celebration – to eat and drink for 5 days. The celebration turned out to be so successful, that they decided to do it every year and extended the celebration into September adjoining it with the harvest.
What happens at Oktoberfest
Being the largest beer folk festival in the world, Thereinweise(named after the princess) witnesses more than 6 million people including Bavarians and tourists. It’s an 18-day folk festival celebrated around mid-September every year and ends by the first week of October. The ceremony begins by noon at the Schottenhamel tent when the mayor of Munich opens the first barrel and announces “O’ zapft” (means it’s open).
When is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest 2019 will begin on Saturday, September 21st and ends on Sunday 6th October. On weekdays, the tents are open from 10.00 until 12.30am. On weekends, the tents open an hour early and close by midnight except for Käfers Wiesnschänke’ – the log cabin and ‘Weinzelt’ – the wine tent, which are open until 1.00 in the morning.
Where is the Oktoberfest 2019
Oktoberfest will be held in Munich, Germany on Theresienwiese grounds. Arrive at the Franz Josef Strauss Airport in Munich, which is 41.8 km from the Theresienwiese.
How to get there
There are 6 ways to get closer to the world’s largest beer festival, taxi being the most expensive and the fastest(29 min). Although most of the take the same time, if you’re on a budgeted trip, go for rideshare. You can also take a direct bus departing from Flughafen, MAC/Terminal 1 and arriving at München Hbf. Buses operate every day and depart every 20 minutes. The journey takes less than an hour and voila! You are at “The Oktoberfest”.
What to expect & The best time to visit
Plenty of beer, locals singing, delicious food is a common sight at the all famous Oktoberfest. Apart from being a beer lover, if you’re a foodie, you can’t afford to miss out on these delectable treats like roast chicken, pork knuckle, sausages, pretzels. Among desserts, The must-tries include the sugar roasted almonds and the beef flavored ice cream. While weekends are mostly crowded, if you’re someone who prefers less crowd, go on weekdays. That’s what most locals do. The last week gets too crowded, so you can either choose to enjoy the fest just when it begins or somewhere at the end if you don’t mind celebrating with the crowd. Also, if you think flying to Germany is way too expensive, there are Oktoberfests happening all around the world. Be a part of an event closer to you and enjoy your drink as you would at the original Oktoberfest.
How do I get Beer Tent Reservations
While entry to Oktoberfest is free, reserved tables cost you money, especially if yours is a large group and not booked in advance. There are 14 beer tents of different sizes, 6 of them being large tents, that can house up to 12000 beer lovers under one roof. The popular and renowned ones include “The Hofbräu Tent”- internationally well known and a high energy tent, “Schottenhamel”- the oldest and the largest tent and “Hacker Pschorr”- with a mix of locals and tourists and “Augustiner,” perfect for big families. Every tent has its own system of booking reservations and sale dates. You can start by February/March the booking of tents from their online reservation system. If you’re late, try joining the last-minute attendees by going early to reserve your tables. The bigger the tent, the longer the line (unless you befriend someone ahead of you in line and convince them to get you in with them). If you like exploring, check out a few tents without reservation and then go for the one you liked the most.
What to do at Oktoberfest
While in Bavaria, do what the Bavarians do. Dress up in the traditional costume – dirndl (pronounced DEERN-dul), dresses for women and lederhosen (pronounced LAY-der-hozen), shorts for men. If beer is the only reason you’re here, jump the wagon and help the Bavarians clear up 6 million liters of beer. While you enjoy, try not to get totally knocked out with continuous drinking. You can do so by eating up the scrumptious Bavarian food from the food stalls placed around the beer tents. While inside the tent, let yourself loose, make friends, sing the local german songs and dance in groups. Apart from beer, there are wines and champagnes that one can try at the fest. If you’re outside your tent and need a break from drinking, try the petrifying roller coaster rides or play games like beer stein race, sausage sculpting contest and giant chess.
Lastly, (and we cannot stress this enough), bring only what you need! More than 5000 items are lost every year at the Oktoberfest. In case you do, approach the service center behind the Schottenhamel Tent and they’ll help you.
The season of beer is arriving. Keep our guide handy and you’re set to have a gala time at Oktoberfest 2019! If you’re organizing an Oktoberfest of your own in your town? Sign up with Yapsody and get a whopping 25% off on your ticketing fees.