What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is like wine: the older, the better!
But what is it exactly? Oktoberfest is the world’s biggest Volksfest (beer and travel festival), held annually in Munich, Germany. Each year, it attracts more than 6 million people from around the world. What’s more? They consume a staggering amount of alcohol; a minimum of 7 million litres of beer!
When and Where?
Like every year, Oktoberfest 2019 will begin mid September and last for a total of 16 to 18 days. This year, the festival will be celebrated between September 21 and October 6 and the festivities will begin at 12pm on the first day.
The fest has been held at the same place for over 200 years now: on Theresienwiese, a mostly empty space of about 100 acres.Book Flights
How to Experience it like a local?
1) Dress like a local
Definitely dress like a local. You don’t want to fly over a thousand miles to this epic festival just to look like an outsider now, do you? Moreover, 85% of the crowd will be German, with just about everyone dressed up in traditional Bavarian clothes: ‘lederhosen’ for guys and ‘dirndls’ for girls.
2) Visit these beer tents
Although all tents at the fest will have something unique to offer their visitors, these few have garnered themselves a pretty good name throughout the years: Marstall, Armbrustschützen-Festhalle, Hofbräu Festzelt, Hacker-Festhalle and Schottenhamel (the oldest).
3) Experience the carnival
Not a beer fan? We promise there’s more! Visit the festival for its vibrancy and carnival like atmosphere, complete with loads of food, traditional music and people from all walks of life making your time here a jolly good one.
What not to miss during the festival?
Everybody must experience this festival at least once in their lifetime. And if you’re planning on visiting, there are a number of key events that you mustn’t miss. Check out the list below:
The Opening Day: Come what may, but you have to be present for the first day. The festival always opens on a Saturday with the Lord Mayor of Munich tapping the first keg and shouting “O’zapft is”. It is then followed up with a parade of tent owners and and horse-drawn beer carriages.
Tuesday Family Days: If you’re bringing your family to the fest, rejoice! Because there’s a day curated especially for you. Each Tuesday during the fest is known as “Family Day”, when you can enjoy all rides and performances at a discounted price.
The 2nd Weekend: Now this is your chance to experience Italy without even visiting it. The second weekend of the fest is known as the ‘Italian Weekend’ and this is when the Italians take over the place. They cover the whole length of the country and reach Munich especially for this festival.
The Closing Day: Once you’ve experienced the magic of Oktoberfest, you’d never want to leave. But as all good things come to an end, so does the fest. Head straight to the Hacker-Pschorr tent for the closing ceremony, where in the midst of candlelight and a 10,000 strong sing along, you’ll definitely be forced to shed a tear or two.
How to get there?
Munich is accessible from all major rail heads in Europe but if you’re flying in, the Franz Josef Strauss Airport in Munich is the closest. It is located just 41.8 kms away from the festival site.
Locally, you can:
Take the public transport: During Oktoberfest S-Bahn (lines U4-green and U5-yellow); U-Bahn ( lines S1 to S8), busses (lines 53, 58, 62 and 134) and trams (lines 18/19 and 16/17) are more frequent than normal.
Bringing your own trailer or motorhome: You can get your own vehicles but parking next to the Oktoberfest venue is not permitted. You can, however, park your vehicle at special parking lots and campsites provided and then take public transportation to the fest site.
Hope you’ve booked your tickets to the fest already! Happy travels! 😄✈️