It may still be August but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be planning for Oktoberfest (aka the most famous beer festival in the world!). In fact, the festivities actually kick off in Munich on 20th September. The festival will continue up to 5th October, during which time you can attend several events, parades and beer tents, celebrating German culture and all things beer-related.
There are over 6 million visitors each year who flock to Munich to enjoy the celebrations, so if you’re thinking of attending I’d recommend that you book in advance, both your hotel and your place in one of the many beer tents. The fest is all about celebrating Bavarian culture and of course the different types of beer. The festival is very beer focused, so if you’re not a fan of beer then Oktoberfest might not be for you!
Top tips for Oktoberfest
Embrace the culture– Oktoberfest is all about embracing the German Bavarian culture so enjoy it and get involved. The traditional clothing for Oktoberfest for men is the famous Lederhosen and for women the Drindl. Wearing traditional dress is encouraged, so if you really want to embrace the festival you should get stuck in!
See the opening of the first barrel– If you are in Munich right at the start of the festival, then watching the opening of the barrel is the perfect way to kick things off. The town mayor opens the barrel in the Schottenhammel stand at 12 noon on 20th September. Once the barrel has been opened, 12 cannon shots are fired from the steps of the Bavaria statue.
Try the different beers– Kind of an obvious one, but you really should take advantage of the variety of beers on offer during Oktoberfest. There are lots of different beers tents to explore so I’d recommend visiting different ones and moving around to enjoy the different tastes on offer.
See the parade– This year the parade starts at 10am on 21st September. The parade is a tradition of the festival, in which the breweries and landlords travel through the town on various floats and horse drawn carts in traditional clothing. It’s a great way to start off the day and it’s a tradition that everyone can enjoy.
Pace yourself– Drinking starts from 9am and if you want to get a seat in a beer tent then you should get there early. The beer comes in large 1 litre stein glasses, so there’s a lot of it. If you want to really enjoy the full experience don’t have too much, too soon. Also make sure you try the delicious traditional food, a bratwurst is a tasty way to line your stomach.
It’s also worth noting that despite the beer-heavy theme, Oktoberfest is not just for adults, there’s plenty to do for families, with designated family days on Tuesday where the rides and entertainment are cheaper.
Tempted to explore Oktoberfest? Well there’s still time to book as we have excellent availability at some great hotels, check them out below, or search all our Munich hotels.