Oktoberfest in Germany – the beer festival in Munich, the largest among the many analogues in the world. It is held in the fall, lasts about two weeks, at which time about 6 million tourists from different countries come to Munich. If you plan to attend a beer festival, be sure to read our article, from which you will find out where and how the holiday is held, what types of foam you can try during Oktoberfest, what else to do during the festival.
Photo: Oktoberfest in Germany
When and where is Oktoberfest held in Germany
Traditionally, guests of Munich gather in a historical place – on the Teresa meadow, it is located in the city center, near the Main Station. The area of the place chosen for fun and entertainment is 42 hectares. This space is enough for everyone to be able to taste the foam, relax and feel free from conventions.
The period of beer events is selected in such a way that the last day of the holiday falls on Sunday October or October 3 – German Unification Day.
It is noteworthy that the festival dedicated to beer has been held in Germany for two hundred years. Since the reign of the Vitelsbachs in the country there are many buildings built in honor of the beloved kings. It was this attraction that Theresa meadow became. It was created in honor of Theresa-Charlotte-Louise of Saxony, who for many years was the beloved wife of Ludwig I. Wedding events took place at this place and ended with the competitions of horse riders and drinking a foamy drink. Memorable events took place in 1810, since then every year the Oktoberfest festival in Bavaria is held on a grand scale, noisy and fun. By the way, until 1819 the event was held by private individuals, and from 1819 to the present, the city council of Munich is responsible for organizing the Oktoberfest.
Interesting fact! In Germany, only six companies have the right to present their products at Oktoberfest. Guests are offered drinks with an alcohol content of 5.8% to 6.3%.
How is the Oktoberfest festival in Germany
The first day of the festival in Germany traditionally begins with a procession of participants. For this, the owners of beer tents and waitresses dress up in national costumes, sit in bright carts, which are also loaded with barrels of beer, and walk along Munich towards the Teresa meadow. The procession is accompanied by folk music.
Then the mayor of Munich solemnly opens the first barrel with a cry: “Pour it!” After that, the mayor takes the first sip of the foam, and the shooters fire a volley of 12 shots – from that moment on, the annual beer festival is considered open – the foam drink is poured generously, the main thing is to have time to go over from one to another.
On the second day in the morning, around 10-00, a costume procession begins. As a rule, more than two thousand people take part in it. A column of tourists and locals is accompanied by several brass bands.
A worship service takes place on the first Thursday, during which those participants in the celebration who are no longer alive are always remembered. At the end of the service, everyone can take communion and even be baptized.
On the second Thursday of Oktoberfest in Munich, a concert is held for guests, musicians demonstrate talents, winds and drums sound. But Tuesdays are dedicated to the family – attractions work, where not only adults, but also children spend their time with pleasure, so we can safely say that Oktoberfest is also a holiday for the whole family.
The festival necessarily ends with a grandiose salute. Officially, the Oktoberfest in Munich closes at 23-30.
Since the event lasts two weeks, there are both noisy and relatively calm days. Of course, the first and last days are considered the most noisy and fussy, and more or less calm on weekdays until 15-00, and also until 18-00 on Monday. At this time, almost every tent has free places and you can sip your favorite sort of foamy.
Interesting fact! On weekdays until 3-00 p.m., all guests of the holiday will find a surprise – discounts on refreshments.
Before visiting the beer pavilions, let’s look at what types of foam are presented at Oktoberfest in Germany.
Interesting fact! The official name for the foam is Oktoberfetbier. In the tents you will find only the Munich product, prepared by six local breweries.
- HackerPschorr. Production has been going on since the 15th century, however, the period of active development of the company falls on the 18th century. The fortress is the lowest – 5.8%. Poured in tents: Hacker-Festzelt and Pschorr-Bräurosl.
- Augustiner. This is the oldest brewery in Munich, has been operating in the eponymous temple since the 14th century. The refreshment strength is 6%, poured into: Augustiner-Festhalle and Fischer-Vroni.
- Hofbräu. The brand was founded in the 16th century by William V – the Duke of Bavaria. For a long time, this brewery delivered a drink to the king’s court. Today the plant is nationalized. The strength of the drink is the highest – 6.3%. Treats are poured into the Hofbräuzelt tent.
- Löwenbräu. Locals call this brand the “lion” brand; they have been releasing it since the second half of the 14th century, but the product became truly popular only in the 19th century. It is characterized by an average strength of 6.1%, poured in the chambers: Schützen-Festzelt and Löwenbräu-Festhalle.
- SpatenFranziskaner. The plant was founded in the second half of the 14th century. In the 19th century, the Seldmeier family bought it. The fortress – 5.9%, is treated in three tents.
- Paulaner. The brewery in Munich has been operating since the 17th century, the monks opened it, and in the 19th century it was bought by a private brewer and began to actively develop the business. The strength of the drink is 6%. It is poured in tents: Armbrustschützenzelt, WinzererFähndl and Käfer’sWies’nSchänke.
The festival is free of charge, however, it must be borne in mind that places are limited, in the evening the number of guests increases sharply, therefore, finding a free table is much more difficult.
Good to know! If you want to be guaranteed to get to a specific pavilion, just book a place for a specific date and time. Reservations are available 2-3 months before the start of Oktoberfest.
How to fix a place in the tent – for this you need to purchase a voucher on the tent website, its cost depends on the set of drinks and snacks, the day, time of the visit. When calculating the check, the prepayment made is taken into account.
Now in more detail about the beer tents that are installed during the Oktoberfest in Germany. In total, there are 14 large and 21 small tents in the Teresa meadow. Only guests at the table have the right to buy beer. At rush hour, when there are especially many visitors, the pavilions are closed, therefore, without an advance payment and a voucher it is impossible to be inside. An alternative to the chambers is open areas, they are also called beer gardens. The atmosphere here is colorful, laid-back and fun.
Useful information about the pavilions:
- the most ancient tents of Oktoberfest – Schottenhamel (serves 10 thousand guests – 6 thousand inside and 4 thousand on the street) and Schützenfestzelt (serves 6500 guests – 5100 in the pavilion and 1400 – on the street);
- the most capacious tent – Hofbräu-Festzelt – it can simultaneously accommodate almost 6900 guests, and about 3 thousand people are serving on the street;
- the most compact tent is KäfersWiesn-Schänke, designed for one thousand people, 1900 people can relax on the street.
- Armbrustschützenzelt – here you can take part in crossbow shooting;
- Augustiner Festhalle – refreshments are poured from unique oak barrels;
- Pschorr-Bräurosl – the stage race is famous among the local population;
- Fischer Vroni – make baked trout;
- Löwenbräu – the favorite pavilion of fans of the football club from Munich;
- Ochsenbraterei – and here they offer baked boar meat for a snack.
Features of other pavilions:
Good to know! You can only pay in cash in euros or vouchers purchased on the site in advance.
Small pavilions offer simple varieties of foam, their capacity from 90 to 500 guests. Appetizers are served with drinks – fish dishes, veal, sausages and sausages. Of course, the menu has a lot of sweets, because children come to the holiday.
On the territory of the Teresa meadow, numerous carousels and shooting galleries are installed, they are concentrated in the OideWiesn zone. In addition to rare, ancient attractions, modern entertainment is available here:
- the Ferris wheel will raise you to a height of 50 meters, in sunny weather you can easily see the Alps from the peak point;
- one kilometer roller coaster;
- a tower that will give you a feeling of weightlessness and flight;
- palace of horrors;
- A chain carousel awaits all thrill-seekers.
Also, during the Oktoberfest, theatrical performances and acrobatic shows are regularly held in the amusement zone.
Oktoberfest has a Familienplatzl children’s area. Traditionally, adults are offered beer, and for children a children’s menu and desserts are prepared. It is noteworthy that you can bring your own food and drinks. Animators work with children and demonstrate puppet shows.
Good to know! Better time to visit Oktoberfest with children – weekdays until 17-00. In order to comply with safety measures on Saturdays, it is forbidden to walk around the festival with prams. Children are encouraged to wear bright clothes. After 18-00, children are not allowed to enter the beer tents, and teenagers under 16 years of age will not be able to sell a foamy drink at all.
On weekdays, pavilions are open from 10-00 to 23-30, on weekends – open an hour earlier. Remember that the beer in each tent is poured for the last time one hour before closing – at 22-30.
Souvenir shops are open on Friday from 10-00 to midnight, on weekends from 9-00 to midnight, and from Monday to Thursday from 10-00 to 23-30.
Good to know! The Käfer Wiesn-Schänke tent works according to an individual schedule – it closes at 00-30.
A sufficient number of toilets work at the festival. Volunteers, orderlies, as well as doctors, monitor the health and well-being of guests. And the police control the order.
- Metro lines U4 and U5, follow the Theresienwiese station, and take lines U3 and U6 to the Goetheplatz stop.
- Electric trains – S1-S4, S6-S8 trains follow the train station, and you can get to Heimeranplatz by routes S2, S7, S20.
- Many buses and trams go to the famous Oktoberfest.
The train station is a quarter-hour walk from Teresa’s meadow.
Rules for visiting the beer festival in Munich Oktoberfest
- It is forbidden to smoke in pavilions, in places called beer gardens.
- A large fine is imposed for theft of a souvenir.
- It is forbidden to enter the festival with large luggage; the maximum allowable size of bags is 10x15x20 cm. Luggage storage is provided for heavy and large luggage.
- You cannot ride bicycles, skates, skateboards or scooters.
- It is forbidden to bring animals to Oktoberfest.
- Entering the tents with their food and drinks is also prohibited.
Oktoberfest in Germany is the largest beer festival in the world, where it is always noisy, laid back and a lot of beer. If you like to have fun, be sure to plan a trip to Munich and enjoy the indescribable atmosphere.
Oktoberfest through the eyes of a tourist-restaurateur: