A Guide to Celebrating Oktoberfest in Germany

A Guide to Celebrating Oktoberfest in Germany

Oktoberfest: A guide to joining in on the beer-bellied fun.

If you have not heard of Oktoberfest then you must have been living under a rock. Millions of people each year flock to Munich, in Bavaria, southern Germany, to take part in this massive beer festival, folk attraction and funfair. The festival runs from September 19th -October 4th 2015 and if you are planning ahead, next year’s dates are September 17th – October 3rd. If you want to catch the opening ceremonies then you should head over to the Schottenhamel tent on the opening Saturday. The mayor of the city will tap the first keg at noon, after which everyone’s thirst will be well and truly quenched.

The history of Oktoberfest

oktoberfest travel guide

Image credit: Heribert Pohl

Oktoberfest was first held in 1810 and has definitely become an important part of Bavarian culture. While other locations have emulated the success of this event and hold their own Oktoberfest celebrations, Munich’s is the original, biggest and most certainly the best. There have of course been some darker periods in Germany’s history but now those times are gone, if not forgotten. One of the best things about this festival is its welcoming and inclusive feel. There is a strong sense of togetherness and cheer and in spite of the copious amounts of alcohol being consumed, things rarely get rowdy or out of hand.

Location and attractions

Image credit: 5chw4r7z

The Oktoberfest is held on the 42 hectare Theresianwiese site. There are around fourteen large tents and twenty smaller ones, each with a particular style or theme, attracting different people. Each serves a certain type of beer or foodstuff. In addition to the tents there are a number of fairground rides and other attractions. There is a good public transportation network to allow you to get from the Theresianwiese into the city centre of Munich, where there are, of course, a great many more interesting attractions to visit during your stay in the city.

The Oktoberfest beers

Image credit: LenDog64

Only a specific selection of beers are allowed to be served at the Munich Oktoberfest. Only beers that adhere to the Reiheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) and which are brewed within the city limits are allowed. The beer is of course the reason why most visitors come here. They come to sample this traditional Bavarian beverage in a great environment. Breweries that can produce Oktoberfest beer are: Augustiner-Bräu, Hacker-Pschorr-Bräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spatenbräu and Staatliches Hofbräu-München. Bear in mind that the cost of beers and food is higher at the festival than you might expect to pay elsewhere – you are paying partly for the experience.

Accommodation options

Image credit: Jon Åslund

There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs and campsites in the vicinity that you can stay at while visiting during Oktoberfest though you should be aware that, especially on the weekends, accommodation will have to be booked well in advance as the city really does fill up for the event. There are a range of options however to suit all budgets and provided you plan ahead, you should not have to spend a fortune in order to enjoy your stay.

Getting to Oktoberfest

Image credit: sanmedia.com

Munich can be easily reached by plane, train, bus or car though be warned that traffic and parking can be a nightmare during this time so a car is not really your best option. Munich International Airport is a major airport and it is possible to fly there from all over the world. Cheap flights from around Europe also fly into Memmingen Airport, though you should be aware that there is a bus ride of almost an hour and a half to get from there into the city centre. You can also easily reach Munich from around Europe by taking a train into Munich Central Station. There are also two additional stations on the outskirts of the city.

Also read: 5 Places You Cannot Miss in Germany

If you are considering coming to Germany for Oktoberfest then Munich is definitely the place to be, to experience the real thing and get to know this amazing city and Bavarian culture and tradition. Plan ahead to make sure that you get the accommodation you need and be sure to bring enough cash for your evening or evenings in the tents. Then just kick back, relax and let the beer flow!

About Author

Elizabeth Waddington
Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington lives in rural Scotland with her husband and her dog. She is part of a small community who are trying to live as sustainably as possible. A professional freelance writer who works from home full time, she has over ten years of writing experience and an MA in English and Philosophy. She mostly writes about travel, sustainability and permaculture and has a particular interest in adventure holidays, camping, walking and sustainable travel. She travels whenever she can.


Related Posts