If you call yourself a beer aficionado, you mustn’t miss out on Oktoberfest – the biggest beer festival in the world. Celebrated in Munich every year for 16-18 days, Oktoberfest marks the marriage ceremony of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese, which was held on October 12, 1810. This simple wedding is celebrated for more than two weeks as a festival and draws huge foreign crowds.
The massive event takes place at the Theresienwiese grounds, named after the princess; locals call it Wies. Around 7 million people flock to Munich during Oktoberfest every year to experience its infamous Bavarian culture. If you wish to attend this crazy festival this year or the next year, or anytime in your life, then you must know what makes Oktoberfest the biggest beer party of the year.
Gallons of beer served under beer tents
The festival grounds, easily accessible from central Munich, feature 14 main beer tents. While a big tent has the capacity to hold 7000 to 10,000 people, a medium-sized tent can accommodate between 1000 to 5000 people. Reserve a tent in a group of 8 to 10 & get 2 beers (1 litre each) along with a food voucher each.
Six breweries represent at Oktoberfest
The beer served at the Oktoberfest is brewed within the city limits of Munich. Each tent has its own beer. Six major breweries – Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau Munchen, Lowenbrau, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner are allowed to serve special Oktoberfest brews.
Anyone above 16 is allowed to drink beer
Young beer lovers need not worry! You just have to be 16 years old and ready to have a good time at the coolest party of the year. However, most visitors are between the ages of 28-45.
Not a beer person? How about wine?
Don’t think that you can’t be a part of this crazy fiesta simply because you are not a beer lover. There is a special wine tent called Weinzelt for wine aficionados. It’s a good chance for others to take a break from the frothy brews!
Open to kids
Oktoberfest is open to everyone including kids. They are allowed to enter the tents with their parents. Kids can also indulge in carnival rides in the fairgrounds.
Best enjoyed in the traditional Bavarian garb
While it is not mandatory to wear traditional attire to be a part of Oktoberfest, if you can manage to dress up in Bavarian garb; nothing like it. Most locals and visitors are dressed in the traditional garb called Trachten. It’s truly a great cultural experience.
Carnival games, endless rides and much more
Apart from eating, drinking, singing and raising toasts, you can also indulge in the carnival activities. Carnival games and endless rides are fun and add to the cheerful ambience of the fest.
A grand opening weekend
If you happen to be at the fest at the right time, you may coincide with special events. The opening weekend is grand where you can see the Costume and Riflemen’s Parade. Around 7000 costumed performers, musicians, thorough-bred horses and other farmyard animals are a part of this massive parade.
Relish traditional German food
Food is one of the best things about Oktoberfest. It’s your chance to hog on scrumptious German food. There are plenty of vendors in the fairgrounds serving hearty Bavarian Food. Bon appetite!
A lot to explore in Munich
Munich is one of the most popular cities in Germany and tourism in the city is boosting significantly, especially in summer during Oktoberfest. People from all across the world visit Munich to toast the town. Home to Bavarian heritage, Munich holds world-class sights, impressive art galleries and museums. Munich holiday packages are your chance to be a part of this amazing festival and explore the Bavarian capital.
Hacks to survive Oktoberfest
- Weekdays are much less crowded compared to Saturdays and weekends.
- Most reservations go to locals, who have held tables at the grounds for several generations.
- Since the beers are large and pack a punch, it is recommended to drink 2 masses of beer (2 litres) to enjoy the fest.
- Parents with kids should leave the tents after 8 pm, as they get overcrowded by the evening.
- If you are on a budget, avoid ordering food in the tent, for it is very expensive.
- There is enough security in and around the tents, but it is recommended to leave your valuables at home.
- Most tents have English menus. So call for same if you don’t know German.
- A little bit of extra tip to the waiters will ensure that your beer is served in time.
- Buying a traditional outfit can cost you bomb. You can rent out the outfit from local shops in the vicinity.
- If you have not done the reservation, you can opt for a non-reserved section. But you might have to stand and wait in the snaking queues.
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