The Oktoberfest festival has long been no longer reserved for the residents of Germany, nor only for the residents of Europe. It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t heard of the legendary event, which has been attracting young people from all over the world for several decades. This lively Bavarian event has become a household name among alcohol lovers, young people and partygoers from all over the world, and if you too feel beer coursing through your veins, then this is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Where did this very enjoyable custom start, how many liters of beer are poured during it, how do you get there, where do you sleep and not least – what do you eat? All this and more ahead of you. Satiety!
Oktoberfest – when and where? the question of the questions
If we don’t know when, how will we get there?
Well, the traditional festival takes place in the city of Munich in a tent complex located on Theresienwiese (Theresienwiese or d’Wiesn for short) from the middle of September until Sunday, the first of October – 16-18 days in total that attract such a large crowd that it is the largest festival in the world . How big? Over 6 million people.
During the days of the festival, you can enjoy cold beer that is continuously poured in the event tents from 10 am to 10 pm, and if you don’t want to come to the event during rush hour, it is recommended to arrive really early – from morning until noon. Starting at noon, and even earlier on weekends, the festival is packed to the brim and it is recommended to reserve a seat in advance.
How exactly does it work? In the event complex there are 14 huge tents where the local breweries operate alongside food stalls, interesting souvenirs as well as various activities such as an archery competition and yodeling music.
How do you get to Oktoberfest?
First of all, get on a flight to Munich, which you should book in advance if you want to benefit from reasonable prices, since this is a very busy time in the city, and therefore the prices go up. For an additional discount, book a low-cost flight or one that includes a layover.
From the moment you arrive in Munich, the arrival is easy and simple by public transport or even on foot – arrive at Marienplatz (the main square) and from there walk about 1.5 kilometers to the festival complex. It’s about a 20-minute walk, but believe us, it will help you cut down on your expenses (and calories).
Where do you sleep during Oktoberfest?
Like the flights, it is also (and especially!) recommended to book the accommodation well in advance, otherwise you will come across the dreaded phrase “full occupancy” and you are likely to be disappointed. This festival attracts millions of people every year, so all (literally: all!) accommodation in Munich is occupied for the duration of the festival every year. Make sure to book a hotel as early as possible (some say even a year in advance) so that your trip will be perfect.
Assuming that you listened to us and did prepare in advance – you will find a large selection of hotels and accommodations in a wide price range that will allow you to enjoy accommodation in your preferred style, including on an extremely low budget.
The recommended location is of course the one that is within walking distance of the festival, or near public transportation to allow you to get to the event easily and cheaply. Such as the Euro Youth Hotel Munich, which is within walking distance of the central station and about 10 minutes’ walk from the Oktoberfest complex.
This hotel offers its guests a fantastic location along with a quiet experience, which will allow you to be in the center of things but at the same time also get a good night’s sleep and a good value for the price, which is not high. You can choose between shared dorm rooms or private rooms, all of which are air-conditioned and also include a good breakfast.
Oktoberfest over the years – history on the edge of the fork
This special and happy event, which attracts young people, beer lovers and the curious from all over the world, looks like an innovative event, but in fact it is a long-standing tradition that began on October 12th in the year (surprise surprise) 1810! Amazing, right? The first event was to celebrate the marriage of the Prince of Bavaria to the Princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen and since then, well, it’s all history.
At the beginning of its journey, it was a large and festive feast with a particularly happy and free festival spirit that was made possible, among other things, thanks to the fine drinks served to the participants. As our sages said – beer went in and a secret came out? Something like this… In 1816, carnival booths carrying prizes also joined the celebrations, which led to the influx of the crowd who wanted to take part in the fun event and finally, in 1819, the city council decided to make the matter a tradition that would take place in the city every year – and so it was.
It didn’t take long and the festival became a household name, the dedicated crowd of participants waited for it throughout the whole year and every year more and more participants came – so it was decided to extend the duration of the festival and allow as many guests as possible to visit it and take part in the activities and celebrations that, as mentioned, were intended to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Teresa . congratulations!
As part of the (official) festival events, a procession is held to mark this happy marriage, attended by thousands of marchers who are dressed according to the best tradition in Bavarian clothing. This procession passes through the main streets of the city on its way to the festival complex and it is recommended to watch it as it is a feast for the eyes.
Some more interesting details about the Oktoberfest:
- Epidemics: In 1854 and 1873 the festival was canceled due to the outbreak of the cholera epidemic that claimed many victims.
- Wars: in 1866 the festival was canceled because of the Austro-Prussian war and 4 years later because of the Franco-Prussian war.
- If we jump to the 20th century, then during the First World War no festival took place, in 1923-1924 it was canceled due to hyperinflation, and the traditional celebrations did not take place during the Second World War until 1948.
- Speaking of World War II, in 1933 the flag of Nazi Germany was raised at the festival.
- Starting in 1880, they began using electricity to provide the festival complex with adequate lighting.
- The legendary glass cups first appeared in 1892 and have since become a hysterical hit, so much so that they are considered the best-selling item at the event.
- Over 120,000 liters of chilled beer were poured in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the festival!
- Every year the event opens in the Schottenhamel tent when the mayor returns a glass and announces in Bavarian “O’zapft is” – loosely translated: beer from a barrel!”.
what do you drink come on…
Obviously broken. But not just any beer, but beers that were brewed last spring (about six months before the event) and spent the summer month in cellars and caves in order to maintain a low temperature. These beers are mostly lagers and are branded as an “Oktoberfest” line dedicated to the festival.
did you know The recipes intended for the festival contain extremely high percentages of alcohol and not to reward the celebrants but to increase their durability until the time of pouring.
You will receive the beer in huge glasses with a capacity of 1,000 ml (or in short – a liter), which you can also purchase together with the logos of the local breweries: Paulner, Lowenbrau, Augustiner, Sheften, Hofbrau and Pshor.
How much does the pleasure cost? About 12 euros per liter of beer, about 50% more expensive than the price of a liter of beer in the city itself – not cheap, but the participants will testify that it is an unforgettable experience.
If you don’t like beer at all and you were brought to the festival by a friend with good taste, don’t lose heart – you can also enjoy local wines served mainly in the Weinzelt tent.
And what do you eat?
Beside the beer you will find a great variety of local foods, especially those drawn from the Bavarian kitchen that are a perfect addition to a chilled beer – sausages, fish, grilled chicken, sauerkraut, cheese slats, roasted oxtail, pork knee and if all of this sounds a bit harsh to you, you can settle for pretzel Extra large (delicious and delicious) that will fill your stomach and heart.
Vegetarians? Vegans? Gluten free? Throughout the festival you will also find such stalls. not to worry.
6 more things you should know about Oktoberfest
- Oktoberfest? A somewhat surprising name given that, with the exception of a few days, the entire event takes place in September at all.
- Afraid of visitor traffic? With such amounts of people it is completely understandable. You should use the “Oktoberfest Barometer” which will help you know when to arrive according to rush hours.
- In addition, it is highly recommended to visit the official website of the event in order to be updated about the various events and to book a place to sit in the tents.
- As for the equipment, you can arrive with only a small backpack that does not exceed 3 liters in size, otherwise you will have to leave the equipment in the luggage storage.
- Want to know more? You can reserve a place on one of the guided tours held in the festival complex by local guides in the English language.
- The festival is not only about food and drink (but mainly, yes), but also traditional singing and dancing, performances and activities, including those suitable for families with small children (these are held on Tuesdays from 10am to 7pm).