Oktoberfest Tours & Trips
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, drawing over 6 million people a year to Munich, Germany for the Bavarian beer-drinking festivities.
The Highlights of Oktoberfest
Beer, wine and more beerThe beer at Oktoberfest is by far the event’s most popular attraction. Large one-litre beers are served in traditional German “Maß” mugs. The Club of Munich Brewers maintains strict regulations on exactly which brands of beer can be served at the festival. They must adhere to the Bavarian Purity Laws established in 1487 and they must be brewed within Munich city limits. All of the tents offer wine, and some also offer cider.
Bavarian EatsWhile the Oktoberfest beer is the primary attraction, the Bavarian eats come in close second and taste even more divine after a beer or two. Various Bavarian specialties are served in the tents such as roasted chicken (Hendl), sausages (Wurst), white sausage (Weisswurst), pretzels (Brezeln), pork knuckle (Schweinshaxe), potatoes (Kartoffeln), cheese egg noodles (Spätzle), sauerkraut, and a fancy traditional cheese spread (Obatzda).
TentsOktoberfest showcases 14 spectacular tents with 1,000 - 8,500 seats which are owned by various restaurants, breweries and other establishments. There are also a number of smaller tents and beer gardens in the vicinity. All tents are unique and have their own charm, so if you have the time, we recommend trying to check them all out! The tents serve Bavarian beers, traditional eats, and are booming with live music throughout the day and night.
Popular Oktoberfest Tours
When is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest was first held in 1810, in honour of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. But what might come as a surprise to many, today, Oktoberfest actually starts in September in order to take advantage of a few more weeks of warmer weather. The annual festival kicks off with the symbolic tapping of the first barrel by Munich’s mayor, and when the mayor shouts ‘O’zapft is!’ the celebration begins!
Where is Oktoberfest?
Although Oktoberfest celebrations happen all around the world, the official party takes place in Munich, Germany, at the fairground in Theresienwiese. There’s a huge demand for accommodation in and around Munich, so it is recommended to book in advance. Joining a tour can be a great way to experience Oktoberfest - you won’t need to worry about finding a place to stay, and you’ll have transport to and from your accommodation sorted ahead of time.
What should I wear to Oktoberfest?
Embrace the Bavarian culture by sporting your very own Bavarian outfit! Having the right outfit for the festival is key. The tracht (attire) consists of the male lederhosen and the female dirndl. Lederhosen are leather breeches which are either knee length or shorter and can be worn with or without suspenders. A dirndl is a traditional dress which consists of a bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron. The colours are typically rich and dark.
Why is Oktoberfest celebrated?
Oktoberfest dates back to the marriage celebration of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese in 1810. On this special day, the people of Munich were invited to participate in the celebration which was held for five days on the fields in front of the city gates. What may have started as an average alcohol-fueled wedding party has since turned into the world’s largest fair. From that day on, the festivities have continued more or less on an annual basis.
Where can I stay during Oktoberfest?
You should book accommodations as far in advance as possible, preferably by May. By summertime, many hotels are fully booked. As Oktoberfest approaches, room prices can triple. Since getting a taxi can be difficult during Oktoberfest, it is advisable to book accommodations within walking distance of the festival if possible. There are many hotels around the central Hauptbahnhof metro station which are within walking distance of the festival.
Is Oktoberfest free?
The enormous folk festival is free to enter, and the main drawcard of Oktoberfest is – not surprisingly – the beer tents. There are 14 major tents, plus 20 smaller tents, and they all have their own claims to fame. Each tent is managed individually and has its own speciality, but they all share welcoming atmospheres, tables full of drinkers, traditional entertainment and hearty food.
- Invest in a traditional lederhosen or dirndl!
- If you’re travelling with a group, designate a meetup spot in case you get separated
- Bring plenty of cash as only a few tents accept cards
- Tip your server
- Pace yourself in order to make it to the prime-time evening festivities
- Learn some of the popular Oktoberfest songs so you can sing along (Ein Prosit, Viva Colonia, Ein Prosit, Sweet Home Alabama…)
- Don’t bring valuables
- Wear closed toed shoes
- Don’t try to steal a maß, security guards will catch you (purchase one instead)
- While daytime temperatures are pleasant, you will want a jacket for your trek home
- Learn some useful German words: mug of beer = maß; thank you = danke; please and you’re welcome = bitte; cheers = prost!
A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR