September delight at the original Oktoberfest in Munich
Every year over 6 million people visit the original Oktoberfest in Munich to enjoy delicious brew, see traditional costumes and take in the joyful atmosphere of the worlds biggest festival. Don’t let the name fool you, the festivities starts in September, so start planning your autumn getaway now.
Oktoberfest has a long tradition in Bavaria, which can be traced all the way back to 1810. On the occasion of a royal wedding, horse races would take place here. These were such a success that it became an annual event. In 1818, a royal tent was set up for the race, attracted innkeepers serving beer and food for those attending. Since then it developed into a beer fest like no other, with huge tents, colorful parades and amusing fairground attractions.
Raise your Mass and celebrate
This joyous festival is all about enjoying tasty beer and traditional Oktoberfest meals inside one of the vibrant tents or, if the weather is nice, outside in the atmospheric Biergartens. As mentioned, this is a highly popular festival so if you’re part of a big group you might want to make reservations, although part of the charm is arriving early to stand in line by your preferred tent. Once inside, start with a traditional roasted chicken and a salty pretzel while waiting for the beer to start flowing from the taps. Even though the brews are the main attraction, there is something truly magical about the time before the bell rings.
The ringing bell is how you now it’s beer o’clock and the Schottenhammel tent is where it all starts. On the first day of the festival, at 12pm, the mayor of Munich taps the first keg and calls out “O’zapft is”, confirming that the tapping was successful. It’s only after this the bell will ring and the other tents may begin to serve their beer.
There are no less than 14 big tents and several smaller ones to choose from, all with their own charm. Visit the Hofbräu Tent to enjoy the atmosphere of the festival’s biggest tent. Paulaner gives you a more local experience as their beer is brewed exclusively with malt from Bavaria. Swing by the Augustiner Tent for some historic flare, as their earliest record of serving beer at the festival dates all the way back to 1867.
Enjoy a bit of tradition
The atmosphere inside the tents and gardens is fantastic, but make sure you also experience the buzzing life in the streets surrounding the festival area. On the first Sunday of Oktoberfest, a large costume parade takes place. The men proudly show off their traditional ‘lederhosen’ and the women veer in colorful ‘dirndls’. These are the national costumes of Germany and a high quality lederhosen or dirndl is quite expensive, but if you want your own for fun there are many cheaper replicas to chose from in the souvenir shops.
The costume parade isn’t the only one, the big tent owners and breweries have their very own. Over 1000 people take part in the parade consisting of horse carriages decorated with beautiful flowers, big brass bands, beer waitresses carrying large beer mugs, and impressive beer wagons loaded with decorated barrels. The parades are just a glimpse of what to expect from the festival and might be a good place to start if you’re not sure what tent to spend the most of your time in.
Something for the whole family
The festival also offers a whole lot of amusement rides, carousels and shows. The fairground is so rich that you easily can bring your children or fun-loving friends and spend a whole day enjoying the view from the Ferris Wheel, taking your chances in the haunted house and riding the breathtaking Top Spin. If you’re a skilled dart player, you can also try to pop some balloons and bring home the prize.
Whether you love the art of brewing and enjoying a beer jamboree, or just want to experience the historic and fun-filled atmosphere, the original Oktoberfest is the place to be. The world’s biggest festival naturally attracts a lot of people, so make sure to book your trip early. The dates of this years festival is 22 September to 7th October. Stay at Park in by Radisson Munich Frankfurter Ring to charge your batteries and get ready for a fantastic Bavarian beer festival.