If you are thinking of popping over to Munich to attend the Oktoberfest then there are many things that you need to know. This blog will provide some of the best tips of attending the greatest beer festival in the world, and how to survive this great event.
Oktoberfest is not just the world’s biggest beer festival, it is also a German folk-festival that celebrates the Bavarian culture and way of life. Yes, there are copious amounts of larger being swilled, but there are also examples of traditional music, dance, dress, and of course food. The last ten years have seen over seven million people descend on Munich every year from all over the world to enjoy this incredible party. Thousands of liters of beer are drunk, together with hundreds of chickens, sausages, pretzels and even wild oxen.
Although the festival is called Oktoberfest, it actually is mostly held in September with the final couple of days spilling over to October. This time of year it is almost impossible to find accommodation or travel to Munich, so book well in advance.
The Origins of Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest was fist held in 1810, as a wedding celebration for the marriage of the Crown Prince Ludgwig and Princess Therese. The festivities lasted for five whole days, and the good people of Munich were invited to join in the party, enjoy parades, and witness a horse race that was specially held for the event.
The statistics that surround the average Oktoberfest are quite staggering:
- Area – 420,000 square meters
- Fairground Attractions – 115
- Hospitality Tents – 34
- Visitors Annually – 7,000,000
- Seating – 106,000
- Beer Drunk – 7,500,000 liters
- Sausages Eaten – 240,000 pairs
- Chickens Eaten – 500,000
- Oxen Eaten – 125
These figures are taken from the 2015 Oktoberfest but are a good example of the statistics taken from the past decade.
The Grand Parade
The first day of Oktoberfest always starts with a grand parade, with many beer floats, lavish carriages, and many costumed performers that make their way through the heart of Munich. And this is followed a few days later by a massive big-band concert which is held in the open air so everybody can enjoy it.
If you do attend then you will find the vast majority of Germans and local people will be wearing a Drindl if you are female, and for men they are expected to wear Lederhosen. Many foreigners do not join in with this, but like any fancy dress party, getting dressed up increases the fun and makes you more of a part of the whole event.
All the beer served at Oktoberfest comes from the major breweries of Munich, so expect Spaten, Paulaner, and Augustiner. And be prepared as there are no half measures, every beer comes in a one liter glass which weighs a ton. The prices of the beer are increased at Oktoberfest so it is fairly expensive to get drunk, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many visitors so ensure you have enough beer vouchers to really enjoy the day.