Greetings Beer & Travel Lovers!
Last month we introduced An American Woman in Deutschland. This month we look ahead to the granddaddy of all Oktoberfests and offer a few tips for surviving a night in the tents.
Oktoberfest Munich 2017
It’s only June, so why are we talking about Oktoberfest already? Because if you’re going, it’s time to start thinking about your trip as you’ll be visiting Munich at the same time 6 – 7 million other people make their way to the Theresienwiese to celebrate Oktoberfest!
History: Oktoberfest dates back to October 1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen at the site of today’s event. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the old city gates, and were entertained with horse racing, food, beer, and wine. The celebration was so successful that Ludwig decided to make it into an annual event.
Today, Oktoberfest traditionally starts on the third Saturday of September and ends on or shortly after the first Sunday of October. The Oktoberfest grounds, called Theresienwiese, or "Theresa's Meadow" gets its name from the Princess, but today most locals simply refer to it as the Wiesn (“vee-zin”).
Imagine being in a tent with thousands of other people, each feeling absolutely no pain, who are standing on their benches with their Maß in the air singing “Take Me Home Country Road” along with the “oompah” band. It’s impossible to not have a crazy fun time... it’s also pretty easy to have too good of a time!
For those of you who may be interested, Oktoberfest attracts its fair share of celebrities. Past years’ attendees include Katy Perry, Richard Branson, Usain Bolt, Samuel L. Jackson, Paris Hilton, assorted Kardashians, and a regular favorite, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In case you’re hoping to catch a glimpse, they tend to hang out in the Hippodrome and Winzerer Fähndl tents.
Speaking of California’s former “Governator”, Arnie knows how to have a good time. Last year, the police stopped him for “weaving” his bike thru the Munich train station. According to the police, Schwarzenegger accepted the warning but explained, "that he couldn't walk well"!
It’s worth repeating that if you’re going to Oktoberfest this year, it’s important to get your plans sorted out soon, particularly if you have large group of people. Other than that, here are some tips for enjoying and surviving a day/evening at Oktoberfest.
Getting into the Tents:
Other Suggestions & Survival Tips:
Broaden Your Oktoberfest Experience
Tent Owners and Breweries Parade:
Starting at 10:45am on the first day of Oktoberfest, the tent owners and breweries conduct a parade that winds its way through Munich and into the Theresienwiese to officially kick-off the celebration. It’s free and I highly recommend it. Just find a spot along the parade route and enjoy the spectacle.
The Traditional Costume Parade:
The traditional costume parade happens on the second day, starting at 10:00am. To me this isn’t as fun as the tent owners and breweries parade, but it’s certainly worth checking out if this type of thing interests or if you’re staying near the parade route.
Original Gravity Tours
If you’re able to join one of our Munich & Bamberg Tours this summer, you may not attend Oktoberfest, but we should be able to get a taste of it at one of the many Munich beer halls and gardens. We’ll also introduce you to the the Munich “Big 6” breweries along with a few up-and-coming craft breweries.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and as always, thank you and Prost!
Greetings! I'm a passionate beer and international travel lover. Other than craft beer, I mostly go for German & Belgian beers and if you share the same interests, you may enjoy my blog. Prost!