First let’s say the thing that’s on everyone’s mind, ok maybe just mine. Why is it called Oktoberfest when it runs from mid-September to the 3rd of October? Well it’s because it used to be held in October but quickly brought forward to take advantage of the September sunshine. Who cares, you ask, when you can have the best beer in the world. If beer is your religion, Oktoberfest is your Mecca. And to ensure I remain neutral, your St Peter’s Basilica and Tirupati as well. Because these days you don’t know who’s going to log you over hot coals. But back to our guide to Oktoberfest.
Over 5.6 million visitors drink over 6 million liters of the best beer in the world, from 10:00 am on weekdays and 9:00 am on weekends, twelve hours straight. What began as a single celebratory event to mark the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810 has become a worldwide phenomena and an annual pilgrimage for beer drinkers from all over the world. Brewing regulations have been in place since the 16th century and law, only water, and the highest quality can use hops and barley to brew Bavarian Beer.
The Venue, Tips & More
The event is held annually on the grounds of Theresienwiese, named after the wedding. Hoards, young and old, flock to fourteen specialty tents, complete with gorgeous high ceilings supported by wooden beams, that serve everything from Fish (Fischer Vroni) to warm potato salad (Schützen-Festzelt), and great music (Hofbräu Festzelt). The place to be seen – everything seems to have a celebrity scene these days, is Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke, the only tent open past midnight but you need to know someone to get past the bouncer after eleven. This is no potato salad clientele; this is the tent you visit if you want to snack on a fine dining plate, or rather board, with your beer. For a true Bavarian experience, complete with Tracht, head to ‘Wiesnzelt” at Stiglmaierplatz, the only event at Oktoberfest where you can club till Dawn and dance to live music. Your better half not as beer crazy as you? Then head to Weinzelt which offers an extensive wine list. It’s best to get table reservations online before you head to any of the tents.
If you’re traveling with children, then there are two family days, September 19th and 26th, where all the rides on the fairground and side show performances cost less. Children under the age of six must leave the tents at 8:00 pm even if they are in the company of their parents.
This year Eventraveler has made it even easier for you buy putting together a 2 night – 3 day package that includes reservations for two and 2 liters of beer per person. Packages start at Rs 26,520 per person. Click here for more details. Watch this space for more posts detailing our packages and itineraries for Munich during September and October.