The Oktoberfest, an event held each and every year on the grounds of the Theresienwiese, in the Munich suburb of Ludwigsvorstad Isarvorstadt, is more than just a party, it is about more than just drinking beer, though it is both of these things.
The event that the Bavarian locals call the Wiesn is truly a cultural phenomenon, so much so that it has been exported around the world to all corners of the globe, though the Munich Oktoberfest remains the original, and like most originals in life, continues to be the best of them all.
The Greatest Party of Them All
For just over two weeks – around 16 days – each year the Oktoberfest rolls into town. And the tourists certainly do follow in their droves. From late on in the month of September, into the start of October, beer thirsty and bratwurst hungry visitors from all over the globe swell the number of local Munich based, Bavaria based, and German national patrons.
Things get busy early in the day
The turnstiles clatter and the beer glasses clink and the amber liquid sloshes around gloriously as upwards of an incredible, astounding six – that’s right six – million people come to the event year after year after year. It is fair to say then that the people of Munich, of Bavaria, of Germany, and indeed, of the wider world, just can’t get enough of the unique Oktoberfest experience.
Yet, for the uninitiated, for the first time traveller, unaccustomed to the heaving crowds and the charming local customs, it can all sometimes feel a tiny bit overwhelming. To make sure that you experience Oktoberfest to the full and to enjoy every minute of this great German event, just be sure to keep a few things in mind.
Decide When Is the Best Time to Make Your Visit
Time your run to the Oktoberfest tents if you want to avoid the crowds. With six million people traversing the Theresienwiese grounds over the course of the 16 day festival, there is unlikely to be any time when the Oktoberfest would be reasonably thought of as “quiet”. Yet during the week, the crowds do thin out a bit, with less of a stampede towards the best seats in the prime beer tents. If this is more of your cup of tea – or should that be stein of beer – then make sure to snag a spot in your favoured beer tent of choice at some point towards the end of the afternoon, as this is typically when the party gets started.
By the afternoon, the tents are packed and things get crazy!
If you are more of a party animal who enjoys the throngs of crowds and likes to get in amongst the action then the weekend is the time for you. Just remember that thousands upon thousands of other eager travellers and local patrons will also have similar designs on that prime seat in the most fashionable beer tent. If you can book a table at your favourite beer tent then this is by all means a great idea, though you will likely have to do this well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Ready to raise beers? Check out these tours to the Munich Oktoberfest.