Oktoberfest 2021 will be here before you know it–and when it comes to Oktoberfest, it’s never too early to start planning. And we’ve been planning for this one since 1810!
There are many things to consider: Where will you stay? What will you eat? How will you get there? And just where the heck will you tie your dirndl bow? Some things we can’t help you with, but some–like When should you go?–we most definitely can. Here is a look at the Oktoberfest 2021 schedule of (really awesome) events:
Oktoberfest 2021 Schedule of Events
Saturday, September 18th
9 a.m. | Oktoberfest begins! Well, sort of. You won’t be able to score a beer yet but the tents are open and waiting for you (and you and you and…) to fill them up. I hope you wore your running shoes today–it’s going to be a mad dash to the bash.
11 a.m. | The Oktoberfest opening day parade makes its way through town, starting at Josephspitalstraße and ending at the Theresienwiese. Owners and landlords of the beer tents (quick, become their BFF!) make their grand Oktoberfest entrance atop fancy horse-drawn beer carriages. About 1,000 people participate in this parade led by the Münchner Kindl, Munich’s surprisingly beautiful blonde monk mascot. Well played, Germany.
Noon | O’zapft is! – Oktoberfest officially starts at noon when the Lord Mayor of Munich taps the first Oktoberfest keg inside the Schottenhamel tent and shouts “O’Zapft is!” (It is tapped!) Not until this happens is beer allowed to be served at Oktoberfest… but it just did so what are we waiting for!?
Sunday, September 19th
10 a.m. | Another day, another parade! The second, much bigger, parade is the traditional costume parade. Again led by the Münchner Kindl, this parade features marching bands, flag bearers, traditional costumes and dancing, and those beloved horse carriages. This parade starts at the Max II monument on Maximilianstraße and ends at the Theresienwiese.
All day and night and probably a little into the next morning | Gay Sunday! Every year, the Pschorr-Bräurosl tent hosts Gay Sunday on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest. Get your Gagas with 8,400 others in the tent known for their yodelers and… whip-snappers. You can’t make this stuff up.
Tuesday, September 21st
All day until 7 p.m. | Family Day. The first of two Oktoberfest family days features discounted rides and performances all day. Because what else are you going to do with your kids at Oktoberfest?
Thursday, September 23rd
10 a.m. | Traditional Oktoberfest church service (where they mean mass, not maß). The service, occurring annually in the Marstall Tent, is primarily intended for Wiesn employees but anyone and everyone is open to attend.
Second weekend of Oktoberfest 2021 schedule
Sometime after siesta, most likely | Italian weekend! Chances are if you’re visiting from Italy, it will be on this weekend. Italian weekend is a whole ‘nother party in itself and you can find most of that party over in the Löwenbräu tent.
Sunday, September 26th
11 a.m. | Annual outdoor concert – All those brass bands from the Oktoberfest beer tents we love so much come together in front of the Bavaria statue for a huge concert. Oktoberfest welcomes the Mayor of Munich as well as other celebrities to help conduct so… it’s a good thing the bands already know those songs in and out.
Tuesday, September 28th
All day until 7 p.m. | Family day. The last of two Oktoberfest family days when you (and your kids if you packed them) can ride all the rides on the Wiesn at a discount.
Sunday, October 3rd
Noon | Suns out, guns out! The traditional gun salute marking the end of Oktoberfest (known as a Boellerschiessen) takes place in front of the Bavaria statue and features the winners of the Oktoberfest shooting competition. Oh, we didn’t mention there was an Oktoberfest shooting competition? Check out the Armbrustschützenzelt for details.
11:30 p.m. | Unofficial closing ceremony of Oktoberfest takes place in the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The lights go down and the sparklers go up. Let’s all join hands and sing our hearts out to celebrate another year gone by on the Wiesn. Only one more year until Oktoberfest 2022!
Other Important Oktoberfest 2021 Schedule Things to Know
Beer Serving Hours
Opening day: noon – 10:30 p.m.
Weekdays: 10 a.m.– 10:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays & holidays: 9 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Oktoberfest closes 12:30 a.m. (‘Käfers Wiesnschänke’ and ‘Weinzelt’ open until 1 a.m.)
Open Hours of Theresienwiese Stalls
Opening day: 10 a.m. – midnight
Mondays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Fridays: 10 a.m. – midnight
Saturdays: 9 a.m. – midnight
Sundays: 9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Fairground Attractions & Shows
Opening day: noon – midnight
Mondays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Fridays, Saturdays: 10 a.m. – midnight
Sundays: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
So there it is—the Oktoberfest 2021 schedule of (really awesome) events will be happening before you can say…well, just pick any German word basically. It’s never too early to start planning!