Oktoberfest in Munich

A two-week folk festival located in a meadow just outside Munich’s city centre, Oktoberfest is one of the most popular events of its kind in Europe. Welcoming anywhere up to six million people on an annual basis, it is famed for its celebration of German food, beer and culture. With a selection of various tents where you can eat, drink, sing and dance the fortnight away, Oktoberfest isn’t just about the beer and sausages though.

Oktoberfest Munich

Some basic details to get started

When does Oktoberfest in Munich take place?
The two-week festival will run from Saturday 21 September to Sunday 6 October this year.

How far is the festival from the city-centre?
It’s extremely easy to arrange your visit to Oktoberfest from a base in Munich’s city-centre. Held in Theresienwiese, the same space that hosted the original Oktoberfest in 1810, it’s just a short tram-ride from Munich to the festival.

What time do the festivities begin and end each day?
On weekdays, Oktoberfest runs from 10:00 am to 22.30 pm. For the Saturday and Sunday festivities, it begins at 09:00 am and runs right through to the same closing time. But that’s just the drinking hours! For the range of fairground attractions and side-shows Oktoberfest has to offer, things can run on until midnight. For a full outline of the festival’s schedule, you can check all the details here.

What is there to do at Oktoberfest?

bavarian couple dancing at oktoberfest

Opening Day Parade
Like any festival of its kind, Oktoberfest starts with a bang! On the opening Saturday and Sunday, there are two different parades for you to enjoy. First up, the breweries and landlords put on a spectacle with traditional floats and carriages making their way through the streets. For the Sunday celebrations, the parade offers some incredibly creative floats, and a range of vintage costumes originating from all over Germany. The parade isn’t essential to your Oktoberfest experience, but if you can take it in, you won’t regret it.

Beer Tent, Munich

Beer Tents
Nothing captures the essence of Oktoberfest more than its beer tents. The place you will undoubtedly spend most of your time at the two-week-long festival, there are 14 different tents to choose from; each offering something new in terms of the beers, the food or the music. At the Schützen-Festzelt tent, you can enjoy a plate of delicious pork while taking in the surrounding rustic features. Or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, head over to the Ochsenbraterei tent and experience the astounding variety of different food options that can be created from an ox. Want something a little sweeter? Make for the Café Mohrenkopf; the only tent at Oktoberfest with its own bakery. If the beer is what interests you most, Marstall is the tent you need to visit. One of the newer tents at Oktoberfest, it is already known for its wide selection of traditional beers. For a fuller picture of what each tent has to offer, you can visit the festival’s extremely helpful website here. Furthermore, things can get a little bit busy, so, if you see a tent you really don’t want to miss out on, it is advisable to book ahead here.

The Oide Wiesn
If you want to take the excitement levels down a notch or two after visiting all those beer tents, visit the Oide Wiesn. Taking a step back in time, it’s filled with vintage costumes and extremely fun old-fashioned rides. Located near the Museum tent, you can learn all about the festival’s eventful past. Never too far from a beer tent at Oktoberfest, Tradition and Herzkasperl offer an altogether calmer vibe as you sip your beer and enjoy some traditional dancing and music.

Ferris Wheel Munich

Is it suitable to visit with your family?

It’s not all about the beer tents at Oktoberfest; they are well-equipped for families travelling to Munich for the celebrations too. Take you and yours to the festival grounds on a Tuesday, and families enjoy discounted prices on both admission tickets and on some of the festival’s most famous rides. These include the “Höllenblitz” (“Lightning from Hell”), the “Teufelsrad” (“Devil’s Wheel”), the “Skyfall”, or if you fancy something a little tamer, the “Krinoline” (an old-fashioned merry-go-round). In Familienplatzl, there’s even a tent especially dedicated to families enjoying the festival. With shows, activities and delicious food all catering for your young travellers, nobody is left out at Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Clothes

What about clothing?

More likely than not, you’ll have seen images from Oktoberfest where men are wearing their lederhosen and women are dressed in the traditional dirndl. Sadly, these are not compulsory for all those wishing to visit the festival. Buying into the Bavarian celebrations, many locals wouldn’t think of attending without this classic clothing, and, if you fancy joining in, there are plenty of shops in Munich that can help you look the part.

What else can you get up to?

Englischer Garten

The English Garden
Seeing that Oktoberfest is so close to Munich city-centre, there are plenty of other things to explore away from the hustle and bustle of the festivities. In the English Garden, you’re presented with one of the biggest public parks in the world. Exploring on foot, or cycling around this sprawling greenery instead, you shouldn’t miss the 19th century Monopteros – it will offer an unrivalled view of the city.

Only a short walk from Oktoberfest, the Viktualienmarkt possessed over 140 stalls. Offering a variety of gourmet products, you can also find all sorts of cheeses, fruits, vegetables, pretzels and meats. Open til 6pm every day except Sunday, it also has a lovely garden area where you can sit in the sun and watch the world go by.

Book now: We fly twice a day from Dublin to Munich during Oktoberfest.

Read next: 9 brilliant reasons to visit Munich.