Oktoberfest is held every year in Munich and lasts for 16 days, starting from mid to late September and finishing in the first weekend in October. It is a massive event with more than five million people attending and is without doubt one of the main events held in Germany each year.
Oktoberfest is in effect a beer festival, even though there is still lots of other things going on to keep the visitor occupied, but it is the beer festival that most people are interested in and even though you may have been to other beer festivals at other destinations around the world, nothing really compares to the festival that Munich offers.
The festival is held at a place called Theresienwiese or Wiesn for short which is situated very close to the centre of Munich. It is estimated that an astonishing seven million litres of beer is consumed during Oktoberfest so it goes without saying that if drinking is your pleasure, then you really couldn’t attend a more appropriate festival anywhere in the world.
It should be noted that the beer at Oktoberfest is not served in your usual half pint or pint glasses but instead in half or one litre glasses, when you also take into consideration that it is a requirement that only locally brewed beer with a minimum alcoholic strength of 6% can be served, it is very easy for the unwary to become inebriated far more quickly than may otherwise be the case.
The tents in which the beer is served are absolutely enormous and it is one of the conditions of being served that you must be sat at a table in one of these tents. Taking this into account it is not surprising that queues have often formed as early as nine in the morning so bear that in mind as you set off for a day of drinking and merriment.
Oktoberfest also offer a wide range of traditional German fayre which visitors to the country may not have had the joy of sampling in the past. Schweinbraten (roast pork), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes) and Seuerkraut (red cabbage) all spring to mind and it would be a great shame if you didn’t take time out from your drinking activities to sample the kind of food that Germany is famous for.
It is often the larger beer tents that attract most of the attention from both new and seasoned visitors to the festival but you may be pleasantly surprised if you investigate a few of the smaller tents of which there are many. Here you will find food and entertainment which is slightly off the beaten track but which will offer an experience that will never be forgotten.
As you would probably imagine, Oktoberfest is extremely popular and booking accommodation well beforehand is most definitely the order of the day but it may be worth considering staying out of town and taking advantage of the excellent public transport that Germany has to offer, meaning cheaper accommodation and the dates that you require being more likely to be available.