Munich's Top 10 : Oktoberfest

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With more than six million visitors, over five million litres of beer, 200,000 pairs of pork sausages, and 100 spit-roasted oxen – Munich’s Oktoberfest is the largest folk fair in the world. At the foot of the Bavaria statue, a huge field, the Theresienwiese (Wiesn for short), is transformed into a fairground with beer tents operated by traditional breweries, rides, and a variety of vendors selling gingerbread hearts, roast chicken, and fresh pretzels. For 16 days, visitors and locals, some in traditional costume, indulge in Bavarian revelry.

  • Theresienwiese

  • U3/U6 Goetheplatz, U1Theresienwiese

  • 16 days mid-Sep–early Oct Hours: 10am–11:30pm Mon–Fri, 9am–11:30pm Sat, Sun & hols (some beer tents even longer). Last orders are at 10:30pm daily.

  • free

  • For large groups, reserve tables well in advance of the fair’s start


The History of the Oktoberfest

The marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen on 12 October 1810 was celebrated with a five-day festival on Theresienwiese, named in honour of the bride. A horse race capping the festivities was slated to be repeated the following October. It became an annual event, quickly growing into a major fair with rides and beer stalls. The first “beer palaces” appeared in 1896. Today, the fair attracts millions of tourists and is famous worldwide.

For those who prefer alcohol-free beverages, the Wiesn features coffee kiosks.

Discounts are available on certain dates for some attractions.

In addition to beer, wine is available at tents such as the Weinwirt or Käfer’s wine bar.

Top 10 Features
  1. Grand Entry

    Since 1925, the Wiesn opening is signalled by the Saturday morning Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest landlords. Draught horses decked in festive harnesses pull flower-decorated brewery wagons through the city. They are accompanied by brass bands and brewery owners, families, and workers in traditional costume.

  2. O’zapft is!

    The Grand Entry is followed by the opening ceremony in the oldest Wiesn beer tent, Schottenhamel. At noon, Munich’s mayor taps the first beer barrel and says “O’zapft is!” – the barrel is tapped.

  3. Beer Tents

    Beer is king in the large tents, where patrons link arms and sway to the music of brass bands, and challenge each other to drink yet another Maß or litre. The motto is: “Everyone has a right to his or her own beer heaven.” For a less beery ambience, visit one of the smaller tents, such as Fischer Vroni

  4. Oxen Roast

    Entire oxen are roasted on a spit right before your eyes. A portion of roast oxen or a pork hock with crackling are just two of the traditional and hearty Bavarian treats served up at the Oktoberfest. Some 100 oxen are slaughtered for the Wiesn every year.

  5. Steckerlfisch

    The air is not only filled with the smell of beer but also with the tantalizing aroma of grilled fish – Steckerlfisch (fish on a stick) – prepared on a charcoal grill.

  6. Beim Schichtl

    Welcome one and all to this cabaret – a Wiesn fixture since 1871. Today you can still watch acts such as the “beheading” of a living person on the guillotine.

  7. Flea Circus

    Another old-time tradition: the tiny trained creatures and their lord and master have entertained spectators for over half a century. The flea circus is an absolute must for all fans of yesteryear.

  8. Rides

    With traditional amusement rides such as the merry-go-round, clay-pigeon shooting, and the sedate Crinoline, or the latest thrilling attractions such as Euro-Star, Freefall, and several roller-coasters – there’s something for everyone, from children to adrenaline addicts. The slowly rotating giant Ferris wheel offers a spectacular view of the scenery.

  9. Memorial

    On 26 September 1980 at about 10:30pm, a bomb exploded near a Wiesn exit. Thirteen people were killed and more than 200 were injured. A stele stands as a reminder of the attack carried out by a neo-Nazi.

  10. Statue of Bavaria

    In 1843, Ludwig I commissioned Leo von Klenze to build the Ruhmeshalle (Hall of Fame) on the Theresienhöhe; today, it houses the busts of famous Bavarians. The colossal statue of Bavaria by Ludwig Schwanthaler (cast in ore by Ferdinand von Miller) rises in front of the hall. A platform inside the statue’s head offers a spectacular view of the Wiesn .

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