Munich Oktoberfest










Munich's Oktoberfest

In October of 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig (Mad King Ludwig's father) of the Wittelsbach family,  married Princess Therese von Sachsen - Hildburghausen (what a name!).  To celebrate the occasion, the city held a five day wedding reception.  This party became so popular that it has since been a yearly tradition, expanded to become a 2 week long festival.  Gradually it moved into September since the nights were warmer and visitors could enjoy sitting outside the beer tents.  Today, known worldwide as Oktoberfest, it opens at noon on a Friday in mid-September and ends 15 days later on a Saturday in early October.  

Oktoberfest includes parades, amusement rides, carnival style games, outdoor fruit and vegetable markets and huge beer tents.  This is one of the largest festivals anywhere in the world and brings nearly 7 million visitors to Munich.  At each year's festival, 6,100,000 liters (1,611,000 gallons!) of beer are consumed at the cost of about $9 a liter.  There are 14 different beer tents with the largest of them seating 6,000 people inside and 3,000 additional outside.  Seats can be reserved in advance, and you will not be served unless you have one.


Munich Travel Tips


If you are considering visiting Munich during the Oktoberfest, keep the following in mind.

  • Munich hotels sell out far in advance for this event, so make your arrangements early.  Expect to pay nearly double the rate of other times in the year. 

  • While Germans love to drink beer, driving under the influence is illegal.  Plan to stay in central Munich and use public transportation or taxis.

  • The carnival rides and beer tents are open from 10:00 AM until 11:30 PM, with last call at 10:30 PM.  The beer tents are very busy in the evening so plan to arrive by 3:00 PM.

  • Some beer tents take reservations starting weeks before the festival.

  • Here are the dates for future Oktoberfest festivals

2007: September 22 - October 7
2008: September 20 - October 5
2009: September 19 - October 4
2010: September 18 - October 3
2011: September 17 - October 2

  • Munich has a wealth of cultural sights and museums too, so don't spend all your time at the festival.

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