Oktoberfest is the world’s largest folk festival and is well-known for its beer. However, take a trip there and you’ll discover there’s a lot more to it than just that! In 2016, it will be running from the exciting opening ceremonies on 17th September till its close on 3rd October.
You’ll never feel more spoiled for choice than at Oktoberfest, with 14 big tents and 23 smaller tents. Schottenhamel is the main tent at the start of the event. The ceremonial keg tap happens here and then you’ll hear “O’zapft is!” confirming that the tap was successful. It is also the largest tent with about 10,000 seats. Armbrustschützen-Festhalle has held a crossbow competition since 1895. It also features, PLATZL, an Oktoberfest brass band. The other exciting large tents are Fischer Vroni, Marstall, Schützen-Festzelt, Winzerer Fähndl, Hacker-Festhalle, Hofbräu Festzelt, Ochsenbraterei (Spatenbräu-Festhalle), Augustiner-Festhalle, Pschorr-Bräurosl, and Löwenbräu-Festhalle. To get a good spot in the tents you can make reservations easily by contacting the individual beer tent. Contact details are on the Oktoberfest 2016 website. While you don’t need reservations to enter the tents, it is recommended because they fill up quickly and stop letting in visitors when they reach capacity.
Eat, drink and be merry!
There’s plenty of variety on offer in terms of food and drink at the festival. For example, Weinzelt offers more than 15 different wines and varieties of Sekt (sparkling wine) and champagne, while Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke serves Käfer-roasted duck and is open until 00:30 am! Oktoberfest is also as a fun place where you can easily make new friends to say ‘prost!’ (cheers!) to. If you’ve already experienced a small festival in your home country, why not step it up and head to the original one this year?
Other attractions and events
While many people travel to Oktoberfest for the vast selection of beers and scrumptious food, there are other attractions during the festival. To kick off the festivities, the first parade of the festival is the arrival of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries which happens at 11 am on 17th September. The official tapping of the keg happens in the Schottenhamel Tent and is carried out by the mayor of Munich at noon on opening day. On the first Sunday you can’t miss the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade as it travels through Munich. Oktoberfest Mass takes place on 22nd September. “Böllerschießen”, otherwise known as the handheld canon salute, takes place on the Bavaria monument. New this year is an agricultural festival. There are two family days on 20th and 27th September where all rides and performances are offered at a lower price. Entry to the fairgrounds, shows and beer tents is free. Getting to Munich is easy by air: fly into Airport Franz-Josef-Strauss which is a mere 20 km away from the city. The city is well serviced by train, bus, and taxis so you should find getting around the city to be a breeze.