The statistics say, ‘around 7.2 million visitors attended the world’s largest Munich Oktoberfest in 2023.’ Well, that’s quite a lot for a beer fest. The most common question everybody would ask “Is oktoberfest worth the hype?” 

For the most part, the answer is yes, while it depends on your fun palette and the company you are going with. People across Europe and beyond eagerly wait for the Munich fifth season to experience the crazy atmosphere with beer mugs, Bavarian food, and music around Thereseinwese (Oktoberfest ground). 

Let’s find out what is so special about Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest Munich: A Brief Introduction

Oktoberfest Munich A Brief Introduction

Oktoberfest in Munich is not only a beer celebration; the annual fest is a grand cultural event that dates back to the royal wedding between Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese, held on 12 October 1810. The prince invited Munich citizens to join them for a grand celebration at the city gates. 

Bavarians dressed in tracht welcomed the royal couple with folk music and dance. Münchener enjoyed free meals, drinks, music, and, most of all, a horse race at the fest’s end. The fair lasted 5 days but left an impact that Bavarians asked for more!

Over the decades, Oktoberfest evolved into a significant folk event with more festivities, such as carousels, swings, Bavarian food stalls, and German-brewed beer stands. 

By 1896, the beer stands had developed into large beer tents sponsored by local breweries, a central point in Wiesn today.

Today, Oktoberfest includes the annual grand parade of traditionally dressed locals and music bands, Bavarian food delights, the famous German beer, and amusing rides and games. 

The fest starts in late September and ends on the first Sunday of October. Keep reading if you’re wondering what you can experience at the world’s biggest Oktoberfest!

What is So special about Oktoberfest? 

What is So special about Oktoberfest 

If you believe Oktoberfest is all about beers and only for beer lovers, you are missing out on much more. Though beer took on the stage at Wiesn, it isn’t the only thing to do at Wiesn. 

From Bavarian traditional dresses and foods to music and amusement rides, it has something for every age group.

  1. The Traditional outfits: Lederhosen and Dirndl

The traditional costumes, ‘men Lederhosen and ‘Dirndl’ for women, are the striking visual elements of Oktoberfest. Lederhosen are short knee-length embroidered leather pants often aided by classy accessories. 

At the same time, ‘Dirndle’ is a stylish tight-fitting bodice with a low neckline on top of a blouse, a high-waisted wide skirt, and an apron. 

These outfits not only enhance the cultural essence of the Oktoberfest but also act as ice-breakers among strangers at the fest.

  1. Bavarian Delightful Cuisine

If you are a foodie like me, Wiesn is definitely for you. Every Bavarian delicacy speaks of the culinary heritage of Bavaria. 

To savor your tastebuds, you have weißwurst (veal sausage), soft pretzels, Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle), Obatzda (cheese spread paprika and spices), and Lebkuchen (gingerbread). 

Whatever you eat, leave room for the famous ‘Hendl’ (Bavarian roasted Chicken). 

Though you can experience these savory delights in Munich other than Oktoberfest, it wouldn’t match Wiesn’s vibe.

  1. Prost! Raising German Beer Stein

Beer appeared at Wiesn in 1818 when food booths were introduced. Initially playing a side role at Oktoberfest, beer has stolen the Wiesn limelight. 

Today, six officially licensed breweries serve their customers yearly: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner, and Spaten. Each beer brand has a separate tent and a separate outer space. 

The beer is entirely German-brewed under Reinheitsgebot (German Purity law), with around  13.5% Stammwürze (about 6% alcohol), but that doesn’t mean you should drink a lot. 

Try socializing at tents and raise the stein to friendship, heritage, and the timeless joy of sharing a great beer.

  1. Music and Concerts: Echoes of Bavaria

No Oktoberfest tent is complete without Bavarian music filling the air. Bands playing live traditional and modern adaptations of folk music contribute significantly to the festive atmosphere. 

These performances include brass bands and folk dancing, with attendees often singing along to popular German tunes. 

The music at Oktoberfest does more than just provide background noise; it animates the festival, encouraging dancing and celebration that continue well into the night.

  1. Amusement Park: Thrills and Fun

While most people believe Oktoberfest is not family-friendly, it also offers a range of fun activities for kids. 

The high-adrenaline carnival rides and roller coasters ensure your children won’t bore down at Wiesn. The classic Ferric wheels offer an aerial view of the fest, a different experience. 

So, if you want to live childhood in retrospect, amusing parks are your go-to place at Oktoberfest Munich.

  1. Traditional Wiesn: A Nod to the Past

A section called “Oide Wiesn” also pays homage to the festival’s heritage, offering a quieter, more family-friendly environment. 

If you are a history buff, you can enjoy historical rides and classic games and experience the centuries-old Oktoberfest. 

  1. The Fusion of Cultures

Oktoberfest has deep roots in Bavarian history and is a culturally significant event. 

Traditional costumes are adorned by locals and foreigners, displaying a perfect image of cultural harmony and socialization of different ethnicities. 

Each tent, meal, and song plays a role in a more significant cultural celebration that is deeply important to the local community and intriguing for international visitors. 

If you are fond of making friends, Wiesn is a place where you can meet people from different cultures and regions.

How to Plan a Trip to Oktoberfest in Munich?

Plan a Trip to Oktoberfest
  • Plan your trip several months before September. Hotel accommodations and flight bookings are grueling during the festive season.
  • Do some research and reserve a table at your favorite tent. If you are going with a group, reserving a table is necessary.
  • Dressing like locals is highly recommended if you want to enjoy the Munich Fest fully. Wear authentic Lederhosen men and German Dirndls to get some compliments from Bavarians.
  • Instead of taking your car and wasting time on lengthy vehicle lanes, take public transportation, which will comfortably take you to the fest site.
  • Do not take large bags or backpacks ( Size limit: 20 cm x 15 cm x 10 cm). Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to enter the grounds. 
  • Cash is king at Wiesn. The beer tents and food stalls only accept cash, so it’s better to keep some cash than regret it later.
  • Visit during the weekdays and avoid the crowded weekends.
  • Read the tent rules before reserving a table. Beer is usually served at tables, so you don’t need to stand in lines. Don’t forget to tip the waiter!
  • Stay hydrated (not only with the beer) and drink sufficient water. Also, look after whatever you eat; as the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure.’
  • Take care of yourself and your friends. Deciding on a meeting spot is a better plan in an emergency.

When is Oktoberfest 2024?

This year, Oktoberfest will be held from 21st September to 6 October. The major expected events are:

  • Landlords and Breweries Parade on 21 September 2024.
  • Mayor Dieter Reiter will open the first Keg on the same day.
  • Hunters and Costume Parade throughout the city center on 22nd September.
  • Ecumenical mass on 26 September in the Marstall festival tent.
  • The Oktobefest’s landlord concert is on 29 September (the second Sunday).
  • Traditional Gun salute on the last day, 6 October 2024.

Final Verdict

Going to Oktoberfest is a lifetime experience. With traditional outfits, delicious food, breathtaking swings, games, and beer booths, the Wiesn blends a nostalgic past and a merry future. 

If you are a fun-loving soul, you must go to Oktoberfest, and yes, it’s worth the craze it enjoys today!

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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