As you’re probably aware, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival. It’s held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, lasts at least 2 weeks, and attracts over 6 million people each year. For many of us, it’s a lifelong dream to go – what’s stopping you? Here’s everything you’ll need to know if you decide to take the plunge.
Entry to the festival itself is completely free. There’s also no official dress code, so you don’t have to spend money on a lederhosen to fit in. You can if you want though – it looks rather spectacular.
Getting to Munich doesn’t have to be expensive either. Flights start from around £30, though you could find a cheaper deal. Once you get to the airport (Airport Franz-Josef-Strauss, which is named after one of Bavaria’s most important and long-lasting prime ministers), driving yourself to Munich is not advised.
Taking the bus is probably the cheapest way of getting to the city centre. Simply take the Lufthansa Airport Bus to the central train station, which should take around 45 minutes.
You also have the option of taking a train, which will take approximately the same amount of time as the bus. The airport is connected to two main train lines, so there are sure to be regular trains.
Taking a taxi can be the fastest way to travel to the centre of Munich, traffic permitting. It can get a bit costly though – fares cost upwards of around £50.
Other than perhaps the gift shop, this will almost certainly be your largest expense. If you don’t mind camping, you can stay two nights from about £130. Hotels are around twice that, but as with plane tickets, if you’re lucky you might find a bargain!
Just remember that some of the cheaper options are miles away from the city centre, so you might end up spending more overall if you factor in the extra transport costs each day.
There are a number of revamped attractions coming to Oktoberfest this year, like the Hofphotograph. You can have a vintage photo taken with props, costumes and backdrops.
Completely new attractions include the Chaos Pendel, which its creator deemed a ‘ride for the younger generations’. Probably because it reached speeds of up to 80mph. Two cabins sit on the end of a rotating propeller, which seems to move in unexpected ways.
For a full list of the new attractions, you can find out more here.
Opening in 2010 to celebrate Oktoberfest’s 200th anniversary, The Oide Wiesn has become a favourite attraction. It’s got a much more relaxed atmosphere, and appeals to a lot of families for that reason. The Oide Wiesn brings together historical costumes, traditional music and classic rides to appeal to your nostalgic side. Why not visit the museum tent, or go on a merry-go-round that’s almost 100 years old?
The Augustiner-Festhalle is said to be the friendliest tent at Oktoberfest, and like The Oide Wiesn, attracts a lot of families. They even have a ‘kid’s day’ each Tuesday, which offers particularly low prices.
Last But Not Least…
The beer is almost universally believed to be the best part of Oktoberfest, often referred to as ‘liquid gold’. Over 6 million litres of beer is drunk each year at the festival alone! Beer is sold in the tents on weekdays between 10:00 a.m and 10:30 p.m., and from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
The price for a ‘Mass’ (a litre of beer) will range from €9.70 and €10.10 this year, which is around £8.85.
For more information about what beer is on sale during Oktoberfest, and the history of beer in Bavaria, you can check out the relevant section on Oktoberfest’s website.
Oktoberfest In The UK
If you’re not able to make the festivities in Germany, there’s always the chance to find a local Oktoberfest in the UK!