16 September 2023
3 October 2023
Oktoberfest held in the Bavarian heartland of Munich, Germany, is undoubtedly the world's most famous and traditional beer festival.
Attracting thousands of beer-swilling, lederhosen* and dirndl-clad party-goers from across the continent, Oktoberfest is one of the world's largest beer-centered congregations, with the primary intention of celebrating Bavaria's traditional culture and historic adoration for steins of the finest beers.
Aside from the consumption of deliciously brewed beverages, the event also has live music, funfair, parades, and traditional German cuisines, making the entire city of Munich the world's biggest party for a few weeks between September and October each year.
Oktoberfest began as the marriage ceremony between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. All of the townspeople were invited to attend the festival, which took place in the fields outside of the city gates. Following the wedding the fields were named Theresienwiese after the Princess, and the party was such a hit that the townspeople asked King Ludwig to continue the celebration the following year.
Oktoberfest! What was a simple wedding celebration has transformed into a 17 or 18-day festival in which 7 million people from around the world participate in, consuming more than 6 million liters of Bavarian beer. That’s 1 million gallons of beer! Oktoberfest officially begins on the second to last Saturday in September at noon when the mayor of Munich taps the first barrel at the Schottenhamel Tent, crying "O’zapft is” (literally meaning - "it has been tapped" with the real meaning it "party time!").
There’s no Wiesn without the Schottenhamel-Festhalle because this is where Oktoberfest is officially opened every year with a tap. At noon on the first day of Wiesn, the mayor of Munich taps the first barrel of beer with as few strokes as possible. “It’s tapped! To a peaceful Wiesn!” Only then may the other tents start pouring. Why does the tapping taking place at the Schottenhamel? Because it’s where the event was “officially” was tapped for the first time in 1950 by Thomas Wimmer, the mayor at the time. Legend has it that he was in quite a hurry because he had to open a mass at Theresienhöhe shortly before noon, that it was raining buckets, and he took the shortest route into a tent: that tent was the Schottenhamel. Whether it happened that way is hard to say.
It’s hard to believe: In 1867, the forerunner of the Schottenhamel tent was still a small wooden shack with 50 seats. Today, the large festival hall alone can accommodate more than 6,000 guests. The Schottenhamel family invented the Oktoberfest beer in the hot summer of 1872. The lager and summer beer reserved for the Wiesn had been used up prematurely, so Michael I brought a new beer to the Oktoberfest: the Märzen. With 16 percent original gravity, it was more robust and more expensive but became the classic Wiesn beer. In 1886, the Schottenhamels set up the first canvas tent on the Theresienwiese.
Today, around 9,000 people fit into the Schottenhamel-Festhalle and beer garden. The beer tables and benches are unusual, different from other beer tents: You sit opposite each other in the classic beer setup and around the corner. This increases communication and the potential for flirting! The Schottenhamel is a meeting place for the young people of Munich.
The Schwarzfischer band has been playing at Oktoberfest since 1950 and played the first cordial toast after tapping. Conductor Christian Sachs' motto is "traditional and modern" - Bavarian brass music for Wiesn lunch, the first beer with roast chicken, party songs in the evening, and of course the latest Wiesn hits get things cooking at the festival hall. And things get pretty romantic again for the "grand finale" on the last Wiesn Sunday. For example, with "Weust' a Herz host wia a Bergwerk" (Because You Have a Heart Like a Mine) set to thousands of sparklers...
"Three times Bavaria," for example, can be enjoyed in a single dish in the Schottenhamel-Festhalle: veal patties, beef and pork roll, and Munich-style Rostbratwürstl sausages. All served with potato mash. Of course, you can't forget the half roast chicken, the knuckle of pork, and the pork roast, as well as vegetarian dishes such as Allgäu cheese spätzle or potato waffles. On top of that, there are "Deandl- und Burschenburgers," and for the traditional gourmands, there's a beef rump pot roast.
In 1908, the Schottenhamel family commissioned Gabriel von Seidl to build a beer castle for 8,000 guests. It was the very first Wiesn tent to have electric lighting instead of candles. The technology was supervised by the Augsburg company J. Einstein. Back then, the boss' nephew also helped as a holiday employee with Albert Einstein, 17 years old. The later inventor of the theory of relativity screwed numerous light bulbs into the Schottenhamel tent as an auxiliary electrician.
Learn more about the Oktoberfest in Munich
1. Go to the official website and double check the event availability, prices and regulations.
2. Check below the accommodations in hotels in Munich available during the the event. ⤵︎
2.1. Pick a hotel room by location and by price.
2.2. The search is done for 1 guest and the entire duration of the event. Click on the 'Filter', 'Guests', and 'Dates' buttons to adjust the search.
🏨 In the 'Filters' section, you can tell if you are looking for hotels or vacation homes. Here, you can filter the results by stars, review ratings, and budget.
👨👩👧👦 In this section, you can specify the number of guests (adults and children) and the number of rooms you want to book.
📆 Finally, you can change the date of your stay.
2.3. Save more money! Some hotel rooms are provided by multiple hotel booking websites. You will see them on the top of the hotel room details when you hover the mouse over the room.Be it Booking.com, Expedia, Trivago, Opodo, or other providers, select the best price provider for the room during the chosen period.
2.4. If hotel rooms are not available around the event location, you can zoom out or search by a nearby city/town name. If you have a specific hotel in mind, you can even search the particular hotel name.
2.5. Bonus tip: Switch to Experiences search. Perhaps you will find great tours and activities!
2.6. Pro tip: The map of the experiences may help you find the most vibrant areas in the city and the best locations where you can look for accommodations for your stay.
3. Check the flight, bus, and train travel options to the event location
4. If everything is fine you can buy all the tickets