Oktoberfest 2017 will take place in Munich, Germany from 16 September to 3 October.
Oktoberfest is the world´s biggest beer festival and over 6 million litres of beer is consumed at the event each year. The first Oktoberfest took place in 1810 and the event is an important part of Bavarian culture.
The 2017 Oktoberfest will begin on 16 September at midday when the Mayor of Munich will tap the first barrel. Get there early if you want to enjoy the opening – some visitors arrive as early as 8am to get the best seats.
The annual event takes place in the area of Theresienwiesen just outside Munich Old Town and just a 15 minute walk from Central Station. Many locals dress up in typical Bavarian dress and parade through the streets to the festival.
Visitors can drive to the event but it is not advisable as the car parks are packed, and bearing in mind how much you might want to drink, it would be a much better option to go on foot or by taxi. Visitors can also take the underground to the Theresienwiesen stop.
Oktoberfest beer prices
Oktoberfest is not cheap and a litre of beer costs around €10. Beer is served in the tents from 10am to 10.30pm on weekdays and from 9am to 10.30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Bavaria boasts that it has the best beer in the world and rigorous requirements apply when brewing the beer to ensure a high quality beer is produced. Only the best ingredients are used and interestingly the Bavarian Purity Law issued by Duke William IV in 1516 states that only hops, water and barley can be used to produce Bavarian beer.
As Oktoberfest is a public event, anyone can enter without a ticket free of charge and although it is possible to book a table in advance, reservations are usually closed by February/March. The smaller tents are generally quieter and have a more intimate atmosphere. Arrive by 2pm Monday to Friday and earlier in the morning on weekends or it will be difficult to find a seat. It is worth pointing out that beer is only served to people who are sitting down, and no alcohol is served to people standing.
The first Oktoberfest of 1810 was held to celebrate the wedding of Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Celebrations began on 12th October and lasted until 17th October with a horse race.
The festival was then moved to September as weather conditions were thought to be kinder. The last weekend, however always falls in October.
If you plan to visit Oktoberfest, take the opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Munich at the same time. With over 1.2 million residents, Munich is one of the largest cities in Germany and is a major tourist centre. There are plenty of things to see and do in Munich, including museums, historical monuments and sports events, plus a host of award-winning bars and restaurants.
To find out more about the Munich Oktoberfest, click here for more information.