FESTIVALS & EVENTS

Oktoberfest 2017: Everything You Were Itching to Know about the World’s Largest Beer Festival

Protima Tiwary

Last updated: Sep 7, 2017

As Germany gets ready to welcome the one of the largest festival in the world—Oktoberfect— we take you through a handy guide that will not only help you understand what the festival is about, but have you booking those tickets to Munich ASAP! Let’s get a sneak peek into what awaits us at the 210th year of the Oktoberfest.  

Read more: Your Go-To Guide for Getting a Schengen Visa

What is Oktoberfest?

What started 210 years ago as a celebration of the union of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese, grew to become a party of such epic proportions that people all over the world now wish to attend it. Today, more than 7 million people attend this grand celebration, and more than 6 million litres of Bavarian Beer is consumed over 16 days (some serious #PartyGoals, this).

Where does Oktoberfest Take Place?

The venue for Oktoberfest every year is constant—the 420,000 sq ft of park grounds at Theresienwiese host the event.

oktoberfest

What are the Dates for Oktoberfest in 2017?

Even though the name is “Oktoberfest”, the festival starts sometime around mid-September and ends on the first Sunday of October or on October 3 (German Unity Day)—whichever comes first. Initially, the celebrations were held in October, but because the weather in Germany is better in September, the festival shifted dates.

This year, Oktoberfest will be celebrated from September 16-October 3. The celebrations will officially kick off at the Schottenhamel Tent once the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. If you wish to catch all the action of the opening ceremony, we recommend you come in as early as 9:00 a.m.

Read more: Things to Do in Munich

How to Get There?

The Theresienwiese grounds are easy to get to, thanks to an excellent train system in Munich. The grounds are well connected by the S-bahn, U3, U6, U4 or U5, and even the streetcars and bus system.

Entry

The entry to the park is free. Access to the beer tents is free of cost too.

Note: Large bags and backpacks are not allowed, so carry only what you think is necessary.

Reservations for Seats

Though the entry to the beer tents is free, you need to get there ahead of time in order to get a seat at one of the tables. Seats start filling up as early as 11:00 a.m.

You can also make a reservation beforehand at a tent of your choice. There are 14 tents to choose from, contact information for which is available here:  https://www.oktoberfest.de/en/navitem/Beer+Tents/

Operating Hours

Beer Serving Hours  
Opening day 12.00 noon - 10.30 p.m.
Weekdays 10.00 a.m. - 10.30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday & holiday 09.00 a.m. - 10.30 p.m.
Daily closing hour 12.30 a.m.

 

Stalls  
Opening day 10.00 a.m. - midnight
Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.
Friday 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 midnight
Saturday 9 a.m. - midnight
Sunday 9 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.

 

Fairground attractions & sideshows  
Opening day 12.00 noon - midnight
Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.
Friday, Saturday 10.00 a.m. - 12.00 midnight
Sunday 10 a.m. - 11.30 p.m.

 

Age Restrictions

Only those who are 16 years and above are allowed to purchase and drink beer. Children below the age of 6 have to leave the premises by 8:00 p.m.

oktoberfest

The Beer!

There are strict regulations that participating breweries must adhere to. Only beer conforming to the Reinheitsgebot, with 6% alcohol content, is to be served at the Oktoberfest. The beer must also be brewed within the city limits of Munich.

The 6 participating breweries at Oktoberfest in 2017 are:

One litre of beer will cost between 9.70 € and 10.10 € this year.

Food

There are plenty of options to choose from, but we highly recommend a plate of the grilled chicken and fries. Sausages and pretzels are available in plenty.

Payment at Stalls

No credit/debit cards will be accepted. Make sure you carry enough cash.

The Oktoberfest Parade

The Costume and Riflemen’s Parade brings together around 700 costumed performers and musicians, as well as well-bred horses, oxen and farmyard animals. Together, they walk through the centre of Munich to celebrate the opening weekend of the festival. This is scheduled to be held on September 17, Sunday.

In case the weather plays spoilsport, there is a concert on September 25 at the Theresienwiese.

Traditional Costumes

You can purchase the Lederhosen or Dirndl from vendors and pop up stores from many stalls at the venue. The costumes are priced between €100-€125.

What Else to Do at Oktoberfest, Other Than Beer?

This is primarily a beer fest, but for those looking at other entertainment options, there is an amusement park set up on the grounds where you can enjoy rides, games and stalls selling everything from candy, popcorn, popsicles and waffles, to Oktoberfest clothes and souvenirs.

For those who do not enjoy beer, there are tents serving wine and champagne too. All you need to do is ask!

What Not to Miss at Oktoberfest 2017?

Read more: Going to Germany? Here's What You Can Look Forward to

Time to start practicing “Eins, Zwei, Drei g`Soffa!” before the Mayor of Munich yells "O'zapft is!" ("It is open!") to the crowds on September 16!

Book Your Flight to Munich

More Travel Inspiration For Germany