Oktoberfest in Munich is the world's largest fair with 6 million visitors and the highlight of Germany's annual event calendar.
Learn what to expect at the famous beer festival and find answers to the most commonly asked questions about Oktoberfest.
What Are the Highlights of Oktoberfest?
The Opening: Watch the official opening ceremony of the festival; it takes place in the tent called “Schottenhamel” on the first Saturday of the festival. At noon, Munich's mayor taps the first keg of Oktoberfest beer with the traditional cry O`zapft is!(„It is tapped!“). If you want a good seat, come as early as 9 a.m.!
Oktoberfest Costume Parade: There are lots of fun parades during Oktoberfest; one of the best ones is the "Costume and Riflemen's Parade". This colorful display of Bavarian history and culture takes place in the morning on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest.
More about Oktoberfest Events 2011
How Can I Reserve a Table in a Beer Hall at Oktoberfest?
Can I Visit the Beer Tents Without a Reservation?
Yes, you can - just make sure to arrive as early as possible, especially if you are with a large group. Without a reservation, visit the tents before 2:30 p.m. during the week; on Saturday and Sunday, come in the morning. If the beer tent is full and you have no reservation, you have to wait in line. No seat means no service - and no service means beer.
How Much Do I Have to Pay for Drinks at Oktoberfest?
This is a hot topic that locals like to discuss weeks in advance of Oktoberfest. The beer price for 2010 ranged between 7.70 and 8 Euros per liter.
Water and Soda prices are between 4 and 6 Euros.
Bring enough cash with you, some tents don't accept credit cards.
Can I Bring Children to Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is more than drinking beer; it includes fun rides, Ferris wheels, roller coasters, music, and parades to enjoy for young and old.
Come here with your kids on Family Day: Enjoy discounted prices on fun rides every Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Children are also welcome in the beer tents, although kids under the age of six must leave the tents by 8 p.m. The best time for children to visit Oktoberfest is on weekdays before 5 p.m.
What's the History of Oktoberfest?
The first Oktoberfest was held in October of 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.
Princess Therese is the namesake for the location of Oktoberfest today, the Theresienwiese („Wiese“ means meadow). Locals also fondly refer to the Oktoberfest as die Wiesn.
Why Does Oktoberfest Begin in September?
Oktoberfest nowadays starts in September for practical reasons: The weather in Germany is better in September, and the nights are not so chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was always celebrated in October, and this tradition continues until today.
Read our Complete Guide to Oktoberfest