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Oktoberfest 2018 - Tickets, Events, Tips and More

With over six million visitors from all over the world, the Oktoberfest in Munich is the world's biggest folk and beer festival. From the history of the festival to accomodations to events, trends and much more: In this article, we collected all the information you need to know to make your visit to the Oktoberfest and Munich as convenient as possible.

History

The first Oktoberfest took place in 1810 when King Ludwig I married princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen and invited all Munich citizens to attend the festivities at the fields in front of the city walls. In honour to the bride, the field was named Theresa’s Meadow. The decision to repeat the festivities in 1811 was the cornerstone for the annual Oktoberfest tradition.

Today, the Oktoberfest is held annually in Munich, Germany and usually lasts 16 to 18 days from mid to late September until October. With more than six million visitors from all over the world, the Oktoberfest is the biggest folk festival in the world. Locals also call the Oktoberfest “Wiesn”, which derives from the name of the fairground – Wiese meaning meadow.

 

General Information

In 2018, the 185th Oktoberfest will take place from September 22 to October 6.

What may be surprising for international visitors is the fact that you don’t need to pay an entrance fee to enter the area or the beer-tents. So beware of scammers who want to sell you entrance tickets or similar!
There is one exeption though: the "Oide Wiesn", the traditional part of the Oktoberfest ("Oid" means "old" in Bavarian) which costs 3€ per person to enter. Kids under 14 years may enter for free. At the entrance you will get a wristband so you can leave and enter the arae as often as you wish.
Since 2010, there is an additional area behind the big ferris wheel where you can enjoy a more relaxed and traditional atmosphere with nostalgic attractions and music.

The beer tents at Oktoberfest are open from 10 am until midnight every day of the week and beer is served until 11:30 pm from Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Smoking is not allowed in the tents.

Make sure to leave all big bags and backpacks at home as they are not allowed for security reasons. Of course there are also several locking stations around the area where you can put your luggage.

It is near to impossible to go to Oktoberfest by car so the best way to get there is by public transportation. Information about tickets and fares can be found on the homepage of Munich's Transport and Tariff Association.

 

Reservations

You can make a reservation for the beer tents to secure your table. For doing so you have to contact the desired beer tent. At Oktoberfest.de you can find the contact data of all tents.
The best time to save your table is right after the Oktoberfest, so book your reservation for 2019 in November or December 2018. In spring, you will get notified whether or not your reservation will be accepted. It is free to book your reservation, but in most cases you will have to buy food and drink vouchers (usually two liters of beer and half a chicken per person) that you have to redeem in the tent. Be careful when buying reservations from resellers on online platforms as they often offer them at extremely high prices. To put a stop to this the legal issues have changed so that a resold reservation will become void.
Be aware that most tents only take reservations for eight or more people.

Of course, you can always enter a beer tent without a reservation. As the tables are very popular, we recommend arriving early. If the tents are getting too full, it could happen that you won’t be allowed to enter them anymore. On weekends, some tents often close at 11 am because they are already overfilled. During the week, it is a lot more relaxed, especially before the afternoon and evening hours.
Children under six years have to leave the tents at 8 pm even when accompanied by their parents.

 

Events

On September 22, 2018 the official opening ceremonies take place.
At 10:45 am you can watch the arrival of the tent owners and the involved breweries with a parade through Munich. There will be decorated horse carts, the big brass bands from the beer tents and the beer wagons decorated with garlands and wooden barrels. At the head of the parade there is the Münchner Kindl, Munich’s city mascot.
The parade starts at Josephspitalstrasse in the city centre and marches along Sonnenstrasse and Schwanthalerstrasse to the Oktoberfest.

The festivities go on in the Schottenhamel tent with the mayor of Munich tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer that is exclusively brewed for the festival. If you want to attend the opening ceremony, it definitely pays off to arrive before 9 am, though the ceremony begins at around 12 noon.

Every year on the first Oktoberfest Sunday, there is the very popular traditional costume parade. In 2018, this will be on September 23 at 10 am.
The parade starts at Maximilianstrasse and marches to the Odeonsplatz, Stachus and Schwanthalerstrasse until it reaches the Oktoberfest.
You can expect over 9000 members that present a great variety of traditional costumes and dances not only from Bavaria but from all over Germany and Europe.

Here you can see the routes of both the parade of the tent owners on Saturday (red line) and the costume parade on Sunday (blue line).

Interesting for families are the two family days where all rides at the Oktoberfest cost less than usual: this year they will be on September 25 and October 2.

On Sunday, September 30 at 11 am, you can listen to the traditional concert of the Oktoberfest brass bands at the feet of the Bavaria.

One week later, on October 7 at 12 noon, there will be the traditional gun salute which also takes place at the Bavaria monument.

Stay up to date about all Oktoberfest events with our Oktoberfest alert.

 

After Oktoberfest Parties

For those of you who just can’t get enough of the party, there are a lot of after “Wiesn” parties in Munich to attend. At this time, a lot of clubs in Munich allow visitors to enter in the traditional costumes and play some Oktoberfest hits and German Schlager music. At our facebook page Wiesn Partys 2018 you can find a good overview of clubs that offer after Oktoberfest parties.
Of course, there will always be some clubs who don’t want to jump on the bandwagon and will reject guests that are wearing traditional costumes or are already too drunk.

 

Oktoberfest Music and Hits

What would Oktoberfest be without the right music? Right – boring. The music is one of the essentials for the atmosphere in the tents. There is a band in every tent that plays music all day. Usually they play some traditional Bavarian and Austrian music but also modern German pop songs. After some beers all the visitors will stand on the benches and dance and sing along to the music. Every year there is a new Oktoberfest hit. In the last years they were for example “Hulapalu” by Andreas Gabalier and “Atemlos durch die Nacht” by Helene Fischer.

 

 

Ever-popular songs include “99 Luftballons” by Nena, “Anton aus Tirol” by DJ Ötzi, “Skandal im Sperrbezirk” by Spider Murphy Gang but also "Angels" by Robbie Williams and many, many more.
There isn’t an Oktoberfest hit yet for this year but we will stay tuned and curious for any occurring rumours.

 

Accomodation

The first thing to plan for your trip to Munich during Oktoberfest should be the accomodation as hotels are very quickly fully booked and prices get extremely high. We recommend booking your hotel for 2019 right after this year’s Oktoberfest.

If your budget is really tight, there are also a few camping options in and around Munich. The best known camping spot is at the Olympic Horse Riding Stadium in Riem. There are tents, caravans and containers available for you during Oktoberfest season. Of course, there is access to toilets and showers and even free Wifi and lockers are available. Good news for the more spontaneous people: the camp takes reservations until five days before your arrival.

 

Trends and Costumes

For the most authentic experience you don’t want to miss the traditional dress (Tracht). Even though, the Dirndl and Lederhosen are very traditional, there are some seasonal trends and modern influences that people are always very excited about.

For 2018 women want to wear more minimal Dirndl dresses without a lot of glitter or extraordinary details. Classic shades like dark green, Bordeaux red or dark blue but also pastel colours are always a good idea to keep it classy. For an elegant, traditional look, opt for dresses that are at least knee-length but not floor-length. Plaited hairdos are the most popular hairstyle at Oktoberfest.

The must-have piece for men is, of course, the Lederhose (leather pants). The most common shirts are simple, white or checkered ones. In addition, you can always wear a belt with a big, solid buckle in front. A very traditional accessory is a Charivari: it’s a piece of jewellery with silver pendants, coins and tiny parts of hunted animals that you wear on your hips.

You can find traditional dresses online, for example at Angermaier, or in one of the numerous shops in Munich’s city center.

 

2018 News

The beer prices rise every year. This year the highest price you may have to pay for one litre of beer is 11,50€. The good news is, that the prices for lemonades are going down in some tents.

Also outside of the tents, there will be some changes. At the annual Oktoberfest press conference, the second Munich Mayor Joseph Schmid revealed several new fun rides: There will be the “Chaos Pendel” (“Pendulum of Chaos”), the “Predator” and “Survivor”, where visitors have to pass floors full of obstacles just like in the eponymous TV series.
To the joy of many established visitors the Royal Bavarian Court Photographer will be back. There, you can shoot souvenir photos with lots of historic props and costumes.

At Oide Wiesn you can buy sweets that were produced historically accurate and reprints of historic Oktoberfest posters.

Since 2017, you can download the official Oktoberfest App for Android and iOS where you can find information about all beer tents, a navigator, a dictionary and even an Oktoberfest quizz.

 

We hope that this article won't leave any of your questions unanswered to plan and organise your visit to Oktoberfest 2018. And if you don't make it this year, you now know all the tips to have a relaxed and fun stay in Munich for Oktoberfest 2019.

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