Once you are planning to travel to Germany many times the goal is to see the festivities of the Oktoberfest. As most know it from the movies: The big beer glasses, the women in their dirndl and dancing on the banks. This really exists, nowadays not in Munich anymore since this festivity evolved mostly in a tourism attraction and there is a little tradition left here. In the following you will find the tips that you were always looking for when thinking about visiting:
What is the Oktoberfest?
The Oktoberfest is one of the most traditional festivities of Germans. It started in the 18th century in Munich to say goodbye to summer and have a last celebration outside. But let’s be honest, with the time its ancient objective got lost and it evolved into a folkloric festival with music, traditional dances, the best and newest traditional wear, good food and lots of beer. Many times the festival starts with a show of traditional wear from all over Germany and the opening of the first barrel of beer and it lasts 14 days in total. All of those days you can visit between 10 am until 1 am. You will find festival tents where you can find the wooden banks and the beer vases (Here you have to pay an entrance fee). Around those tents, there is a trade fair with all its games and rides where you can enjoy your time without paying an entrance fee.
Does it have to be Munich?
Many people don’t even know that the Oktoberfest is celebrated in many german cities on the same dates. Obviously, the most known one is in Munich, that is also why it is not that traditional anymore. Like most Germans know Munich is overcrowded and very expensive on those days, so they look for alternatives. The second most known Oktoberfest is the so-called Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart, which is our recommendation. It is smaller, cheaper, and full of germans that are trying to avoid Munich to get a more traditional experience.
Does it have to be in October?
Now that you have most likely made plans already to travel in Spring because the weather is nicer but you are sad to see that you will not be there for the Oktoberfest. But wait. Did you know that there is a Frühlingsfest? The Frühlingsfest is the same as the Oktoberfest. It is in the same places, the same festival tents, the same beer vases, and the same girls in their dirndls. It will even be better to visit in those days because it is even cheaper and not as full as in the Oktoberfest.
And if you travel in summer?
If you plan on traveling in summer, here we really have to disappoint you. There is no big Sommerfest, but there are many small summer festivities everywhere. In summer the Germans don’t need a big festival of tradition. In summer they just get together in small groups in parks, on the street and in bigger places. They put some games, make a BBQ, Sausages and drink beer together. A very unique experience, which you can live any weekend in summer, just ask around to find the nearest one.
With these tips, we are sure it will not be difficult for you to get the unique Oktoberfest experience all year round. If you have any questions or you would like some help planning your trip feel free to contact us.