Seven things you need to know about Oktoberfest

  • 09th September 2013

From mind-blowing stats to helpful hints, we’ve got you covered if you’re flying out to Germany’s Oktoberfest.

The Journey

The Bavarian capital of Munich plays host to the festival, and it happens in the open space of Theresienwiese… which is also the name of the nearest U-Bahn station – the best way to travel with a service every ten minutes.

The History

The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Ready for this? Beer wasn’t available during the early years of the festival, but vendors were later allowed inside the grounds.

The Entertainment

Other than alcohol, music is the main source of entertainment at the event. While traditional German Oom-pah bands are the norm, the festival also plays host to a wide range of music from Latin Jazz to Hair Metal. Yes. Hair Metal. We don’t either.

The Numbers

Each year some 6 million people visit the grounds during the two weeks, bringing in an estimated (and incredible) €1 billion to the Munich economy which works out at a staggering €62 million a day.

The Beer

While wine, water, lemonade and even Champagne are on offer, beer is of course the weapon of choice. There will be 900,000 litres of water consumed, but that’s pretty tame alongside the estimated 7 million litres of beer drunk over the two weeks. Oktoberfest celebrates Munich beer and comes from six local breweries: Spaten, Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu.

More Beer

While there’s no charge to enter a beer tent or the grounds, a beer will set you back between €8-9. You must be seated to order beer and to reserve a seat you often have to buy food or drink vouchers in advance.

And More Beer…

Seems a little pricey? Well, don’t forget beers are served a litre at a time. Think you’ll save drinking just water? Wrong… soft drinks can often cost just as much as the beer.

Even if you have the cash, make sure you pace yourself. Many festival goers pass-out drunk and become what the locals call ‘Bierleichen’, which is German for “beer corpses.” Make sure you don’t end up as one of those…