Winzerer Fahndl seats 8,450 people inside.

Oktoberfest Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest History

A wedding between the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen inspired the first Oktoberfest. The reception began on October 12, 1810, and ended on October 17. Moreover, Bavarian citizens attended the five-day party that included music, parades, food, drinks, and ended with a horse race.

Furthermore, the first Oktoberfest was held in a field that today is named the Theresienwiese. This name honors the former bride Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

Munich’s Oktoberfest Today

Though Oktoberfest previously took place in October, today the festival starts in September and lasts 16 to 18 days. September is the chosen month because the days are longer and warmer. The festival ends on the first Sunday of October unless it falls on the first or second day of the month. Then it ends on the third.

Men and women dress in the traditional garb. Men wear lederhosen, leather shorts with suspenders and plaid shirts, and women wear dirndls which are full skirts bowed at the waist. Also, the women often braid their hair.

Oktoberfest 2018 Dates

Octoberfest 2018 in Munich, Germany, begins on September 22 and ends on October 7.

Oktoberfest Carnival

Octoberfest walkway
Oktoberfest in Munich offers a variety of rides.

Oktoberfest covers about 102 acres and attracts over six-million people worldwide. The carnival includes rides for children and families and thrill rides for that heart-dropping experience. Also, prize-winning carnival games abound like popping balloons with darts and air gun shooting.

If that’s not enough, merrymakers can watch parades, participate in contests, or go to the Schichtl Theatre and get executed by fake decapitation.

Oktoberfest Beer Tents

Festival goers enjoy the music in Winzerer Fahndl tent.
Winzerer Fahndl tent serves Paulaner beer.

Oktoberfest Beer Tents Tip

Beer tents are the preferred venue, and each tent features a theme and unique beer. Also, different tents appeal to select age groups. Additionally, it’s a good idea to buy your tickets in advance, plus you can book beer tent reservations through some of the hotels. Also, check online for packages that include airfare, hotel, tours and beer tents.

Winzerer Fahndl Paulaner

Tents offer indoor and outdoor seating, and large tents hold thousands, while small tents accommodate hundreds. We recognized our tent, Winzerer Fahndl, by the big Paulaner beer mug perched on top. For Oktoberfest 2017,  Winzerer Fahndl beer tent sat 8,450 people inside and 2,450 outside.

About ten people sit at each picnic table, and if you don’t have ten in your party, they combine groups. Benches butt up against each other, so there is little room to maneuver. Our tent had clean bathrooms, and the wait in the ladies’ restroom line was about seven minutes, and there was no wait in the men’s room.

Winzerer Fahndl tent Octoberfest
Winzerer Fahndl tent is geared for an older Oktoberfest crowd.

When we entered, I smelled grilled chicken and watched waiters carry large platters of food through throngs of people. We found our table and opened the menu that consisted of traditional food. Examples included roast ox meat, pork sausages with sauerkraut, roasted leg of veal, grilled duck, and potato dumplings. Plus, Winzerer Fahndl featured  Paulaner beer and offered other drinks.

We started with the Paulaner that tasted malty and medium bodied. Consequently, it didn’t weigh us down. However, to our amusement, the next day our arm muscles felt sore and heavy from holding the weighty mugs.

The band played songs geared toward an older crowd on a stage in the center of our tent.  Many lined up and danced, or swayed to the beat in unison and sang along.

Theft at Oktoberfest

With thousands of people attending, Oktoberfest presents the perfect venue for robbery. Therefore, I shouldn’t have been surprised by what I saw.

I entered the ladies room where I noticed that the attendant had placed a basket of tips on the table by the door. When I was leaving, I saw the flash of a brown-haired-young man, dressed in lederhosen, charge in the ladies room, grab the attendant’s tips and dash. I heard someone curse in English, and I suspected that this type of theft wasn’t a first.

Man Rested His Hand on my Purse

As mentioned above, the benches butt up against one another, and you sit back to back sometimes touching the person behind you. As a result of this proximity, when I was sitting on my bench, a large man behind me pressed his back up against mine. I squirmed away, and when I looked down, I noticed the man’s hand resting on my purse. Though he probably, hopefully, placed his hand on my bag innocently, I moved my handbag to my other side out of his reach.

In other words, between witnessing the ladies’ room theft and the man’s hand on my purse, I suggest that you make an effort to be aware of your possessions and those around you.

Oktoberfest Tips

  1. Check out Oktoberfest 2018 packages that combine your hotel, airfare, beer tent, and tours.
  2. Select your beer tent based on the beer you prefer and theme. Know that beer tents target different age groups.
  3. Book your beer tent in advance.
  4. Plan on close seating in the tents.
  5. During Octoberfest, be watchful of others around you and your belongings.

Why you should attend Oktoberfest

There is something for everyone at Oktoberfest whether its thrill rides, shows, parades, or enjoying Bavarian food and drink. Attending one of the biggest parties in the world is a great way to soak up the German culture and meet the locals. Check out t Octoberfest 2018 for information on beer tent tickets and other details in Munich.


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23 thoughts on “Oktoberfest Munich, Germany

  1. Oktoberfest in Munich is at the top of my bucket list! I have (very) distant relatives there, so I could hopefully stay with them and experience Munich with the locals.

  2. I’ve never been to October fest! And did not know there was themes to each tent, and that it’s more like a carnival!

    1. Taru, I also didn’t know that Oktoberfest was a carnival too, so there really is something for everyone.

  3. I didn´t know much about the festival´s origins! I´ve only been to Munich once and would love to experience the Octoberfest one day, even though I don´t drink beer #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Anna, Oktoberfest offers something for everyone and I think that you would enjoy it. #TheWeeklyPostcard

      1. I am also heading to Octoberfest this year. You mentioned what men and women wore there. As a visitor is that what I should wear too. If I don’t wear that would it just be very casual like jeans? Is in warm in September?

  4. I have been to Oktoberfest (years ago) and have great memories of it. I actually made some friends that I am still in touch with now. It’s definitely something everyone should experience at least once. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. That’s wonderful that you made lasting friends at Oktoberfest, and I agree that everyone should experience it at least once. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Michael, thank you for your comment. Our hotel concierge handled our Oktoberfest reservation, and we enjoyed the convenience of having seats in the beer tent and a waiter. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. Well Dorothy I think I’ll pass on getting executed by fake decapitation, but everything else sounds like a lot of fun! A beer tent with almost 8,500 people inside it? That is a scale of beer tent I can’t even imagine! Sounds like weight training is needed beforehand to be able to lift the heavy beer steins. Great tips for attending the real deal Oktoberfest! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Cynthia, I agree that fake decapitation is gruesome, who would think that it would be an attraction? As far as the heavy beer steins, we noticed the next morning that our arms were sore from lifting them, but it’s all part of the experience. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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