The Frothiest Festival of the Year
In around a month’s time the tapping of the first beer keg accompanied by “O’zapft is!” will declare this year’s Oktoberfest open for 16 days of beer guzzling and revelry under 34 tents.
This means that you’re still in time to book your flight to Munich – where the festival takes place at the Theresienwiese – and to kit yourself out with a dirndl or lederhose. If you’re wondering what these dirndln and lederhosen are, just look at the self-explanatory picture below.
While these traditional costumes are in no way mandatory for access to the festival, they’ll help you get in the Oktoberfest spirit even before you quaff the first Maß (that’s a litre) of Hofbräu or Hacker and start improvising lyrics to Anton aus Tirol. Indeed, if you feel that the beer suds are getting to your head faster than you expected, you can always head to one of the tents for some greasy suckling pig or Wiesn-Hendl (grilled chicken).
But back to the more important business of planning your trip. Air Malta, airberlin, and Lufthansa operate nine weekly flights from Malta International Airport to Munich Airport, so getting there is easy. With only a month to go to what is considered to be Munich’s busiest period, finding central accommodation could be somewhat more difficult. Here’s a list of hotels that are conveniently close to the fairgrounds and the central station:
We recommend you get to the festival before 3 in the afternoon on weekdays and before 10 in the morning on weekends and public holidays, to ensure you find a place in the tents without having made a prior reservation. Children are welcome at the Oktoberfest; they won’t be served beer of course, but can enjoy a number of rides and attractions.
Finally, if you don’t know a word of German – and do not feel particularly inclined to memorise those notoriously long words – here are a couple of short and easy ones we recommend you learn. A simple bitte (please) and danke (thanks) will get you a long way, even if the rest of the sentence is in English, and a hearty Prost (cheers) is a must as you raise your beer stein with your friends!
Entrance to the festival is free, but a litre of beer will cost you somewhere between € 10.40 and € 10.70
Six breweries are licensed to produce Oktoberfest beers; Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, and Spaten. The Hofbräu tent serves the beer with the highest alcohol volume at 6,3%.
Around six million people from around the world visit Munich for the Oktoberfest, drinking an estimated 7 million litres of beer!