Right in the middle of a great summer full of festivals and celebrations, it’s time to start thinking about the next big event in Bavaria’s capital! In less than ten weeks, the world-famous Oktoberfest will kick off. From September 20th to October 5th, multitudes of visitors will descend on Munich to join the party…☺
Oktoberfest 2014 Schedule
On Saturday, September 20th, the festival kicks off with, as it does every year, the arrival of the Oktoberfest tent patrons. And, as always, they will be led by the Münchner Kindl, the young monk featured on Munich’s coat of arms. At 12 noon on the dot, the Mayor of Munich will declare “Ozapft is”, officially opening Oktoberfest by tapping the first barrel of beer. The Oktoberfest costume and riflemen’s parade will follow the next day. Some eight thousand people will parade in traditional folk costume through the city on their way to the Theresienwiese, where the Oktoberfest tents are set up. Plenty of typical regional music will accompany the marchers. A spectacle you definitely don’t want to miss.
During the second weekend of Oktoberfest, traditionally called the “Italian Weekend”, guests are welcomed from all over the world and the Oktoberfest takes on an international flair. This could be your best chance to get to know a young Bavarian gal or just have some cross-cultural fun. That Sunday, the so-called “Bergfest” marks the half-way point in this year’s festival with a huge concert featuring the Oktoberfest bands.
The following weekend is the last weekend of Oktoberfest 2014. It kicks off on Friday, October 3rd, with the public holiday marking the day Germany was reunited in 1990. The holiday and three-day weekend guarantee a full house for the finale of Oktoberfest 2014. So if you love a good party and want to jump right in, you should definitely plan a trip here for Oktoberfest. The same applies to anyone who hasn’t yet made it to this year’s Oktoberfest: don’t miss your last chance for a real party! On the final Sunday, there is a traditional gun salute at noon and the action finally draws to a close shortly before midnight…
The festival tents and patrons at Oktoberfest have stayed the same for a long time, but the new Oktoberfest manager has opened things up, bringing in some new blood. For example, the well-known Hippodrom tent will be replaced this year by the Marstall tent. So this year’s task has been set: to test extensively whether the new tents are just as good
In general, when heading to Oktoberfest, a visit to one of the many tents is an absolute must, as this is where the dancing, singing and celebrating takes place! Although all of the tents together hold approximately 100.000 revelers, finding a seat can still be quite difficult. If it’s just the two of you or you’re on your own, then you still have a good chance of finding a spot at the table to enjoy some Bavarian hospitality. For those traveling in larger groups, making a reservation well in advance is advised! But beware, you can only reserve whole tables of 8-10 seats. Table reservations are available directly from the respective tent hosts, but you need to be quick and bring a lot of patience.
Tip: If the large tents are already full, it’s worthwhile calling some of the smaller tents. They have an equally great atmosphere and the party can be just as fun.
You should also book your hotel room as soon as possible, because the beds in Munich get booked quickly for Oktoberfest. From the Platzl Hotel, you can reach Oktoberfest in just five minutes after a short walk to Odeonsplatz and taking underground lines 4 or 5.
For all those who want to visit the world’s largest folk festival for the first time: Please note, Bavarian folk dress in the form of pretty dirndls or jaunty lederhosen, which is all part of the fun. All of Bavaria loves to show off its dressigns and invites visitors to join in and feel like a real Bavarian.
Tip: For starters, you don’t necessarily have to be in a full dirndl or lederhosen. For example, newcomers, can simply wear a plaid shirt or a blouse, a chic costume hat or a cute Bavarian costume scarf.
And finally: don’t forget to take a little souvenir home for your family to mark the fun you’ve had in Munich. Gingerbread hearts are always a nice touch, or maybe you’ll win a real Bavarian rose for your loved one at one of the many shooting stalls.
Either way, the team from Platzl Hotel wishes you lots of fun celebrating in Bavaria!
picture source: erdquadrat / flickr.com