The “Wiesn-Facts”: Information worth knowing about the Munich O

The Oktoberfest is known worldwide, but just a few people know why it is also called “Wiesn”, the history of the festival and what will happen during the festival. For this reason we have compiled the most important information for you.

The history of the Oktoberfest in Munich

On October 17th in 1810 a horse race took place in honor of the wedding of the Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildenburghausen. Due to the great popularity of the festival days, they were continued as a privately financed event once a year. More and more showmen were added to, the breweries expended their “beer booths” and the Oktoberfest became the world´s largest folk festival. The name Oktoberfest arised from the date of the first festival in October 1810. Because of the location Theresienwiese, where the festival takes place, the Oktoberfest is also called “Wiesn”. And in turn, this name has its origin in the name of the bride – Princess Therese.


  • At the Munich Oktoberfest food and beverage are offered by 95 gastronomic businesses
  • There are 14 large and 21 small tents for eating, drinking and dancing
  • The biggest festival hall is the Hofbräu tent with about 10,000 seats
  • In 2010, 7 million liters of beer were consumed by 6.4 million visitors
  • The most popular Oktoberfest was in 1985 with 7.1 million visitors

Safe the dates:

  • 17th September 2011 to 3rd October 2011: Festival of the Munich Oktoberfest
  • 17th September 2011, 10:50am: Entrance of the Wiesn-Publicans
  • 17th Septemer 2011 12:00am: Official tapping of the first beer barrel in the Schottenhamel tent by the Mayor of Munich
  • 18th September 2011, from 09:40am: Traditional costume parade, which starts at the Maximilianstrasse and runs through the center of Munich in direction to Theresienwiese
  • 20th September 2011 and 27th September 2011: Family days with numerous discounts at fun rides and booths
  • 22th September 2011, 10:00am: Memorial service at the Hippodrom tent
  • 03rd October 2011, 12:00am: Traditional shooting of firecrackers on the steps of the Bavaria

Picture source: Armbrustschützenzelt

How do I get to the Oktoberfest?

The crowd of locals and tourists during the Oktoberfest in Munich leads to significant impacts on the local infrastructure. To start the festival with no delay and frustration, we have compiled the easiest ways to get to the festival ground:

Taxi / Cab:

Close to all entrances and throughout the whole city area numerous taxis are available to take guests to the Oktoberfest or to bring them back home. Especially about 11:00 pm the waiting times can increase dramatically and a shift to public transport is recommended.

Subway: lines U4 and U5 stop right at the Theresienwiese. At peak times trains run every two minutes and security staff ensure the smooth running on the platform. The subway runs to the Munich Central Station and to Karlsplatz / Stachus, where passengers can change to other lines. In the case of overcrowding it is possible that the the station will be closed temporarily to minimize the risk of accidents. Additionally you can use the Goetheplatz station (about 5 to 10 minutes by feet), where the lines U3 and U6 operate.

Picture source: flickR / juandesant


Local train system (S-Bahn):

The stop Hackerbrücke is located about a ten minutes walk from the Oktoberfest and besides the subway it is the most used way to get to the Oktoberfest. If required – especially on weekends and during the evening hours – the bridge will be closed for cars for security reasons.

Trolley line (Tram):

The two stops Hermann-Lingg-Strasse and Holzapfelstraße of the lines 18 and 19 are approximately a five minutes’ walk away from the Theresienwiese. The lines run every five or ten minutes in direction to the Munich Central Station where you can access other public transportation.


Because of the exclusion zone for cars around the Theresienwiese and the increased traffic, it is advisable to leave the car at home or outside the city. During the two weeks the police make more alcohol checks in and around Munich.