EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE OKTOBERFEST IN MUNICH
200 years ago, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Commoners and nobility alike joined in at the marriage celebration, which culminated in a horse race on the Theresienwiese - named after the bride. This was the birth of the “Wiesn”, the location of the Munich Oktoberfest ever since.
The Oktoberfest is a truly spectacular event and the largest folk festival in the world. Every year it draws over six million visitors from all over the world to the Bavarian capital of Munich.
The Wies'n inn and brewery procession marks the ceremonial start of the Oktoberfest every year. Featuring festively decorated horse carriages and marching bands, the procession is well worth seeing. At precisely 12 p.m., Munich’s mayor taps the first beer barrel in the Schottenhamel tent, and with the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” (“It is tapped”) the Oktoberfest opens.
There is a lot going on at the Oktoberfest. From roast chickens to giant pretzel, there is plenty of good food on offer in the countless tents and beer gardens. And when you are not eating or drinking, you are having fun - whether that is on the big wheel, giant swing or roller-coaster. There is something for everyone!
- More than 7.2 million visitors every year
- More than 6.9 million litres of beer served annually
- 116 oxen, 57 calves and 549,899 chicken consumed in 2019
- Around 100,000 seats are at the disposal of the Wiesn visitors
- 8,000 permanent employees and 5,000 seasonal workers
- 20 fairground rides available for kids (and big kids!)
A visit to the Wiesn in Munich is not complete without the right Oktoberfest hotel. Round off your Wiesn visit with a stay at the Platzl Hotel. As a 4-star superior hotel in the heart of Munich’s old district, the Platzl Hotel is perfect for a visit to the Oktoberfest. Local stylistic elements are combined with modern technology in 167 guest rooms and suites at the Platzl Hotel, providing an authentic feel-good environment for your stay.
You will also find the Platzl at the Oktoberfest itself: as well as being the owner of the Platzl, Peter Inselkammer is also the spokesman for the Wiesn hosts as well as a host in the traditional Armbrustschützenzelt. In short, the Platzl offers the most authentic Oktoberfest atmosphere you could wish for during your visit to the Oktoberfest.
In addition, the hotel’s central location makes it perfect for those who want to see more of the city during Oktoberfest. In the direct vicinity is the famous Hofbräuhaus, which will offer you a special form of hospitality. The Marienplatz, the Bavarian State Opera, Maximilianstraße and the Viktualienmarkt are all also within easy reach.
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Find your way to our Armbrustschützenzelt quickly and know where you are at all times!
The traditional Armbrustschützenzelt, with its total of 7,450 seats, is one of the biggest tents on the Theresienwiese in the heart of Munich. Inside, the tent is dominated by green and white cloths. While the tent’s facade resembles an alpine house, the tower is a reminder of its origins as a beer castle.
The tent of the “Winzerer Fähndl” guild has existed since 1895. The traditional German crossbow championships continue to take place here every year at Oktoberfest time. The tent has already possessed its own crossbow shooting range for 110 years.
Experience the traditional ambiance in the Armbrustschützenzelt and celebrate with smooth Paulaner Wiesn beer, pork hocks and other treats. You will find the Armbrustschützenzelt to the north, directly between the Marstall-Festzelt and the Hofbräu-Festzelt.
Delicacies & German Championships
Since 1895, the German Crossbow Shooting Championships have been held there during the Wiesn. The traditional Armbrustschützenzelt is designed in the style of a huge pre-Alpine house. The individual boxes are labelled with local animal names, such as Gams- or Wildsaubox.
Cordiality, family & tradition
Wiesn visitors are thrilled: sweet Augustiner beer from traditional wooden barrels! Families with children are welcome in the Augustiner tent.
Let's go to the beautiful Rosi!
Directly in front of the main entrance, two 20-metre high maypoles tower into the sky - making the search for the Bräurosl a piece of cake. The festival hall is named after the daughter of the former Pschorr innkeeper and brewery owner - the beautiful Bräurosl, who was already the reason for one or two visitors back then.
Steckerlfisch and pink Monday
In addition to the usual Wiesn delicacies, there are numerous fresh fish dishes. The tent is easily recognisable by its familiar feature: a stork's nest on the roof gable. The Fischer-Vroni tent is not quite as noisy as the big beer tents. It also has a rustic, cosy atmosphere. An insider tip is the second Monday of the Wiesn, when the Bavarian lesbian and gay scene mingles there.
With the heaven of the Bavarians!
Welcome to the Bavarian heaven! The tent is all in white and blue and decorated with a starry sky. Every year the Hacker Festzelt becomes a favourite of the people of Munich and attracts many young Wiesn visitors. The tent is also known for the most romantic grand final (“Kehraus”).
International flair in the heart of Bavaria
The world-famous Munich Hofbräuhaus is also the second-largest Wiesn tent on the Theresienwiese at Oktoberfest time. The Hofbräu Festzelt is particularly popular with visitors from abroad. It offers space for more than 10,000 guests including a standing area in front of the music podium - all under the watchful eye of the angel Aloisuis, a larger-than-life figure who watches over the hustle and bustle.
Home of the celebrities and the “chic” crowd
The Käfer Wiesn-Schänke is reminiscent of a Bavarian farm or even a mountain hut - cosy, rustic & quaint. Many prominent Wiesn guests come here every year. International high society is also a regular here. Fine delicacies from Feinkost Käfer are served and the famous Käfer Wiesn-Haferl is available as a souvenir.
Where the "”Sechzger” meet tourists
Right next to the famous tower is a 4.5-metre-tall roaring lion. Every minute he roars “Löööwenbräu” loudly, attracting a lot of attention. So you cannot miss the tent - neither visually nor acoustically.
The youngest of the Wiesn tents, yet with tradition.
Since 2014, the Marstall festival tent has been present on the Theresienwiese in place of the Hippodrom. The Able family welcomes its guests with a mixture of Bavarian cosiness and exuberant party atmosphere. Culinary delicacies, Spaten and Franziskaner beer make the tent a lasting Wiesn experience.
No ox remains anonymous
A very special delicacy is served here! Right in front of the front of the Spatenbräu tent, a huge ox turns on a spit - a real invitation for hungry Wiesn visitors. All the oxen are personally selected from the Gut Karlshof by the host, and each ox is immortalised with its name on a plaque.
The traditional tapping - O'zapft is!
The Schottenhamel Festhalle has been at the Oktoberfest since 1867. It is therefore the oldest and most traditional festival tent at the Wiesn! This is where the official tapping takes place every year with the mayor and where by far the youngest audience celebrates.
With the most beautiful view
The famous Schützenfest tent is located at the foot of the Bavaria. With a view of the Bavaria and the famous Ferris wheel from its magnificent balconies, it is the tent with the best view. The tent may be one of the smallest, but it still holds a lot of tradition: integrated into the tent are shooting stands where the Bavarian Sports Shooting Association holds a traditional Oktoberfest shooting competition every year.
Sparkling wine, champagne & partying until 1 am. Wine lovers will also get their money's worth here: the best wines, sparkling wine and champagne en masse! There is no lager here, but Weissbier and the rustic wooden panelling is reminiscent of a Franconian vineyard. Instead of beer benches, you will find corner benches in separate wooden boxes. And you can even party here until 1am, so it is a welcome location when the rest of the tents close at 11.30pm.
The fastest beer dispenser at the Wiesn
The giant beer stein on top of the tent tower is the unmistakable landmark of the Paulaner Festzelt. Thanks to the south-facing sun terrace, you can sit comfortably and enjoy the most modern beer tapping system at the Wiesn, which serves up to 15 beers per minute.
“Schlager” hits at maximum volume, a boisterous atmosphere and Oktoberfest beer – even people who normally hate to dance find themselves moving to the music. Dancing and swaying on the beer benches are, of course, allowed here. All this exuberant fun should, however, take place within certain limits: anyone who takes it up a level and climbs onto the tables must expect to be thrown out.
Of course, to fit in perfectly at the Wiesn, your outfit has to be right for the occasion! As we all know, the traditional garb for men is lederhosen. Women get to wear a pretty dirndl – the traditional Bavarian skirt. Be careful to choose a dirndl that reaches below the knees, however, or risk causing offence! Wearing hats, sneakers or sports shoes with typical Bavarian costumes is also not in keeping with Bavarian tradition.
Single, spoken for or available? If you want to know more about the relationship status of a pretty dirndl-wearer, you can look at the dirndl’s bow:
If the bow is positioned to the right, the lady is keeping her distance from flirting at Oktoberfest because she is in a relationship or even married.
If the dirndl bow is tied in the middle, the wearer is a virgin (according to tradition).
If the bow is worn on the left of the dirndl, this means that the wearer is single and can be asked to dance.
If the bow is tied at the back, the wearer is either widowed or she is your waitress!