EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE OKTOBERFEST
200 years ago, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria married his Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Not only the nobility were invited to the celebration, but also the ordinary people. The high point of the marriage celebration was a horse race on the Theresienwiese, named after the bride – the birth of the “Wiesn”, the field upon which the Oktoberfest takes place.
The Oktoberfest is an event of superlatives and the biggest folk fair in the world. Every year it draws more than six million visitors from all over Germany and the world to Bavaria’s capital city. A processional entrance of the Wiesn restaurateurs and breweries takes place each year marking the ceremonial opening of the Oktoberfest. Festively decorated horse carriages, wagons and music bands make this procession an event worth seeing. And then 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’s tapped) the Oktoberfest is opened.
There is a lot on offer at the Wiesn. Roast chickens, giant pretzels and many other treats are to be found in the countless tents and beer gardens. Those who do not want to only enjoy the hospitable atmosphere in the beer tents can spend time on the numerous attractions. Whether it be a big wheel, giant swing or roller-coaster – there is something here for everyone!
FACTS AND FIGURES
- More than 6,500,000 visitors
- More than 7,400,000 liters of beer are served every year
- 116 oxen, 85 calves and 510,000 chickens were eaten in 2014
- Around 119,000 seats are at the disposal of the Wiesn visitors
- 8,000 permanent employees and 5,000 changing employees
- 20 fairground rides are available for children
Armbrustschützenzelt (Crossbow Shooters Tent)
Tasty treats & German championships
Since 1895, the German Crossbow Championships have been taking place here during the Oktoberfest. The tradition-steeped Armbrustschützenzelt has been created in the style of an enormous alpine house. The individual boxes are signposted with the names of native animals such as the Chamois Box and the Wild Boar Box.
Friendliness, family & tradition
Wiesn visitors are delighted: Oktoberfest beer from traditional wood barrels! Families with children are very welcome in the Augustiner-Festhalle tent.
Pschorrbräu-Festhalle / Bräurosl tent
Time to go to the Bräurosl!
Straight in front of the main entrance, there are two maypoles towering 20 meters up into the sky, making it child’s play to find the Bräurosl. This tent is named after the daughter of the former Pschorr innkeeper and brewery owner – the beautiful Bräurosl!
Fish dishes, stork’s nest & rustic coziness
Here you will find numerous fish dishes, as well as the typical Wiesn treats such as chicken, pretzels, etc. The tent is very easy to recognize thanks to its well-known feature: a stork’s nest on the gable of the roof. It is not quite so loud in the Fischer-Vroni tent as in the large beer tents. In addition, it impresses guests with its rustic and pleasant atmosphere.
Starry skies, enormous fun & tradition
Welcome to the heavens of Bavaria! The tent is completely blue and white and decorated with a starry sky. Every year, the Hacker-Festzelt becomes Munich’s favorite all over again and also attracts many young Wiesn visitors.
International flair in the heart of Bavaria
At the Oktoberfest, Munich’s world-famous Hofbräuhaus has the second-biggest tent on the Theresienwiese. The Hofbräu-Festzelt is especially popular with visitors from abroad. It has seating for more than 10,000 people including a standing area in front of the music podium.
Fine food, stars & starlets
The Käfer Wiesn-Schänke is reminiscent of a Bavarian farmstead or even a mountain lodge – cozy, rustic & quaint. Many famous Oktoberfest visitors can be seen here year after year. International high society is also part of the regular clientele here.
Towers, lions & great atmosphere
A 4.5-meter roaring lion sits enthroned above the entrance and roars “Löööwenbräu” loudly every minute, attracting a lot of attention. The tent cannot be missed – either visually or acoustically.
Something new on the Theresienwiese
In 2014, the Marstall-Festzelt replaced the Hippodrom on the Theresienwiese. The Able family greets its guests with a mixture of Bavarian coziness and exuberant atmosphere. Culinary treats and “Spaten” and “Franziskaner” beer make the tent a memorable Oktoberfest experience.
Oxen, beer & brass music
This is where a very special treat arrives at the table! Before you even enter the Spatenbräu tent, you will see a huge ox is turning on the spit outside – a real invitation for hungry Oktoberfest guests. All the oxen that are served to guests during the Oktoberfest event are personally selected by the restaurateur at the local Karlshof farm.
O'zapft is: the venue of the traditional beer tapping
The Schottenhamel-Festhalle has been a feature of the Oktoberfest since 1867. This makes it the Wiesn’s oldest and most tradition-steeped tent! Whereas before there was only space for around 50 people, thousands of Wiesn guests can celebrate in this tent today.
A tradition for young & old
The famous Schützen-Festzelt tent is located in front of the Bavaria statue. The newly built tent has been shining in new splendor since 2015 and now offers around 1,000 more seats. The tent features a shooting range at which the Bavarian Sport Shooting Association holds its traditional Oktoberfest shooting competition every year.
Sparkling wine, champagne & more
Wine-lovers get their money’s worth here: best wines, sparkling wine and champagne en masse! The rustic wood paneling is reminiscent of a Frankish vineyard. Instead of beer benches here one finds corner seats, located in separate wooden boxes.
Paulaner Festzelt “Winzerer Fähndl”
Wiesn beer & giant stein
The giant stein on the tent tower is the unmistakable landmark of the Winzerer Fähndl. There is more to this tent than the freshly tapped Oktoberfest beer from this traditional Munich brewery. Numerous regular guests and celebrities return to this tent every year.
Dancing & swaying
“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 is, of course, allowed here. All this exuberant fun should, however, take place within certain limits: this is to say that anyone who takes it up a level and climbs onto the tables must expect to be thrown out.
The more satisfied the serving staff are, the better the beer tent atmosphere is. It is best to already give a generous tip in advance and to always be friendly. This is because those serving you decide how quickly you are provided with food and drink.
Of course, to fit in perfectly with the goings-on on the Wiesn, the outfit also has to be right for the occasion! As we all know, the men wear lederhosen and the women wear a pretty dirndl. But it all depends on the details: one should refrain from wearing dirndls that do not reach down over the knees. Combining sneakers with typical Bavarian costumes or hats is also not in keeping with Bavarian tradition.
Single, spoken for or still available? If you want to know more about the relationship status of a pretty dirndl-wearer, you can take a look at the dirndl’s bow:
If the bow is positioned to the right, the lady in question would like to keep her distance from flirting Oktoberfest visitors because she is in a relationship or even married.
If the dirndl bow is tied in the middle, then according to tradition this means that the wearer is a virgin.
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, this indicates that the wearer is widowed or that she is your waitress!
Round off your Wiesn visit with a stay at the Platzl Hotel. This 4-star superior hotel offers international service and lies in the heart of Munich’s old district.
The hotel’s central location makes it perfect for those who want to see more of the city. In the direct vicinity is the famous Hofbräuhaus, which will offer you a special form of hospitality. Also within easy reach are the Marienplatz, the Bavarian State Opera, Maximilianstraße and the Viktualienmarkt.
FROM THE PLATZL HOTEL TO THE WIESN
- S1 to S8 to Hackerbrücke
- S7, S20 and S27 to Heimeranplatz, continuing with U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese or Schwanthalerhöhe
- U3 or U6 to Goetheplatz and Poccistraße
- U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese or Schwanthalerhöhe
- MetroBus line 53 to the Schwanthalerhöhe stop
- MetroBus line 58 to the Georg-Hirth-Platz or Goetheplatz stop
- StadtBus line 131 or 132 to the Hans-Fischer-Straße or Poccistraße stop
- StadtBus line 134 to the Theresienhöhe or Alter Messeplatz stop
- Line 18 or 19 to the Holzapfelstraße or Hermann-Lingg-Straße stop
- The lines 16 and 17 will bring you to the Hackerbrücke stop, from which it is, however, still about a kilometer by foot to the festival field.
So you find your way quickly to our Armbrustschützenzelt and keep an overview!
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.