– “the barrel is tapped!” exclaims Munich‘s Lord Mayor after broaching the first cask of beer at noon, thus officially inaugurating the world-famous Oktoberfest. For sixteen days the citizens of Munich as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world will flock to the fairgrounds, commonly known as “Wiesn” (“meadow”) at the foot of the Bavaria statue. The peppy music of the brass bands in the beer tents belongs to the Oktoberfest atmosphere as much as the dizzy rides on the roller coasters and merry-go-rounds, or the smell of roasted almonds, Turkish delight and gingerbread hearts. Truth be told, there are no words to describe the Oktoberfest, you have to experience it yourself! This year, for the 184th time, Munich will again radiate high spirits and zest for life as people follow the invitation: “Let‘s go to the Oktoberfest!”
The Oktoberfest is characterized by a distinct mix of high tech and nostalgia. Over 200 attractions and sideshows invite visitors to have the time of their lives. In addition to spectacular large rides such as the Olympia Looping or the Eurostar, there are funfair attractions with a long-standing fairground tradition that can only be found at the Wiesn, such as the Krinoline (old-fashioned merry-go-round), the Teufelsrad (“Devil‘s Wheel”), the Toboggan, and the Schichtl Variety Show, the latter being a true Oktoberfest Institution.
The special Oktoberfest beer brewed by Munich‘s six major breweries is served in seventeen beer tents with a total seating capacity for 120,000 guests. The draft beer is the perfect beverage to accompany Bavarian treats such as radishes, Obatzta (specially garnished cream cheese), sausages, and roast chicken or spicy fish grilled on a stick. The ox roasted on a spit is another Wiesn specialty. All in all, some 80 small and medium-sized caterers invite you to have a swell time. Please remember: To book seats in a beer tent, you must contact the respective tent operator directly.
The Oktoberfest dates back to 1810. It has its origin in the wedding celebrations of Crown Prince Ludwig – who later became King Ludwig I of Bavaria – and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. In honor of the princess the fairgrounds
in midst of the city were later named “Theresienwiese” (“Therese‘s Meadow”), a
term which local people affectionately shortened to “Wiesn.”
Opening Festivities Oktoberfest 2023
In The Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries (first held in 1887),Saturday, September 16, beginning at 11:00 a.m.
This is the festive prelude to the inauguration of the Oktoberfest with beautifully adorned carriages bearing the landlords’ families, the splendid horse-drawn carts of the Munich breweries, waitresses on decorated floats, the music bands of the beer tents as well as the showmen‘s coaches. By tradition Munich‘s Lord Mayor takes part in this event. The procession is headed by the ”Münchner Kindl“, a young woman on horseback wearing a monk‘s habit. Route: Sonnenstrasse to Wiesn
In The Munich Costume and Riflemen‘s Parade (first held in 1835),
Sunday, September 17, starting at 10:00 a.m.
Various groups dressed in traditional costumes, music and marching bands as well as trumpeters, amateur and mountain riflemen present themselves during this twohour parade. The splendid carts of the Munich breweries, coaches and historical carriages, colorfully beribboned trees and flower garlands leave the spectators of this stunning event with an unforgettable impression. Route: Maximilianstrasse, Residenzstrasse, Ludwigstrasse (loop south of Galeriestrasse), Odeonsplatz, Briennerstrasse, Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse, Promenadeplatz, Lenbachplatz, Karlsplatz-Stachus, Sonnenstrasse, Paul-Heyse-Strasse, Georg-Hirth-Platz, Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz, Schubertstrasse, Esperantoplatz (fairgrounds).
Please note: The processions will take place in any weather!