What is the Oktoberfest? When and where is Oktoberfest Celebrated?

how to celebrate oktoberfest

Festival Desk, Delhi Magazine: The Oktoberfest is the largest folk festival in the world. Specialties such as beer and pretzels are part of a visit. In addition, many visitors wear Bavarian costumes – even if many do not come from Bavaria.

History of Oktoberfest

The history of the Oktoberfest began with the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. At the end of the five-day wedding celebrations, a horse race took place on October 12, 1810 on a meadow near Munich. Children in Bavarian folk costumes cheered the royal family present and recited poems in their honor. Everything was festively decorated with flowers and fruits.

Oktoberfest in Munich

The Munich Oktoberfest has been attracting guests from all over the world to Munich for over 200 years. We show unique milestones, events and photos of Oktoberfest history.


In honor of the bride, the fairground was christened “Theresens-Wiese”; the Oktoberfest site is still called “Theresienwiese” – in Munich usage it is called “the Wiesn”.

The horse race was a huge success and was therefore held in conjunction with an agricultural fair the following October. This is how the tradition of the “October festivals” came into being. More beer tents and competitions were added every year, only the horse races have not been held since 1938 for organizational reasons.

Bavarian specialties at the Oktoberfest

At the Oktoberfest there is almost everything that Bavarian cuisine has to offer in terms of specialties: Hendl and knuckle of pork are the hits, followed by ox on a skewer, bratwurst and duck with potato dumplings and red cabbage. Fish is mainly represented as fish on a stick and is dearly loved by many locals. The Steckerlfisch is a fish grilled on a stick (usually mackerel, whitefish, char or bream), which is traditionally served at folk festivals or in the beer garden in Bavaria.

From Beer Stall to Beer Tents

The first carousel and two swings were set up in 1818. The late 19th century saw the heyday of showmen and the carousel industry. In small booths, the number of which increased rapidly, visitors could get beer. The first large beer castles were built in 1896 by enterprising innkeepers in cooperation with the breweries.

Soon, hearty snacks and hearty Munich delicacies were also being offered for sale, and this is how the Wirtsbudenstrasse came into being, which to this day offers everything that visitors need for Oktoberfest happiness for body and soul.

oktoberfest in munich


Today it is considered the largest folk festival in the world and is known worldwide. The special thing about the “Wiesn” is that it is a magnet for both the people of Munich and tourists. There are traditional costume and rifle parades as well as the most modern high-tech rides.

What are the prices at Oktoberfest? How much does a visit cost?

Astroll through the Wiesn is basically free of charge. A stroll through the Wiesn, which should go beyond the mere visual pleasure, is expensive in principle. We record exactly how expensive it is every year through our survey of the Wiesn Visitor Price Index (WPI) . The innkeepers generally adjust their prices upwards generously every year, regardless of general inflation. Fairground rides, like the gastronomy, are also more expensive than at smaller folk festivals. However, other festivals in Munich are often similarly expensive, and Munich Christmas markets are often even more expensive. We have put together an overview of fares and meal prices for you.

oktoberfest celebrations

The development of the beer price causes trouble in Munich every year. On the other hand, at large fairs in northern Germany, beer is often even sold at higher prices than at the Oktoberfest. It should be self-explanatory that these are much less nice events and far worse beer. The Swiss are in seventh foreign exchange heaven anyway because of the domestic price level at the Wiesn.

Oktoberfest outfit?

Although traditional costumes have always played an important role at the Wiesn, even at the public wedding celebrations of Prince Ludwig and his Therese and have been worn at least by the rural population throughout the last 200 years, the current mania for traditional costumes is a fad of the 2000s . Years. Munich residents in particular have long resisted the robes based on Upper Bavarian mountain costumes. In recent years, however, the majority of visitors – whether locals or tourists – dress in lederhosen and dirndl robes, but rarely in traditional costumes. We would be happy to provide you with the article “ What is a traditional costume? “, vicinity.

outfits for oktoberfest

If you think you can protect yourself from being recognized as a tourist with a checked shirt, cheap off-the-rack leather pants or a dirndl with Alpine print, you can save yourself this. Anyone who would like to pretend to be a traditional puppet can of course do so; However, it is simply nonsensical to necessarily combine a visit to the Oktoberfest with the purchase of clothing that is vaguely reminiscent of autochthonous Bavarian garb. Clothing is certainly necessary for a visit to the Oktoberfest, but not a certain subtype of it.

When is the Oktoberfest?

The Oktoberfest starts every year on the third Saturday in September. Two weeks later, on Thanksgiving Sunday, it’s over again. Even if the “Wiesn” no longer starts in October, the name has remained.

The reasons for bringing the festival forward are obvious. September has a milder climate, the sun shines more often on average, the weather is better and thus attracts more visitors. After all, the Oktoberfest is big business for breweries and showmen.

In 2023, the Munich Oktoberfest begins on September 16th and ends on October 3rd. In general, the Wiesn ends on the first Sunday in October or October 3rd (public holiday) – whichever is later and begins three Saturdays before this day. The earliest date is September 16th to October 3rd with a duration of 18 days. The last was September 22nd to October 7th with a duration of 16 days. The Wiesn lasts 17 or 18 days if it is extended to October 3rd, a public holiday.


The next dates are as follows:

September 16 – October 3, 2023
September 21 – October 6, 2024
September 20 – October 5, 2025
September 19 – October 4, 2025

Oktoberfest Rules: This is how you behave at the Wiesn

For a stress-free visit to the Oktoberfest, you should know a few rules. Special luggage regulations and a ban on prams on Saturdays: this is important to note.


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At the Oktoberfest we want to celebrate together. There are a few rules to keep in mind:

1. Backpacks and large bags are strictly forbidden at the Wiesn. Leave at home what you don’t need to celebrate. The fastest people at the Wiesn are those who don’t have bags or a backpack with them.
2. Bags and rucksacks brought along may have a maximum volume of three liters and no larger than 20 cm x 15 cm x 10 cm.
3. This shouldn’t be in even the smallest pocket: gas spray cans with harmful contents, caustic or coloring substances or objects that can be used as cutting, thrusting or stabbing weapons. Glass bottles are also not allowed to be brought in.
4. On Saturdays and on October 3rd, the “Day of German Unity”, prams are not permitted all day. On the other days of the Oktoberfest, this ban on prams applies from 6 p.m. However, security personnel can check strollers.
5. Bicycles, scooters, skateboards and the like are not permitted on the festival site.
6. Animals are not allowed on the Wiesn at any time (with the exception of assistance dogs).
7. Plan your arrival: Use alternatives to the U-Bahn 4/5 and the Theresienwiese U-Bahn station. If you arrive at the main train station, you may have to walk to the Wiesn. If you come from the west with the subway, get off at Schwanthalerhöhe if possible. Also use the subway 3/6 stops Goetheplatz and Poccistraße.
8. Use all entrances to the Wiesn around the festival area. As in previous years, all entrances are open and not blocked.
9. The Oktoberfest is most comfortable when there is no crowd. The Oktoberfest barometer shows you when the time for a stroll through the Oktoberfest is good.
10. Even the most beautiful folk festival evening comes to an end. Visitors are not permitted on the festival grounds between 1.30 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Other main things about Oketoberfest

  1. Definitely take with you: Small bag (a maximum of 3 liters and 20x15x10 cm is allowed), Cash, identity card, Key, mobile, Good shoes, Jacket,
  2. Who needs it: MVV ticket, handkerchiefs, sunglasses, payments, make-up kit, throat candies,
    KATWARN app (Promptly informs about any security reports).
  3. Prams (may be taken onto the site until 6 p.m., except on Saturdays and October 3rd)
  4. Medical equipment (please get a security check banderole at the entrance).
  5. That stays at home: Bulky/Dangerous Items, Backpacks and bags with a capacity of more than 3 liters (luggage storage is available, for example, at the main train station or at the entrances to the festival site), glass bottles, Gas spray cans (this can also include deodorant or hairspray),
    Animals (exception: assistance dogs that can be identified)

Where is Oktoberfest

Incidentally, there are now Oktoberfest festivals all over the world – even in the USA, Brazil, Australia or Russia. The original is and will remain in Munich.

1st place: Munich Oktoberfest, Germany

Oktoberfest takes place very centrally in Munich: on the so-called Theresienwiese, a mostly empty space of about 100 acres, not far from the Old Town and in the middle of Munich’s Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt district. Key points and sights on Theresienwiese are the statue of Bavaria in front of the Ruhmeshalle in the west, as well as the 320 foot-high neo-Gothic church St Paul’s in the north. Theresienwiese is not green like a true meadow (“Wiese” means meadow in German) for the most part, even though cornflowers and wild chamomile flower in some parts in summer. Other events happen here too: For example, Springfest or, in winter, the Tollwood Festival.

oktoberfest in munchen

2nd place: Villa General de Belgrano.

Looks like Bavaria – but it’s not: Visitors to the Argentinean Oktoberfest also like to dress up in lederhosen and dirndls. There are many German immigrants in Villa General de Belgrano.

3rd place: Züri Wiesn, Switzerland

Our neighbors in Switzerland also hold an Oktoberfest every year. The four-week long “Züri Wiesn” attracts a remarkable 40,000 visitors, who can also drink properly: Approx. 80,000 beer are destroyed during this time.

4rth place: Oktoberfest in Cincinnati

The largest Oktoberfest in the USA will take place in the US metropolis of Cincinnati from September 18th to 20th. Here the Americans celebrate hell-bent on what they understand to be Bavarian customs.

With 50 million Americans with German roots, it is no wonder that the “German Beer Festival” has also found its way into many places in the USA. For example, the “Oktoberfest by the Bay” in San Francisco has been organized by the United German-American Societies for around 125 years. From September 23rd to 25th it’s going to be really Bavarian with “Cold beer” and “Sizzling Oompah Music”. Since 1976, this festival has been one of the highlights of the 300,000-inhabitant city of Cincinnati in the US state of Ohio – by the way, a sister city of Munich . The spelling “Zinzinnati” is a small jab at the wooden German accent and at the same time denotes all German festivals celebrated by Germans in the USA . From September 18th to 20th, Fifth Avenue will be transformed into the largest street of beer stalls in the Midwest. Many happy, celebratory people (“men and women”) will come and maintain what they consider to be a genuine Bavarian folk festival tradition.5th place: Oktoberfest in Denver

5th place: Oktoberfest in Denver, Colorado

Oktoberfest in Denver, Colorado. The tradition here goes back to 1969: the immigrants Fred and Hertha Thomas are said to have missed the Munich Wiesn so much that they tapped a keg of beer in front of their café and offered the guests pretzels and radishes. Today, a good 350,000 visitors celebrate here on two weekends a year. It is said to be the second largest Oktoberfest in the US, after Munich’s twin city of Cincinnati.

6th place: Frankenmuth Oktoberfest, USA

In 1996, a German mayor approved the city of Frankenmuth, Michigan, as the first American city to import German beer. Since then, the Munich Hofbräuhaus has sponsored the American Oktoberfest, which attracts around 100,000 visitors every year.’

7th place: Madrid Oktoberfest

Since 2014 there has also been an Oktoberfest in Madrid. This year it will take place from October 5th to 7th at the Wizink Center in the city center. Original Bavarian beer will also be served for the first time this year.

8th place: Qingdao International Beer Festival, China

The Asian Oktoberfest takes place in Qingdao, China, for three weeks in August. Here, too, this tradition goes back to a former German colony in this region. The Wiesn in China records a proud three to four million visitors every year!

9th place: Oktoberfest Brisbane, Australia

The largest Australian Oktoberfest takes place in Brisbane with 36,000 participants. In addition to the typical traditional “German Bratwurst” and “Pretzel”, “Black Forest Cake”, i.e. Black Forest cake, is also served here. The main thing is German.

10th place: Oktoberfest in Tokyo, Japan

The Oktoberfest in Tokyo is small but nice: With just 1,000 visitors per year, it is one of the smaller festivals. The Oktoberfest here is more of an event for companies, a kind of team building, and less intended for normal party people. It is intended to bring German culture closer to Japanese business customers.

Oktoberfest worldwide: Canada

The Canadian town of Kitchener-Waterloo in the province of Ontario has had its own “Bavarian Festival” since 1969. It is strongly based on the Munich original. For a week – this year from October 7th to 15th – the around 800,000 visitors in the 18 festival halls let themselves be spoiled with beer, bratwurst and hits. The whole spectacle is even broadcast on television.By the way, from Kitchener-Waterloo it is only a short hop to the famous Niagara Falls!

Delhi Magazine Team

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