Oktoberfest 2017 has just started. It’s the 184th edition of the world-famous beer festival in Munich, Germany. Despite the cold and rainy weather, people were waiting in line the whole morning, until the official opening of the first barrel of beer, and therefore of the event, by the Munich mayor at 12 p.m on Saturday, September 16th.
Oktoberfest takes place until October 3rd, which is the German national holiday, and this year brings one extra day to the festival. The tents start to serve beer at 9 a.m. on weekends or public holidays and at 10 a.m. during weekdays. The last beer is served at 10.30 p.m., and depending on the day, the tents close around midnight. The wine tent is the exception, being open until 1 a.m.
As you can imagine, the festival gets much more crowded during weekends, and especially Saturdays bring a lot of people to the event. The beer tents fill up pretty quickly. If you can visit Oktoberfest between Monday – Thursday, and especially before the afternoon, you will find the atmosphere much more relaxed and usually sufficient available seats in the tents. During the weekends, you will very often see the tents closed due to the high number of people and a queue outside, with visitors waiting for seats to become available. It is much easier to find seats in the beer gardens around the tents.
The price of the beer increased slightly. It differs only marginally from tent to tent, and it is very close to €11 per liter.
Oktoberfest is not only about beer and food. Numerous attractions make it a fun event for the whole family. This year brings six new attractions, including the Drifting Coaster (swinging gondolas at high speed), the Voodoo Jumper (tries to induce weightlessness), the XXL Racer (brings you up 55 meters), the Jules Verne Tower (flies you with 65 km/h at 70 meters in the air) and the Märchenlandexpress (fairy tale).
An important change that was introduced last year is the increased security. The whole area is surrounded by fences and strict security controls take place at all entrances. It is forbidden to take any big luggage inside, including backpacks or trolleys. There are storage facilities at the main entrances, however they tend to fill up quickly, hence it’s simply better not to take such luggage with you.
It goes without saying that it’s best to avoid going to the Oktoberfest by car. The whole area becomes restricted during the festival and only the residents have access. The underground transportation is the most convenient way to arrive. You can choose any of the following stations: Theresienwiese, Goetheplatz, Poccistraße. If you need to arrive to a certain section of the festival grounds, it’s best to check before what underground station is closest to your point of interest. Taxis are available, however you might need to wait quite long especially in the evening when everybody is leaving.