On a meadow just outside Munich’s city centre, over 7 million ardent beer fans will gather for the 210th birthday of one of the world’s largest folk festivals. The beloved Oktoberfest will be celebrating this milestone on the 16 September, kicking off with an almighty parade before the tapping of the first keg. The event lasts for just over two weeks – giving you plenty of time to discover all that Munich has to offer while you’re there. Here, we take a look at some of the city’s best things to do for even the most discerning beer fan – from learning about Munich’s brewing history to visiting the famous beer halls.
Discover Munich’s brewing history
Housed in Munich’s oldest town house, the Bier & Oktoberfest Museum is conveniently located in the city centre. There you’ll find some of the oldest examples of Oktoberfest artefacts from throughout its 210-year history. Special exhibitions take place throughout the year – especially during the festival, with this year’s display centred around the 150th anniversary of Schottenhamel, one of the festival’s largest tents where the famous tapping of the keg takes place. Peruse historical photos, see ginormous brewing vats and learn all about the unique taste and quality of some of Munich’s best beers – then head to the museum’s bar on the ground floor to sample some for yourself.
Visit one of Munich’s beer halls
A great way to feel like a local in Munich is to head to one of the city’s famous beer halls. Essentially a large pub with a speciality in beer, many breweries in the city have their own space for you to eat, drink and be merry. One of Bavaria’s most celebrated beer halls is Hofbräuhaus – founded in the late 16th Century as part of the royal court. Seating up to 2,500 people, take a trip inside and you’ll likely see an Oompah band playing Bavarian folk music for the majority of the day. For a less frenetic affair though, head to Augustiner-Großgaststätten – a sprawling space with quiet courtyards and a somewhat mellow mood. It also has a particular affinity for creating hearty, traditional dishes alongside its beers.
Try some of Munich’s must-have delicacies
As is true with most of Bavaria, Munich has the best of Germany’s traditional dishes right within its grasp. Much of their cuisine is iconic – bagels are bigger and doughier than their American counterpart and often come accompanied with veal sausages, another local speciality. For something a bit sweeter, Apfelstrudel is one of Germany’s most loved desserts, made up of paper-thin dough layered with crisp apple chunks. Germknödel is another typical Bavarian dish, albeit with an Austrian influence. Essentially a steamed dumpling with a delicious plum filling, it goes particularly well with vanilla sauce, and is often sprinkled with poppy seeds.
Inspired to find out more? Read our our guide to enjoying Oktoberfest.