Have your Lederhosen Ready? Oktoberfest is Here

Crowd at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Crowd at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Munich is best known the world over for its incredibly rambunctious Oktoberfest. For 16 days, over six million lager lovers turn the city into a giant keg party. With beer only allowed from Munich’s select breweries, there are 14 tents to sit (or not), plus taste plenty of pork sausage.

Don’t think this isn’t a family affair. Sure, you’ll find the backpacking-before-college kids sewing their barley and hops, but the fest also tries to include the little one’s. Each Tuesday during Oktoberfest, Family Day offers fairground ride discounts. And on the last Sunday, fireworks commence in the Theresienwiese, the fest’s main field.

While drinking may be of top priority to you, don’t miss out on the city’s other gathering of people, which happens daily at 11 am. The Rathaus-Glockespiel is located in the 800+ year-old Marienplatz. This huge mechanical clock has 43 bells and 32 life-sized figurines that come to life in a 260-foot tower, reenacting two scenes from Munich’s history. The whole show lasts about 15 minutes (so you’ll be back drinking in no time), culminating in the appearance of a small golden bird chirping three times. And the crowd goes wild.

When you can chug no more, catch the train at Munich’s main station, the Hauptbahnhof. Take your German Rail Pass and hop on the high speed InterCity and EuroCity trains to most parts of Germany, and even France and Italy – where there are fine wines to taste.

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