For anyone visiting Germany, particularly Munich in Bavaria, during the months of September and October, there’s no escaping the world’s biggest beer festival, Oktoberfest.
A tradition since 1810, Oktoberfest is a very important part of Bavarian culture, attracting more than six million people from around the world each year through food, beer and fashion.
Shortly before Oktoberfest begins in mid-September, a selection of blouses, dirndl dresses, aprons, leather pants, shirts, traditional cardigans, shoes and accessories fills the shelves and windows of shops all over the city. Whether it is a second-hand store or an exclusive design outlet, the traditional garments are available for locals and tourists, who are surrounded by in-store decorations and features as they shop. You can find designer options of the costume from labels such as Angermainer, Daller Tracht, Trachtenhimmel, Almliebe, Lodenfrey and even Hugo Boss, or alternatively, if you are on a budget, pop-up stores throughout the city centre will provide cheap and cheerful options.
Once you have your Folklore costume, traditionally worn by locals to Bavarian festivities such as church high days, weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries, it’s party time.
Whether you want to celebrate at one of the hot spots or a more secluded beer garden, much like the costume, there is something for everyone! If you’re a first timer, I would recommend starting at Hippodrom in the Postpalast (Hackerbruecke), where you can celebrate with a large crowd of people and more than 3,000 sq m of space to dance. Only a few minutes’ walk away, you can find a late night hotspot called “Der Wiesnclub” in the Alte Kongresshalle at Theresienhoehe. The big breweries Löwenbräukeller or Hacker-Pschorr Bräuhaus also promise a great atmosphere with Munich’s best party DJs until early hours of the next morning.
Personally though, I prefer a more relaxed alternative, and choose to celebrate Oktoberfest at a range of our beautiful beer gardens, surrounded by the shadows of old and huge chestnut trees, Bavarian food and a Augustiner draft beer in hand.
If that sounds like you, check out the best beer gardens that Munich has to offer on this map: