Munich Travel Guide

Activities & Events

Festivals
OktoberfestThe first Oktoberfest took place on the 12 October 1810, to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. All citizens of Munich were invited to a meadow (Wies'n) situated in front of the city tower, subsequently renamed the Theresienwiese in honor of the bride. In the early years of the fair, horse races were held, then as the event grew, included agricultural conventions, which still take place every fourth year. In 1896, businessmen working with the breweries in Munich built the first giant beer tents at Oktoberfest, and drinking has been the primary focus since. Each of the major breweries presides over its own large tent filled with traditional musicians leading the crowd in well-known drinking chants, incredibly strong barmaids hoisting ten or more huge Ma (1-liter glass beer mugs that are heavy even when empty!), and a spate of drunken people all trying to get into the bathroom at once. In 2003, Oktoberfest hosted 6.4 million visitors who drank 6.1 million liters of beer and ate the equivalent of 91 oxen, 383,000 sausages and 630,000 chickens.However, visiting the Oktoberfest can be much more stressful than the visit of similar festivals (Cannstatter Wasen, Wurstmarkt Bad Drkheim, etc.), because the tents are overcrowded and there are doormen at the entrance ruling the procedure of coming in. Especially at weekends you should try to get in the tents before 10AM. During the week, most tents are open all day, however it is not easy to get a seat if you are many people and as a general rule, you won't get served if you haven't got a seat.It is not recommended to leave the tent if you want to get in it later the day. So you have to decide early in the morning if you want to go in a certain tent or you want to enjoy the rides like the coaster with 5 loops. Some tents, such as the Hofbru Festzelt have a standing area that do not require seating; as such, you can sometimes get into this tent later than with other ones. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy your beer any time at the open air tables besides the beer tents. You won't experience the typical beer tent atmosphere with Bavarian oompah music though.
* Accommodation will be hard to find and prices can easily double during Oktoberfest.
* Smoking is forbidden within the tents, but some tents feature designated, secluded outside smoking areas. Think twice if you want to go out for smoking since you may not get in again.
* The central subway station "Theresienwiese" (subway lines U4 and U5) is very crowded and will sometimes be closed because of this. As an alternative, go to subway station "Goetheplatz" (lines U3 and U6). It's crowded too, but you will still have some air to breathe there. Just follow the crowd when you get out of the station.
* In most beer tents the bar closes at 10:30pm while the tent closes at 11:30pm. You should have finished your beer before then since the security will ruthlessly clear the area.
* Tents open at 10am usually (9am on weekends). The first day is tapping day (German "Anstich"). There is no beer served before noon and since the tents will surely be crowded by then, it will take some time until everyone is served.
* If you are with small children, try to avoid the weekends. Every Tuesday from 12 to 6pm is family day with discounts on many rides.
Kulturstrand2013: CorneliusbrckeHours: Mid-May to mid-August 12:0023:00Kulturstrand ("Cultural Beach") is a festival, where you can watch live performances in a relaxed beach atmosphere, as tons of sand and canvas chairs are brought to a place in the middle of the city. The beach bar offers tasty and the notorious local beer. The festival changes its place every year. While it was at the Father Rhine Foutain north of Deutsches Museum in 2013, it will move to Corneliusbrcke to the south of the museum in 2013.
MaibaumaufstellenOn 1 May (which is a public holiday in Germany) strange things happen in some Upper Bavarian villages and even in Munich. Men in Lederhosn and girls in Dirndln carrying long poles meet on the central square. With these poles an even longer white-blue pole is erected. There is usually an oompah band playing, booths selling food and drinks and tables where you can sit down and enjoy this non-touristy spectacle. The large white-blue pole you find in almost every village and dozens in Munich (e.g. on the Viktualienmarkt) is called Maibaum (meaning may tree - known in English as a maypole) and the villages compete who has the tallest and the straightest one. It is cut down every three to five years and re-erected in the following year. Ask a local which village or district of Munich does it this year and be there not later than 10am. There's several traditions revolving around maypoles, like the dance of the unmarried men and women. The weeks before 1 May, each village has to guard its maypole, because if some other village manages to steal it, they'll have to buy it back. Usually with beer.
TollwoodIn summer in the Olympic park, in winter on Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest area), these 3-week festivals combine ethnic food, souvenir shops, concerts and theater, and they are very popular among the locals.
Christkindlmarkt / Christkindltram —see extra section below.
Theatre, opera, and music

Munich is a very culturally active city, and you will find many theatres showing a wide variety of performances. You will find most of them in the Altstadt, Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt and Maxvorstadt. While you may not find many plays in languages other than German, the many opera, ballet and musical shows can be enjoyed regardless of your language knowledge.

If you want to see a movie, keep in mind that foreign movies are normally dubbed with German voices. Adverts will generally indicate if the movie will be shown in its original version (i.e., no overdubbing) with the abbreviations OF (Original version), OmU (Original with German subtitles), and OmeU (original with English subtitles). In the movie theatre right next to subway station Stiglmaierplatz, named "Cinema", they play all movies in the original language. Other options are the "Museums Lichtspiele" or the big Multiplex cinema "Mathäser" at Stachus, which usually show 1-2 movies in their original version.

Sport
River-SurfingIn spring, join the locals surfing on the river at the edge of the Englischer Garten, at the bridge near the Lehel U-bahn station.
Skiing/Snowboarding—In winter, get a "Bayern ticket" for Bavarian public transport, and go skiing at Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the day. Autobus Oberbayern offers good value day trips to Austrian ski resorts such as Kaltenbach (Zillertal), St. Johann and Matrei.
Football—From August to May, you can catch football action with FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich at Allianz Arena.
Hockey - EHC Munich. The local professional hockey club in Munich. They play at the Olympic ice arena in Olympic Park.

source: Wikivoyage

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