Beer and bratwurst fans rejoice – Oktoberfest is returning tomorrow (Saturday, 22 September).
Although originating in Munich, many cities now partake in Bavarian-inspired festivities. Here’s how to celebrate across some of the cities hosting Oktoberfest events over the coming weeks:
Timeline for Events
Munich is the birthplace of Oktoberfest and the festival has been a yearly staple in the city since 1810. Unsurprisingly, it’s big, with over seven million people flocking to the city during the world’s largest Oktoberfest celebration.
The central attraction is the series of beer tents that take over the city during the festival. With 14 big tents (and 20 smaller tents) to choose from, there’s something to suit every taste, including a wine tent, a DJ tent, a family tent, and of course ample regional beers and German cuisine to try.
For those who want to take a break from beer and bratwurst, the Oktoberfest parade takes place on the first Sunday of the festival, in which 9,500 participants clad in traditional costumes make their way along a seven kilometre route through the city.
The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, one of the oldest beer houses in the world, is also worth a visit.
When? 22 September – 7 October
Although smaller than its Munich counterpart, Berlin’s Oktoberfest is still worth checking out, boasting funfair rides, a 1,600 square-metre party tent and plenty of food stalls.
For two weeks, Berlin’s main square, Alexanderplatz, is transformed into an open-air beer garden, providing a central location to enjoy a sausage or a stein.
The city will also play host to Berlin leuchtet (“Berlin illuminated” in English) with many of the city’s buildings illuminated by brightly-coloured lights.
When? 21 September – 14 October
With around 50,000 guests each year, London’s Oktoberfest celebrations are the biggest in the United Kingdom.
With events taking place in several locations including Millwall Park, Finsbury Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, traditional Bavarian music, food and beer can be enjoyed across the city.
As well as the larger events, revellers can enjoy Bavarian-based beats at Brixton Jamm or sample one of the 16 local craft beers at Kraft Beer Oktoberfest at Mercato Metropolitano.
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London’s Oktoberfest also incorporates other autumnal festivities, with a ‘Halloween Special’ taking place on the 27th and 31st of October.
When? 4 October- 31 October
Paris Oktoberfest is returning to the Paris Event Center for the fourth year in a row.
As expected, traditional German food is on the menu, accompanied by brass bands with the addition of cabaret dancers providing a Parisian twist
As well as 11 evenings of revelry, attend the opening of the Oktoberfest Paris marked by the piercing of the first barrel transported from Bavaria.
When? 4 October- 14 October
What started off as a typical German event 30 years ago, Oktoberfest Calella is now an international music festival, with more than 2,800 musicians from all over Europe taking part.
The 31st edition will be held at Montjuic Castle, and will feature family-friendly events as well as the typical beer-based celebrations.
Located on the Spanish coast and enjoying balmy temperatures well into October, it is possible to take a dip in the Mediterranean while sipping a stein.
When? 4 October- 15 October
Travelling to Munich to experience the real thing? Here’s our pick of places to stay.