The Manual Guide to Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

While its name presumably means that it takes place in October, most of Oktoberfest in Munich actually takes place this month. The first Oktoberfest actually took place during the month of October in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of  Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The burghers of Munich were invited to join in the fun and drink, eat and enjoy themselves for five days, and watch parades, shooting displays and horse races. The parties were such a success, that the Bavarian city decided to do it again, and the tradition continued for 181 years. Set to attract approximately six million people who will consume about  Oktoberfest 2014 is scheduled from September 20 to October 5 in a meadow called Theresienwiese (or Weisn for short), after Princess Therese. With 14 tents participating in the festivities, it can be quite daunting to choose the right one. Here, The Manual breaks down the top five must-visit tents of Oktoberfest.

Schottenhamel
This is where all the action starts. At noon on September 20 the mayor of Munich, Christian Ude will yell out “O’zapft is!” after tapping the first keg, and you’ll get close with around 10,000 of other beer guzzlers.

Hochreiters Kalbsbraterei
At this new comer tent, around 300 people can enjoy all kinds of traditional German veal dishes and several gourmet plates.

Weinzelt
Are either you or your companions not into drinking enormous amounts of beer? No problem! Head to the Weinzelt tent, where 15 different varieties of wine are served, as well as several types of sekt (that’s Germany’s version of sparkling wine.)

Augustiner-Festhalle
This tent is supposedly the friendliest of all of Oktoberfest. Servers always greet you with a smile no matter how hectic it is. It’s even family friendly; Augustiner-Festhalle has a kids day on Tuesdays, where there are special discounts.

Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke
This is by far the most exclusive tent of the whole event. Try the Käfer-roasted duck, but be warned: you’ll only get past the door after 11 pm if you’re famous or well-connected.

For more information, visit oktoberfest.de.