5 Things to do at the Oktoberfest Festival Other Than Drinking in the Tents

Sure, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Beer Fest, but there is so much more to do and see than just the inside of a tent and the bottom of a stein. Make sure you take in the traditional ceremonies, take a spin on the rides, eat your way through all of the traditional Bavarian delicacies, and take all the pics to document your experience!

Spatenbrau carriage during the Oktoberfest parade. The carriage is led by horses and is covered in blue & white ribbons and red and white flowers

1.  Attend the Traditional Ceremonies


Opening Ceremony Parade
(Free to watch, tickets for seats can be reserved)

  • On Saturday, September 21st, 2019, experience the opening ceremony. It kicks off with the Parade of the Wiesn Landlords and Breweries, where over 1,000 people follow the Münchner Kindle, the city mascot, and the carriage of the Munich mayor throughout the town as they make their way towards Theresienwiese, the festival grounds. Each Wiesn landlord and their family has a flower covered carriage, which is quite a site, plus each of the Munich breweries has one as well, led by draft horses. The parade is also quite lively as bands march along throughout the time.

“O’zapft is!”
(reservation required in Schottenhamel tent, or watch on TV/stream live on muenchen.de)

  • The parade ends at the Schottenhamel festival hall where he traditionally taps the keg and cries out, “O’zapft is,” or “it’s tapped!” Directly after, there are 12 gunshots that signal to all of the beer halls that the beer can be served! Enjoy watching the Mayor as he strives to beat the record for the fastest tap. Right now, it stands tied with Mayor Ude & Mayor Reiter who were able to insert the tap in just two strikes of the hammer.

Traditional Costume & Hunter’s Parade
(free to watch along the route, tickets available for stands with the best view)

  • On Sunday, September 22nd, 2019, make your way to the Maximilianstrasse at 10AM to watch hunting clubs, marching bands and musicians, and historic costume-clad enthusiasts march through Munich towards Theresienwiese. A much larger parade than the opening ceremony, this one welcomes around 9,000 participants.

These events only happen once. Sound like a must-see?
Ensure you attend weekend 1 (departure 9/19).


The Wiesn Landlord’s Concert
(free near the foot of the Bavaria statue)

  • On Sunday, September 29th at 11:00am the mayor and/or celebrities conduct hundreds of musicians who play the most popular Bavarian traditional songs. At the end, thousands of balloons are released into the sky to the tune of the Bavarian anthem.

This event only happens once. Sound like a must-see?
Ensure you attend weekend 2 (departure 9/26).


Festival Conclusion Gun Salute

  • On Sunday, October 6th at Noon, gather at Theresienwiese to see the close of the festival in a music and gun-powder packed spectacle.

This event only happens once. Sound like a must-see?
Ensure you attend weekend 3 (departure 10/3).

2.  Try all of the Foods

Pork Knuckle, candied almonds, roasted chicken, and pretzels are only a few of the delicacies you can eat in Munich and at the Festival.

3.  Ride the Rides & Play Carnival Games

Or, just watch as other inebriated festival-goers try their shot at the traditional challenges. Remember to bring cash with you to ride or play! Here are some of our favorites:

The Can’t-Miss Classics

The Witches’ Whip (Hexenschaukel)
The “madhouse” has existed since 1894 and was reignagurated as a regular in 1994. Hop on this for illusions that make you feel like you’re turning upside down

The Devil’s Wheel (Teufelsrad)
The Devil’s Wheel is a spinning disk challenge where participants try to stay on as long as they can. It’s surrounded by stands so that you can watch as other’s try their skill (or luck), and it’s a fan favorite because of the MC Wiggerl Kugler.

men wearing lederhosen try to stay on the spinning wheel at the Devil's Wheel ride at Oktoberfest.

Carousel (Krinoline)
A carousel might not scream FUN to you after the age of 8, but this is the only ride at Die Wiesn that has its own brass band.

The Giant Swing Carousel (The Wellenflug)
You’ve probably seen the photos on instagram. Now you can ride in a swing as it spins around and goes up and down in waves. At night, it lights up with colorful flashes.

Willenborg’s Ferris Wheel
Another must-take photo spot, this is the symbol of Oktoberfest. Hop onto one of 40 gondolas that take you over 50 meters high. You can fit up to 10 of your friends in one gondola, or makes friends with someone else.

Night image of Willenborg's Ferris Wheel

The Toboggan
Another ride ripe for spectators, the Toboggan is half slide, half conveyor belt that riders must climb in order to slide down. Unfortunately, this conveyor belt is more of a challenge than an aide, and the audience loves watching people try to balance their way to the top.

Adrenaline Junky Paradise

This is the world’s largest transportable rollercoaster (it takes a full week to set it up and another week to dismantle it). Zoom through 5 loops at speeds up to 100 km/h. Yup, you’re going upside down, so maybe don’t save this for the end of your night!

Night image of Olympia Looping at Oktoberfest. Image all five loops that the rollercoaster travels.

This is the world’s tallest tower drop at 80 meters. Lose your breath at the top and catch it at the bottom for a thrill.

Brand new in 2018, the Predator spins around as it rises into the air, then quickly pivots around spinning you upside down and at all angles. Another that we don’t recommend on post-stein stomach!

Wild Mouse
If five loops aren’t for you, hop on this traditional roller coater where the car is longer than the rail on which it sits for surprising turns and shocking moments.

4. Have a Photoshoot!

two young men wearing lederhosen and blue and white checkered shirts ride The Wellenflug at Oktoberfest and snap a selfie with a Selfie Stick.

You didn’t dress up in the coolest lederhosen or the prettiest dirndls not to document your experience! We’ve curated a list of the prettiest photo-op spots here! Don’t forget a selfie stick. They actually come in handy for shots on the rides or to get your whole squad in a shot inside the tents.

5. Explore Munich Outside of Oktoberfest.

We recommend a city bike tour and a few day trips that take you to locations in the Bavarian countryside, like the Castle that inspired Walt Disney to create the Sleeping Beauty castle. Read our other blog post about our adventures here, or head to our website to check out the excursions in detail!

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