Springfest 2023 is fast approaching and is taking place on April 21 – May 7, 2023. If you’re studying abroad and want to experience Springfest in style, you’ve come to the right place. Find your “hoppy” place with us this spring as we “Prost!” our way through this fun festival.
As well as explaining how to enjoy Springfest and what traditional clothing to wear, our website-wide guides take a look at Munich and Bavaria’s surrounding countryside to show you how to pack as many activities into your weekend as possible.
So, let’s take a look at what Munich has to offer for your Springfest weekend with a three-day plan full of exciting experiences.
How to Make the Most of Munich
Our favorite Friday activity is the Munich Bike tour, which we recommend you book ahead of time to guarantee your spot. Exploring Munich by bike is a great way to get to know the city. After all, it’s how so many locals get around.
The city-wide cycle paths are extensive and perfectly groomed, so it’s easy to see a lot of Munich easily. Must-see spots include:
Marienplatz: a central square in the city center, famous for the Glockenspiel in the tower of New City Hall.
Hofbrauhaus: a local tavern and beer garden. This isn’t just a tourist spot. In fact, many locals even keep their personal steins stored there!
The English Gardens: a massive park even larger than New York City’s Central Park.
The Chinese Tower: This seemingly out-of-place structure, has been around since the 1700s and is home to the 2nd largest beer garden in Munich with 7,000 seats!
Surfer’s Bridge: where locals and experienced surfers from all over the world really do surf on the river. The man-made Eisbachwelle is a constant wave from where the Eisbach river is slowed by submerged concrete blocks and pylons. Its creation was an accident, but surfers have been shredding on it since the 1970s.
The Bavarian Parliament: This historic spot is a must-visit for history and politics students! Whether you enter the buildings themselves or just walk around the outside, this area is gorgeous to cycle around.
After you’ve spent the day exploring the city, Munich by night comes to life! Whether you’re ready to hit up Springfest or find a more low-key bar, bus2alps has the down low on where the best parties are.
Saturday: Time to Prost!
On Saturday, we’ll be ready to head to “Kleine Wiesn” (Little Oktoberfest), as the locals call it, dressed up in our traditional Bavarian clothing. If you don’t have any yourself, don’t fret. There a plenty of local places to hire costumes from.
If you’re anything like us the first time we went to Springfest, you’d think that locals would frown on dressing up, but it’s quite the opposite! They will be dressed in their most elaborate dirndls and genuine leather lederhosen, so you’ll fit right in if you dress the part.
Our only advice is not to purchase a Halloween costume version ahead of time. Then, you’ll certainly stick out, and the locals won’t fret to call you out on your faux pas!
Some people even depart for the festival as early as 6:30am because the tents are first come, first serve without a formal reservation. You’ll hear the traditional songs of Bavaria and revel in the festivities.
Maybe you’ll even be moved to dance on the benches! Just avoid dancing on the tables—that’s not allowed. If you can’t get into a tent, we recommend you grab a spot in the outside beer garden until they start allowing more people to enter.
Beyond the Beer
Don’t forget, there’s more to do at the festival than just the beer tents. We can’t recommend trying the local delicacies enough, riding the carnival attractions, or going to a museum or two! Make the most of your weekend away by trying as many different activities as possible.
Beyond bike riding, you can visit Nymphenburg Palace. Bigger than the French Versailles, this palace is full of art treasures and beautiful botanical gardens. Add a splash of culture to your Springfest weekend trip!
Sports fans can also visit Olympiapark München to tour the famous Olympic Village and get epic shots of the city’s skyline.
Saturday Alternative: Neuschwanstein, A Fairy Tale
If you’re feeling a little worse for wear or can’t face another stein of beer, why not take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle? This magical place served as Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
This beautiful spot is just a two-hour train or bus journey away. Voyage through the majestic Bavarian countryside and arrive at the idyllic setting of Neuschwanstein. Here, you can take in the splendor of the village of Hohenschwangau and expect picture-perfect views.
You can also take the 35-minute tour inside the castle or spend this time exploring the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Either way, this excursion will leave you wanting for nothing in the epic story of Neuschwanstein Castle in all its magic, romance, and absurdity.
Sunday: Back to Beer, Pretzels, Dirndls, and more!
Sunday always arrives too quickly, but there’s one last opportunity to return to Theresienwiese for a slightly more subdued day at Springfest. If two days of the festival have been enough for you, you’ve got time to check out one of Munich’s many museums.
If you’re interested in learning more about Germany history, bus2alps can help organize tours to Dachau, Germany’s first concentration camp, which is now a memorial site and free to enter.
Though a somber way to close a festive weekend, it’s a way to see Germany beyond the festival grounds and to immerse yourself in the history of Germany and WWII.
Auf Wiedersehen, München!
That brings your Springfest weekend to a close! If you’ve joined us in Munich from Florence, Rome, or any of our other home cities, you’ll return with dreams of steins and pretzels dancing in your minds alongside memories you’ll never forget.
If you’re looking to experience this awesome weekend away but want to beat the crowds, why not take a look at bus2alps’ Springfest tours? If you have any questions, get in touch. Our local experts are here to make your spring break super fun and trouble-free.