10 events in Munich you should not miss
It isn’t just the world-renowned Oktoberfest that proves that Munich locals know how to throw a party. Top events in the state capital feature plenty of artistic and musical enjoyment, too.
Every year, in the middle of September, it is ‘O’ zapft is’ – time for the first barrel of the Oktoberfest to be tapped. At Theresienweise in Munich, the Oktoberfest kick-starts. The event has broken several records known to man. In the over 98,000 seats spread across 14 halls, guests are relaxed, drinking the specially-brewed Oktoberfest beer while swaying to brass-band music. Next to the tents are beer gardens, plus hundreds of food stands. If that still isn’t enough fun for you, then countless fairground booths and displays beckon. From high-tech rides to historical classics – there’s something for everyone there.
The Tollwood takes place twice a year. In summer, the cultural festival casts a spell over the grounds of the Olympiapark, with its special mix of a hippie carnival, top-class live performances and fine cuisine from all over the world. Legends such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Patti Smith have graced the Tollwood music stage. In contrast, during the ‘Markt der Ideen’ winter festival on the Theresienwiese, gifts and cabarets are the main focus.
Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival)
Munich Town Foundation Festival
For the Munich’s birthday, the city centre transforms into an ‘adventure mile’ every year. From the knights’ camp in Alter Hof to the Handwerkerdorf (craft village) at Odeonsplatz, numerous Munich guilds display their work in historic guild attire and work clothing. There is also the sound of rock and pop music at Marienplatz. You'll see half of the city out and about.
Christmas market on Marienplatz
The Christmas tree in front of the Town Hall is lit up with thousands of lights every year. This isn’t the only highlight at Munich’s oldest and largest Christmas market. Stalls and handicraft booths line up one after the other; and of course, food and drinks are readily available too. Kripperlmarkt and Sternenplatz offer a huge selection of historical Christmas tree decorations and nativity figures to those interested.
The cosy, traditional Munich atmosphere is typical at the Auer Dult folk festival. You will not find any large beer tents here, but you will hear vendors loudly advertising their goods from hundreds of stalls. There’s also assorted cuisine, and children will definitely get their money’s worth on the swing carousel. Dult takes place three times a year between April and October (Maidult, Jakobidult and Kirchweihdult). Due to the Corona pandemic, the traditional Maidult will unfortunately have to be cancelled in 2020. A consolation: preparations for the Jacobidult and Kirchweihdult are continuing.
Munich Fasching (Carnival)
At the end of the carnival season in Munich, one event is followed closely by another. On Carnival Sunday, there is the parade of the Damische Ritter. During ‘München narrisch’ (‘Munich Clowns Around’) on a Monday and Tuesday, numerous carnival companies and organisers create a silly open-air atmosphere with music and dance performances. The ‘Tanz der Marktfrauen’ (‘dance of the market women’) at Viktualienmarkt on Shrove Tuesday marks the high point of the Munich carnival. The market dance tradition dates back to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The celebrations continue afterwards in numerous pubs, bars and clubs until the traditional finale.
The Long Night of Music
From blues, soul, rock and pop through to classical, indie and electronica – the Long Night of Music has several genres to suit your taste in music. Once you have paid your entrance fee, you are given a ticket to over 100 clubs, restaurants, pubs, live stages and church concerts. Shuttle buses cover four routes and connect the venues. Travel is included in the ticket price to cover all participating venues. You can't get a better experience elsewhere!
The Long Night of Munich Museums
It isn’t just large institutions like the Deutsches Museum or the three Pinakothek galleries that take part in the long exhibition night – smaller museums are also represented. There are performances, concerts and activities alongside the main programme. At noon, there is also a program for children and young people. Just like the Long Night of Music, MVG shuttle buses are also available to take you from one venue to another.
Strong beer festival
Every Munich brewery produces their own strong beer and celebrates the season amidst celebrations abd barrel-tapping. The various bock beers are known for their dark colour and sonorous names such as Salvator, Triumphator, Innovator or even Aviator. The most popular strong beer tapping is at Nockherberg, where the prominent Bavarian politicians are.