When springtime comes to Munich, the city is taken over by colorful floral decoration, traditional folk music and the mouth-watering scent of warm pretzels and roast chicken. If you’ve ever been to Munich in September or October, you’ll recognize the legendary beer halls, food stands, and general revelry of a German beer fest – but this is no Oktoberfest. This is Munich’s springtime version of the famous festival, lovingly known as Springfest.
Springfest may be a bit smaller and more intimate, but prepare for an experience that is just as wild, thrilling, and joyous as Oktoberfest. Here is everything you’ll need to know and bring for an unforgettable Springfest.
What to Know
Where is Springfest held?
Springfest is held at the Wiesn in Munich, which is a massive open meadow in the city and the same location that Oktoberfest is held each year. They even use the same tents to create the famous beer halls, though while Oktoberfest features many tents, Springfest only has two – Festhalle Bayernland, the oldest tent at the festival which serves a local favorite beer, and the Hippodrom, which hosts a true party atmosphere. While there are less tents than at Oktoberfest, you’ll still find the same wild energy as Oktoberfest, just a bit more intimate (some fest-goers actually prefer Springfest for this reason.)
Do I need a ticket?
Not to enter the festival or beer halls! But we do recommend booking accomodation in advance, as that can sell out fast.
What is there to do at the festival?
Besides drink all the good-quality beer you can image? Actually, a lot. There are stands full of delicious, piping-hot German foods, an opening parade with free beer, a massive flea market fireworks every Friday at 10pm, and even carnival rides (which we recommend riding before you start guzzling German ale).
What food options are there?
Image the best comfort food, and the best drunk food, and you’ve got traditional Springfest cuisine. The hearty German food options inside (and surrounding) the beer halls are perfect for lining your stomach: you’ll find local staples like roasted chicken, wiener schnitzel, spaetzle with cheese, and of course, as many pretzels and bratwurst as you can eat. For the sweet-tooths, try gingerbread or delicious sweet roasted almonds.
What are the accomodation options like?
Hotels and Airbnb tend to be very expensive in Munich in general, especially during Springfest (though our Abroad Package comes with a double room at one of the city’s most charming boutique hotels!) Hostels are available and tend to be much cheaper than at Oktoberfest – you can find one for around 30 euros, as long as you’re booking at least a month before the festival begins, as beyond that prices tend to skyrocket and hostels fill up quick. The best and cheapest option is to stay at Stoke Campgrounds (60/night for a shared tent & daily meals).
What are the campgrounds like?
Stoke Campgrounds, located 20 minutes on public transport from the festival, is the massive campgrounds used to house attendees of both Springfest and Oktoberfest. The state-of-the-art campground features tent camping and glamping, hot showers, lockers, daily breakfast and dinner, and open bar available. There are nightly after parties, too, but we’ll get into those in a sec. Trust that you’ll feel right at home surrounded by nature, live music and 1000s of soon-to-be friends.
How do I get to the festival?
All depends on where you’re staying. If you’re coming from Munich city center, you can access the Springfest fairgrounds by walking to Theresienwiese or taking the metro lines U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese station.
If you’re coming from the campground, you’ll have guides to help get you directly to the festival – but for reference, you’ll take the 164 bus from the Campingplatz Obermenzing station to the Untermenzing station, and take the S2 metro from there to Munich Central Station. From there, it’s a short walk to Theresienwiese, where the festival takes place. We do not recommend taking an Uber or Taxi as they’ll be extra expensive during the festival.
What about the after parties?
The best after parties in Munich can be found, conveniently for campers, at the Stoke Campgrounds. These have been running for years now, and consistently remain the most fun option for a Springfest or Oktoberfest after party. With unlimited open bar available, live bands and DJs performing all night, munchies, drinking games, and more, you might even forget the real reason you came to Munich. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a professional Fire Eater wandering around.
What is there to do in Munich?
If you’re looking to experience a bit of culture between attending the festival, you’re in luck. The grounds themselves are located right in the center of Munich, so it’s easy to head into the city for a few hours of before or after hitting the festival. There is tons to see in Munich, from picnic-ing in the lush English Gardens to exploring beautiful architecture in the Marienplatz and Nymphenburg Palace.
How can I stay safe at Springfest?
It’s actually easy to stay safe at Springfest – just follow the same rules you would at any festival. Stick with your crew, or at least one other friend, don’t take any drinks or drugs from anyone, and be mindful of your things. At the campgrounds, safety is priority one, so you can rest easy knowing the camp’s security detail is present and aware 24/7.
What to Bring
- Warm clothes because even though its Spring, Munich is in a more northern area, so the weather can be unpredictable.
- Umbrella, Raincoat & Rain boots for the same reason as above.
- Dirndl or Lederhosen (you can also buy in Munich)
- Lock to protect your things
- Camera to capture the experience
- Towel if camping
- Fanny pack as backpacks aren’t allowed in the halls??
- Charging bank to make sure you’ve got a charged phone the whole festival
- International Sim Card to keep in touch with your friends during the festival
- Water bottle because you’ll need to stay hydrated!
So, are you ready for Springfest? Join us the weekend of April 22-24 or camp with Stoke Travel anytime from April 21-May 2 and experience Springfest like a pro!