Springfest. Known affectionately as “Oktoberfest’s little sister,” this springtime beer festival packs all the fun of the fall festival in a smaller, more relaxed environment. I went to Springfest in Munich when I was studying in Paris, and it was one of the best times my friends and I had abroad, packed with beer, dancing, and great food. Keep reading for my tips for the best Munich Springfest experience!
There are spring festivals in practically every European city during April and May. For example, in Budapest, there is a spring festival in the city center featuring stands with interesting crafts and local foods, and in Keukenhof (an hour from Amsterdam), there’s the yearly tulip festival that takes place March through May. In Germany, Springfest takes the form of a mini Oktoberfest complete with beer tents, amusement rides, and German food. There are a few Springfests (known to the locals as Frühlingsfest) throughout Germany, but the biggest one is located on the Oktoberfest grounds in Munich.
This year, the Fruhlingsfest Munich 2018 dates are April 20th to the 6th of May. The weather in Germany can be unpredictable during this time of year, so be prepared for anything. When I went to Springfest, the weather would be pleasant enough to walk around without a jacket one minute, and it would be snowing the next, so I recommend bringing a jacket!
At Munich Springfest, there are just a couple big beer hall tents: Festehall Bayernland (which serves Augustiner beer) and the Hippodrom tent. These tents both offer German food and snacks, like pretzels and roast chicken, live music, and beer. My friends and I preferred the Bayernland tent because we found lots of people our age who were also traveling through Germany. This tent features the traditional Bavarian blue and white decorations and had lots of really fun live music. There are a number of classic Oktoberfest songs that the bands play (including American songs like Sweet Caroline), and it is SO fun to get up on the benches with everyone and sing along (even if you have no idea what you’re saying in German).
The beer tents are open from morning to around midnight every day, so get there early (around 4 or 5) if you want a table for the night! Don’t be shy about sitting with strangers! We tried to sit with people that looked like they were about our age, and we had a great time getting to know other students and travelers from around Europe. My friends and I still talk to some of the people we sat with at Springfest!
Waitresses will come around and take your beer and food orders, so just be patient (and have your cash ready), and you will be served. FYI- beer comes by the liter in the beer tents!! The beer steins are so heavy, there is even a game that they play every evening testing the strength of a few guests! The chosen contestants go to the front of the beer hall and hold their full stein straight out with one hand, and whoever can hold their arm up the longest, wins! My favorite drink to get in the beer tents was the radler- a drink made of half beer and half lemonade! It’s so refreshing, and it’s a lighter option if you don’t want a whole liter of beer! Also, don’t forget to hydrate if you’re drinking liters of beer! It’s easy to forget when you’re dancing on the benches, but make sure to take a break and have some food and water every so often!
Outside of the beer halls, there are amusement rides and tons of food stands featuring chocolate covered fruits, Dutch pancakes, sausages, and more! I recommend spending time and walking around the grounds and grabbing some snacks before heading into the tents!
Buying traditional dirndls and wearing them each day to the Springfest events made our experience even more fun! Plenty of tourists and locals alike wear the traditional German outfits to the beer halls, so you’ll be in good company. My friends and I went to Steindl Tracten, located central Munich, and got completely outfitted! It was pretty expensive (around 100 euros), but we all thought it was worth it to have the complete experience!
Going to Springfest in Europe was a highlight of my time abroad, and I can’t wait until I get the chance to check out Oktoberfest! Have you ever been to Springfest Munich/ are you going to Munich Springfest 2018? Make sure you learn the traditional prost song before you go! You’ll hear it lots in the tents and in beer halls across Germany! Fruhlingsfest 2018 Munich is going to be so fun!
German Lyrics English Lyrics
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit A toast, a toast
Der Gemütlichkeit To cheer and good times
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit A toast, a toast
Der Gemütlichkeit. To cheer and good times.
OANS! ZWOA! DREI! G’SUFFA! ONE! TWO! THREE! DRINK UP!