The concierge desk at Mandarin Oriental, Munich
Munich's world-famous Oktoberfest runs for two weeks, usually from late September to early October, starting with the Grand Entry of the Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries on the first Saturday. In this opening extravaganza, watch up to 1,000 participants, from the landlords’ families to waitresses – many in decorative carriages or on floats – parade alongside the magnificent horse-drawn drays of the Munich breweries.
Part of the Oktoberfest’s Grand Entry Parade
The following day, the Costume and Riflemen’s Parade involves thousands of performers making their way around the streets of the city centre on a 7km route. Expect a colourful mass of regional costumes, troops in historical uniforms, marching bands, riflemen, flag-throwers, trumpeters on horseback, dancers with garlands, plus more drays, floats and carriages – not to mention cows, goats and oxen!
The Oktoberfest amusement park
On the second Sunday of the festival, it’s all about the Open-Air Oktoberfest Music, when the big brass bands, comprising some 400 musicians, gather together to make some merriment. Or join in the fun on one of the traditional fair rides that are unique to the Oktoberfest. The ‘witches’ (or illusion) swing’ gives the impression that it overturns several times during the journey, while the current ‘tower slide’ has amused visitors here since 1933.
Outside the Spatenhaus restaurant
Visit the Spatenhaus an der Oper for Bavarian cuisine cooked the traditional way. The restaurant is only a five-minute walk from Mandarin Oriental, Munich and located directly opposite the internationally renowned Bavarian State Opera.
The Chinese Tower in the English Garden
Relax and Escape
A few streets north-east of Mandarin Oriental, Munich, the English Garden is the city’s largest park. Take in the greenery as you stroll along the paths, rent a paddle boat, visit one of its traditional beer gardens, or watch German surfers ride the man-made wave of the Eisbach river. You’ll also come across the 25-metre-high wooden Chinese Tower, which was modelled on the Great Pagoda of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.
Surfing the Eisbach