Munchener Fruhlingsfest
(Munich Spring Festival)

Next on: April 24 to May 11, 2014

The Munchener Fruhlingsfest
is a great reason to visit Munich!

Think Oktoberfest, then shrink it. The Munich Spring Festival is sometimes called the “Kleine Wiesn” (Little Oktoberfest) or the “Kleine Schwester des Oktoberfestes” (Oktoberfest’s Little Sister).
After a litre or two of fresh springtime beer you’ll be calling it a victory for common sense.

The fest runs over two weeks and takes place at Munich's Theresienwiese.
I went along with a couple of friends for the first time a couple of years ago and loved it. We first took a stroll around the grounds to check out the rides before finding a spinning carousel with an in-built bar - Happy hour with €1 glasses of Pils! Bliss.

fruhlingsfest-munich-2013Party time: The action inside the Augustiner beer tent.

After that we sat in the Paulaner beer garden to soak up the sun and a bit more beer before transitioning into the Augustiner beer tent as the sun went down. Then party, party, party.

A few specifics for drinking…

The Spring Festival has a big beer tent called the Festhalle Bayernland which seats about 2000 people. Munich’s favourite Augustiner beer is splashed out from traditional wooden kegs.
In 2010 the Hippodrom-Festzelt, a favourite Oktoberfest beer tent, made its debut at the Munich Spring Festival and a new lager beer called Spaten Frühlingsfest Hell was served for the first time. Note: There's no fire and brimstone, Hell means "light" in German and refers to the shade of the brew, not the strength.
If the weather’s friendly you might want to sit a while in the Radlingers Weißbiergarten, a beer garden that specialises in Paulaner Weizen (Bavarian “white beer”). A band often cranks out old-time Bavarian hits. There’s also a covered section, the Allwetter-Biergarten, if it’s too wet or chilly.

…and riding

There are dozens of rides including a Ferris wheel (Riesenrad) a ghost train (Geisterbahn), the Frisbee and Europe’s longest portable slide, the Münchner Rutschn.
There are more than 10 rides designed especially for younger kids. Tuesdays are special “family days” with reduced prices for the rides.

spring-festival-munich-bandThe band plays on: A Bavarian band keeps visitors entertained
in the beer garden at the Munchener Fruhlingsfest.

Special events

The festival kicks off with a big parade and Böllerschützen, where aging artillery enthusiasts shoot mini hand-cannons into the air. The first keg is tapped inside the Hippodrom-Festzelt at 4pm on the opening day to get the beer flowing.

On the first Saturday of the festival you'll find one of Munich's greatest flea-markets: Over 1000 stands peddling everything from boomerangs to Beethoven. Vendors open at 6am so you'll need an early start to snap up the best bargains. On the second Friday there's usually a big fireworks display after sunset.

Other special events that pop up sporadically at the fest included a vintage car exhibition and a couple of days where visitors can pay with (now extinct) Deutschmarks.

The Details

Location The Munchener Fruhlingsfest takes place at the Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest Field), Munich
Next on April 24 to May 11, 2014
Open Daily from 11am until 11pm (11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays). Beer is only served after 4pm on the opening day.
Cost Free entrance to the grounds and the beer tents. A Maß (one litre mug) of beer costs around 8€, about a euro cheaper than at the Oktoberfest.
Website

Ganz Muenchen (German only)

Directions Take the U Bahn no 4 or 5 to Theresienwiese, or you can leg it 15min south-west from the Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station).
Map:

View Munich Spring Festival location in a larger map 

A few more pics from my first visit to the Munchener Fruhlingsfest

fruhlingsfest-visitorsCheck it out: Buddies of mine on our arrival at the festival.

munich-spring-festival-augustiner-beer-tentAll rise: Dancing on the benches inside the Festhalle Bayernland beer tent.

munich-festival-beer-barSpin 'n' surp: The slowly spinning carousel with a built-in bar
at the Munchener Fruhlingsfest.

festival-munich-beer-gardenAl fresco: Outdoor festivities in the beer garden.

munich-spring-festival-musicLet's get funky: The band heats things up inside the Augustiner beer tent.
Like to see more Spring Festival photos? Click forward!

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