The Old Oktoberfest (Oide Wiesn)

This is a part of the Munich Oktoberfest grounds where you can experience what the festival was like in days gone by

You can step back in time and experience the famous Munich festival as it once was at the ‘Oide Wiesn’ - Ye Olde Oktoberfest.
This is a special area at the southern end of the Oktoberfest grounds, opposite the huge ferris wheel, where you can find old-style beer tents, folks wearing traditional costumes and fairground rides as your grandparents would have known them.
Beer is served in ceramic mugs called Keferloher instead of the one-litre glasses you’ll find elsewhere at the Oktoberfest
The Oide Wiesn first became a thing in 2010, to mark the 200th anniversary of the very first Oktoberfest in 1810.

oide-wiesn-old-oktoberfest
AND THE BAND PLAYED ON: A Bavarian brass ensemble seated in a beer garden at the Old Oktoberfest - Oide Wiesn. Picture: digital cat

But just like the Eiffel Tower, although it was only supposed to be there for one year, it proved so popular the organisers decided to keep it.
Some of the rides you’ll have to check out are the ‘Kettenflieger Kalb’ - a chairoplane from 1919 the 1958 Calypso, a brightly-coloured flower-powered carousel.
Don’t miss the 1928 Original Motodrom, the world’s oldest ‘gravity-wall’ in which motorbike-mounted stuntmen and women perform death-defying stunts.

Above: Traditional dancing inside one of the Old Oktoberfest - Oide Wiesn - tents.

Oktoberfest’s memory lane

Definitely worth a look is the Museumszelt (Museum Tent).
A wonder about inside is like a journey through time - showing you what the Oktoberfest was like in days gone by and what it was like for the folk who worked there.
There’s also, amazingly, an operating shooting gallery that dates from 1905, an ice-cream stand from 1937 called the Wiener Eispalast and a historic sausage grill.
Outside this tent there’s an area for big boys’ toys - old steam engines, tractors and even organs that make an almighty caterwaul.
The Oide Wiesn is also a great place to head if you’re at the Oktoberfest with children. Not only will they love to watch all the rides and entertainers, there’s a free activities area set up for kids in front of the Museum Tent.

The beer tents

The Oide Wiesn has three beer tents of varying sizes - The Festzelt Tradition (seats 5,000 inside, 3,000 outside), the Herzkasperlzelt (1,500 inside and 1,000 outside) and the Volkssängerzelt (690 inside and 200 outside).

READ MORE: Oktoberfest History - When Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig chose to wed Princess Therese in 1810 it’s unlikely he knew the size of the beast he was about to unleash.

Brass music (German: Blasmusik) and time-honoured Munich dishes are the name of the game in the Festzelt Tradition.
You can enjoy a fine Augustiner beer and watch folk in Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses put on a show - Alpine dancing!
And this includes the Schuhplattler where the men stamp and slap their thighs and shoes - and occasionally each other - a la Chevy Chase in that immoral scene from National Lampoon's European Vacation.

Above: Cheers! These visitors to the Old Oktoberfest - Oide Wiesn - are prosting with their Keferloher - ceramic mugs you can only find at this part of the Munich festival.

If you’re at the festival before midday, you can sit outside for a special Munich treat - white sausages, giant pretzels and wheat beer for breakfast.
The ensemble is called a Weißwurstfrühstück and is something you shouldn’t miss on a visit to this fine city.

You can take the kids along too - there’s a area called the ‘Lemonade garden’ with stuff for them to play on.
The Herzkasperl-Festzelt showcases up-and-coming folk musicians and features a traditional dancefloor.

READ MORE: Munich beer background - Few cities are more strongly associated with beer than Munich is - and here's why

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Above: Stuntmen and women about to brave the gravity wall at the Motodrom at the Oide Wiesn.

Above: Spreading the love at the Old Oktoberfest - Oide Wiesn

Above: A group says cheese and cheers at the Oide Wiesn.

Dates and prices for the Old Oktoberfest - Oide Wiesn

The Oide Wiesn is open every day of the festival from 10am to 10pm, with last drinks being served at 9.30pm.
Unlike the main Oktoberfest grounds there’s a nominal entrance fee (€3) and the rides are an entirely reasonable €1 each.

oide-wiesn-old-oktoberfest-munich CONCERT ORGAN: Visitors to the Old Oktoberfest - Oide Wiesn - check out an old-fashioned concert organ outside the tents. Picture: digital cat

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