For two boozy weeks towards the end September/beginning of October each year all roads in Munich lead to the Theresienwiese, a giant grass meadow about the size of 20 football fields near the centre of the city. The occasion is the world's biggest party, the Munich Oktoberfest. The field becomes a beer-drinking city, complete with its own post office, police force and fire department, and most importantly numerous huge tents, erected by the various Bavarian breweries, that serve as massive beer halls. The first keg is tapped in ceremonial style to open the two-week celebration, which draws hundreds of thousands of revellers from all around the world. Apart from the rollicking beer halls where traditional Bavarian bands belt out their old favourites, the festival offers a host of carnival games and fun park rides, as well as stalls selling a range of German delicacies; many people also like to dress up in traditional Bavarian garb for the celebrations. Entry to the enormous beer tents is free. Oktoberfest is one of the most popular and best-known festivals in the world, and certainly the biggest drinking festival, and flights and accommodation should be organised far in advance to avoid disappointment.
Date: 20 September to 5 October 2014