Like the Bundesliga, the Radius blog took a short winter break. Now both are back, and we’re hoping that in 2014 we’ll be to Munich tourism blogging what FC Bayern is to football – full of silky moves and followed by millions of adoring fans. Or, failing that, at least managed by someone with a sun tan.
For anyone planning a visit to Munich in 2014, here’s a brief selection of some of the highlights coming our way this year …
Starkbierzeit – the “strong beer season.”
Triumphator, Maximator and Animator are not the bad guys from the last Fantastic Four movie. They’re examples of Munich Starkbier – strong beer with an alcohol content in the region of 8%. That’s almost twice the level of a normal beer. In a practice dating back to their origins in monastic breweries, Munich’s big brewery names produce special strong beers during the season of Lent, and some of the major beer halls have Starkbier festivals. The most famous is that held in the cavernous Nockherberg beer hall. Get there early if you want a seat. And leave early if you want to find your way back to your hotel.
Nockherberg Starkbier Festival: March 1st – March 17th 2014.
U2: Silberhornstrasse; Tram 17: Ostfriedhof.
Frühlingsfest – Spring Festival
A smaller version of Oktoberfest, but on the same grounds used for the more famous festival – and with beer glasses every bit as large.
April 25th – May 11th 2014.
U4 and U5: Theresienwiese; S_Bahn: Hackerbrücke.
“Dult” is an old Bavarian term for a church fete or fair. The Auer Dult (Au is an historic district of central Munich located on the southern bank of the river Isar) is a popular old folk fair that traces its origins back to the middle ages. It is a beautifully atmospheric blend of circus, car-boot sale, and beer and food festival. It also claims to be Europe’s largest market for tableware and all kinds of pots and pans. But it is actually a lot more fun than that sounds.
The Auer Dult will happen three times in 2014.
April 26th – May 5th 2014.
July 26th – August 3rd 2014.
October 18th – October 26th 2014.
Tram 17 (get off at Mariahilfsplatz); Bus 52 (leaving from Marienplatz).
A great Munich institution, and actually quite hard to describe. Think music festival meets arts and crafts fair meets the bar scene from Star Wars. Or maybe Auer Dult with woolly jumpers. I don’t know. Just go. You’ll be glad you did.
There are two Tollwood festivals in 2014.
Tollwood Summer Festival: July 2nd – July 27th 2014.
Olympia Park South.
Tollwood Winter Festival: November 25th – December 31st 2014.
U4 and U5: Theresienwiese; S_Bahn: Hackerbrücke
Christoper Street Gay Pride Festival
Munich’s annual gay pride festival takes place over two days on the weekend of 19th and 20th July 2014. A pride parade, concerts, open-air parties, the works. The absolute highlight, however, is the “pumps race” competition in high heels.
“Summer Night’s Dream” festival and fireworks display, Olympic Park
The vast Olymic Centre (built for the 1972 Olympic Games) is the perfect setting for a joyous open air summer festival, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.
July 26th 2014.
Dachau Folk Festival
Happening for one week every August in the old historic town of Dachau (just 20 minutes by S-Bahn from Munich), the “Dachauer Volksfest” is an excellent alternative for those who will not be here for the world famous Oktoberfest later in the year. It’s basically a smaller version of Oktoberfest – and therefore more relaxed, with a better chance of getting a seat and with excellent (and cheaper!) beer. A hidden gem that many visitors miss.
August 9th – August 18th 2014
S2 to Dachau
The world’s greatest popular festival … what more can be said? If you want guaranteed seats, book places on our tour.
September 20th – October 5th 2014
U4 and U5: Theresienweise; S_Bahn: Hackerbrücke