Oktoberfest - ein Fest der Landeshauptstadt München
Photo: Sebastian Lehner

The ‘Oide Wiesn’

Nostalgia, three beer tents and rides for 1,- Euro

The Oide Wiesn was intended to be a one-off event in 2010 only to mark Oktoberfest’s 200th anniversary celebrations. But the population of Munich immediately fell in love with it. So much so in fact that it’s hard to imagine the ‘normal’ Oktoberfest today without it – even if it does have to take a break every four years.

The history of the Oide Wiesn

In the southernmost part of Theresienwiese, in immediate proximity to the big wheel, stands a very special piece of Oktoberfest history: the Oide Wiesn. Here will feel as though you have gone back in time. Anyone who takes a seat on the historical rides before sitting in a cozy beer tent to experience true Bavarian tradition will have an idea of how Oktoberfest was celebrated in former years. Over 200 years ago to be exact. That’s how long Oktoberfest has been around. In 2010 at the 200th anniversary celebrations, the Oide Wiesn was intended to give festival-goers a glimpse into Oktoberfest history.

It was to be a one-off event only. The Oide Wiesn was met with such approval that it was decided it would become a permanent feature of Oktoberfest, albeit with a few minor tweaks. Much to the delight of Munich locals who love their Oide Wiesn. Families with children enjoy spending time here especially - away from the hustle and bustle of Oktoberfest in a really child-friendly environment. Useful info: The Oide Wiesn shares its grounds with the Bavarian Country Festival [Bayerische Zentral-Landwirtschaftsfest], meaning it can’t take place every fourth year. The next Oktoberfest without the Oide Wiesn will be in 2020.

Entry fees and opening times: an overview of the ‘Oide’

  • Grounds: 3.5 hectares in the southernmost part of Theresienwiese
  • Entrance: around 3 euros per person (free entry from 9 p.m. — only via the exits!) Free entry for children up to 14 years of age and 50% off for disabled people with a valid pass; anyone accompanying a person who presents a disabled person’s pass marked with the letter B also has free entry
  • Tickets include free entry to the cultural program at festival tents
  • Rides: 1 Euro
  • Opening hours of festival grounds: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Opening hours for performers: 10 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. (from 12 p.m. on opening day) Bar: 10 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. 2020 the Oide Wiesn is cancelled as the Bavarian Country Festival (Bayerisches Zentral-Landwirtschaftsfest) takes place

Old-school rides at the Oide Wiesn

Fans of old-school amusement rides who used to twirl around Oktoberfest on the time-honored Krinoline or swirl around in the Hexenschaukel, will experience pure fairground nostalgia at the Oide Wiesn. The ‘Kettenflieger Kalb’ from 1919 can be found spinning here, the ‘Dicke Berta’ will test your muscle strength, and the ‘Fahrt ins Paradies’ over mountains and valleys reminds us of the good old days.

Folk festival classics such as swing boats and children’s carousels, along with traditional toss games and shooting galleries round off the fun activities on offer. The prices also happen to be family friendly: it only costs about a euro per ride.

The museum tent at Oide Wiesn

The museum tent run by the ‘Historische Gesellschaft Bayerischer Schausteller e.V.’ association brings the history of Oktoberfest to life through various historical exhibits. Old bulldogs, tractors and fairground organs testify to bygone days. A shooting gallery dating back to 1905 and a flying horse carousel from 1946 invite the visitor to take a journey back in time.

At the ‘Alpenhaus’ vending cart you will discover how sweet local delicacies such as ‘schmankerl’ tasted back in 1954. To summarize: it’s worth paying a visit to the museum tent at the Oide Wiesn where you’ll be far from bored. The varied music and children’s program lures additional visitors to its doors. The museum tent opens from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Entry is free and the children’s program is free of charge.

The festival tents at the Oide Wiesn

There are three festival tents at the Oide Wiesn: ‘Tradition’, ‘Herzkasperl’ and a tent for folk singers named ‘Zur Schönheitskönigin’:

  • At the Festzelt Tradition, owners Winklhofer and Wieser opt for hearty brass band music and regional cuisine. Augustiner Oktoberfest beer is served in beer steins known as keferloher. This traditional chinaware was replaced by glass in 1892. The ‘Tradition’ tent is very child friendly: for one euro, children can get free lemonade refills from fountains in the lemonade garden. It’s only logical that children have their own toilet and there are diaper-changing facilities in addition to a covered area to park strollers, as well as Munich’s famous child figure with whom the little darlings can pose for souvenir photos.
  • The Herzkasperlfestzelt owned by Josef ‘Beppi’ Bachmaier, award-winning cultural advocate of traditional restaurant Fraunhofer fame, offers a platform for young folk music talent. The musicians are imaginative, funny, diverse, cheeky, and sometimes a little rebellious. Here, it’s not only one band that puts people in high spirits. The tent offers a rich and assorted program where everyone is welcome. After all, Herzkasperl sees itself as a “tent for musicians.” The stage, dance floor, and beer garden are open to all: bands, singers and all kinds of musicians are invited to play in the Herzkasperl.
  • The folk singer tent Zur Schönheitskönigin has stood on the Oide Wiesn since 2017. Business owners Gerda and Peter Reichert are committed to the folk music tradition and revive typical Munich inn culture in the style of Karl Valentin, Ida Schuhmacher, the Weiß Ferdl, Roiderer Jackl or Bally Prell, the ‘beauty queen of Schneizlreuth’ in their festival tent. Its kitchen uses ecological and regional products only and provides guests with the opportunity to try Munich’s local ‘kronfleisch’ cuisine. They don’t neglect little guests either and offer children’s sing-a-longs, a children’s menu, a place to park strollers, and diaper-changing facilities.

Munich’s puppet theater

The stage at Munich’s Marionettentheater is another highlight at the Oide Wiesn for big and little ones alike. The history of this venue stretches back to 1858 when Josef Leonhard Schmid requested that the city of Munich appraise his plans to “establish a permanent puppet theater for children”. Today, the theater can be found at 32 Blumenstrasse in Munich. It enjoys ‘travelling’ for the Oide Wiesn, however, where it offers a rich and diverse program with several shows per day. Entry to the theater is free.