9 Reasons Munich’s Springfest Is the Most Underrated German Festival
1. It’s like its big bro Oktoberfest, but less crowded and with way better weather.
Bavarian history states that on October 12, 1810 a wedding between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen took place, and all of Munich’s citizens were invited to celebrate. An everlasting supply of beer rained into happy German throats and Oktoberfest was born. But then the locals couldn’t wait for another one to come around — thus, Springfest. Or more locally known, Frühlingsfest.
So why is Springfest less crowded? It was inaugurated in 1964, so the tourists haven’t really caught on yet. (And also because Stuttgart’s Springfest is still drawing the largest crowd of drunk wannabes.) Plus, the weather’s great. You can get drunk off Paulaners while sitting in a weissbier garden, and maybe get a slight tan out of the deal.
2. It takes place in Munich and Munich is just plain awesome.
This is, after all, a city where babies suck on FC Bayern München pacifiers, food stands sell half-meter bratwursts and tasty pretzels, men of high lineage drive Porsches while wearing traditional Bavarian lederhosens and you can feel like Sebastian Vettel on the highway because speed limits don’t really exist.
Munichers may have a reputation for being rude and old-fashioned, but they’re really just posh, blonde and taller than you. And as they live in one of the sunniest cities in Germany, they’ll show you how to rest a typical Springfest hangover – by lying down in the grass of the Englischer Garten, one of the world’s largest urban public parks, bigger than Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York.
3. Springfest time is also football time.
Become a complete Bavarian — drink a couple Augustiners from your stein in one of the Theresienwiese beer halls then go to the Allianz Arena, the FC Bayern Munchën’s architectural beauty of a stadium. During Springfest 2015 alone, the Bayern played three exciting games at home — just another excuse to enjoy Munich in the spring.
4. Honestly, Springfest’s traditional Bavarian dress is just really fun to get drunk in.
In Munich, someone’s in a traditional Bavarian outfit everywhere you look. And after three Spaten beers everyone’s going to be looking good in their get-up to you.
To look the part of a good beerfest lady, you’ve got to rock a scarf for color, a traditional dirndl blouse, bodice and some hearty leather shoes — usually mary-janes with cleated heels and toes to ‘thwack’ down while dancing.
As a guy you’ll need the Bavarian-style alpine hat, preferably decorated with pheasant and ostrich feathers, a trachten shirt in white, blue red or green, the absolutely necessary lederhosen, knee socks and some leather boots or Haferlschuh. Edelweiss adorns are a plus.
5. Traditional Bavarian music is actually pretty badass.
In every Springfest beer hall the same thing goes down. The older and drunker the musicians are, the better the music is going to be. Of course all the singing is in German and it may be difficult to understand, but you’ll still be able to get up and dance along with the best of them.
6. Munich has a river that you can actually surf.
The Eisbach River surfing spot at the entrance of the Englischer Garten is a paradise on Springfest evenings. Everyone from executives, foreigners and even grandpas go there to ride the infinite sweet wave along with the local surf kids. If you’ve ever thought Germans were unfriendly, this scene will prove you wrong. Everyone gathers together, laughing and cheering as they all take turns falling of their boards.
7. The public transport is efficient as hell.
Southern Europeans can talk all they want about how ‘boring’ Germany is compared to Greece, Italy or Spain, but what they’re not complaining about is how cool it is to never wait over a minute for a bus, train or metro. And how easy it is to get anywhere in the city and its surroundings. It doesn’t matter if you’re camping on the outskirts or staying in a Karlpatz hostel, the German’s efficiency when it comes to public transit is unbeatable.
8. The whole point is to prost, my friend.
It’s a beer festival after all, so the most important thing to celebrate is not the arrival of Munich’s spring but the tastiness, juiciness, drunkenness and bitterness of its excellent beer.
You’ve got the queen of Springfest, Augustiner, and all of her repetiour –Lagerbier Hell, the Edelstoff, the WeiBbier, the Pils and the Dunkel. From the Lammsbräu Helles you can taste in the Englischer Garten bar, to the good old cheap Brau Baron Helles that flows limitlessly in Campingplatz Obermenzing, to the outskirts of Munich where the Stoke Travel party goes down — there’s a place for you to keep your drunk levels on top.
The message on your Stokie glass explains it all in clear, black letters:
Warning: The contents of this liquid may cause dizziness, drowsiness, delusions of grandeur, vomiting and/or embarrasment. This product is chemically enhanced to make people smarter. Do not use while operating heavy machinery. Do not text and drink. Excessive consumption may lead to unwanted pregnancy. If any of these symptoms occur, please consult your nearest sober advisor. 100% good times guaranteed, though.
9. Springfest is exactly what it was meant to be, the perfect warm-up for Oktoberfest.
And when it’s over, you might not remember everything that happened there. All you’ll be sure of is that there were hallos, and prosts, and sausages, and was ist letze Nacht passiert? kinds of questions — along with the unmistakable sound of “GLU GLU GLU…” that you’re mind will never be able to get rid of.
This article was proudly produced in partnership with Stoke Travel.