OKTOBERFEST IN MUNICH: A PARTY TO DO AT LEAST ONCE IN A LIFETIME!
Oktoberfest in Munich is one of the best parties in the world, those to do at least once (if not more) in his life! I stayed here for four days in 2015 and although I have not had the opportunity to go back since then, this is an event I will definitely attend again. It is an extraordinary popular festival with a very good atmosphere, which mixes both local and tourists, young and old and very different social backgrounds. Here is my story of experience to encourage you to go and some tips to make the most of it!
Oktoberfest Munich: what is it?
Oktoberfest, also known as the Oktoberfest, is a party that has existed for more than 200 years in Munich. It takes place every year for two weeks from mid-September to early October (the next dates for 2018 are from 22 September to 7 October) on a large plot west of Munich, the Therensienwise. It’s not just a beer festival, but it’s also a huge carnival with lots of rides and attractions for kids and grown-ups alike.
For beer, it is under the big tents of Munich breweries that it happens, like Höfbrau, Paulaner, Löwenbrau, Augustiner … They are open from 10am to 10.30pm. A few figures to give an image of the magnitude of the event: about six million annual visitors and seven million liters of beer swallowed. The beer is drunk in the mass: they are mugs of a liter, for a price of just over 10 euros. There is no entrance fee: you just pay for your drinks.
Oktoberfest: how’s it going?
To enter the tents, you must either have a reservation for a table, or arrive early enough to make room. The booking process is a little complicated and you have to go very far in advance … So I recommend the second option. After, everything depends on how much you are. With my friend Emily, we arrived only at the end of the afternoon and we managed to return without much problem because we are rather resourceful in this kind of situation. Once inside, it’s easy for two girls to meet and join tables. If you are more numerous, it is better to arrive much earlier. There are even people queuing at 8 o’clock in the morning … But it seems a little exaggerated because there are still a lot of tents.
After: free runs to the party !! The meetings are very easy with the neighbors of tables. At the Oktoberfest, you can have a drink with traditional purebred Bavarians, trendy young Germans, broke travelers or even powerful German CEOs (experience!). I really loved this unifying side, transcending social backgrounds and origins. There are groups of musics that play live among the tents, with both the big hits and more traditional music. Very regularly, comes the great refrain of the Oktoberfest “Ein Prosit, ein prosit, der Gemütlichkeit” that everyone takes heart in clining with his neighbors. As the day and then the evening, the atmosphere warms up, people are standing on the benches and it becomes difficult to sneak into the aisles. It is impressive to watch the ballet of waitresses who are able to carry twelve beer mass at a time in the middle of the crowd! A real sporting feat!
One thing we notice right now: Almost everyone wears traditional costumes: women are in dirdnl, dresses with plunging neckline, white blouse and colorful apron and men are in lederhosen, short leather pants with suspenders and checked shirts. It gives a lot of color to the event and it’s nice to see the traditional side of the party. For those who plan to go to Oktoberfest, I really recommend investing in a local outfit. For my part, I found a cheap dirndl in the city center of Munich, around 50 euros. Otherwise, there are also plenty of models for sale on Amazon, whether for dirndl or lederhosen . At least for men, put at least one plaid shirt!
At Oktoberfest, we do not just drink, we eat too. The main specialties are pretzels and sausages. In the fairground stands, there are plenty of big gingerbread hearts with romantic inscriptions. It’s a bit kitschy to bring back from the Oktoberfest … Sitting at the table under the tents, we eat more chicken with potatoes.
Two more tips to finish. Do not go to the Oktoberfest with a backpack, even very small because it will be refused at the entrance of the tents. Better not to load too much and take a small handbag or a shoulder bag that is not likely to lose in the crowd. Otherwise you should know that waiting in the toilet can be quite long, especially for girls … My advice is actually trying to hold back as long as possible before going to the bathroom the first time because otherwise it’s done and we want to go all the time (if it’s scientific ). And of course, drink in moderation!
How to organize your trip to Oktoberfest?
To go there: for my part, I went to Munich by bus with Flixbus, which allows to have cheap tickets, even at the last minute. The ideal is to compare the offers of train, bus or plane on a search engine like Go Euro , which allows to find the best means of transport according to its dates and its budget.
To sleep there: the most complicated is to manage the accommodation part. For those who want a comfortable hotel, you have to book several months in advance , because everything is fast and the rates quite high. If not for small budgets, there are three main options.
For under 30s, there is a hostel a bit special: The Tent , which offers 160 bunk beds in a huge dormitory tent of 500 m2 (attention: as specified, it is reserved for people under the age of 30 years!)
There is also a large campsite for Oktoberfest festival goers. The terrain is crowded and the conditions are not super comfortable, but it’s a good option for those who do not want to spend too much money
Finally remains the solution of couch-surfing , the site of free hosting home-stay. This is what we did with my friend Emily for four nights, but we have very good profiles with lots of references. Otherwise it is rather difficult to find a host during the Oktoberfest period, so no need to try for those with a poor profile.