Anyone that knows me knows that Oktoberfest is one of my favorites. I’ve gone three years in a row and it makes me kind of sad to think that this is the first year that I won’t be there. Every year is better than the previous as I become more seasoned with the festivities.
It’s super easy to get around Munich. We took the U-Bahn to most places and ubers sometimes if it was late or we were lazy. It’s easy to get to Oktoberfest at either Hackerbrücke or Theresienwiese. You can always follow the crowds and it’ll lead you right to the entrance of Oktoberfest!
The first year I went – it was just one friend and me. We didn’t know what to expect, but boy were we in for a treat! Dirndls and lederhosen [traditional Bavarian outfits] were common for the event and if you weren’t dressed, you’d feel out of place. I felt out of place, but I made do with a flower crown I purchased at one of the stalls and my friend ended up buying a dirndl for our last day of Oktoberfest. They are pricey, but worth it! And you get to customize your outfit by picking the color of the apron & ribbon, along with which style of blouse and dress you want. The options are endless!
The second year – we went with a group of friends and rented an Airbnb. There were 8 of us and it was so much more fun as a group because we were able to reserve a table at the Schottenhamel Tent. When you are in a tent at Oktoberfest, you have to be seated at a table in order to order anything. When it was two of us – it was easy to find space. Plus EVERYONE there is so nice.. we were often invited to sit with people. Oktoberfest in 2016 was a special one for me because I made friends in Munich who I continue to stay in touch with and saw again the following year. My absolute favorite part about Oktoberfest besides drunken bumper cars is meeting new people from all over the world. Everyone is friendly and outgoing & there for a good time!
By 2017, I felt like an ‘Oktoberfest Expert’. We brought a new group of friends for the experience and were also able to check out other cities on this Euro Trip. Although our time was more limited this year, we were still able to use our time wisely.
There are big tents and small tents at Oktoberfest. It can be overwhelming – but my suggestion is to go check out the big name tents like Augustiner, Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Hacker, Schottenhamel. I didn’t list it in a particular order, but I feel like the best tents are placed more towards the middle when you look at a map. They’re all so different in the way they decorate them, it’s a treat to see how different each one is.
You can enter tents without table reservations – but it’s highly suggested to make a reservation if you are going with a big group. You will find long lines if tents are overfilled, so try to go early if you don’t have a reservation. And make sure you bring cash! Food you will find in the tents include a variety of sausages, ½ roasted chickens, pork shanks, pretzels, meat & cheese platters, etc. Not very vegetarian friendly – but there are lots of food stands located outside of the stands.
There is also outdoor seating in the beer gardens at tents, but from recent years – the weather has been rainy and the atmosphere inside the tent is much more lively and fun. Definitely try to get inside the tents if you can!
For those who don’t drink beer – there is a wine tent located at Oktoberfest. We were never able to make it there, but one of my absolute favorites is this great “wine garden” located on either Strasse 3 or Strasse 4. I never knew which “street” it was located on, but just knew how to get there from past experiences. They have the best aperol spritzes! I’m sure if you ask around, you will be able to find it.
If you have time or your body can no longer handle anymore alcohol, here are some things that you can do while in Munich
· Neuschwanstein Castle [A castle straight out of a fairytale – commissioned by King Ludwig II in 1869]
· Dachau Concentration Camp [about a 21 minute train ride from Munich]
· Salzburg, Austria [about 1hr 48min from Munich by train and so worth it if you are a Mozart or Sound of Music fan. They have a beautiful ornament store where all of the ornaments are made of egg shells!]
· Hofbräuhaus am Platzl [Originally built in 1589! Even if you don’t end up staying there for beer or food.. go check out the stein vault!]
· Augustiner-bräu [established in 1328, it is Munich’s oldest, independent brewery]
· Eisbach – go check out the river surfers
German food is not known for being the greatest, but there are lots of goodies that stand out above the rest and a must have before you leave
· Potato Dumpling – my favorite!
· Späetzle – like a German mac & cheese with onions
· Currywurst – bratwurst sliced up with homemade curry ketchup & curry powder.. so good!
· Pommes – because fries before guys
· Soft serve ice cream – I found this at a little stand by the shopping area in Marienplatz. If you see a place that serves it, it is a MUST HAVE. It is the lightest, fluffiest soft serve ice cream I’ve ever had.
· Apple Strudel with vanilla sauce