Here it is, six months later, the last recap! I remember when I signed up for the Berlin Marathon I asked Cliff if he was interested in joining me, “of course”. Then I told him that Oktoberfest would still be going on, “even better”…or something like that. After all it is a beer lovers ultimate bucket list destination. For those who are not familiar with Oktoberfest, it is the world’s largest beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany. It is a 16-18 day festival running from mid or late September to the first weekend in October. This tradition started in 1810 when King Ludwig I married Princess Therese. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the event. The fields were named Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s Meadow”) in honor of the Crown Princess.
When we first started planning for the trip, it was a bit overwhelming researching Oktoberfest, there was so much information! Here is a list of common tips that were shared on the interwebs:
- Bring cash – there are a few ATMs near the entrance/exits, but try to withdraw cash ahead of time.
- Reserve a table – the larger tents (and maybe the smaller ones) accept table reservations (6-10 people depending on the tent) and it can cost up to €300. Since it was only the two of us, we were unable to reserve a table.
- Arrive early – especially if you do not have a reservation, the tents open at 10:00am.
- Visit on a weekday – weekends = crowded. Glad we visited on a weekday.
- Dress up – wear the traditional Dirndl and Lederhosen, they sell them everywhere. We didn’t want to spend money on the outfits (and I’m a little modest for the Dirndl), so we did not partake in this tradition. There were plenty of people who did not wear the Dirndl and Lederhosen. Guys, if you wear a plaid shirt and khakis, you will blend in.
- Pace yourself – explanation not necessary.
- Hydrate – same as above.
- Bring a small purse – do not bring large bags or backpacks. Security may turn you away or direct you to a bag check.
- Eat outside – there are tons of food stalls outside the beer tents. I didn’t do a price comparison, but food may cost less outside the tents.
- Stay outside the city limits – trying to save money? The further away from the city center, the cheaper the hotel was. Public transit was easy to use. I was lucky and found our AirBnB that was close to the festival early on.
Okay, time for some pictures! After we dropped off our car Wednesday afternoon, we walked to Theresienwiese. How did we find our way? We followed these signs and of course all the people dressed up for the festivities.
We arrived around to the fairgrounds around 4:30PM and walked through security before entering the fairgrounds. It was huge! I took a deep breath and all I could smell was fish! Fischer-Vroni (tent closet to the Theresienwiese entrance) is the tent for fish and seafood. I asked Cliff if he was okay with skipping that one.
Did you know there are 14 tents to choose from, with each having its own character, design and beers? If you are super planner, there are websites that describe what types of beer and food each tent sells. Our first stop, Armbrustschützen-Festhalle.
We thought with the two of us, it would be easy to find space without too much trouble, but pretty much every tent was packed. We were getting hungry, so we decided to try again Thursday morning and head over to Marienplatz to visit Hofbräuhaus beer hall instead. Here is the cool Schützen-Festzelt tent.
Cliff and I split another pork knuckle. We agreed the ones we had in Berlin were so much better.
See that lady below? She is carrying probably 6-8 beers! I was so impressed. It was fun to people watch in the tents. We learned if you put your foot on your table, you are expected to chug your entire beer. Cheers for those who are successful and boos for those who aren’t. There were many boos than cheers.
We shared another beer and enjoyed the band that was playing in the center. Again, there were plenty of tables and the mood was festive (especially when the music was playing). We were still full from breakfast, but all the food looked good. We saw a lot of rotisserie chickens and pretzels.
Cliff and I had a great time in Munich and agreed we would love to come back and experience it with some of our good friends. We were sad for the trip to end (9 days go by so quickly), but we know we will return to Germany 🙂
- How to Survive Oktoberfest by Nomadic Matt
- Messy in Munich – Oktoberfest Tips and Travel Guide by A Backpackers Tale
- My Next Marathon – Jenny Runs ________
- Berlin Marathon Update
- Before the Fall – My 2016 Berlin Marathon Countdown
- 2016 Berlin Marathon Expo + Good News + Spectating
- German Vacation Recap – Berlin – Part 1
- German Vacation Recap – Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Part 2
- German Vacation Recap – Neuschwanstein Castle – Part 3
- German Vacation Recap – Dachau and Munich – Part 4