I went to Munich (Courtesy of Lufthansa Airlines) to attend the internationally known OKTOBERFEST celebration. Originally a wedding reception meant for citizens to celebrate the nuptials of Crown Prince Ludwig I and his bride, Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen, this party has been held annually since October 1810. Since then it has grown exponentially, and has played host to about 6 million visitors from all around the world for three weeks at the end of September through the beginning of October. (Source: The History of Oktoberfest) What I loved about Oktoberfest was that it felt like the State Fair back home, only it was 10x larger! Many of my friends say that they have no interest in doing something like Oktoberfest because they are not beer drinkers, however there are plenty of other options for different adult beverages OUTSIDE of the big tents. The big tents were where the party was though, so I suggest you step out of your comfort zone and live a little (unless it’s a health thing- then totally try to see about BYOB). Our experience was that getting to the grounds EARLY was the best bet to get a table (which I suggest) there were a few tents that needed to be reserved in advance but truly we had the most fun at the ones that we stumbled (figuratively/literally) upon.
Please keep the following in mind as you make plans for Oktoberfest:
- Entrance to the grounds is free and they do not allow large bags/backpacks to pack light.
- Bring cash, although there are ATMs on the grounds pre-plan so you don’t waste valuable time.
- It’s a HUGE carnival with games and rides, not JUST about drinking – kids can enjoy too (as long as Mom/Dad drinks responsibly).
- You will be drinking LITERS of beer, which is stronger than the stuff we have in America, so pace yourself. This party is for sure a marathon, not a sprint.
- Tables are generally “family style” so unless you’re in a big group I suggest you be ready to make new friends.
- As already stated get there arrive early-ish so that you can be sure to get a good table in one of the tents.
- There is food available to purchase on the grounds.
- They have more than just beer available to drink.
- Dress up, it’s fun and everyone else is doing it! (We were able to find our dirndls for a relatively reasonable 50€ at a thrift store in Munich)
What I loved the most about my Oktoberfest experience was that people, no matter the language you spoke or where you were from was friendly and
Of course our trip to Munich was not ALL about Oktoberfest we did get a little culture on our trip and visited the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany located in Dachau. I believe that they have done an amazing job memorializing such an awful time in their history. Although this was not considered to be a “kill camp” there were an estimated 50,000 victims during its twelve years of operation. By the time of liberation this camp, which was meant to hold 6,000 prisoners was grossly overpopulated by 5x its capacity. (Source: ThoughtCo & Dachau Memorial Site)
Photos courtesy of Marko (Disclaimer these were not taken on an iPhone)
Getting around Munich was fairly easy as their subway system is both clean and expansive. The announcements were made in both German and English so it was easy enough to match up the train stops to those on my GoogleMaps directions. Also when we did utilize Uber we were not gouged with expensive pricing.
The currency in Germany is the Euro and English is spoken here.