When I first heard of Oktoberfest in Munich, I wondered what all the fuss was about. “Yes OK, so you drink beer at tables, but what’s the big deal?!” Well, now I can honestly say that Oktoberfest is the best thing I have been to in my travelling life to date. It’s difficult to explain what makes it so incredible…but let me try.
Imagine a tent with 10, 000 people in it. Imagine those people dressed up in lederhosen and dirndls sitting at tables chatting to people from all over the world. Imagine those people chugging litres of beer. Imagine them drunk in the evening singing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” waving their arms in the air.
Outside the tents it’s like one big theme park with ferris wheels and rides, plus tons of stalls selling pretzels, heart-shaped cookies, bratwurst, dumplings, roasted chicken and fish. On the grass it’s quite normal to see people passed out in the recovery position after a morning of heavy drinking!
Inside the tents the noise from those thousands of people is mind blowing. The atmosphere is electric and before long you’ve made a bunch of new friends of all nationalities. The entire city of Munich comes alive with the spirit of Oktoberfest, and Germans walk around the city in their costumes as if it were nothing out of the ordinary.
How to Get there
Around Oktoberfest time it can be expensive to fly into Munich, particularly from places like London. Perhaps think of flying from a less popular airport, or alternatively flying into a nearby city like Salzburg and then getting the train/bus over.
I was coming from Copenhagen and the flights from Copenhagen to Munich were very expensive, so instead I flew to Berlin and caught the bus to Munich. The bus from Berlin to Munich took 9 hours and cost €42. You can book buses online through Berlin Linien Bus
Alternatively if you book with a tour company like pp travel or Fanatics, you can get good deals on bus tours from London- this is particularly great if you’re travelling on your own and want to meet new people.
Where to Stay at Oktoberfest
Accommodation during Oktoberfest is incredibly expensive and gets booked up quickly, so its wise to book your accommodation months in advance. The cheapest hostels in Munich are around €50 per night but if you are on a very tight budget, then camping is your best bet. Popular ones seem to be Camping Thalkirchen or The Tent. Again, there are tour companies that offer 3-day camping packages and there is the possibility to book extra nights. If you book far enough in advance you can book city centre hostels like Wombats, Jaeger’s or Easy Palace on Hostelworld or Hostelbookers, but if they are sold out, not to worry. Sometimes you can still book hostel packages through pp travel, Top Deck or Fanatics.