AKA Boozing it up in Munich
I’ve been reflecting on Munich Oktoberfest this evening from my hostel in Prague. What a crazy, boozy, and fun experience. I drank an unnerving 9 liters of beer in 20+ hours I spent in beer tents across two days. You might say that after my first day I was a bit hungover!
I got to experience the fest with an amazing crew of longtime travelers and couldn’t have been more fortunate to be partying with them. Four of the six of us had been there before and we had their collective experience insuring we maximized our fun. My friend Jeff has been six times and came this year fully decked out in lederhosen a pretzel-adorned knee-high socks!
I had a smile plastered across my face the entire time and it wasn’t solely because of the alcohol! Pork knuckles, giant pretzels, lederhosen/dirndl-wearers and even John Denver music, all had me fired up and cherishing the wild cultural phenom that Oktoberfest is.
I became interested in coming to the fest after the first time I visited Munich in 2012 with two friends. We fell in love with the vibrant and youthful city with its food stalls, beer halls, and friendly people. When I started planning this trip, two of my friends mentioned they were heading to the 2015 edition of the festival and I made it my mission to time a meetup here for the world’s largest beer festival.
Going into it I had a strong feeling that I would blow my budget of $50 a day, but that the experience would be once-in-a-lifetime. I can thoroughly say after the fact that both of these were true. Oktoberfest is not cheap. It is not backpacker-budget friendly — but, don’t let that stop you from attending. Beers, served in giant 1-liter steins, run about €10 each and food ranges from €5 for a giant pretzel to €20 for big plates of stewed beef and spaetzle dumplings. If you are staying in hostels, be prepared to pay $50 per bed in a 10-bed dorm! And don’t even get me started on hotels! Thankfully, my friends, who booked a hotel room using points, were happy to let me crash with them.
Now I’m on to Eastern Europe to check off a bunch of new countries and spend way less money, offsetting my pricey but worthwhile time in Munich.
If you go
I would highly recommend getting out to Germany at some point if you are given the opportunity. American Oktoberfests while nice at times are no substitute for the big one that sees over 7 million people during its 16-day run!
When From the third Saturday in September to the first Sunday in October
Where Theresienwiese, Munich
Cost Free entry to the tents. Beers run about €10 per 1 liter stein.
Stay Wombats City Hostel Munich I haven’t personally stayed here, but I’ve enjoyed their hostels in other cities and it has great reviews and a central location.
Notes If you decide to make the trek, book your accommodation as early as possible. This goes against my usual modus operandi, but with so many people descending on the city in such a short period of time it is necessary. Also be prepared to pay really high prices due to such high demand. I stayed with friends on points in a hotel about 30 minutes away by train.