Making it back from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany meant that our new favorite spot would be the gym and our new favorite dinner would be salad. The stereotypes of endless beers and sausages were lived up to and it was quite the experience! Before heading to the fest, it was imperative that we have the traditional garb to go in. We’d been fortunate enough to travel to Germany a few times in the last couple months so we kept our eyes peeled but never came across any deals. The dirndls and lederhosen can be extremely expensive; some shops boast 600+ euro pieces. We ended up finding a site that offered what we needed along with free shipping AND free returns. That’s unheard of here! Let the festivities begin!
After arriving to Munich early on Friday we showed up for check-in at our tent hostel, quickly realizing that it’d be a rough weekend for our sleep. Oktoberfest is an annual event and always the same time of year. This allows most people book their accommodations well in advance which makes it difficult to find something decent. We booked this hostel in March for example. Knowing the situation and not wanting to spend a couple hundred euros per night, we knew it wouldn’t be 5 stars and that was just fine! We weren’t planning to spend our days inside anyway! It was a large tent with about 30 bunk beds full of strangers, anticipating most of them to have had a few beers.
We knew Oktoberfest was big but didn’t realize how truly massive it would be. The main event was the 14 beer tents to sit and have a stein. Surrounding the tents was a massive area full of carnival rides, games, and countless rows of food stalls. We were told ahead of time that it could be very hard to get seats at a table inside the tents unless you reserve them in advance. And if you don’t reserve a table, you should expect to show up at 9 am ready for a breakfast brewski if you want a seat. Once you find one you shouldn’t leave it until you’re ready to go home. Each tent has a different theme and a different crowd. We planned to stay casual Friday and scope out all of the tents to decide which one we wanted to get to early on Saturday as we hadn’t reserved a table. Needless to say, it’s hard to stay casual when the beers only come in a 1-liter size and new beers magically arrive just as you finish each liter. Saturday morning, we found ourselves a little “worn out” from the night before and made it to the fest around noon. We didn’t stick to our plan but it all worked out!
We finally made it to the fest around noon. Showing up to the tent we’d chosen the night before, we saw a crowd of people standing outside waiting to be let in. Whether people were leaving by choice, by force, or by stretcher (sad but true that we saw this plenty) we had to wait for people in the tent to leave before we could get in, escorted to the empty seats by a beer maid. Impossible to be completely organized, they’d yell out that they had a spot for 4 and the first group of 4 to get to the front got in. You can look out and see people holding up their number, hoping to be called on. We found it to be easier for just the two of us to get a seat versus the groups of 4 or 5 so this worked out in our favor.
With all that beer it’s important to remember to eat something. Good thing food stalls are impossible to miss on your way from tent to tent! We limited our diet in the fest to pretzels and sausages which we don’t regret. It’s so good! This one of a kind place is somewhere we plan to return each year while we’re abroad. Recently, we’ve decided to change up how we decide where we will run off to next. Instead of just picking a new destination, ideally, we’ll find a special reason that takes us somewhere new. That could mean a concert, festival, unique activity, etc. Fall is upon us and it’s a great excuse to get out in the mountains. We’ve officially dusted off the camping gear as we promised and have found a special spot in Switzerland… details to come!