We made the trip to Munich for Oktoberfest this weekend, and as fun as I thought it was going to be, it was even more fun than that.
Our friend Erich is staying with us as he travels through Germany, and the three of us left for Ulm on Friday afternoon. Ulm, which is about two hours outside of Munich, is known for having the world’s tallest steeple. We stayed there due to the exorbitant costs of hotels near Oktoberfest. Our choices were a) 120€ per person per night to share a hostel room with 10 other people in Munich, or b) 35€ per person per night to have our own hotel room in Ulm. It was an easy choice, and the hotel turned out to be great.
On Saturday morning, we got up before dawn to catch a 6:20am train to Munich. We weren’t the only ones. Before the train even departed, our car was full – of loud, excited teenagers dressed in the full Oktoberfest garb of Lederhosen and Dirndl. It certainly made for an eventful ride, but mostly, it made us feel old (and foolish for wearing blue jeans).
We arrived in Wies’n (the Oktoberfest fairgrounds) before everything opened at 9, and had to make our most important decision of the day – which tent we would get in line for. Oktoberfest is a large carnival, complete with games, rides, and food carts, but the tents are the main attraction. Holding up to 10,000 people, the tents are where you get your drinking done. As a result of their popularity, you really only have a realistic shot of visiting one of them in a single day, unless you’re ok with standing in line for multiple hours.
We chose the Augustiner Bräu tent.
After standing in line for 30 minutes or so, we got in and found a table on the second level. Almost immediately, we were each served a Maß of beer, which measures 1 Liter (though some might argue it’s actually 0.75L of beer and 0.25L of foam). We promptly began drinking, talking, singing, prost-ing, more drinking, and awesomeing. And that’s pretty much what you do.
It sounds simple enough. I can really only say that it’s everything you think Oktoberfest will be, and then better than that. People stood on tables to chug their beer while everyone cheered for them. People started conversations with strangers that spanned up to three languages in a single sentence. People walked around selling pretzels and hats and other German things. There were a lot of people.
When we’d had our fill of everything (and more than our fill of beer), we left the tent in search of food, and ended up with only THE BEST PORK SANDWICHES EVER*!! We then did some touring around Munich, which paled so hard in comparison to Oktoberfest that this sentence is all I will say about it.
(*liters of beer make you say things like this)
Should you ever make it to Oktoberfest yourself, I have just two suggestions:
- Wear Lederhosen (for the men) or a Dirndl (for the women). You won’t feel that out of place without them, but I think it’ll make it even more fun
- Learn the words to this song
Have you been to Oktoberfest? Did you have as much fun as we did? Let us know!