My friends and I will be studying abroad this semester (we are originally from California) and are very excited to go to Oktoberfest! Does anyone have any recommendations for places (airbnb, hostels, hotels, etc.) to stay during our time? We will be there Sept 21-24. Thank you so much!
Unfortunately, you will probably be lucky to find anyplace to stay in Munich on this short of notice, and you'll definitely be paying high dollar for what you might find. We reserved our rooms for Oktoberfest last November! I'd just start searching and take the first decent thing that falls in your price range and then start looking for lederhosen! Hopefully you'll have good luck in your search. 🙂 Have a great time at the fest. I know I'm getting excited!
You have left it WAY too late to book in Munich during Oktoberfest. At this point, you might have to look at towns in the surrounding area with decent rail links to find something affordable and with free rooms.
Erding, Freising, Landshut, and Dachau (despite its grim history) all look as if they could be nice.
Others are correct that some places will be booked and anything you find will be expensive. However you can still look around Munich and probably find something, it just depends what you are willing to pay. My husband and I did Oktoberfest 5 years ago and did not plan the trip until around this time. We used points and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Munich City Center. While it lacked European charm, it was centrally located between the Oktoberfest grounds and the historic district. Please note that many people consider the area south of the main train station to be seedy. This is because there are clubs and adult entertainment options and it gets busy at night. We never felt unsafe and the hotel was quiet but some people do not enjoy staying in this area.
Most of the more traditional accommodations will be booked. People do you cancel reservations so it's good to check every week. For example a few weeks ago I noticed Motel One had some rooms open up for opening weekend.
Alternatively, you could always try the traditional "students on the cheap" accommodations, Wies'n Camp:
It looks much more sophisticated that what I remember from years past where it was some hay on the ground under a large communal tent.
A quick search on Booking.com shows lots of rooms available, but most are over $1000 for the three nights.
Go 2-3 miles out and you may get it down to $800-$900 for three nights.
I went a couple years ago and had no problem booking rooms for the opening weekend of Octoberfest. I stayed at the Holiday Inn City Center (I know, not really a German place!), and it was very affordable. Just checked and they have rooms starting at €249 a night for the entire Octoberfest. This hotel is located directly on top of the S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations and it is only 2 or 3 stops to the Octoberfest station.
There's also this Tent Hostel, which still has bunk beds available most days.