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Oktoberfest in Munich

My husband and I are considering Munich for Oktoberfest this fall. United Airlines is flying direct to Munich
with low prices from Houston, Texas. We live in Lubbock, Texas and thought a week during Oktoberfest would be fun.
Questions:
1. Good hotel to stay near the festival or should we be away from the action?
2. Is seven days enough time, too much for the festival?

Thanks for anyone out there that can give us helpful hints.

grace blair
Lubbock, Texas

Posted by
18384 posts

"United Airlines is flying direct to Munich with low prices"
 
That seems a little strange. Are you sure you have the dates right. Oktoberfest runs for 2 weeks (three weekend and the weekdays between) ending the first weekend in October. Thus most of it is in September.
 
Sorry, I said "last" weekend in October, I meant the "first" weekend of October. So most of it is in the last part of September. Actually, Oktoberfest ends on the first Sunday in October or on October 3 (Day of German Unity), whichever comes later.
 
"Is seven days enough time ..."
 
You sit around all day in a tent drinking beer, eating pretzels, and singing German drinking songs. I would think it would get old in a few days. Munich is a great city with lots to see, but you don't have to go there during Oktoberfest. The same goes for the rest of Bavaria, but attractions everywhere tend to be crowded during Oktoberfest.

Hotels in town raise their rates a lot during Oktoberfest. I stayed in a town an hour or so out of Munich (I was doing the Romantic Road, not Oktoberfest) in 2007. That hotel was busy, but not completely full, and had not raised their rates.

Posted by
132 posts

Went there in for Octoberfest in 2009 with a bunch of friends. Awesome time! Regardless of what anyone tells you, staying in Munich near the Octoberfest is your best bet. We were able to walk there from our hotel. If you are going, better book a hotel ASAP. Munich is such a fun place with tons of cool stuff to do. You could spend a week there easily. There's also a lot of really good day trips that you can take from Munich as well. Going to the fest in the morning, afternoon and then evening is literally 3 different, unique experiences. While United is a crappy airline, who cares? If you can get a good deal, take it.

Posted by
6513 posts

"ending the last weekend in October"

Just for clarification, it ends on the 5th of October this year, not the last weekend of October.

I didn't see any cheap fares on United during that time (unless you consider $1350 a cheap fare).

As far as spending seven days in Munich, that's a bit long, but with 2 days at Oktoberfest (more than enough for most people unless you're party guys) and 2 days for Munich itself you would have 3 days for day trips. There are a lot of nice places to daytrip from Munich.

Posted by
2081 posts

G&A,

just a comment. Have you bothered to check for places to stay in terms of availability?

you may want do that first.

happy trails.

Posted by
132 posts

Some of those days trips from Munich include the Andechs monastery (google it - well worth the visit) and Ludwig's castles Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. In Munich, there is also the English Garden which is great to visit.

Posted by
926 posts

Hotel Uhland is a great hotel about a block from the park where Oktoberfest if held. It is also within walking distance to the main train station, and has a bus line very close by. I personally wouldn't want to spend more than 1 day at Oktoberfest, but Munich is a great town with much to see. Plus, there are many day trips you can take such as to Neuschwanstein, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden and more.

Posted by
8883 posts

Salzburg is another easy day trip from Munich.

Posted by
9 posts

No need for seven days at Oktoberfest. I was there two years ago for the final day and we had a blast- we were in a smaller tent in the "historical/traditional" area that we had to pay a few dollars to get through a turnstile to access. We managed by luck to walk in and grab one of the remaining tables about 1pm in the afternoon. We did stay downtown and took a rickshaw ride home to our hotel after 10-12 hours of mayhem. If you like crowds, a good time and beer, Oktoberfest is a must see- you might leave yourself two days for this event so that you can return if you don't have luck accessing the tent(s) you are targeting. Early bird definitely gets the worm tho for all things related to Oktoberfest including hotel and tickets for desired tent. If a went again it would be for the opening day when they officially tap the keg.

Posted by
316 posts

Hi Grace-
7 days at the 'Fest may be too much- 4 days split between afternoons and evenings is usually quite enough. Maybe spend a few nights in Salzburg for a change of pace. And if you go on a weekend when the weather is good be sure to go early in the afternoon... it gets VERY crowded!!! You can stay in nearby towns and ride the train in if the hotels in Munich are all full. I have stayed in Augsburg, Garmisch, Ulm, and Ingolstadt during the 'Fest. From the main train station in Munich (Hauptbahnhof) it is only about 5 blocks due south to the Theresienwiese.
I would recommend making hotel reservations before buying airline tickets as you may be shocked at hotel prices in Munich this late.

You might want to try http://www.oktoberfest-insider.com/ to get some helpful hints...
At any rate, I hope you get to go and have a good time!!! And don't drive to or from the 'Fest unless you have a VERY dedicated designated driver!!!

Posted by
9 posts

Just found my booking receipt from staying downtown close to fest in 2011- we stayed at Hotel Best Western Atrium Hotel, Landwehrstraße 59, Ludwigsvorstadt- small room (not there to sleep) but great buffet breakfast included- we paid 149Euros and booked through booking.com in early sept. therefore if you look now you should easily find a good spot near to the festival. and if you are beer drinkers and in to big festivals, you may wish to spend some of your 7 days by training to Stuttgart and going to Volksfest- the second largest beer festival in world after Oktoberfest. Also the home of Porsche if you guys are in to cars. Note that Volksfest overlaps the end of Oktoberfest by a week I think.

Posted by
11973 posts

Grace,

I wouldn't want a week at the festival but September is a great time to visit Germany. My personal favorite part of Oktoberfest is opening day, it starts with a parade from downtown - everyone in traditional Bavarian dress.

A few festival tips:
- Be sure to eat, drinking without food in your stomach will have disastrous consequences. I get a big meal outside the tents in the afternoon before going in.
- Pick one tent and stay. All the tents offer roughly the same experience. If you try going from one tent to another, you will spend all night in line.
- I normally hit the tents in late afternoon. There is a "day shift" that gets there at opening and are usually ready for their emergency room visit by afternoon (you think I'm joking). There is also an "evening shift" that arrive about dark. If you beat them in, you can find a seat fairly quickly - you must be seated to order a beer.
- Staying within walking distance is nice, otherwise you will share a train with a huge crowd of very drunk people. The place closes tight at 10:30 so everyone leaves at once rather than a few at a time. Most of the drunks are heading to clubs to keep partying, maybe they'll invite you along?
- Other cities have similar fests that don't close at 10:30, many go all night, you might consider checking one out.

Posted by
16883 posts

I certainly enjoyed Oktoberfest during my first visit to Munich, especially the costume parade on the first Sunday morning. Do book ahead in order not to be stuck at the worst hotel in town. You can spend 1 - 2 days at Oktoberfest itself and another 2 days to see the highlights of the city. I would only stay longer if you wanted to see all the art museums or all the car/airplane/technology museums (as I did during a recent visit with my parents, after "danger" of Oktoberfest was over).