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Berlin or Munich for Oktoberfest?

Hey all! Just a short synopsis, a friend and I (Females, late 20's, from US) are visiting The Netherlands & Germany for 15 days (take off 2 days for air travel) We are completely set on visiting Germany for about 4-5 days, but are having trouble deciding between visiting Berlin or Munich for Oktoberfest. We are both outgoing, enjoy meeting new people, nightlife & drinking, along with visiting museums and other historic sites. We are planning on taking a night train to whichever city we choose (which if any of you have any tips on that as well, it would be much appreciated!) We are both completely torn on which city we should visit and have made several pros & cons sheets so I thought I would ask people who have visited Germany frequently or have lived there. Anything helps! Thanks!

Posted by
635 posts

That's kinda like choosing between Boston and New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Both are nice places, but Oktoberfest is a uniquely Bavarian event, with Munich the focal point. Oktoberfest originated in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince.

Posted by
6817 posts

I can't tell from your post whether there is a missing comma after Berlin. Are you asking about Oktoberfest in either city, or Berlin as it is, versus Oktoberfest in Munich?

Posted by
5615 posts

So 13 days...

Are you "sold" on the Oktoberfest idea? Then it must be Munich.

If you're not, I'd choose Berlin. Munich is super-crowded and super-expensive during O'fest.

4 days is about right for Berlin.

It's a long trip to either city from the Netherlands. A long trip back as well.

You actually have some alternatives to O'fest nearer the Netherlands you know. Stuttgart's "Canstatter Volksfest" is similar in size and activities. Even close are the wine fests in the old-world towns on the Rhine River. Oberwesel, St. Goar and Boppard all host these fests on different dates in September:

Posted by
2 posts

@Stan Sorry about that, we would want to visit Berlin just for the sake of Berlin or Munich FOR Oktoberfest. I was not referencing which Oktoberfest to attend, just the one in Munich :)

@Russ We were sold on Berlin, until the Oktoberfest idea came about. But no, we are not sold on Oktoberfest whatsoever. Thank you so much for the recommendations. I hadn't came across either of those and will now definitely look into them!

Posted by
13026 posts


Good that you picked Berlin. So would I given the two choices. You'll be there in Sept? Your interest area are well covered in Berlin as repects to the cultural/historical sites, museums, statues, etc. Where do you plan on staying?

Posted by
316 posts

You do understand that the 'Fest has a lot of carnival rides in addition to the Bier tents. And it only happens once a year. And the hotel prices are very high during those 2 weeks. You might want to check hotel availability and prices very soon and then make a decision- it might influence your choice between Berlin and Munich. I have made reservations 2 weeks before and survived in an expensive dump. Or you could stay in a nearby town like Augsburg or Ingolstadt (I've done both) and catch the train into Munich. Berlin can be visited almost any time . If you increased your time a few days you could actually do both Berlin and the 'Fest - just try to go to the 'Fest for a few days from Monday- Thursday when it is not as crowded. Then catch the train back to Berlin.

Have a great trip!!!