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Munich, September 2023

Hi! I'd appreciate some feedback on what to expect the last week of September 2023 in Munich. I'm tentatively scheduled to go there with my son and his wife and then on to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. I've been to both places before but never around Oktoberfest. Will there still be plenty of fun opportunities for a non-drinker (me) or will the crowds/emphasis on drinking seem a bit overwhelming in Munich? We have reservations for a small apartment for 3 nights for around $660 total which is quite reasonable for that time of year, but I still wonder if Munich is the right location for us.

I know my daughter-in-law will like the city vibe. My son and I are more "let's head to the mountains". I'm trying to find opportunities for everyone to have some of their favorite activities.

I'd love to hear about your experiences in Munich in September and any advice you have for me.

Thanks, Carol

Posted by
998 posts

Carol,

I can't offer advice as I have not been to Munich, but I will also be traveling to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in September of 2023. As a matter of fact, I just booked last night! We have the opportunity to stay at the military lodge in Garmish. I wondered why there were few rooms available then I realized it is September not October for the start of Oktoberfest! We also plan to go to Munich and have not booked a hotel yet, but I need to do that soon.
Margaret

Posted by
6776 posts

Carol, I was in Munich in late September and thought there were plenty of opportunities for non-drinkers (the friend I was with did not drink and she had a blast). Keep in mind that Oktoberfest itself is in one location and you can still see the sights in the rest of the town. And I thought Oktoberfest was interesting - my friend and I got there when they were still finishing the set up a few days before it opened, and it was fun to watch.

If it gets to be too much, you could always get out of the city and take a day trip to Dachau, or Landshutt or any of the multitude of interesting towns nearby.

Posted by
8489 posts

@mpaulynsettle: I've stayed at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort before in the camping cabins that they have across the river from the main facility. The hotel's location is excellent and there is a bus that is very convenient for transportation, just use the "back" entrance from the hotel. It has been several years, but I did find it a bit challenging to have to show ID and go through security each time I crossed the road from the cabins to the hotel. On the other hand, it did make my elderly father feel better to know we were staying "on base." The area itself has so many things to do and I did participate in some of the day tours offered by the hotel as well.

This time we are renting a two bedroom apartment in town.

You may be in for a bit of sticker shock when you look at Munich hotel rooms..........

Posted by
2473 posts

My husband and I ended up in Munich during the festivities years ago. Accidentally, and plane tickets had been purchased.

It turned out to be fun! We joined a beer tour that ended at the Theresienwiese, and enjoyed walking around and the "state fair" offerings adjacent to the beer tents. We left early evening before things got crazy.

The rest of Munich isn't really affected if you don't want to go to the fest.

Posted by
394 posts

We were just there for Oktoberfest and it rained much of the weekend (Sep 24/25). In speaking with several locals they said they had the same weather the previous year (albeit without Oktoberfest, which was cancelled in 2020-21). But you never know, Munich typically has beautiful weather during the event, and the truth is the rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits that we saw. I think you'll enjoy the festivities even though you don't drink; just experiencing the general camaraderie and celebration between Bavarians was people watching at its best. Two recommendations if you decide to go... one, visit Oktoberfest late-morning/early-aft when it has more of a family vibe (think 'State Fair on Steroids'). And, two, allocate your time to the smaller, more accessible tents. We love Augistiner beer but their tent was packed, and with many tourists (including us). By contrast, we slipped into Hacker-Pschorr's tent and the environment was totally different; locals and families just having fun commiserating with one another.

Posted by
1292 posts

I don't drink and have enjoyed Oktoberfest twice (2018 and 2016). They serve soda in the beer halls, and we enjoyed a meal there both times we visited. We stayed outside of the city in Ottobunn. I loved riding the train in and observing all the locals dressed in their traditional Bavarian outfits headed to Oktoberfest. It's an exciting time to be in Munich. This year we were there the week after it ended. The biggest difference was it was a lot less crowded. We also love the Garmisch area (although we stay in Grainau). This area can be busier during Oktoberfest too, so I would start looking into accommodations.

Posted by
998 posts

Carol,

I just stayed at the Hale Koa in Hawaii in March 2022 (booking a year ahead) and it was fantastic, so I thought I would give the Edelweiss Lodge a try especially as they have opened up their day tours again. Yes, the ID thing will be a pain, as I am the only one with an ID card. I have to upload guests' information beforehand, but the price and activities are a real bonus. Yes, I got sticker shock this morning when I began my search in Munich!

Posted by
556 posts

Carol sounds strange but I'm a Munich girl loving the Oktoberfest, being there probably a million times and do not drink alcohol. I'm always drinking the alcohol free beer which is tasting nasty but makes me look as if I would drink real beer :-) :-)

And all the other sights/fun things in Munich are there during Oktoberfest as well. Only issue might be that accommodation is quite expensive.

Posted by
252 posts

We decided to forego Edelweiss in favor of staying in town late Sept, early Oct. Priced out about the same. Don't know if you get it at Edelweiss. but the local hotels have a deal providing a free bus pass for the duration of your stay. Makes it real easy to get around.

Posted by
998 posts

Greg,

I was actually second-guessing myself after I started to read the fine print and getting in and out and having to escort everyone - price-wise, when I begin to add up the extras to support staying at the lodge, I may be better off in town. I have enjoyed staying at the other resorts in Hawaii and Orlando. But, if I am in Europe, I don't want to feel like I'm on an installation on a vacation. Plus retires, can't use the commissary or PX on the facility - I am rethinking this.

Posted by
1321 posts

Personally, I would never stay at the US Edelweiss. I'm sure it is a great place for young American Soldiers and Families on deployment, that are unfamiliar with Germany and can't speak the language. Many tour options too. Similar to the Von Steuben and General Walker when I was young. Retirees who live in Germany with a visa can use the PX and Commissary, but it is a real pain as you must go to German Customs every month and pay German tax for the goods purchased. I tried the first year, but the local customs office and personnel were insufferable. In Garmish I like the Staudacherhof. That could be sticker shock too. A little farther and you are in Austria in the Zugspitz Arena; Ehrwald, Lermoos. Berwang etc. There are a lot of holiday apartments in Mittenwald too.
You might consider Landshut as a place to stay. It's worth a visit in itself. The Cafe Hotel Himmel is nice. Modern rooms, great location and a cafe breakfast. Nice area along the Isar and the Altstadt. Under 1-hour Hbf to Hbf.

Posted by
2452 posts

I don’t drink beer but I enjoyed Oktoberfest anyway. I would recommend going just to see it. It seemed like Munich was not as busy when we were there as most people were at the fair.

Posted by
998 posts

mchpp
Thanks for your honesty. It looks like a lovely setting for those that need a break and still feel secure with being "on base." But, in hindsight and listening to you folks on the ground and who have been there, I have decided to go local instead. I think it will be a much better vacation experience. Easy to cancel and re-think this.

Posted by
1602 posts

We once spent two days in Munich during Oktoberfest waiting for our apartment in Füssen to free-up. On a Sunday we spent the best part of the day at Nymphenburg and its grounds, including a long lunch at the nice cafe on site. As I remember, the other day was spent walking around the old town for a short time, some of the English garden and a handsome residential area east of there.

We stayed at the Alte Post in Holzkirchen, it was very good value - excellent breakfast buffet and very powerful spray in the shower

Posted by
3284 posts

We will be in Munich for 4 nights this April, but if the weather is decent we plan to go to the English Garden to walk and bike. However, we do drink beer so also planning on the very touristy Hofbrahaus.

Posted by
321 posts

Tammy- don't miss the Chinese Tower beer garden (AKA Chinesischer Turm) in the middle of the English Garden...