My friends and I are planning to go to Oktoberfest in 2013. We plan to go the beginning of the second week (Sept 30). I'd be interested to know any recommendations on lodging. Having never been to Munich, is there a recommended length of stay?
Everyone here will tell you to get your reservations NOW!!! It's probably good advice. The first time I went, I showed up in Munich on opening day (solo) with no room or reservation. In all my reservation free travel, I've never felt so close to going homeless. I normally carry a list of about five places I'd like to stay and just call as I'm getting close to town. Generally I get my first or second choice 99 percent of the time, very rarely my third or fourth choice. That trip I went through my list with no luck so figured I'd use my normal backup - visit the TI and let them help me find something. The TI looked like the trading floor at the Chicago Mercantile, it was a zoo of people trying to find a place to stay. I went back to a phone and started calling more places. On about the tenth call (fifteenth overall) I found a decent pension room at a normal price. Oktoberfest is a good place to have reservations. If you start now, you should be able to find some lodging in Munich for September. I'd suggest starting at Tripadvisor and searching. They have a great search engine, plenty of reviews (some of which are fake), and will filter for places with available rooms when you search. The thing I'd look for (in addition to your normal preferences) is transportation to the fest grounds. You may also have to stay outside of Munich. If so, direct transportation into Munich is also key.
For length of stay. Three full days is pretty nice, more if you have it. There are plenty of sights to fill up any time you have. Check out Tripadvisor's "things to do" for Munich and decide which appeal to you. I usually plan a couple of sites a day and let my must-sees dictate how long I stay. When you visit the fest, I think it works well to eat a big meal outside the tent (there are places that sell food like any county fair in the US) in mid-afternoon then go find a seat. There seems to be a morning rush and the tents are packed in the evenings. If you get in before the evening rush, you won't have to stand in line for hours. You have to be seated to order a beer and the whole thing closes early (empty by 10:30 pm when beer stops being served). You might meet some locals who will invite you out to a club - which are open till dawn. Here's a site with more info: http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/article/About+the+Oktoberfest/About+the+Oktoberfest/Dates+and+General+FAQs/751/
We just returned from our December visit to Munich. We had an enjoyable stay at the Hotel Uhland. It's a nice family run hotel that's right next to the Octoberfest grounds. We strolled over to the Toll Wood (Christmas Fair)all 3 nights. The hotel has large rooms and baths with 10' ceilings. Our room even had an enclosed porch. All newly renovated, clean and quiet. The breakfast was outstanding and the staff are friendly and very helpful. It's a short walk from the train station or just 1 stop on the ubahn. Check their web site at www.hotel-uhland.de I noticed that they are taking bookings for October already! We found this hotel in RS's Germany guidebook. Next time we're in Munich we'll stay at the Hotel Uhland.