Octoberfest: Tips, Tricks and what to Expect
Updated: Oct 13, 2019
Prost and welcome to my Octoberfest blog! Octoberfest isn't just an adult's playground it's a global affair for all ages to enjoy. It's a huge fairground with tons of carnival rides, food stalls and beer houses...what can go wrong? This blog is going to provide you with all the tips and tricks of Octoberfest. So sit back, grab a brezel (pretzel) and beer and start planning away!
When to Start Planning:
Octoberfest begins on the 3rd Saturday of September and runs through the first Sunday in October. As soon as Octoberfest is over people are starting to plan for the following year. You'll definitely want to start booking accommodations right away if you plan on having a party of 5-10 people. My party consisted of 3 people and we booked our accommodation in February.
Where to Stay:
Munich is very expensive during festival season. For accommodation in the city center you will pay anywhere between 400-600 USD a night. Even hostels are expensive. For one person the cost per night is between 200-250 USD. I suggest staying 20-30 minutes outside of the city center. You'll find much better deals. We stayed in a town 30 minutes south of Munich called Oberhaching. Cute little town and our hotel was an easy 10 minute walk from the metro stop Deisenhofen. We chose to stay at Weissbrau Deisenhof GmbH & Co. KG. Cost per night was 234 USD and breakfast was included. The one downside about staying in a quaint town is that businesses close early, so if you want a bite to eat be sure to grab something for take away while in Munich.
Munich's S-Bahn is very easy to use. If traveling in a group (5 people or less) you can purchase a group ticket called Gruppen-Tageskarte. For an all day pass which included zones outside of Munich it was only 24.30 EUR. Tickets can be purchased from the Deutsche Bahn (DB) booths located at the Flughafen (airport), Hauptbahnhof (main station) or Ostbahnhof (east station). Lines for DB at the airport can be long. If you choose not to stand in line you can also purchase tickets from the ticket machines. Once you type in your destination you'll be provided with an option to purchase the Gruppen-Tageskarte. Time permitting, and able to travel to Salzburg or Neuschwanstein Castle, you can purchase a Bayern Ticket which is also a group day pass and cost is only 41.00 EUR. Also, be sure to validate your tickets. Train attendants are highly active during festival season and most are incognito.
How to get to the Fairgrounds:
The fairgrounds are about a 15-20 minute walk from Hauptbahnhof. Do not just follow people wearing lederhosen. We did that the first night assuming they were going to the fairgrounds and they were not...whoops. From Hauptbahnhof exit via Bayerstrasse, cross the street and walk straight for about 10 min. Next take a right on Beethovenstrasse and walk straight for about 5 minutes. You will run directly into the fairgrounds. Another option is from Hauptbanhof take either the U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese.
Do I Need to Reserve a Table?
This will all depend on the size of your group. If traveling in a party of 10 or more people I would suggest reserving a table. With only having 3 people in our party we thought we would take our chances. If you arrive to the tents early enough in the day you should not have a problem. On one of the days we had arrived around 13:00 and we were able to get into the tent and found seats without having to wait. We were able to hop from tent to tent in the afternoon. Night time is a whole nother story. We thought we would go check out the fairgrounds around 20:00 and the lines to get into the tent were massive. Also, if in the tent area, you will not be served any beverages until you are seated at a table. If you don't have any luck finding seats there are some food and drink stalls around the fairgrounds.
What to Wear:
Do not feel as if you need to wear the traditional lederhosen or dirndl but it's definitely more fun to do so. You'll fit right in. These outfits can vary in price and are dependent upon the material and style. If not wanting to spend a lot of money there are some booths inside the Hauptbhanhof selling outfits ranging from 50-100 EUR . That was for the dirnd only. The blouse is separate and can range between 20-60 EUR. Luckily, while I was browsing the outfits at the Hauptbanhof, a fellow American saw me and advised me that right outside the Hauptbahnhof there was a store selling dirndls for a quarter of the cost. I made it to the store within 5 minutes of them closing and found a dirndl with blouse included for only 64 EUR. The attendants were super helpful and they had a better variety of sizes. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the store, but if you exit the Hauptbahnhof via Bayerstrasse, directly right across the street on the right hand side there is a store that has several signs in large letters that says PARIS. Otherwise, if you're wanting to spend some money for a better quality outfit, you can check out Trachten.
Andy's Krablergarten-(Munich)-reservations required (Known for their schnitzel) https://andyskrablergarten.business.site/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=referral
Gastof zum Wildpark-(Oberhaching)-Best food I've had in Germany