‘Tis the season to throw on your lederhosen or dirndl, grab a fat pretzel and stein and prost at the world’s largest Volksfest.
In honor of the opening day of the 184th Oktoberfest in Munich, I thought I’d share a little bit about my crazy experience while there.
Two weeks prior to Oktoberfest, we bought a package from the tour operating program, Bus2alps, which coordinated our travel and stay accommodations. Finding an authentic traditional dirndl was tough and rather expensive (~ €100), so I decided to find pieces that were loosely based on the dirndl look.
We took a 12 hour bus from Rome to Munich and arrived at our camp site, (thats right, we slept in tents in 45° weather), around 7am. We settled in and began to have some fun before entering.
Doors opened at 9am, so we had a bit of time to mingle with other Americans who were also in the campsite. We were advised to arrive as early as possible, because seats in the beer tents were either reserved online (which we didn’t do) or were on a first-come, first-served basis. In other words, our best option was to make friends with others who had a table.
One of my favorite things about this festival is that entry is entirely free! As you walk through the gates, you literally enter foodie, thrill-seeker, beer-enthusiast, heaven! There are food vendors set up all along the main entrance. As you continue walking, there are a total of 14 beer tents, waiting to quench your thirst. Venture outside the beer tents where a ton of fun also awaits. There are numerous carnival rides, shows, and parades all there for your enjoyment.
It took us a few attempts to find open seats, but we had the most luck in the largest tent on the grounds, Schottenhamel. As you enter, you are greeted by such a cheerful atmosphere, there are literally thousands of festival go-ers waiting to loosen up and sway together with the music. With each song that is played, its only tradition, that you stand up, clap, chug, clink your stein with your neighbor and of course, sing along.
We were served fairly quickly, but I’d advise, to pace yourself! Beer is served in one-litre glasses for about $12 a pop. To soak up that 6%, I consumed A LOT of food. Pretzels, turkey legs, hotdogs, chocolate covered EVERYTHING, pastries, and more pretzels.
We joined tables with locals and from people all over the world! I was pleasantly surprised with how welcoming and generous everyone was with us!
(A few of the kind locals who shared their table)
Each day, we made our way from tent to tent and ended the night riding as many rides as we could. The gates close at midnight, but luckily for us, the party kept going, back at the camp site.
Free entry, high-percentage craft beer, amazing food, and cheerful music, all while sharing good vibes with people from literally all over the world…COUNT ME IN! This experience was one that I can only describe as: EPIC.
If you are considering going abroad, I would definitely recommend making a stop in Munich, for…