When Josh, a friend of ours, asked if we wanted to go with him to Oktoberfest it was an easy “yes” for us.
We actually headed down to Oberammergau, Germany first (check out that post here and here) and then headed north to Munich for Oktoberfest. We got into Munich around 2:00 Sunday afternoon. We stayed in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. I’m a huge fan of Airbnb and prefer to use the site over hotels in most cases. In my experience, it’s almost always a cheaper option than a hotel and you’re getting a ton more space for your money.
After we got to the apartment we debated about whether we should even try to get into Oktoberfest so late in the day on the weekend, since we read about having to get there early in the morning to have any chance at getting a seat in a tent. We decided to try and headed towards the festival.
We heard that this year was the first year that the festival grounds were fenced off. This is to deter any trouble with being targeted by any kind of attack. The line to get in wasn’t bad at all and once they checked our bags, they let us in. In case you’re planning on going to Oktoberfest this year, be aware that they were only letting in very small bags and no backpacks at all. Although, its worth noting that I had a small backpack on and was denied entry at first. I put my backpack under my arm, like a purse, and they let me in the second time.
We wondered around and took everything in for a little while. I didn’t realize that there was such a huge carnival going on during Oktoberfest! We decided to pick a random tent and try to get seats, expecting it to take over an hour.
We went into a tent and stood for only a couple of minutes, when a waiter told us to follow him to some available seats. We were shocked! He lead us to a few seats on the middle of the room. We met some really friendly Germans and stayed in those seats for the rest of the night. They told us that this Oktoberfest was the “mildest” they had every experienced. They said more people stayed home than usual, because of some fear of the festival being a target.
If you’ve never been able to experience all that is Oktoberfest, I’ve got to say it was something I’ll never forget! First of all, after 2 months of being in Germany, I haven’t been acknowledged or spoken to as many time in 2 months as I was in one night! Everyone is everyone’s friend. We were given some German pastries by one lady at our table and offered food by another. The best way that I can explain Oktoberfest, is to imagine a MASSIVE rockin’ karaoke bar full of friends who are all wearing the same clothes. Different bands played all night, and by the time we left there were very few people not standing on the bench singing (ok, screaming) along. It was hilarious and so much fun.
Also, if you’re ever planning on going, buying the traditional lederhosen and dirndl really is a must. We didn’t and we stuck out. You may think you’ll feel weird, but I promise we felt more weird by not having them.
Overall, it was a blast and I’m so glad we went.
If you have any good tips for Oktoberfest, let me know!