Overview: To be completely honest, I had zero desire to go to Germany up until six months ago. I had this impression that Germany was cold and unfriendly.But my then boyfriend mentioned going to Oktoberfest. Brilliant! I have always wanted to partake in this beer chugging tradition. I originally had planned to do a tour of Germany, but it was just too much. I knew that there was tons to see and do and that I can always come back and add Berlin and Frankfort. The plan was to go to the Dachau concentration camp and Oktoberfest. Long story short, we missed our Dachau tour. It took over two hours to get to our hotel. It was the officially kick-off weekend for Oktoberfest and arrived just in-time for the parade. Meaning, our taxi kept getting detoured and had to drop us off, in the rain, blocks away from our hotel. Needless to say it wasn’t the best way to start our day.
Because we missed our tour, we decided to grab a bite to eat and head over to Hofbrauhaus. We grabbed a pedi-cab and he asked what type of music we wanted to hear. We said hip-hop, he asked for a specific artist, we said Tupac and this guy BLASTED Tupac. It was so wild! We walked inside HB and it was a s*** show. All of the tables are communal and first come first served.
We wandered around and ended up grabbing a table next to a family from Canada. We chatted and shared stories until it was time for them to go. Shortly after, this group of older men asked if they could join us. Of course! Our table is your table. We find out that they are all from Switzerland and this is an annual reunion for the group of friends. They had table reservations-side note: some tents require advanced reservations in order to enter. Some are open to the public, but good luck trying to find a seat. We were hesitant at first because we planned on wearing our lederhosen dresses the following day and didn’t want to feel out-of-place. After little convincing, we joined and it was THE BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!!!!
They had purchased magnum bottles of Moet. I asked where was the beer, and they said, we don’t do beer here, we drink champagne. My kind of people! They ordered food and taught us the traditional German songs, and we danced the night away. Perfect. It was a perfect introduction to Oktoberfest.
The next day, we had high expectations. We put on our outfits and walked outside and then realized, it was Monday morning and everyone has gone back to their normal daily lives. We were the only ones dressed up. Everyone, and I mean everyone glanced at us as we walked towards the park. We finally spotted a few people in costumes and followed closely behind them. We went to our tent and found our reserved seats. We ended up making friends with a group of people from New York. They were wonderful and so inviting. As we got to know them, we watched primarily guys stand on the tables, grab their liter of beers and chug away. The crowd chanted them on and cheered if they finished, or they would boo if you stopped to take a breath. One of the guys that was apart of our group, from Ireland and a total Goliath took on the challenge. Even he said he had a hard time finishing. We all walked over to the HB (original) tent and partied the night away.
I am bummed that we didn’t get a chance to really see Munich, but I had such a fabulous time with fabulous people. I cannot wait to come back and explore!
Where we stayed:
Courtyard Munich City Center– Conveniently located near the train station and about a 10 minute walk from the Theresienwiesen (Oktoberfest). The rooms are on the smaller side, like any other European hotel would be. It has a wonderful restaurant with great quality of food. I knew that the hotel rates would be through the roof, so I booked my hotel six months in advance. While I had a reservation, I was able to accrue enough Marriott Rewards points (70,000) so that I didn’t have to pay over $1,000 for two nights. See all, points matter and can make a huge difference!
As I stated above, you typically need a reservation at some of the tents. Not all, but some. Reservations/tickets can be hard to get as they go quickly. It’s also illegal to sell tickets through a third-party…which is where we bought ours from. I won’t name the website, but it was very secretive and the tickets had to be delivered to our hotel room and we could not mention that we bought the tickets.