Oktoberfest - Munich 08...any suggestions from those experienced?

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Well-Known Member
Feb 4, 2008
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Omaha, NE
Hallo all....just a matter of time before I registered on this forum. I don't really have any homebrew questions at the moment, but I was curious if anyone has experience with Oktoberfest trips and had any advice for first-timers.

We're looking at heading there this year in a group of probably about 6, for a week...as it stands now we're looking at either booking airfare and hotel separately, or airfare + hotel, but probably not any grandiose package deals as they seem too...controlling (don't necessarily want to go sight-see castles in a large tour group, etc). Any suggestions on good savings deals, or transportation/lodging in general? Cheaper to fly in/out of somewhere else and rail to Munich, etc?

Also, not sure if we're going to use the rail, rent a car, etc once we get to Munich....but any suggestions on the overall Oktoberfest experience would be welcome (including total $ spent - I'm thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of $2500, but feel free to correct me otherwise). Thanks folkel.
i've been to 13 oktoberfests - but then i did used to live there so it was pretty handy!

if you're just going over for the fest, fly in to munich if you can. otherwise, you can fly to frankfurt and get the train down from there (or a connecting flight) but the train is not cheap, check it on www.bahn.de for current prices.

you'll probably end up staying in the hauptbahnhof area, that's where the cheap hotels are and it's a safe enough area even with strip clubs every 10 yards (a bonus perhaps). you can even walk from there to the fest (it's only one stop on the subway and not really worth getting the train).

you do not need a car in munich, the public transport is excellent and you'll pay a lot for parking - don't bother.

away from the fest - try and get in a trip to the hofbrauhaus and also the augustiner brewery (on landsberger strasse) which has the best beer in town, for me. further afield the andechs brewery is good (a long train ride and a brisk walk...) or if the weather is any good, get in some time at a beer garden - it can be nice during the fest, but it can be rubbish too - the weather is a coin-toss.

ps: i might be stating the obvious here, but please check the dates before you book - remember that the fest finishes on the first sunday of october (except when oct 3rd is the monday, then you get an extra day of drinking). the first and last weekends are probably best for visiting, the middle weekend will be unbelievably crowded and you might well struggle to get a spot in a tent. if there is a group of you - like 10+, then look at booking a table in advance - check oktoberfest.de for details, you have to commit to eating something (a good idea anyway) and drinking 2 mass of beer each (not a problem) but some places get so full you won't get through the door w/o a reservation (just remember to get there on time - they will give up your table if you are not there promptly - this is germany, after all). you can usually find a spot of smaller groups if you get there early enough - we're talking 9am here, though.

pps: lot of city info on the english-speaking toytowngermany.com website especially their forums.
Great info!! I think we are planning on the trip too this year. May even try to get over to ampsterdam for a day or two to check it out too. Is 4 or 5 days enough to experience the fest and visit some local breweries?
Thanks for the info!

I'm guessing there's no secret deal for transportation that's better than the others, or else everyone would hop on. I pondered the idea of flying to an east-coast city and/or Chicago separately, but I've seen packages for less out of my city of origin than out of somewhere like O'Hare directly. Just have to keep looking in that respect!
freyguy said:
Great info!! I think we are planning on the trip too this year. May even try to get over to ampsterdam for a day or two to check it out too. Is 4 or 5 days enough to experience the fest and visit some local breweries?

yeah 4-5 days is ideal. after a couple of days you might need a break from full-on festing.

if you don't mind a very raucous atmosphere, the hofbrau tent at the fest is the place to be - they have a standing only area in the center of the tent where basically all hell breaks loose - it might not be exactly beer appreciation of the highest order, but it's a lot of fun. but basically it's fun and games in all the tents.

the best beer is at the hofbrau or any augustiner tent (IMHO). the hacker tent is next to the hofbrau and it has a really good atmosphere - the band plays rolling stones etc. getting away from the usual german stuff - great place for a night of big pints.
Never been to Oktoberfest, but been to Munich. Stay off the bike paths!... Unless you like a public scolding... and I think it's somehow scarier in German (1st hand experience). Hofbrauhaus is cool and don't be shocked if you go to take a piss and there's a woman sitting on a stool in the men's room watching everyone piss.

If you really want to sober up, take a train (or was it a bus?) northwest to Dachau. It's not far. Charming town... if you're Hannibal Lector! Seriously a nice town except for the concentration camp. But worth the visit if you've never been to one.

You should be able to find a cheap enough flight to Munich (compared to anywhere else). It's a pretty major European airport. If you're going during Oktoberfest, there should be plenty of other tourists in town so you don't stick out like a sore thumb. (If you look too much like an American, you run the risk of anti-Americanism. If you don't look enough like a tourist you run the risk of being stopped by the Polizei for thinking you're eastern European illegal immigrants (also 1st hand experience!).
The flights I've (and my buddy...he's been doing a bit more searching on flights than I) seen so far have all been around the $800 range after a healthy gamut of "taxes". Definitely a lot more expensive than any other time of the year, it seems.

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