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I always thought of Oktoberfest as a giant festival of beer, but it is actually the world’s largest Volksfest, meaning “people’s festival” in German – a combination of beer or wine festival and a traveling funfair.
So while there is lots of beers – there’s also much more to Oktoberfest!
Visiting Munich during Oktoberfest has been on my bucketlist for a while now, and the experience did not disappoint.
How long to spend in Oktoberfest
I spent a weekend at the Oktoberfest grounds, which in my opinion was enough. You drink A LOT, so my liver was pretty okay with leaving. That being said, it is an absolute blast so stay longer if you love to party! You will never run out of new and interesting people from all around the world to meet and drink beer with.
Where to stay at Oktoberfest
The biggest problem with going to Oktoberfest is that during that period accommodation prices in Munich skyrocket. They also book up far in advance, so if you book last-minute there are limited option. If you want to secure a good place to stay, I highly recommend booking far in advance.
To save costs I opted to stay in a campground outside of the city, which was a really fun experience itself.
There are a few different hostels that run out of the campgrounds, and I chose to stay in Oktoberfissa which literally means ‘Party’. Honestly, I was a little worried prior to arriving that the crowd was going to be too young and crazy for me to enjoy the experience, but I had a great time.
I was traveling solo and within 20 minutes of arriving at the hostel/campsite, I had met a lovely group of people to go into the festival grounds. We spent most of the weekend together and had a blast!
The Oktoberfest Grounds
Upon arriving at the Oktoberfest grouds in Munich I was pleasantly greeted by not just massive beer halls, but also tons of giant bright amusement park rides. It’s basically your childhood and adult dreams combined.
The beer halls are so much fun to be in. If you get there later in the day the chances of getting a table to yourself are slim, but everyone is super friendly so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a table to join. This is easier if you’re by yourself or just with a few friends, as there may not be enough space for a large group.
While sitting at the tables servers will come and sell beer. In 2017 1L of beer cost 9 Euros. While it’s not super cheap, after just 1 or 2 you will be feeling pretyyyyy good. That German beer is strong!
There are live bands in the bigger beer tents that play in the center of the halls. As the crowd gets rowdier/more drunk people start to dance and sing on tables, which is so much fun. By the end of the night few people will be sitting.
I spent my time dancing and singing on tables with people from all around the world, with the proverbial Prost (meaning “cheers”) always done between each song.
Outside of the main beer tents, there are smaller beer gardens which are more chill. There are also tons of delicious food options to purchase, amusement park rides, and games galore! Although liters of beer and massive drops seem like a bad combination, no one I was with got sick on the rides!
- Many people think the festival is in October but it actually runs from mid or late September to the first weekend in October.
- If you don’t want to stay at a campground, book your accommodation far in advance.
- Stay in groups, especially as a solo female traveler. Although people are friendly, some people were a little too friendly for my liking. I felt more comfortable staying with a group at the grounds.
- If you want a late night snack leave the grounds. It’s cheaper.
- If you are a big group, start early in the day to get a table.
- It isn’t silly to wear a costume. Everyone wears a costume – you will actually feel silly for not having one. You can buy them there or at the camp grounds!
What to do after Oktoberfest
Spend a few days in Munich after Oktoberfest. It’s a lovely city with lots to see and do. If this is your first time visiting Munich, check out these useful things to know about Munich before your visit. Another great thing to do after Oktoberfest is to visit the town of Fussen where you can bike to Neuschwanstein Castle, which is basically like living a real-life fairytale.
Final thoughts on visiting Oktoberfest
I had concerns about visiting Oktoberfest as a solo female traveler but those were quickly washed away upon arriving at my hostel. There are so many friendly people from all over the world to make friends with at the festival, you will be saying sad goodbyes by the end of your time! I loved my experience attending Oktoberfest, it definitely held up to it’s wild reputation.