Most people recognize Oktoberfest as THE beer lover’s annual event that runs from late September to the first weekend in October. Millions of people from all over the world come to Germany for the festival to consume even more millions of liters of beer. Oktoberfest is not just for beer lovers. Families are welcome as well. Besides beer, there is also delicious traditional German food in the beer tents, street food outside of the tents, games, and rides for all to enjoy.
For this trip, I went with friends. Per tradition, the men wore lederhosen and the women wore dirndls (tied to the right or left). After a nutritious breakfast of cheese pretzels and beer, we caught the train from Frankfurt to Munich. It should be noted that you will want to buy a ticket before hand and when given the option, purchase a seat as well. You can then make your way to the bartender cart.
The first step was checking into the hotel and by hotel, I mean tent. When the options were to stay in downtown Munich in a crowded hotel with a continental breakfast surrounded by mature adults attending the event or for business purposes, or in a tent just away from the bustling city “glamping it out” with mere children (otherwise known as college students with inheritances), I opted for the latter. Sure, depending on the tent, you had to pay for toilet paper and eight minutes of hot water. And, sure, nights were spent trying to sleep bundled in blankets due to the cold while music blared just outside until the early morning hours keeping you awake but it’s all about new experiences at Wheels and Travels!
Fortunately, official glamping meant that all the necessities were included like hot water tokens, toilet paper and a delicious breakfast in the mornings. And since this was Oktoberfest, a free beer was provided on arrival. The Stoke Travel Festival Glamping (www.stoketravel.com) offered large tents with air mattresses and a lamp inside the tents. The hosts came from different parts of the world, spoke English and were friendly and helpful. The customer service was excellent and they cooked a generous, delicious breakfast of bacon, omelets and toast with Nutella. The location also wasn’t bad as it was close to a taxi stop and the taxi ride cost was about as much as a liter of beer from the festival.
After checking in, we caught a cab to the festival. Walking through the gates, the first sites are the rides towering above the festivities along with the signs for the official beer tents (biergårten) where the beer and food are housed.
From there, we ordered our beer and food sitting back to enjoy the atmosphere and company. I ordered roasted fish and a pretzel on the side. Delicious! The rest of the weekend was spent much of the same way-food, beer, conversation and occasionally, games.
At Oktoberfest, you are surrounded by friends from all over the world. Sitting back to back on benches in crowded tents creates for interesting memories like meeting a Frenchman who sings sweet operatic tunes, bonding with fellow Americans over football teams, or joining in song with the rest of the crowd singing “Sweet Caroline.” People are laughing, singing and dancing on tables all day long, every day of the event.
If you are looking for a fun stop on your trip through Germany or around Europe, look no further. Oktoberfest offers a traditional German experience, delicious food, good company and memories for everyone to enjoy.