A surprise trip with my girls brought me to Oktoberfest. You might be thinking how does a 7.5 hour flight fit into a surprise trip…. Well, it did. Check out the itinerary below and my 5 takeaways.
Day 1: Our first night consisted of a traditional German dinner at Zum Franziskaner. I was jet lagged so this was a blessing.
Day 2: Brunch at Matsuhisa (Nobu), located in the Mandarine Oriental hotel. This was followed by cocktails on the hotel rooftop, which has beautiful views of the city.
Tent: The tents are quite an interesting setup and they vary. Our 1st tent was Schützen-Festzelt and I highly recommend starting off Oktoberfest there. It holds over 6,000 people. Be sure to have exact change when paying. The waitresses have no time for nonsense.
After Party: HeartHouse. Our host thought we wouldn’t make it after a full day of festivities, but we came to party. Heart house has various rooms with house and hip hop. It was great to burn off some energy.
Day 3: There was no way I was waking up before 2pm. Fortunately, we had 5pm reservations at Weinzelt (aka the WINE tent). This tent was fabulous! During the early portion of the evening you see many families. Much less crowded with more decadent food than the other tents. The musical performances were more engaging and personable.
After Party: Wiesnclub which was the perfect place to let loose and not be judged.
1: Plan ahead and get a host
Most Germans know that you have to make the most of your arrangements one year in advance for Oktoberfest. It’s best to have a host if you’re unfamiliar with Munich. These hosts will arrange restaurants, tents, clubs and other events for you and your group. It could get pricey, but it’s totally worth it.
Oktoberfest is a legitimate tradition which started in the 1800. It’s also the largest beer festival, so non Germans tend to go crazy. However, its a very warm and family friendly celebration for Bavarians. Families go out together in their traditional dirndl or lederhosen. This formal dress is often passed down from generation to generation. Tents play folk music and serve traditional food.
Some Germans were very quick to point out cheap looking dirndls…. Fortunately, I knew this before I arrived. Here are a few stores where you can buy affordable and pricy dirndls and lederhosen:
To buy Wiesn Tracht und Mehr, Angermaier, Loden-Frey, Trachten Peterandl
To rent: Dirndly, Bavaria Outfitters.
Don’t show up without an outfit. Faux pas!
4: Music & Food
Folk song after folk songs and I LOVE it. Weeks after the trip ended, I was still singing ‘EINProsit’. So much fun!! Here are a couple songs so you’re prepared.
Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit
Die Hände zum Himmel
In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus
Bayern Des San Ma Mia
Marmor Stein und Eisen Bricht
Cowboy und Indianer (learn the dance too)
The list goes on and on.
Food: Weisswurst (sausage), brathendl (roast chicken), schweinshaxe (crispy pork), knödel (potato dumpling), pretzels, spaetzle (noodles), kaiserschmarrn (doughy dessert), sauerkraut (could be various pickled cabbage), schweinshaxe (don’t ask) and a few others. Needless to say that while I enjoyed most of the cuisine… Matsuhisa was a welcome departure.
Munich is a relatively small and safe city. It’s quite easy to take the trains and busses. Uber is also in Munich, which made the ride from the airport seamless. Though there was heavy drinking taking place, we saw little to no violence. Maybe that’s because you can start drinking at 16……. Being that the city is heavily crowded during Oktoberfest, it’s best to take the train.
Personal note: We stayed at The Sheraton Munich Arabellapark Hotel. Every once in a while, staying in an America hotel, in Europe is refreshing. #largerrooms #largershowers….. The hotel also had a lovely club lounge and swimming pool.
This trip might very well have been a once in a lifetime opportunity. However I’m going to try to recreate the magic next year. Ein Prosit, ein Prosit. Der Gemütlichkeit . Ein Prosit, ein Prosit. Der Gemütlichkeit.