Our Itinerary for the World’s Best Beer Fest.
Oktoberfest 2019 is fast approaching. If you want to do it right, you’ve come to the right place. Find your “hoppy” place with us this fall as we “Prost!” our way through die Wiesn and explore all that Munich and the surrounding countryside of Bavaria have to offer.
Oktoberfest kicks off on Saturday, September 21st. If you’re coming along for the ride on the first weekend, you’re in for a treat. This weekend in particular is full of traditional Oktoberfest celebrations like the opening ceremony, “O’zapft is!” and the parade of traditional costumes. This Friday will be prime to see more of Munich than just the festival grounds, “Theresienwiese.”
Friday Fun in Munich
Our favorite Friday activity is the Munich Bike tour, which we recommend you book ahead of time to guarantee your spot. Exploring Munich by bike is our favorite way to explore the city. After all, it’s how so many locals get around. The cycle paths are extensive and perfectly groomed, so it’s easy to see a lot of Munich easily. Our tour takes you through the following locations:
- Marienplatz, a central square in the city center, famous for the Glockenspiel in the tower of New City Hall.
- Hofbrauhaus, a local tavern and beer garden. This isn’t just a tourist spot. In fact, many locals even keep their personal steins stored there!
- The English Gardens, a massive park even larger than New York City’s Central Park.
- The Chinese Tower. This seemingly out-of-place structure, has been around since the 1700’s and is home to the 2nd largest beer garden in Munich with 7,000 seats!
- Surfer’s Bridge, where locals and experienced surfers from all over the world really do surf on the river. The man-made Eisbachwelle is a constant wave from where the Eisbach river is slowed by submerged concrete blocks and pylons. Its creation was an accident, but surfers have been shredding on it since the 1970s.
- The Bavarian Parliament.
The night after this is yours. Munich has a lively nightlife, and no matter where you’re staying with us, we’ll direct you to where the party is. If you’re with us in the campsite, activities with Stoke will be going well into the night! If you’re with us in hostels, we’ll direct you to your type of bar!
Time to Prost!
On Saturday, we’ll be ready to head to die Wiesn, as the locals call it, dressed up in our traditional Bavarian clothing. If you don’t have any yourself, don’t fret. You’ll be able to purchase your own at our campsite, or if you’re staying with us in a hostel, we’ll show you where to buy the best in town. If you’re anything like us the first time we went to Oktoberfest, you’d think that locals would frown on dressing up, but it’s quite the opposite! The locals will be dressed in their most elaborate dirndls and genuine leather lederhosen, so you’ll fit right in if you dress the part. Our only advice is not to purchase a halloween costume version ahead of time. Then, you’ll certainly stick out, and the locals won’t fret to call you out on your faux pas!
On all of the weekends after opening weekend, we might even depart for the festival as early as 6:30am because the tents are first come, first serve without a formal reservation. Doors open at 9:00am (on opening weekend, you have to wait for the opening ceremony when the first keg is tapped by the Mayor around noon!) and that’s when the first beers are served! You’ll hear traditional songs of Bavaria and revel in the festivities. Maybe you’ll even be moved to dance on the benches! Just avoid dancing on the tables—that’s not allowed. If you can’t get into a tent, we recommend you grab a spot in the outside beer garden until they start allowing more people to enter.
There’s More than Just Beer!
Don’t forget, there’s more to do at the festival than just the beer tents. We can’t recommend a giant soft pretzel enough, and the rides at the carnival section are so fun. Even if you’re not a thrill seeker, it’s worth checking out. Some of the rides attract large audiences, because you can watch others as they try to climb a toboggan hill or stay on a giant spinning disk, probably after a stein or two! Entertaining, to say the least.
Day 2 Alternative:
Neuschwanstein, A Fairy Tale
If Oktoberfest isn’t for you on Saturday, we’ll also organize a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Just like our bike tour, you’ll want to book this online before the trip begins, or with your guides before space runs out.
Back to Beer, Pretzels, Dirndls, and more!
Sunday arrives too quickly, but we’re back at Theresienwiese for a slightly more subdued day at Oktoberfest. If two days of the festival have been enough for you, you’ve got time to check out one of Munich’s many museums. We’ll also organize departures to Dachau, Germany’s first concentration camp, which is now a memorial site and free to enter. Though a somber way to close a festive weekend, it’s a way to see more of Germany than just the festival grounds and to immerse yourself in the history of Germany and WWII.
Auf Wiedersehen, München!
Then, we’re back on our way to Florence, Rome, or any of our other home cities with dreams of steins and pretzels dancing in our heads and memories we’ll never forget—if we’ve remembered them in the first place, that is.