Drinking at the Biergarten at Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany.

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The city of Munich has a number of great tourist attractions. In addition to great tourist attractions, they have a number of great themed tourist attractions like Munich’s Christmas Markets or Munich’s Oktoberfest. We’d get an opportunity to take in Oktoberfest through a little accidental planning that would have us visiting Munich during the fall months.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Malta, Italy and Germany. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status and credited to Alaska Mileage Plan and Air Canada’s Aeroplan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Drinking at the Biergarten at Oktberfest, Munich, Germany.


When we arrived to Munich the night before, and without any fixed plans, I asked at the Westin Grand Munich hotel front desk on what was the best time to arrive to Oktoberfest event. We received a recommendation that we should aim arrive as early as possible. We had some overhear of some youngsters on the S8 train that were planning to arrive at 7:30 AM on a Saturday morning. Yikes.

We were counseled by the front desk at the Westin Grand Munich that it is fairly easy to get a seat in at the outdoor biergartens at each tent, but as the day went on, it was somewhat harder, if not impossible to get into the tents where the entertainment was

With that in mind, we got up at 7 AM, and had a quick breakfast in the lounge. We headed out on the U4 train to Thersienwiese station. From the station, it was a short walk to the grounds of Oktoberfest.

I was behind the grind today with the short sleep and turn around and I didn’t really have my head on straight as I left my Lonely Planet Travel guidebook on the U4 on the train seat; which I realized when I got to the top of the subway escalators and the train was long gone.

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Arriving to Oktoberfest:

There was some but not a lot of security once we got off the train- especially since the news events of terror attacks in Europe. MrsWT73 had her purse bag searched on entry and each time we entered a beer hall. Interestingly enough, the staff were confiscating aerosol containers (hair spray) of all the fraulines in the area.

The set up at Oktober Fest is part fair, part amusement park, part beer hall; because an amusement park with roller coaster rides is exactly what you need after a full afternoon of drinking. 

The first impressions were that of a regular country fair. There were food stands. Yep, that’s a German Corn on the Cob!

Different Snacks: Smoked Fish

There were also some snacks being cooked up that I wouldn’t typically associate with drinking. Smoked fish anyone?

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Drinking at Hofbrahaus:

We headed straight for the Hofbrahaus tent, which is actually seems to be a semi permanent structure. We managed to walk straight in at 9:40 AM (on the last Saturday!)

Once inside, it’s a massive free for all with everyone in Lederhosen. I felt over – aged, if you get my drift.

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Drinking Games on Display:

The amount of debauchery was unbelievable. It was a source of entertainment all on its own. There was pretty much every drinking game going on, including beer chugging in front of 1,500 of your new best friends.

Once we had anchored ourselves to a railing (a Oktoberfest rule that says that you can only be served if you are touching the railing or seated at a table), we ordered a 1 litre beer for 10.60€ each.

Similar to any sporting event, there were tons of people walking around selling everything from giant gingerbreads, to pretzels to plates of meat.

The band started at 11 AM. They had at least 15 brass musicians playing. They were there but weren’t totally into it- probably because they were drinking themselves as well.

After the omm – pa – pa band had finished a few songs, and didn’t win any awards for their performance, we left the HofbraHaus. True to reports, the place was much busier and the outdoor beirgartens had filled up

We wondered around the Oktoberfest area. It was a strange mix of families and couples all in lederhosen that had turned up to have fun. The tents and beer halls were actually quite different on the outside. There were quite a few people (young women) getting sick already at 1 PM. I suppose that’s one way of doing it then you have the whole afternoon to recover instead of being hungover the next day (laughing).

At about 2 PM, we left Oktoberfest and headed downtown to the Aldstat. There was no shortage of people coming to visit and the place was quite full.

What I thought about Oktoberfest:

The Oktoberfest experience was a strange one. I enjoyed seeing all the Lederhosen and an event that is as German as their fine automobiles. I was certainly happy to have had a beer at one of the Biergarten’s but would I have traveled around the world to see it ? Probably not. . . I have found more value out of visiting the German Christmas Markets in Munich as a more interesting and authentic experience. Nevertheless, it was an interesting way to spend a morning made, all the more entertaining by all that there was to see there.


If you’ve visited Oktoberfest, did you find it worth the trip ?

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