Munich Oktoberfest: Oct 2018
Beer, pretzels, and brats. That’s what everyone thinks of when Oktoberfest arrives, but for those who want something ‘off the beaten path’, I’ve got a few suggestions.
- Knödel: yummy doe-y dumplings. There are many kinds, like those made from potatoes, called Kartoffelknödel, and from bread, called Semmelknödel. They come savory or sweet, but my favorite is the Zwetschgenknödel which can be found at the Münchener Knödelei tent, one of the smaller tents at Oktoberfest. The Zwetschgenknödel is a potato dumpling with a plum inside and a buttery sauce drizzled over. Knödel are so good, they have their own song.
- See through the eyes of Bavaria. She’s not only the symbol of Bavarian strength and independence, but after a short climb, you can view the fairgrounds from her perspective. It’s quite a view and accomplishment on a hot day.
- Too stuffed to move? Have a lie-down at the foot of Bavaria, which is the only place you can lie down at the Wiesn (a local nickname for the venue) unless you’ve done something to deserve being carted off by the Red Cross.
- Wait for the Löwenbräu lion to speak outside the Löwenbräu tent. When I was a child, this talking lion traumatized me, but now of course, he is smaller than I remember and not as loud either. Go figure.
- Eating in one of the tents can be pricey, and if you want to save money, you can get basically the same food outside at the walk-up stalls. Many people eat outside and drink inside to save money.
- Which day and time you attend the Oktoberfest matters in terms of crowds and ethnic groups. Getting a seat inside one of the major tents is near impossible at night, but during the day, you can find a seat after some searching. You will witness more drunken displays at night, so if you are bringing children, I suggest a daytime visit. If you want less crowds, a Tuesday morning will do the trick. There are also traditional weeks where different ethnic groups attend, for example, the second week is Italian week. Ciao Bella!
- For security reasons, large bags are not allowed, so leave those at home and use a money belt or fanny pack. There are lockers at the train stations and at the entrance to the Wiesn, but better to forgo the problem altogether.
- Photos make great souvenirs, but if you want something special, go to the official store located in the middle of the Wiesn. They sell the beer steins for the current year, and because each year has its own unique design, many people collect them.
Oktoberfest just ended for season 2018, but it’s not too early to plan for next year. Reservations for seats in the tents are first-come/first-serve and competition is fierce. General information can be found here, and reservations can be made here.
Need help getting there? Book it here!