NOTES from Mister Oktoberfest: This site is dedicated to all those who started in the tent and ended up on the hill.
Have you or friends you know ever wanted to go to Munich and experience Oktoberfest as it really is and should be in your mind’s eye?...
Have you ever wondered if you should do it but never really put anything together or had the time and energy to set things up and research everything?...
But in the back of your mind, you really wanna go at some point in your life--and you figured you would go "someday" but that day never seems to materialize?...
***** Well, this is it! *****
When is Oktoberfest 2024?...
Who has Oktoberfestgeist?
Plan accordingly, pack and travel light (except you do need to pack your trachten) and be ready to change and redeaux at a moment's notice! Remember: Whichever day people wish to join me in Munich, you are leaving the USA the day before because the globe has time zones and it is still round as far as we know.
OK SO WHO IS GOING AND WHEN:
Likely "Itinerary" of fun events and happenings for our small group in an order that will surely change:
*** This section to be updated - please stand by...
The weather can alter some of the following, because if it's going to be pleasant and sunny, we may go the Alps trip on a short notice...***
We will possibly head to the alps...
The Zugspitze. (Note: The weather dictates this. If we have to alter other days to make it happen, then we shall endeaver to persevere!)
Train to Garmische, then the high whistle train to what is the gondola section of the ski area OR the tram section. The gondola is less costly and takes you to a breathtaking view where you can stand on a platform overhanging a cliff that is thousands of feet up. It's nuts! A metal grate is your divider between. You then have food on top and can either take the gondi down or maybe take edibles and do a tandem hang-gliding trip down. I have not done that yet but it looks awesome. Have to look into this one for any interested. The gondi trip takes you to a mid station. Historically we have disembarked here and walked down a gentle trail in the mountains to another lodge where they have nice chairs to sit and take it all in, sip a beer and enjoy more great food and cows with bells on. Then take the gondi down and catch the train back to Munich proper. The tram is more costly but takes you up to the top where there is a glacier you can sled on and the restaurant boarder with Austria. It's very cool and the goulash up there is awesome too! We could go one or the other modes up, and some may wish to do both but that's tough in the same day...
For big tents... This guide and this song pretty much says it all:
Friday, 22 Septembre:
On this day in the morning, we have no set plans as of yet but we can go around Munich proper or visit the wiesn for other things... It's the worst feeling at Oktoberfest to be walking around inside a big tent without seats so I got us a table at Paulaner for ten and have begun filling it with others to enjoy the fun!
I will update everyone on tent timing and details later, but we must arrive on time. It will likely be starting at 5pm. Stay tuned!
We will go sick and drink a lot and listen to the classics: Alice! https://youtu.be/FigDeCesMSo Oktoberfest music that includes some hits played at night: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2jSHxP2f5vK0STWbVXWPQA?si=opnT9AbpR_a6AZIliu_GfQ Oktoberfest music all oompah hits: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5eBHXacYARt1MiooDIdY6y?si=OoJAA3ZuRpuqQ1MXyz07qw
Saturday, 23 Septembre:
We leave, but we may head over to Paulaner tent again and have one in the morning. I have to give some vouchers for beer and food to people taking over a table I will have that day that we cannot really use except for that one beer lol. I reserved it to hold the spot in my customer profile for future use.
While beautiful at many times of the year, September is often very nice in this part of Germany (Bavaria) and Oktoberfest was moved to September many years ago because the weather is better at that time of the year there. But while Oktoberfest starts in late September, the fest now always ends in early October, on German Reunification Day. You can check their official site to see and learn more. There’s even an app that has an official count down as to when the festival starts.
The best weather is usually early on in the fest period so perhaps ya'll wanna plan for the earlier week/weeks.
Here are great resources for all things Oktoberfest and travel-related partying, and to get psyched for next year, join the Facebook groups, Oktoberfest Travel, LockToberfest, & Oktoberfest in Munich:
Some friends are already members of the Oktoberfest Facebook groups and all are welcome. I find these two large FB groups to be very good and they have been among the friendliest forms of social media I have ever seen! Basically, it's beer porn lol.
I have come to befriend several international pen pals and I do in fact communicate with them regularly on WhatsApp. We need friends in other lands for many reasons and we should hoist beers with them when able.
I do not speak German but maybe one day I will, and my goal is to sit at the head table with the mayor when the first keg is officially tapped and an Oktoberfest begins!
O’zapft is!: (Ō-tsapft is) literally means “It’s tapped!”. This is the opening cheer when the first keg is tapped, kicking off Oktoberfest.
Munich is in Bavaria, in southern Germany and close to the Austrian boarder. The hills are alive, and you are relatively close to those beautiful mountainous regions too! A day trip can be easily had to all kinds of places that expand your view of this part of the world and your inner desires to see places you only dreamed about. Some of these really are among the most beautiful places on earth!
Munich center has a lot of walking only areas and much going on. Shops, performances, an outdoor market with beer gartens and more.
Personally, I think the food in that part of the world is awesome and even that which is served at the tents is amazing. You will find prices to be similar to Boston or maybe even more reasonable in many cases! Beer is low price, but in the fest tents they do charge a bit… check the site for that information. Everything can be a bit more costly in the tents but it sure helps when you are drinking lots of beer to have some good quality wholesome German food to sponge it up!
One of the first places we visited and continued to enjoy each year was Augustiner am Platzlin near the city the center, just around the corner from the Rathaus-Glockenspiel and right near the olde church called Frauenkirche:
Both onion domes of the Gothic cathedral and city parish church known as the Frauenkirche are an unmistakable symbol of the region.
Part of the second construction phase of the New Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals.
We loved many of the Augustiner restaurants. There are several around and near the hotel. There are many great eats in the city and many have outdoor seating that welcome everybody.
Augustiner am Dom
Augustiner am Platzl
But you could stumble across multiple great spots to have a meal or just a coffee or a beer and you will invent your own experiences and memories. Some googling on Trip Advisor, etc will help too.
In Munich at Oktoberfest, the party life is great...But do check out markets outside, the old Hofbrau Haus in the city and the English Gardens, plus the museums that have ww2 stuff in them, etc. People still smoke outdoors a lot in that city so some areas may smell of it but in a way that's even kinda cool or nostalgic...
And here is a great place to visit as well:
Monks really do brew bier!
Yup, Oktoberfest is all about beer. The culture of the entire region is about enjoying a beer with food and with friends and family much in the way we might enjoy a Coke. Tthere are a few occasions--and this would be one--where if you did want beers, you should have them there. But the place is also about food and culture, so do not fret. You can down an entire litre-- The Maß or Mass is the German word describing the amount of beer in a regulation mug, in modern times exactly 1 litre (33.8 US fl oz).--and I have done it-- or you can enjoy less, but either way, this will be involving beer. I’d say you should like beer if you go here.
Dachau - worth doing and free to walk in yourself. Not far from Munich, which is kinda creepy if you think about that, but a must-see for history buffs and those who may have any other personal connections:
This is only about 30-40 minutes from Munich and can be gotten to by train. It is free but it is a heavy experience.
Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung | Neuschwanstein
This usually requires advance booking for the tour which is worth doing if you think you really want to go but there can be last minute lucky cases where you could go to the train station and ask them if there are spots because they too may be able to book the whole package.
Eagle's Nest & Lake Königssee tour
One year some of us went on a day trip to Lake Königssee
We also went to the Eagle's Nest, which was where Adolf hung out, and we had taken a tour there.
It is all 2hrs from Munich but worthy as well and a great day trip. I could get more info from the bloke who booked our day tour for that if you want to do it and it should be planned in advance as well.
Bayerische Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG and Zugspitze (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany):
This is great... you take a train from Munich for about 90 minutes through Garmisch (which is also a nice town to visit) and get on a high whistle train into the alps. There you can take a gondola up to an awesome view point and then hike down a trail to another gondola back down, passing cows with bells on them and beer gartens with food, or you can take the tram up to the top and even possibly go sledding on the glacier! Also food and beer there. At the bottom is the lake which you can walk around. I swam in it once and the water was like the Caribbean!
Look up: Bavaria - Lake Eibsee near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany and http://www.eibsee.de/?lang=en
I think the easiest and best thing to do of all of these is this last set, Garmisch train, the alps and the lake or any part of it. So much so that I could go back any time of the year!
Here is a little bit about history of trach:
Must you wear these things to go there and enjoy Oktoberfest? No, but lemme tell ya, everything is so much better when you do! Over the years I have cobbled together a complete outfit so authentic and Oktoberfesty, that people there walk up to me speaking fluent German and it’s a riot when they find out I’m just another ‘Murkin! Having my lederhosen on even got us into restaurants that were turning down other tourists that weren’t fully into the spirit of the place. But like I said, it is never required to wear any of the traditional clothing. You’ll just wish you had gotten into the spirit if you don’t.
This link both reminds you of this and has further detailed information on all things outfits:
Stores all over the city will sell outfits and pieces and they can range in price, and there are even kiosks near the train station that will sell them. It is not required to wear these outfits but I think it enhances the overall experience and it looks great too. If you do need to buy online, do this well in advance and try:
I have ordered from all of them. You can get the real shirts and more on these site.
In Munich in Marienplatz (de facto walking center w subway access):
I have bought in both stores. This quality tracht will last!
There are also many stores selling everything on the streets of all levels of quality and price.
Here is a little article about how crazy some people dress at Oktoberfest:
I am happy to supply you with everything I know about this and all of my experiences, good and bad. It is easy to drive around places like Germany and Austria but having lived in Europe and having done many trips to this area and other countries, there are caveats and so if you plan to do some touring by car, let me know and I will post more info and share more tips. All the major car rental companies and more exist at Munich airport and in the city. Unless you have plenty of travel savvy, let’s chat first though.
Europe is very people centric and tries to be thoughtful and service/friendly. Incidentally, I have even seen protectors around pump stations so people don’t ding their cars when parked near one. Those Europeans! Always thinking ahead!
You really want to know of and obey all traffic rules though, specific to the countries you drive in. If you are not careful, you could end up getting some $300 ticket in the mail months later and it's in another language and if you don't pay it will have negative affects on future travel!
For further really good tips and information about renting cars and other travel caveats, check out this consumer advocacy site:
...and check their forum pages and newsletters.
We want to enjoy life and family and friends. In a group trip like this, we will likely pitch in for many things and as I spearhead much of the planning and some bookings, we could use Venmo as one method to provide funds. Here is my handle:
First off, you need a current and valid passport. Check to be sure there are at least six months remaining on it before its expiry date and get that all dealt with now if you plan to go.
Second, look up current Covid and vaccination updates and contact your airline or travel related government and international sources to do this. I have not traveled internationally since 2019 so I am new to it myself, and those who traveled even as recently as last summer know that things have changed since then.
Munich is a major city so everything flies into there. But if you happen to have United miles, 30k United still can get you a one way non-stop ticket from Boston Logan to Munich in economy. The flight would likely be on Lufthansa or one of the other Star Alilance partners of United Airlines.
It’s a 7hr flight. International economy normally comes with more comfortable seats than we have in today’s domestic travel, very rare if any weather or other over-zealous airline delays, friendly staff and a meal and movies. In fact, as mentioned earlier, if I am going to fly these days, I would rather go overseas than fly domestic. Those of you who travel a lot will agree. I mean, getting stuck in say, Chicago due to some bogus weather delay or a bump on a lengthy trip to LAX can take a heck of a lot longer than flying to Europe! So go there instead! Of course, if you are flying from the west coast, you may need a connection, so try to make that be an east coast city that services Munich easily from that point.
Historically, just 70k United miles would get you business class for one way, which is huge seeing as how it can cost over $2k for that same seat! Return tickets would usually be the same, but things constantly move around on airline sites especially when trying to book using miles. While booking tickets for trips is often best done well in advance, especially when using miles, I have generally found that united.com seems to release flight inventory for these Munich/Boston trips around 11 months out and in the coming weeks, so this is when you will start seeing any good combinations if they are going to appear on their site. You can look now but remember, if you book a trip, there could be fees to change or cancel it so do be smart about your planning! Secure the hotel first, then check https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/ for your international flights! Other airlines fly to Europpe, of course, but I find that when you book with miles, the taxes can be horrid when using any of the other major carriers. If I fly in using Delta and then fly out using United, this could work, however. I have to suss that out.
I have loads of experience navigating much of this and have found the use of the United site to book on its European partners is usually the way to go. I would gladly help with tips on how to book, or could even possibly arrange booking flights for you too, for further deals between us that we can chat about offline. Other airlines fly to Europe or have partners that do, but this one usually works best with the easiest, most direct routes that do not gouge you in miles or taxes. We can go over that too if you are interested. People may not like this or that airline, but remember, when flying overseas, especially on airline partners, everything is better!
Note that anyone can book anyone a room and assign the name of whomever will be checking in, and anyone can book anyone a flight using miles or points. It is just not really recommended that people go into things planning to barter or sell awards. That said, it is widely understood that a friend may hook up another friend who booked them travel using points and miles! The programs want you to use your rewards and it is ok to gift a reward to a friend, family member or a work colleague or someone you know.
Many travel sites and forums exist online and some have write-ups about Oktoberfest and getting there, etc. There are certain loyalty credit cards that can help you earn miles and points to do trips like these but it is a bit late to sign up for those for this year. If travel is your thing, ask me any time about that stuff. And in the meantime, visit:
Worried about flying? Having a problem with cancelling or changing something because of the virus? Read articles and tips on this free and well-managed advocacy website to help make it better:
With regards to travel... Germany uses the Euro. There are plenty of apps and websites that can inform you of the exchange rates at time of travel. I have found it is best to get some Euros from your bank in advance, and then also, have a debit card that allows you to take out money elsewhere and reimburses the ATM fees and get the bulk of cash you need over there. StateFarm checking and Salem Five are a couple that do this. Check your bank or open something now! I get cash when there, and my credit cards work fine overseas, but you should call them all to inform them of travel. Also, it is a good idea to make a copy of all documents, passport, license and cards you bring with you, and also maybe even email a PDF or JPGs of them to yourself.
Your phone or device should work fine with wifi and if you contact your cell provider in advance, you can sign up for a $10 a day ability to use it in the countries you plan to visit to get pretty much the same service for calls and online access and texting that you do at home. Check your provider for this. I use Verizon and it has worked great for me (They even have way better cell service over there!) Go onto Amazon now and get a couple extra cables and Euro plug converters too.
I think Germany is a wonderful country and its people are among the friendliest I have met in my travels. trips there have been among my most memorable which is why I keep going back. You can too, and even if you voted for Trump they will let you in! lol
But still, we all poke fun so here are some good ones...
Imagine if the inside of your plane ride to Oktoberfest looked like this one that these English soccer fans got onto!
This is what happens with funny language barriers!
There are plenty of greats to sing or hum along to and some even use Pandora to get into the spirit (although sometimes they add in some Americanized classics that are only kinda authentic to the scene. I will gladly send some MP3s of some of my favorites and some links of albums or hits that you might hear in some tents and around town. You may even be surprised on how much you recognize and you will definitely love the music when there! It gets you in the spirit of things and everyone enjoys the atmosphere.
If you are at the big tents in the morning, at around 11:30-12 noon, the band marches in and everyone erupts in cheers. It is one of my favorite moments of the fest.
Music is typically the German "oompah" style by day and around 5pm, things change to be pop and fun tunes like Sweet Caroline and Country Roads. It's awesome!
Contents of this site may be updated and if links do not work, I will try to address them quickly.
This entire site link, its contents, the descriptions, offerings and info are for friends und people who are thinking of doing a fun trip and have an open and creative mindset. If you are super snotty, overly pseudo-ethical and like to impose your ideals on others and be snide about things that you don’t understand fully, then kindly avoid it. If you are a troll who seeks to baste or bust on others, please also avoid this and go away.
This is for people who might wish to travel and do something outside the box.
Learn some Bavarian!
Jeff F. - site owner and Munich lover.
If you want to do all this, email me here and tell me who you are, how you found this, and let's get it going!
Check out this great video of a friend last year who killed it!
Why not fly to the centre of Europe! Do it now or you'll be one year older when you do!
You will meet fun people from all over the world and get out of your comfort zone!
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