“Let’s go to the Oktoberfest!” said someone at our last Easter break in the Levi skiing center in Lapland. After a few days the flights and Airbnb were already booked. Expectations: beer, beer and beer, even though neither of us is even a friend of beer, but this was probably the first time our men were more excited about our trip than we were. Reality: beer, lots of people, partying all day, Bavarian atmosphere, sausages and pretzels. After we spend two evenings and one full day in festival area we can say that YOU SHOULD GO and EXPERIENCE OKTOBERFEST YOURSELF!
Oktoberfest is a two-week beer festival held every year in Munich, Germany. It is one of the world’s largest public celebrations and attracts about six million visitors from September to October. The first Oktoberfest was celebrated in October 1810 in honor of the Crown Prince Ludwig Bavarian and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen wedding. The wedding was celebrated for five days by eating, drinking, parades and horse-riding. People liked the event so much that it was decided to reorganize in the coming years and this year it is celebrated 185th time.
We went to Oktoberfest with our future hubbies Adrián and Petri. Sanna and Adrián had an early flight from Spain and Jenna and Petri came from Finland later on the same day. When we booked our trip, we checked the different alternatives for accommodation and compared the prices. The hotels were really expensive as also the Airbnb options in the central area. That is why we decided to choose Airbnb outside the city center from Otterfing. In total we paid 580€ for 4 nights for 4 people. Otterfing proved to be a very good alternative as it reached the center of Munich in about 40 minutes by train. The trains run late at the night, so after the Oktoberfest, the journey to the apartment was easy as long as someone remained awake to check on which stop to get out.
The oktoberfest is all about wearing the traditional costumes so of course we also decided to buy them. Women’s costume is called dirndl and men’s lederhosen. Traditional suits bought from Munich are beautiful but really expensive. So if you do not want to invest large amount of money, get it in advance from elsewhere. In addition, women accessorize their outfits with different size heart-shaped gingerbreads hanging from their necks and clothespins engraved by different texts attached to their dresses. We thought that the gingerbread hearts would have been a nice souvenir to take home but eventually we ended up eating them on late Sunday night on our way to the apartment.
The Oktoberfest is located in the Thereisienwiese area near the main train station. There are 14 huge beer tents in the area, including one wine tent (of course we had to try some wine!) and several smaller beer tents. All the tents are an attraction themselves because they are very different from each other and you can enjoy good food and live music inside them. Outside of the tents there are also stands where they sell German snacks like sausages and pretzels. Most of the tables in tents are pre-booked so finding a seating might be challenging and in some tents beer will not even be served for you if you do not have a seating position. The pints are one liter each and they cost € 11.50 /pint. Guys were super happy with their beers but especially for Sanna the struggle was real. Like why even attend to a beer festival if you don’t drink beer? We tried to fix the situation by smuggling in some wine in a water bottle and actually it worked on Saturday but on Sunday we got caught. At the end even Sanna drank couple pints of Raddler with some help from the others. Surprisingly, the tents are opening and getting full already in the morning at 10 am and they are only open until the midnight. You can enter to the festival area and tents free of charge, but there is an “old Oktoberfest” area where the entrance fee is 3€. There is a sky wheel and other amusements like carousels to enjoy.
After all Oktoberfest was a great experience that we warmly recommend to attend at least once in a lifetime. Although the festival is well-known among the tourists, there are plenty of locals and we caught the Bavarian atmosphere from the first sight. If you want to have even more authentic Oktoberfest experience you should go to the smaller cities in Bavaria. We think that the few days we spent in Oktoberfest were just enough for both our liver and budget. Even though there were lots of people and some of them had taken pint or two too many there was a calm and cheerful atmosphere in the area. We met people all around the world and we got a lot of new friends. People were friendly, made place to sit with them and were happy to have a chat with a complete stranger.
With love, Sanna & Jenna