Oktoberfest… and Three Days in Munich

So this past fall was the sixth year straight that I’ve attended the World’s largest festival — Oktoberfest in Munich.   I’ve been accompanied on these Oktoberfest by a varying number of friends over the years — this year was no exception, as there were six of us including my fiancé, who was making her first trip to the Wiesn.

See this post for ten tips to planning a trip to Oktoberfest in Munich.

In order to combat the ridiculous crowds that are prevalent on the weekends, we decided to arrive into Munich on a Wednesday, and focus our time at the Oktoberfest during the week — on Thursday and Friday.

We arrived from our overnight flight in Lufthansa Business Class from Washington on Wednesday around noon.  From there, we took the S-Bahn directly to the Hackerbrucke station, which is only two blocks from where we stayed — the Four Points Sheraton Munich Central.

The Four Points Sheraton - Munich Central

The Four Points Sheraton – Munich Central


A trip to Oktoberfest, the Alps and Lake Como

  • Lufthansa Business Class Washington-Dulles to Munich
  • Oktoberfest… and Three Days in Munich
  • The Tyrolean and Austrian Alps
  • The Bernina Express Scenic Railroad from St. Moritz to Tirano
  • Three Days on Lake Como
  • Lucerne and Mt. Pilatus
  • American Business Class Zurich to New York – JFK

We arrived at the Four Points Munich Central, which is probably the hotel with the best and most convenient location for a trip to Oktoberfest, as it is only two blocks from the entrance of the fest.  The first day – Wednesday – we reserved for touring around Munich, taking a trip to the Hofbrauhaus, and having a night out in Munich!

The last two days of our time in Munich, we planned to visit the Oktoberfest, as usual.

After a rendezvous with our friends at the Four Points, we set out to get my fiancé fitted in a dirndl for the week’s festivities.  There are a number of stores around the train station where one can get fitted in lederhosen or dirndls for a somewhat reasonable amount (~50euros for a dirndl and ~80 euros for lederhosen).  Again, as I’ve emphasized before — it’s just more fun to get dressed up for Oktoberfest in the traditional, Bavarian trachten.

So, off we went to see some sights of Munich in the city center, including Frauenkirch; the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus), and the Glockenspiel.

Rathaus - Glockenspiel

Rathaus – Glockenspiel

Then, it was off to the Hofbrauhaus.

If you end up in Munich during a time other than Oktoberfest, this place is a must-see.  In fact, it’s a must-see even if it IS Oktoberfest time.  The Hofbrauhaus is probably the most famous beer hall in the world.  When you walk inside, you’re transported to an incredibly happy place where liters of Hofbrau are slung out by the wait staff, the room smells of German meats, and sounds of Bavarian music and a hum of excitement.  We met up with some friends of friends for a few liters of beer and a few snacks.

Hofbrauhaus

Hofbrauhaus

At that point, we were pretty hungry, so we headed a block over to one of my favorite restaurants in Munich – the Haxnbauer.  Here, I enjoyed a pork knuckle, which is the definition of crispy, meaty deliciousness.

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.Our group at that point had grown to a strong baker’s dozen, and drinks continued to be had.  A change of venue was in order, so we headed to the Augustiner Keller — one of the largest outdoor beer gardens in Munich.  Here, we had a nightcap (or two, or three) before heading back to the Four Points for the night.

Augustiner Keller in Munich

Augustiner Keller in Munich

There are lots of other things to do in Munich (as I highlighted in a  previous post), but the rest our time in Munich on this trip had a purpose…

The next two days were spent at the Oktoberfest!

And the decision to go during the week paid off, as we were able to walk into the venues in the late morning and grab a table close to all the action at the Hacker Festzelt — my favorite tent at the Oktoberfest.

I’m not going to get into detail about our day drinking beer and eating Bavarian food, but it was a blast.

Our seats for Thursday at the Hacker Festzelt

Our seats for Thursday at the Hacker Festzelt

Inside the Hacker Festzelt

Inside the Hacker Festzelt

Hacker Festzelt

Hacker Festzelt

After the tents, we went around the grounds to sample food and ride the rides, as Oktoberfest is a massive festival / cultural fair, as well.

The second day, we decided to sit outside at the Schottenhamel tent since the weather was perfect.

Schottenhamel Tent

Schottenhamel Tent

Inside Schottenhamel

Inside Schottenhamel

All in all, this year was a smashing success.  The relative lack of lines for the tents was extremely refreshing, and a welcome change to my previous five trips to Oktoberfest.

Again, one of the most convenient things about this trip (and four of my previous trips) is the hotel location at the Four Points Sheraton Munich Central.  It is just so close and convenient, which makes enjoying yourself at the Oktoberfest that much easier.

View of Oktoberfest from my balcony at the Four Points Munich Central

View of Oktoberfest from my balcony at the Four Points Munich Central

 The Four Points Sheraton Munich Central is often available for only 10,000 SPG points per night, which is a steal considering that rooms at the property go for over 400 euros per night during Oktoberfest.

I always ask for a room with  a southern facing view, which ensures a panorama of the Oktoberfest grounds, and if it’s clear – the Alps.  I really enjoy falling asleep with the balcony door open and the faint roar of the crowd at Oktoberfest in the background.

After these three nights in Munich, we headed to the Hauptbahnhof where we activated our Eurail pass for a trip through the Alps of Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

 

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