Munich and Oktoberfest


During our almost two weeks in France, Austria & Germany last Fall, we spend the most time in Munich. Our first and last days were spent in Paris (see here) and then went to Austria for 3 days (see here).  We had a few day trips we wanted to take from Munch so we gave ourselves the most time in this city. The whole reason for this trip and the timing of it was Oktoberfest! It has been on my bucket list for quite some time and I can't believe I finally got to experience it. This post is a little long but I really wanted to share all the information I had and everything I can learned while we where there. I'll be doing another post on 2 day trips we took in Munich: Dachau Concentration Camp and Neuschwanstein Castle.

Eat



Augustiner Brau - One of the oldest breweries and taverns in Munich. Their beer is one of the major beers served at Oktoberfest! Augustiner has a long and interesting history. Take it all in as you sit in the basement and have traditional bavarian food! The atmosphere is fun and a mixture of locals and tourists.

Eataly Munich - During our first night in Munich, we needed a good meal and it was pretty late. I've been to several Eataly's and they never disappoint. Our big bowls of pasta and bottle wine were the mid trip break we needed from sausages and beer.

Victuals Market - This daily market has a little bit of everything. You can wander thru over a 100 vendors and shops. For an alternative to eating at a restaurant you have  plenty to pick from at the many stalls. You can really spend a half day wandering the market. It's a great place to find some interesting souvenirs.

See/To Do



Marienplatz - As the main square of Munich since 1158, I recommend it as a first stop in the city. Use it as a central point to start a walk around the area. There are plenty of places to shop and eat as you explore. Dating back over 100 years,  the main attraction in the square is the Glockenspiel. 2 (or 3 times in the summer) the Glockenspiel chimes and the life-size figures re enact a the 16th century marriage of a local duke. The second level re enacts another story from that time period.

The blocks surrounding Marienplatz are worth wandering thru. Its a historic and well preserved area. So whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, it is well worth getting lost and discovering.



Oktoberfest - I honestly could do a whole post over just Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest is a giant yearly beer festival in Munich that has been a tradition for over 200 years. Thousands of people travel from all over the world to partake in the festival. It is a little over 2 weeks long and it typically starts at the end of September and goes into October. The festival is really unlike anything else in the world. There are food booths, games and small rides all over the fairgrounds!

The big attraction are the numerous beer tents. There are big and small tents and each one has their own vibe and decor! We researched and read all about all the tents. No matter what tent you use, you can't reserve a table unless you have a group of 8 or more. You will also need to make those reservations months if not a year in advance. For those, like us, that don't have a big group or those that don't want to make a reservation you will have to work a little harder to get a seat. The best strategy is to look for open seats at a table and then ask those sitting there if you can join! Waitresses will walk around and take your order for beer and food. Cash is preferred and sometimes the only thing the beer tents take. I recommend giving a big tip on your first round and then the waitress will make sure to come back to you!


Buying a Dirndl - If you are going to Oktoberfest or just want a great keepsake, buying a dirndl should be on your to do list. Its an experience itself. During Oktoberfest, they are basically sold everywhere but your first stop should be Original Steindl which is just a few blocks from the Marienplatz. The dirdnl has three parts: the dress, skirt and top. Some are sold all together and others you can pick each part individually.

English Garden - One thing we didn't have time to see but I wish we had was the English Garden. Named for the style of park, it is one of the largest urban public parks in the world. There are several different areas including a Japanese teahouse, Chinese Tower and artificial stream where you can surf.

Getting Around

Munich is a major air and plane hub so it is not difficult to get to. We came from Salzburg, which is about a two hour train ride.

I found Munich to be one of the easiest cities to get around! The subway system is really easy to navigate and stretches to almost anywhere you would want to travel to. We bought a 3 day ticket that you can use to ride the subway as much as you need each day.

Also check out the bus system, from our air bnb in Munich it was the easiest & fastest way to get to the airport on our last day.


Stay

Like the rest of our trip we booked an air bnb for our time in Munich. Like I mentioned earlier, Munich is really easy to get around so we didn't mind staying a little farther outside the main area. Our air bnb was a few blocks away from the English Garden. We had a short walk to the subway to get wherever we needed to.
Kara Krittenbrink
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