It’s a place that many hear of and some have visited! We had the opportunity to check it out last fall
(September 2014). Our first experience was a wonderful local volksfest (super crowded)outside of
Stuttgart (that was quite wild)in Bad Cannstadt and then the actual Oktoberfest in Munich the next
week. Let me just say it’s quite an experience!
Some quick stats pulled off the internet say it’s the biggest Volks Fest in the world (I would believe it).
People from all over the world come to visit the festival that’s held for just 16 short days from the end of
September into the first weekend in October. It’s estimated that between 5-7 million people visit each
year! It covers 310,000 square meters and truly is a sight to see! Approximately 70% of the attendees
are from Bavaria, 15% from the rest of Germany and the remaining 15% from outside countries. It has a
HUGE reputation as the Biggest Beer Drinking Festival, however they do have activities for the whole
family. Tons of neat rides (including a super giant ferris wheel), lots of booths, fabulous German food,
drink, souvenirs, ag shows and so much to look at. I would think kids would love the fair type rides, all
the attractions and things to see and do.
The huge steins of beer are served in Mass, which is a giant mug, containing 1 liter of beer. They are so
heavy, it took 2 hands to lift the thing! It’s always served in a giant mug, so you can be sure it’s
completely filled to the top! They’ll cost you roughly $12 each. Keep in mind, don’t steal these babies, as
if you’re caught you’ll pay a hefty fine-they belong to the breweries. You can purchase them in a nearby
tent to take home with you.
It’s free to enter the Oktoberfest, and entering the tents are also free, however keep in mind you’ll have
to pay for your beer and it’s only served to those that have a seat! Once inside the tents, you’ll notice
the bright colors, the terrific German music, and the massive crowds. You can reserve a seat in the tent
ahead of time, but be prepared to pay about $70 per person for about 2 hours of a seat, 2 beers and ½ a
chicken. Otherwise, good luck finding the “free seats” that each tent has available. These seats come at
a premium and once we sat down, we were nearly fist-fought for our spot! The best time to nab one of
these freebie seats is during the week. We had 6 in our party, so it took a while to find a spot. Also, an
important tip to keep in mind (Mom found this out the hard way….) don’t order Wine! They only serve
Beer and will gladly tell you so!
The mood is festive, the crowds lively and oh so very entertaining! One of my favorite parts of
Oktoberfest in Munich was just people watching. The music was wonderful, and the people were
fascinating. It’s something to experience. I loved the wonderful costumes worn by so many, the
lederhosen and dirndls were really incredible and each one seemed unique and lovely. People took
their outfits seriously! I did feel a bit out of place in my jeans and t-shirt, but the cost of buying a
costume (which more than likely I’d only wear once) was a bit steep for my budget. Trust me, if you have
the outfit, you’ll want to wear it to this much anticipated event!
It apparently gets very lively in the evening however we only stayed for a few hours and then went on in
our travels before dark. So beware of the evening entertainment in advance. If that’s your thing, you
might have a fabulous evening!
Another one of my favorites was the delicious food! Entering the fest you could smell the sweet
cinnamon almonds, delicious rotisserie chicken, pretzels and French fries. Good food to be had there for
sure! We were invited to sit with a table of young German professionals who had driven in to enjoy the
festivities and really made us feel at home.
What an experience Oktoberfest in Bad Caanstadt and Munich was, you’ll want to check it out if you’ve
not yet had the opportunity to do so.
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