Since I moved to Europe, I told myself every year, “I’m gonna go to Oktoberfest this year.” But something came up and I didn’t go. Either I thought of it too late and flights were too expensive or I didn’t have a travel companion.
2014 was the year to stop making excuses, find a dirndl and get down to Munich for Oktoberfest.
Along with the dirndl, I managed to find a lovely travel companion as well – my trusted permanent plus one, Catherine.
We landed in Munich on a crisp Saturday morning, made our way to our airbnb, changed, took some shameless selfies and headed straight down to the festival.
I have to admit, I thought Oktoberfest was going to be a collection of beer gardens and tents in the middle-of-nowhere. I was bracing myself for a barren wasteland brimming with drunk tourists. Boy, oh boy was I pleasantly surprised to see a bustling, colourful carnival decked with rides, food trucks, games, shops and both tourists and locals rocking some sexy dirndls and lederhosen.
We indulged in the festive spirit for two days of the closing weekend of the festival and embraced everything German – from the dresses and hairstyles to the food and beverages.
The following Monday, we changed out of our Bavarian gear and slipped into full tourist mode. With our friends Steve and Christina from Canada, we joined a biking tour (Mike’s Bike Tours – I totes recommend it) and awkwardly pedalled around Munich.
Starting at the New Town Hall in Marienplatz, passing by the famous Hofbrauhaus, checking out one of the world’s largest urban parks – the English Gardens – and stopping there for another half a pint and pretzel. We rode along the Isar a bit more, stopping to take in all the sights in the open air museum.
We didn’t make it to the Olympic Park – or in fact anywhere that wasn’t in the city centre – but Steve and Christina had positive things to say about their visit there.
A trip back to the city is in the cards for early January. Tips on off-the-beaten path places and day trip ideas welcome.