One of the things on our bucket list when we moved to Italy was going to Oktoberfest in Munich. Hotels book up fast for this event, so while we were in Munich last winter, we booked our hotel and bought our lederhosen and dirndl.
The General Experience of Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest was first held in 1810, to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Now, Oktoberfest is a 16-day beer festival, drawing people from around the world. Of course, the Germans here have probably been going since they were three years old.
Oktoberfest is known as the world’s biggest fair, and believe it or not, it has something for everyone. The grounds are huge! You’ll find roller coasters, ferris wheels, carnival games, and of course the beer “tents.” Some of these tents can hold up to 10,000 people, and each tent has its own character and feel to it.
About two-thirds of the people dressed up in the traditional lederhosen and dirndl outfits. Almost one-third were in regular clothes, and the rest were in other outfits like kilts. People of all ages were wearing the traditional Bavarian attire and we think we fit in perfectly.
Beer Tent after Beer Tent
After walking around for a while and looking at the scene around us we went into our first tent, Paulaner. We were able to find seats, though even on a Thursday at 1pm it was pretty crowded. We ordered two beers in the only size that is possible at Oktoberfest in Munich: a liter stein. Next to us were three Munich residents who were taking off of work to enjoy a day at the festival.
After a liter of beer each, we decided to move on to another tent, Augustiner. By this time it was around 3pm and it was a little harder to find seats. We squeezed in between some very drunk Germans and some friendly Italians.
We didn’t stay here long, sharing only a liter of beer, and we only have one picture from inside the tent. The drunk guy on the right didn’t speak very good English, and the guy on the left is laughing because he told him many times that they don’t speak English. Jon and I were trying our best to translate back and forth.
We moved on to the Hofbrau tent and once we found seats, decided to stay there for the rest of the time. This tent is notoriously known as the tourist tent, though Germans still come because they like the atmosphere and meeting people from around the world.
Things got a little rowdy here! By the end of the night, everyone was standing on the benches and singing the traditional drinking songs. I also remember “Que sera, sera” was playing in the background. Between the two of us, we had five liters of beer, and after that things got a little fuzzy. But from what we remember we had a good time.
I mean, how could we not?
Enjoying the Rest of the Festivities
We’re not sure when we left or how we got back to the hotel, but we do remember stopping to play a carnival game involving bb guns. It’s always a great idea to have these shooting games right outside of the tents at night, don’t you think?
We went to the Oktoberfest grounds the next day, but didn’t drink. Instead, we strolled around, played a few games, and bought some souvenirs to take home. Overall, we were really impressed with the organization and efficiency of the entire event! We don’t think a beer festival of this magnitude could work in other countries. Oktoberfest in Munich is something we will cherish and never forget!
We will always remember… what we remember.