Octoberfest; Oft Copied, but Never Surpassed
If you love a great beer and a massive party, well Octoberfest in Munich is the place to be. Imagine a fair with a full midway, games of chance, fair food and then add tens of thousands of exuberant patrons drinking beer sold by the litre. It's crazy, it's a lot of fun and here is what you can expect. This was our second trip to Octoberfest and we would gladly plan a third.
The fair grounds are enormous. They have to be. There are 14 large beer tents that hold between 5,000 and 11,000 people each. If that wasn't enough, there is also 21 "small" tents as well if you are interested in a more intimate drinking experience with hundreds of people instead of thousands.
When you arrive you are struck by the midway, fair food smell and carnival atmosphere. Entry is free following a mild security check.
BBQ fish on a stick anyone? Not to worry, the favourites are pork hocks and knuckles, BBQ chicken, bratwurst and giant pretzels amongst a myriad of other choice.
Our first stop was the Paulaner tent.
The tend consisted of shared tables around a central live band with food prepared along one side. Depending on the tent, the band played different styles of music. It certainly was an atmosphere that got you in the mood to drink some beer. All the beer and food is ordered and delivered to you at your table - expect to tip big.
The idea is that you do some tent hopping to try some of the different beers. Each tent is, indeed, unique and they all want your business.
Munich is busy and expensive during Octoberfest. You may not even be able to find accommodations in town when you want them. We didn't stay in Munich. We did what many other people do. We stayed in a nearby town and commuted to and from Munich. Our train ride in was around 20 minutes and then we transferred to the Metro which took us directly to the fair grounds and back. Easy peasy and it didn't diminish our experience whatsoever. Prost!