The Oktoberfest is intimidating to most visitors (unless they’re already drunk). However, in this series of blog posts I would like to try
and help you make the most of a trip to the largest beer bash earth, without spending any extra time or money on things you don’t want.
First off, there are a few things to get sorted out:
- Arrival in Munich
- Table Reservations?
- Check the dates first, as the 2010 Oktoberfest is from September 18th to October 4th. When you arrive in Munich, you will most likely come by either train or plane. If arrive by train, skip to #2. If you fly in, the first thing I would warn you not to do is to take a taxi. The typical charge for a taxi ride from the Munich airport to the city is a minimum of €50. TAKE THE S-BAHN INTO TOWN. The S-bahn is the commuter train which will take you into the city center for less than €10 each. Whether you drive or take the train, it will take 45 minutes to get into the city center, so there is no advantage as far as time. Train tickets are cheaper if you travel in groups, even of two. A “Partner ticket” is a ticket good for two to five people. The cheapest way for two or more people to get from the airport to downtown & the Oktoberfest is therefore to buy an all-day partnet ticket, even if you only use it for one ride one way. The full name of the ticket you would then want is called: “Partner Tageskarte Gesamtnetz” and costs €18.80 (remember: that’s for up to 5 people, all day, the entire Munich network). If you’re traveling alone, a one way ticket is only marginally cheaper than a day ticket (€9.60 compared to €10.40), check them out here.
WARNING #1: Officials may try to sell you “city tour cards”, which give you discounts on various museums and sights in the area, but are only worth the extra expense if you really do your math and move quickly.
WARNING #2: If you don’t buy a ticket and get caught, it is a €40 fine per person. You must buy the ticket before getting on the train.
- Once in the city center, hopefully you have already booked a hotel as all of the hotels and hostels have been booked up for months (well, either that or they have quadrupled their prices). Most of the hotels of Munich that cater to tourists are located in the area of the main
train station, which also works great for the Oktoberfest as it’s only a short walk. If you end up at a hotel which is not near the
Hauptbahnhof (main train station), then I would consider looking into 3-day tickets or even weekly tickets if you’re staying here long
- Don’t have table reservations? You’re probably out of luck. However, you can try Toytown and you might get lucky. Of course you don’t need table reservations, it just makes visiting the Oktoberfest a much more pleasant experience. Most tables (also the best tables) cannot be reserved, but you will need
very impressive luck. We are expecting seven million people in a town of 1.3 million…think about it.
- The Oktoberfest is expensive. Hotels increase their prices, hostels increase their prices, and many restaurants near the Oktoberfest
grounds increase their prices. Food prices at the Oktoberfest itself are high, but the real expense is the beer. Every year they increase
the beer prices and for the 2010 oktoberfest the price per liter will be between €8.30 and €8.90, depending on which tent you’re at.