Oktoberfest was everything I had hoped it would be, and more.
Walking out of the massive fairgrounds in Munich last night, I turned to my friend, Kate, and told her I didn’t think I could even write an article about our day spent there; Oktoberfest was like Christmas, and that pretty much sums it up.
With that being said, there are a lot of holes in this story, and the only way to fill in the gaps are to go experience Oktoberfest for yourself.
We booked our trip to Oktoberfest through FlorenceForFun back in July. We opted for the day trip to Munich, knowing one day of drinking for a third of the price of the weekend trip was just up our alley. Looking back, I wish I would have had done the weekend trip so I had time to explore Munich, but we made that one day worth our while.
After an overnight bus ride that left us grouchy and uncomfortable, we changed clothes and chugged Cokes at a small gas station at 7:30 in the morning before making the final drive to the Oktoberfest site.
When we arrived it was like Christmas morning, all of us jumping around, eager to find out what adventures were ahead of us. The Oktoberfest sign that hung above our head greeted us with the promise of a day we would only slightly remember.
We walked through the fairgrounds filled with food stands, gift shops, roller-coasters and giant beer tents, which are actually not tents at all, until we settled on going into the famous Hofbräuhaus beer tent, the Hofbräu Festzelt. Being that it was 9:00 in the morning, we waltzed right in and fought to find a seat in the already-packed tent. My roommates and I quickly deserted our group when a waitress called for a group of five, and we followed her to a table half full of students our age. Steins of beer immediately were brought over to us at our arrival, with us willingly handing over 10€ each for the massive glasses of blonde beer.
Nothing brings complete strangers together like expensive beer. We quickly made friends with the other people at our table, finding every excuse to yell “Prost!” at each other while attempting to learn the folk songs that were filling the air. Being the youngest people in the area, we laughed at all the requests for pictures and kisses on the cheek while we finished our first steins.
I’m not sure how much time had passed during that first beer, but when we made our way to the restroom we noticed the large group outside of the now-roped off tent. Not wanting to risk not getting a table at another tent, we roamed around Hofbräu before selecting a new table to join. Repeat the first table experience, but throw in a few more steins and a pretzel the size of my torso.
At some point we exited the tent to go explore more of the grounds. Kyla and I bought matching gingerbread necklaces for each other, it’s tradition to give them to someone you love, so we figured we couldn’t just buy them for ourselves. And then we proceeded to eat them… which you’re not supposed to do. But when you’re already two-ish steins into the day you really don’t care that it tastes awful, and so you proceed to finish it.
We then literally ran, a full-on sprint, across the grounds to the rides. We greatly overpaid for short rides on some hilly spinning contraption and a roller-coaster, costing in total somewhere around 12€. But, as a Cedar Point ride warrior, I can say that being drunk on a thrill ride at Oktoberfest was probably the most fun I’ve ever have.
Somehow Kyla, Olivia, and I got separated from Micaela and Taylor, and proceeded to roam the park looking for a bratwurst. I hate bratwurst, as well as any other German food besides my grandma’s homemade apple strudel, but Oktoberfest just brought out the 70% German in me and I was craving a spicy sausage with mustard. A note, Oktoberfest is just as much about the food as it is the drinking.
We later found our way to another tent, and then another one after that. In those last few hours I know there were three Italians fighting to be my boyfriend, my necklace breaking, a penis getting drawn on Olivia’s hand that we kept trying to get people to lick, me planning a guy from Scotland’s proposal to his girlfriend, and a mass amount of sauerkraut.
We got back on the bus to head back to Florence at 11:00. I’m missing 20€ and have a total of maybe ten pictures from the entire day, Micaela puked, the sole of Taylor’s shoe broke off entirely and we all found unexplained black hashmarks on our arms this morning.
And we all are already planning our next trip back to Oktoberfest.
Some tips for Oktoberfest:
- If you don’t have a table reservation, get to the tents early. If you can’t get in, bribe a waitress, join a conga line, or convince some guy to be your dad like some of my friends did.
- If you aren’t sitting at a table you will not be served a beer.
- Tip your waitress!
- Dressing up in a dirndl or lederhosen is encouraged, but not required. Anything gingham is a good substitute.
- Cash only, and it’s worth spending it.
- And don’t eat the gingerbread cookies. They are ornaments. My bad.