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Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

Hebron, Ohio...
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Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

I am planning a trip to Oktoberfest in 2013 and I will be traveling alone. I plan to be in Munich for 10 days and want to make Oktoberfest the main part but I would like to also explore Munich and surrounding cities because I have never been over seas. What do I need to know?

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1. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

During Oktoberfest, hotel prices are extremely high, they normally double or triple their rate. Also, you need to book right after this years Oktoberfest.

Because of these inflated rates, it would not make sense making Munich your base for visiting surrounding cities. I would stay in Munich for about 4-5 nights (depending on how long you like to party), and choose another base for visiting places in Bavaria. A hostel would be the least expensive option for you.

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2. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

Or if more interested in sightseeing stay outside of Munich altogether and only travel in for the Oktoberfest.

Depends on what your interests are as to the best place to stay.

You can get around the whole of Bavaria on all public transport for a day even as far as Salzburg for only €22 using the Bayern Ticket.

The Bayern Ticket. Costs €22 for 1 person then €4 for each additional person up to a total of 5 people. Gives you UNLIMITED use of ALL Regional public transport in Bavaria. Includes ALL Regional trains (includes all Regional trains from Munich to Salzburg - there is a train every hour and the journey takes 2hrs), ALL Regional buses and ALL city transport in Munich, Augsburg and Nürnberg.

Only the fast ICE, IC, EC and RJ Railjet trains are excluded

Valid from 9am weekdays (midnight weekends) until 3am the following morning

Full T&Cs and click on Bayern

bahn.de/i/…laender-ticket.shtml

Hebron, Ohio...
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3. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

I am not extremely interested in landmarks although I would like to visit some because I have never been. But I am really interested in the pubs, beer gardens, food and meeting people. I would like just experience the culture as best I can with seeing some of the must-see land marks.

Columbia, Missouri
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4. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

I agree with Ger and Giftzwerg, staying the entire time in Munich will be costly at this time of the year. I would say stay in Munich 4 or 5 days and get your fill of the O’fest and Munich and then stay in Upper Bavaria (which is really below Munich on the map) the rest of the time. Fly in and out of Munich.

This was our Bavaria trip in September of 2010 for instance. The purpose of the trip was to scratch 2 things off my bucket list, 1. Germany, where my grandmother was from and 2. OKTOBERFEST!!!! We wanted to add a few other things like Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler’s Eagles Nest) and Schloss Neuschwanstein mainly. So our trip was:

1. Flight into Munich, hop right on a train to Füssen. The train ride to Füssen was one of the highlights of the trip for me (use the public transportation whenever possible). Probably a combination of things, First fresh air after long trip + First vision of Germany + First sight of the Alps + First sight of Schloss Neuschwanstein ect. ect. We stayed 2 nights in Füssen which was great. We stayed in the heart of the Altstadt at a place called Hotel Zum Hechten, the hotel and the location was fantastic. Neuschwanstein was really cool as was the surrounding area, we didn’t tour Hohenschwangau. The restaurant Gasthof Krone in Füssen was very good.

2. We then hopped on a train to Innsbruck Austria. Another great train ride. We stayed 2 nights in Innsbruck which was perfect. We stayed in the heart of the Altstadt at a place called Hotel Weisses Kreuz, the hotel and the location was fantastic. Mozart stayed there also (not at the same time we were there). Innsbruck is at the base of the Alps and we took a vernacular/gondola ride up, very cool.

3. We then hopped on a train to Salzburg Austria. Another great train ride. This time we stayed 3 nights there and we stayed at a place called Haus Reichl Reiterweg. It was on the outskirts of Salzburg. The place was fantastic but a little far out for us. Next time we would stay as close to the Altstadt as possible. The reason to stop in Salzburg was to be close enough to go to the Eagles Nest (AWESOME!!) which is really in Berchtesgaden. We loved Salzburg and would definitely go back, but the area of Berchtesgaden looked so nice I think we would maybe go there next time too (which we are in September 2013). The open markets in Salzburg were very nice. We went up to a restaurant/beer garden called The Stieglkeller a couple times. It was great, we took some fantastic pictures overlooking Salzburg at dusk! We didn’t do any of the Sound of Music things.

4. We then hopped on a train to Munich. Another great train ride. We stayed for 6 days in Munich at a place called Pension Westfalia. The place was ok but the location was perfect. Right across the street from Oktoberfest. There is too much to go into about Munich, so I’ll go over a few high points but feel free to ask me about anything you wish. Loved Munich, Loved Hofbrauhaus, Loved Oktoberfest, the Dachau site is a must see for a half day trip. We enjoyed Marienplatz and Loved the Viktualienmarkt. I reviewed some things for these cities here on TA if you care to see them.

Use public transportation whenever possible, we found it very easy use and VERY cheap, almost everyone speaks English and is very helpful. We chose not to do a car because I’m not familiar with driving there, it seemed to be much more complicated than the trains and it was WAY more expensive. I don’t think we spent more than 175-200 Euro for all our trains/busses/trams for the 13 days we were there, and that was for 2 of us. The trains gave us a chance to rest and enjoy the views going from city to city. But having said that, there is no freedom like the freedom of a car.

For you, maybe skip Innsbruck. Flight maybe into Munich, get right on a train to Füssen, spend 2 days there, train to Salzburg, spend 2 or 3 days there, train to Munich for the rest. If you stay in Bavaria (and Salzburg) the Bayern ticket is the way to go as mentioned before.

I’ve a link to my own web page that has our photos from the trip if you care to see them as well. They are under the titles of Füssen, Innsbruck, Salzburg and München.

http://whitefamilyckmpr.shutterfly.com/#

A little about Pension Westfalia. It was a pretty nice place with a pretty good breakfast. We booked a twin room with shower and toilet (small room with 2 single beds), EUR 118 per night for the room (in 2013 it is 137 Euro) , rate includes service, tax (VAT 19%) and buffet breakfast. Exchange rate on 10/29/2009 was 1.476, 118E x 1.476 = $174.21. And although the rate was really good for that time, the BEST thing about it was the location. It was right across the street from one of the entrances to the Oktoberfest grounds. And when some people say “It was right across the street”, they really mean it was right across the street, down a few houses, over by the bus stop. No, this is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. You step out the front door, about 15 feet to the street, then about 50 feet to the entrance to O’fest. There is nothing between the hotel and the entrance except street and sidewalk. Check out the review and pictures on my profile. There might be better (nicer) places to stay, but I don’t see how any place could have a better location for Oktoberfest. And if you can be lucky enough to get a room at the front of the hotel, it would overlook the O’fest. But call right now. We already have our rooms reserved for September 2013.

http://www.pension-westfalia.de/munich/

Remember a few things if you’ve never been there.

1. Their 1 liter mass holds 3 – 12oz. beers at about twice the ABV that we are used to in the US. Now I’m no mathmascientist, but 1 liter = the alcohol of a 6 pack that only fills you up like 3 beers. 4 liters = a case. And at Oktoberfest it is EASY to pour down 1 liter an hour, with all the drinking songs, and Ein Prost every 3rd song it seems like. So think back to the last time you had a case and a half (or more) in 6 hours. I’m just saying…their bier drinking….is not like our beer drinking. Have fun and take it SLOW and eat lots.

2. The bier that is specially made for Oktoberfest has no preservatives, is very fresh and is FANTASTIC! So all of this means read note 1 above again.

Stay as close as you can to the Theresienwiesen. Or at the very least close to the S-bahn or U-bahn. This will be HUGH when it’s time to get home after.

Don’t go on weekends and especially don’t go the first weekend. It’s way too crowded. Go during the week, it will still be VERY crowded. You will still have a great time. We didn’t get reservations, but went early enough during the day to get in, like noon, and you will be ready to go by 5:00 when they put you out anyway (see note 1 again), or go out to the bier gardens.

They also have Radler at some if not all of the tents too, and also in town. I remember my wife having one at the Hacker tent that year (I think...haha). It’s a half bier half lemonade mix. Don’t be afraid to drink one of these after 2 or 3 mass.

In September 2013 we are going to spend 2 nights in Mittenwald Germany, 2 nights in Berchtesgaden Germany, 2 nights in Hallstatt Austria, 4 nights in Vienna Austria and 5 nights in Munich at Oktoberfest. All travel by train again.

Have a great time. One of the most fantastic things I’ve ever done. Germany was beautiful, Munich and the Oktoberfest were more than I could have hoped for. Have a great time, start planning now.

PROST!

Hebron, Ohio...
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5. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

I plan to go the 1st day of the festival just because I want to try to see the parade. And I plan to be there as early as possible that morning. As far as the 6% beer goes, I think I should be okay seeing that most the beer I drink is in the 6.5% to 8% range anyway. Although I won't be drinking a case a day.

The other issue is for me, I would like to stay at the same hotel for the whole trip and just take day trips to other locations to visit.

I am calling that hotel asap because that seems perfect and if I can save some money on a hotel that would help a lot. Do you know if they have a cancellation policy?

Columbia, Missouri
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6. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

We also went on the first day because I wanted to see the parade. I’m glad we did, but I wouldn’t do it again. The parade is great, but then it is near impossible to get into a tent that day. Being by yourself it will be a little easier. But this is what I posted on another thread:

"I also agree that going to Oktoberfest on the opening Saturday is not the best idea. We went (my wife and I) on opening day in 2010. We wanted to go to the parade, which was fantastic (make sure you get there early to get close enough to the road to see and take pictures), but that put us getting on the Wiesn about 12:30. At this time ALL the tents were full. You could get in most of them, but there were no places to sit to get a bier.

Even the tables with a little room would not let you sit. Remember, this was just my wife and I. I got tired of asking and finally made my wife ask. But still nothing, and she is pretty cute! Finally in an outside Biergarten of some little tent (I don’t remember the name of it because it was literally the 15th or 16th tent we tried) some very nice Germans let us sit down. From the time we entered the grounds until we finally found a seat was 4 hours of getting turned down in every language possible. We almost left twice, but I was like….we came all the way to go to Oktoberfest and I ‘m going to have a BIER!

The people that let us sit, I still talk to them today on FB and email. Thanks Thomas, Torsten and Annette!!

The following Monday we went back and walked right in and sat down."

But if you really want to do this, go to the parade early, try to belly up to one of the many barriers they have out on the route. This way no one will be able to stand in front of you and you can take good pictures. If you do stay at Pension Westfalia, it is close to where the parade enters the main O’Fest entrance. We just walked up there and waited. Then when the parade is over your at one of the entrances to get in….you and 100,000 other people. It’s a MESS. Then just start trying tents. Be nice, ask politely and don’t get discouraged. Even tables that aren’t full will say no. That might be because their friends are in the bathroom or outside smoking, no smoking in the tents now. So just keep walking and keep asking and good luck.

Staying at Pension Westfalia might be ok for the whole time. It’s pretty reasonably priced. I’m sure they probably have single rooms which will be a little cheaper, if you get a room in the back of the pension it will be a little cheaper and also ask for one that doesn’t have the shower/WC in the room. It will be a shared one down the hall and will be cheaper. Maybe these things will work out and make it affordable.

I think they do have a cancellation policy. I know that even though I have a room reserved, they won’t charge my credit card until Jan 1st. 2013. And they only charge 1 nights cost. They rest you pay when you are there and most prefer cash for the rest of it.

PROST!!

Hebron, Ohio...
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7. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

Any ideas on hotels or hostels? I want to book mine soon looking to under 100 USD a night.

Boston...
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8. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

I was at Oktoberfest last week and we passed by a hostel that is right by the fairgrounds (Theresenweise) near Goetheplatz. My friend told me hostels were running 80 euros/night during Oktoberfest. The hostel we saw looked like it would be a party house most of the time with a bar directly underneath and next to it.

Are you going to be going alone for sure? If you get one or two friends to go with you, you could spread out the costs a bit. We stayed in an apartment that was about $100/person/night. (look at AirBnB or Wimdu) Just something to think about.

For intracity travel there is a group ticket that only costs around 24 euros for 3 days and it is good for a group of 2-5 people. It gets you on the U-Bahn and buses. That's another perk of traveling with friends.

I've traveled a lot on my own too so I understand the appeal. :) I'm just pointing out the cost effectiveness at Oktoberfest.

Boston...
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9. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

This is the hostel we passed by: http://munichcity.smart-stay.de/de/

I can offer no other info on it though other that it is about a block and a half from Theresienwiese and looked busy. :)

Montreal, Canada
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10. Re: Oktoberfest 2013. Going alone, what do I need to know?

I am looking into a trip to Oktoberfest in 2013. I am also travelling alone. It would be sort of nice to know someone beforehand. I'm in Montreal, Canada.