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traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

Tracy, California
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traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

We are thinking of having a car from up around Frankfurt or Karlsruhe for a day or two prior to driving in and dropping it off at the end of the rental near our hotel in Munich. We are checking in 19-SEP for the opening of Oktoberfest, of course.

Any concerns with a lot of traffic that day trying to get in to Munich? Is it bad enough to ditch the whole idea of driving in to Munich that day?

Thanks in advance

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Frankfurt
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Hesse, Germany
Freising, Germany
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1. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

Should be not that more traffic compared to a common friday - and that can be heavy anyway. Most people use public transportation to visit the Oktoberfest, for a reason.

Munich, Germany
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2. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

depends where the hotel is - as in near the Oktoberfest theres road blockages and diversions so a pain in the rear.

But if you're somewhere else in the city you just have to be a little more wary than normal of wandering pedestrians.

BTW, you cant bring your car to the oktoberfest in case for some reason you were thinking this would be a convienence afforded by hiring the car.

With 600,000 guests on a busy day, its just not feasable to have even a fraction of the attendees to come by car.

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

Instead of attending the opening day it might be better to go on a weekday. So you have a chance of getting inside a tent as well.

Munich, Germany
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4. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

once again, why do people think that the opening day is anything special or better than another day of the Oktoberfest? If you were to have to name one day to AVOID it'd be the opening day.

Tracy, California
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5. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

I appreciate the feedback. We will not be driving in Munich except to return the car. We will use public transport otherwise.

I have read about the parades and ceremonial tapping of the keg, and I want to see this for my 1 visit to Oktoberfest. We will be in town through Monday, so if I cannot get a masse on Saturday we can return another day!

Columbia, Missouri
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6. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

Wakalaka:

@ “I have read about the parades and ceremonial tapping of the keg, and I want to see this for my 1 visit to Oktoberfest.”

- On the parades, there is one on the first Saturday and one on the first Sunday. The one on Saturday is when they bring the bier from the brewery’s to the Wiesn. It’s really cool. All the horses are pulling big bierwagons in full dress. Really something to see. The parade will end about 11:30 as the bier needs to be in the tents to be served at noon. This is mainly ceremonial of course as the bier is already in the tents, but can’t be served until the Lord Mayor taps the first keg and pronounces “O’zapft is!!” at noon.

- Now the parade you can definitely see, but the tapping of the first keg you won’t be able too. It’s done in the Schottenhamel Festhalle and you have to be rich, or famous or BOTH to get in there for this. And I’m guessing this year it will also be full of the FIFA World Cup Champions too!!!

- But you will know when it’s tapped, because while you are wading thru the 300,000 other people trying to get a spot in a tent, (remember the all tents will already be full from people queuing at 6:00am to get in) you will hear and see some small cannons go off, signaling to all the other tents and people that Oktoberfest is OPEN!

- Now if there is only 2 of you, you WILL get in a tent on opening day, and you PROBABLY will get a seat at a table. We did in 2010. But it took us 5 hours of constant asking if we could sit down and getting turned down in every language possible. I’m not joking. But we did manage to do it, and it was the best tasting bier I’ve ever had!!

- I have not been to the parade on Sunday. I think it’s called the Rifleman’s Parade and it’s even longer than the one on Saturday.

But good luck, it’s going to be something you will never forget!

Tracy, California
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7. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

Thanks, I did not know most of this info. I saw another person trying to get with a group with an existing reservation on this forum. Is there any point in trying to do so?

I imagine the logistics are tough on that, the tremendous crowds, and trying to locate someone at the tent once I arrive.

So you went table to table in the tent asking for available seats? Would it suffice for English speakers to just hold up two fingers and point at our selves and then at the table with a quizzical look? I imagine that is the best I could do beyond learning how to ask the question in German! :)

Plan B would be to watch the parade, and go do some other sightseeing and return Sunday or Monday to get a seat in a tent.

Columbia, Missouri
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8. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

@ “I saw another person trying to get with a group with an existing reservation on this forum. Is there any point in trying to do so?”

- It’s always worth a shot I guess. I just wouldn’t prepay to anyone. And even if they said yes, I guess there would still be the chance that last minute one of their buddies would want the reservation and you would show up and no one meets you. But I think that lots of extra reservations are handled this way.

@ “I imagine the logistics are tough on that, the tremendous crowds, and trying to locate someone at the tent once I arrive.”

- Yes, but what you usually do, anytime you are meeting friends or something, is pick a meeting spot first. Like under the Löwenbräu Tower at 4:00pm or something. There will still be 50-100 people there, but it narrows it down. You probably won’t be able to meet them IN the tent, as there is a great possibility that the doors will be locked shut on the tents by reservation time, and you would need this reservation to get in.

@ “So you went table to table in the tent asking for available seats?”

- YES. Table to table to table to table to table to table……….FOR 5 HOURS. The only time we stopped asking was when we were going to another tent….to continue asking! We finally got some really nice Germans to let us sit down in one of the smaller biergartens. We still talk to them today. That was over 4 years ago. We went over to see them last year…..well to see them and OKTOBERFEST again! Hahah

@ “Would it suffice for English speakers to just hold up two fingers and point at our selves and then at the table with a quizzical look? I imagine that is the best I could do beyond learning how to ask the question in German! :)”

- I would think this might be considered sort of rude, to just point. And I wouldn’t spend time learning how to ask to sit down in German unless you already know some German. It would be more important to learn to say Bathroom, or train, or departure or arrival, things you are going to need more. Remember…..there is going to people from ALL over the world there, not all the people you will be asking to sit down with will be German (but a great many will be), but some will be Italian, Polish, Russian, Chinese, French and on and on. So I wouldn’t spend too much time on that. Not to mention that even if you learn how to say it in German, will you remember after your 2nd Mass!?!?! Hahaha.

- Just be polite, and ask in English, they will know what you want even if they don’t speak English. The Germans will look at you and nicely say “no, it’s full” or something…..the Italians will look “your direction” and just shake their head no……and the French will not even look your direction or act like they heard you ask.

- Also, most of the tables are meant to hold 10 people, so if you only see 6 or 8 people at the table, definitely ask if you can sit down. BUT they might say no, or there’s no room. This is mostly because they are holding the spots, maybe a couple people are in the bathroom, or they are outside smoking (no smoking in the tents), or they are holding for friends that are supposed to be there in 15 minutes. You never know.

- I think it also helped when I had my wife ask instead of me. For whatever that’s worth.

- But don’t give up, someone WILL let you sit down.

@ “Plan B would be to watch the parade, and go do some other sightseeing and return Sunday or Monday to get a seat in a tent.”

- Yes, this is a good plan too. I would, go watch the parade, then go to the tents and ask around for a while (til whenever you get tired of asking), then maybe check out the rides and other things. ALL girls, no matter what their age like the Farris Wheel!! Then after an hour or so, try the tents again for a while.

Good luck. I know this all sounds like it’s really hard, but MILLIONS of people do it every year. You can too!

PROST!!

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

@Cardinal: on many saturdays you won't even have a chance of getting in a tent.

5 hours of getting around the tables is rather long though, Usually the best is if you are with a girl and she asks first. Can take less than 10 mins when she's pretty ;)

Or promise a tip to the waitress if she helps you find a place. Often they are happy to throw some drunk Italians off their table in exchange for new thirsty customers.

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10. Re: traffic in to Munich 19-SEP Oktoberfest

Ask in English. Most Germans have some command of the English language, and many Oktoberfest visitors aren't German anyway.

If you use sign language or communicate in noisy surroundings, take into consideration that, while the English-speaking world usually points at seats and asks, "Are these taken?", Germans ask, "Are these free?" ("Ist hier noch frei?") - important for the interpretation of a yes or no answer!