Copenhagen, Denmark – Stuttgart – Munich, Germany
We left Copenhagen early in the morning to arrive into Stuttgart to catch our Flixbus (one of the cheaper options to get around Europe – Similar to Greyhound or Megabus) to Munich. Back to the euro and we felt like we were rich after being in Denmark for the past few days.
Arrived into Munich and we found ourselves a storage locker at the train station and walked around a bit. This was a task in itself as everyone was in town for Oktoberfest and also storing their things at the train station. We walked over to Marienplatz and it was a little drizzly. We ended up buying some chunks of Dutch cheese and also some grapes as well as fresh bread.
Oktoberfest is incredibly busy and many places are booked up or not renting out during this timeframe. The Airbnb we managed to book was located in Wolfratshausen (45 minutes roughly outside of town) and because of that, we called it an early night after our day of travelling. Our Airbnb host was baking mushrooms and her whole place smelt like pizza the entire time.
Oktoberfest – Munich, Germany
Woke up super early and met up with Winnie’s friends Kirtana and Mark. We made it to the festival entrance at the Fairgrounds of Theresienwiese to line up at 8AM. 9AM hit and the mad dash began to get into the specific beer halls. We made it to the doors of HB (one of the most popular ones for tourists) and low and behold beside me stood Scott who I met in Lisbon a week and a bit prior with his Remote Year crew.
It was also a mad push to get in but we got seated. Beer steins were 11.70€ each however beer wasn’t served until 10AM. We also ordered half chickens – which were amazing – also not served until 11AM. I also bought a bottle of water and they give you a chip so you can get a euro back once you return it. A good tip is to refill those water bottles at the washrooms for free! It is also cheaper to purchase food outside of the beerhall not as convenient especially if you have been drinking. Some of the people around us were buying these little viles of white powder and it turns out, it’s a thing to snort peppermint to keep you alert and wake you up as well as clear your nasal passages.
We met many wonderful new friends including Kelcey & Sam (she lives NYC now) from Texas, Caroline & Biscuit from New York, Scott and his friends from Remote Year and Texas, John & Stephen with their friends and Colin (who currently live in Prague) from Orange County and a few older Italian Gentlemen who might be part of the mafia. We went on a weekday so pretty much the crowd was foreigners.
We definitely had a fun experience with Oktoberfest and my first experience drinking and being a little drunk all before noon. Everyone in my group had 2L beersteins and finished them before noon. We stayed in that tent from 9AM-530PM. We came out and walked the grounds a little bit before leaving and finding some food and heading home.
The rest of the day was a write off but well worth it. We went to bed around 8PM.
Things to know before you attend Oktoberfest
-Oktoberfest does not take place traditionally in October but from September 21st through October 6th – it falls over 3 weekends and thousands/millions flood the city of Munich.
-If you are looking for accommodations within Munich, BOOK MONTHS IN ADVANCED or be prepared to stay on the outskirts of town and take the train in. If you are daring, there are Oktoberfest camp spots – literal camping in tents with a partying atmosphere all around.
–BRING CASH – card is not accepted.
-There is no entry fee to get into the Fairgrounds of Therheresienwiese, but of course the money you spend will go towards beer and food.
Opening day: 12:00 – 10:30pm
Weekdays: 10:00am – 10:30pm
Weekends and Holidays: 9:00am – 10:30pm
Tents Open late: Käfers and Weinzelt open until 1:00am
-Temporary beer tents are set up in advanced for each beer hall with long benches and picnic tables. Be ready to share seating with strangers.
-Oktoberfest is not just about drinking in beer tents but it is actually an amusement park with games and rides.
-Bags are not permitted. Fanny packs and little purses are acceptable.
-If you choose to dress up, you can actually purchase a dress (dirndls) or lederhosen at the train station
-Many people end up standing on the bench and try to chug their beers, this results in that person being kicked out of the beer hall. It’s a precaution in case they vomit from chugging so much beer.
-You will not be served if you are not sitting at a table.
-There are no small beers – 1L beer stein is what you will get
-You will not get a hangover if you ONLY drink beer – Germans have a beer purity law so the beer is made with very few fresh ingredients.
-You can line up at 8AM and do the mad dash to the beer tents when gates open at 9AM
-Beer does not get served until 10AM and food 1030AM
-If you have the chance, check out Oktoberfest at night – live music (different experience than during the day – or stay all day long)
-As a tourist, weekdays are your best bet as weekends, millions of people including locals will be attending and it gets incredibly busy.
-The last day of the festival (October 6th) is apparently the most magical
More to know
Munich – Berlin, Germany
Spent the day just walking around Munich after our Oktoberfest shenanigans the previous day and making sure we had ample time to recover if needed. The sun was out and turned out to be a good day to explore. So many cute little streets and neighbourhoods we ended up wandering through.
Made our way to the English Garden and watched some people catching some waves on the Eisbach river.
Walked past this alien spaceship structure which turned out to be an installation for the Pinakothek der Moderne. The whole building was just beautiful to look at.
Stopped to grab a bite at Dean & David – chicken curry bowl. Since we had time and the weather was much nicer than the first time we made it through Marienplatz, we went up to the tower at St Peter’s Church. It costs 3€ to go up but it is a narrow stairwell for majority of the way up and it is used to go up and down.
We purchased some sustenance and caught our train from Munchen hbf. We took the DB all the way to Berlin (lent my shoulder to a new Italian friend along the way) where we came in quite late. For our stint in Berlin, Winnie’s friend Lea graciously hosted us.
Our first full day in Berlin was a rainy one but at least we were accompanied by Lea.
First stop was to the East Side gallery of the Berlin Wall to check out the art pieces and of course the famous kiss art mural. Every so often, the murals get redone as a new commission.
We learned majority of things are closed on Sundays but one positive are the flea markets. We went to 3 of them – RAW Flohmarkt, Boxhagener platz and Mauerpark (On Sundays in the summer or when its still warm out, there are usually karaoke in the park).
We spent some time exploring Friedrichshain and made our way to Monsieur Vuong for lunch. I got the Pho Bo and it was much needed and satisfying to have a soupy meal on a wet and cold day.
We did stop over to Zeit fur brot where we got the apple cinnamon roll, walnut and maple syrup roll as well as fresh walnut and date bread.
With it being so wet outside, we wanted to go to the spa – Vabali but of course there was a huge line of people who also had the same thinking as we did. We did not wait in line and continued on. Did I mention in this weather, the Berlin Marathon was also happening. There were so many people running the city.
We walked about 20 minutes but made it to Futurium to be greeted by another line. We waited and the line moved quickly. It was also free admission. The museum discusses many possible future outcomes and sustainability. Very thought provoking but also a lot of information to take in. You also get a bracelet to keep and at each station, if you wanted to learn more about that topic or wanted to remember what you were interested in, you could use that code online and gather the information for later to continue the topic after your visit.
After being out all day in the rain, we decided to buy some groceries and make a home-cooked meal. Remember how I mentioned many things were closed on Sundays. Grocery stores are also closed BUT you can only find the open ones in the metro terminals.
We roasted beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli. While we waited for all that to cook, we started off eating the fresh bread from earlier with cheese and grapes.
Oh what a windy and wet start to the day. We took the bus and hiked up to Teufelsberg to only find out it is open wed-sun. It was still a lovely little hike.
Made our way to Alexanderplatz where they had a little Oktoberfest market set up. The sun came out and we walked to Hackescher Markt and walked through the alley to see some graffiti artwork. There were also so many cute little shops in the die Hackeschen höfe.
Walked by Berlinerdome (cathedral) and walked to museum Island and finally to the Brandenburger tor. There were so many tourists around and especially runners who ran the Berlin marathon the day prior as the gate was the finish line.
Just down the street, we saw the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Below is a free museum that follows various families throughout the Holocaust.
We continued down to Potsdamer platz – a little plaza that also has pieces of the Berlin Wall on display. This square is important because the road connecting the two cities crossed through this square.
We had booked a reservation prior to coming to go to the parliament government building – Bundestag. They have this beautiful rooftop with a glass Dome with 360 view of Berlin. We happened to have booked a time (530PM) when we could see the beginning of the sun setting above the city and it was absolutely stunning and a great way to end our day.
We made it back to Lea’s flat where we had dinner with her flat mates Gaelle, Goel and their friend Heinrich. It was a fun dinner with homemade bruschetta and a lovely pasta dinner with great company.