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Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

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Broomfield, Colorado
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Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

We've begun planning our 14-night honeymoon in Italy (departing September 9th, 2012 and returning September 24th, 2012). Given that the last 2 full days of our vacation correspond with the first 2 days of Oktoberfest, we thought it would be very cool to take a night train up from Venice and spend our last 2 nights in Munich. Our main objective will be attending Oktoberfest, but we'll also want to catch some of the top sites if time permits.

I've done some searching and reading of other posts and it would appear that we're already well behind in our planning for the upcoming Oktoberfest. I'm looking for some suggestions on where we should look for a hotel. Because of our limited time in Munich, I was thinking of staying somewhere central within walking distance of the Oktoberfest grounds and sites within the city center. In my searching, I've come across a couple of hotels for $300-$330/night USD near the Hauptbahnhof train station that still have some availability left. While this is at the top end of our price range, I get it due to the location and dates we'll be staying there. While this seems ideal from a location perspective, any thoughts on this particular location as well as other parts of the city we should look into that are close to public transportation?

Also, we need some advice on attending Oktoberfest. We know that because we'll be there for the opening weekend of the festival that it will be extremely busy. It will only be the 2 of us, so even if we were not late in our planning, we would not want to reserve a table for 6 or 8 as that would be far too much chicken and beer. While we would love to get a spot in one of the various tents, we may have to just enjoy the festival from outside of the tents if weather permits. Any suggestions on how we should attend the festival and if getting a spot in a tent is feasible for a group of 2 on the opening weekend?

All thoughts and suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

San Francisco
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1. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

In my opinion Hauptbahnhof area is a great place to stay... very easy to walk to the Oktoberfest, Marienplatz and easy when arriving or departing by train. Some complain that a few blocks in the area are a little seedy (there is a strip club or two and a casino) but I have stayed at four different hotels in the area and have never had any problems and been very happy every time I visited.

If you want to save on the hotel stay anywhere outside of the center of the city but near a train station, the U4 and U5 have stops at the Oktoberfest. Other posters may have better / more specific suggestions about this.

As for opening weekend of Otkoberfest I don't have any advice except go very early and be prepared to wait in line. Hope for nice weather as good weather = open biergartens and more seating.

Munich, Germany
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2. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

Some of the hotels around the Hauptbahnhof can be - how shall I put it - a bit seedy.

You should avoid hotels at the start of Schiller str.

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For that kind of money you could also book the newly built:

Courtyard Marriott Munich City East

Orleansstrasse 83

81667 Munich

marriott.com/hotels/…

Since it's so new, not too many people know about and it still has rooms for the nights:

22/23. September: 249€

23./24. September: 219€

The hotel is located 500m north-east from the "Ostbahnhof" subway stop, so you could either walk there or take the tram which stops in front of the hotel for one stop.

map: http://g.co/maps/hvbc4

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"Ostbahnhof" is a stop on the subway line U5, which will take you in just 9 minutes directly to the Oktoberfest grounds at "Theresienwiese".

"Ostbahnhof" is also a stop on the airport S-Bahn lines.

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If you take the tram in front of the hotel, you can take the scenic route to the historic city centre just by staying on the tram. Within 17 minutes of going past some of the nicest areas of Munich (including Munich's Rodeo Drive: Maximilianstr.) you will be in the historic city centre, in the pedestrian zone at Theatiner Str., just 100m from Marienplatz.

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Map of Munich public transport lines: http://tinyurl.com/munich-metro2011

Munich, Germany
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3. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

The Oktoberfest is getting worse every year with the crowds. Weekends are extremely bad. Last year despite extremely nice weather I saw all the tents shut by 1pm on the middle Saturday. We purposely avoid the first weekend as that is generally worse. Been going for 20 years now and up until recently we (me and the missus) always went on the middle saturday because as a couple always found something. Couldn't believe already tents locked shut (full). Sundays you can fair a bit better.

If it is raining/inclement weather then find sometihng else to do as the tents will definitely be locked shut.

Amsterdam
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4. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

we went last year to the fest on opening weekend. we avoided opening day, but on sun we walked right into the HackerPschoor tent without any problems and easily located seats for 3 people

Edited: 12 April 2012, 21:34
Amsterdam, The...
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5. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

Forget about getting into a tent on a saturday or friday evening. You can be lucky sometimes, but it's getting more and more difficult. Try to resschedule your plans.

For staying, anywhere in the within u-bahn / s-bahn rail system in (Greater) Munich is fine. Instead of hotels, you can also google for Pension, or check out private rentals on Airbnb or Toytown Germany

Broomfield, Colorado
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6. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and advice!

Regarding the accommodations, couple of follow-up questions:

- Does the Hauptbahnhof area being seedy mean anymore dangerous for people who will clearly be tourists? Or is it seedy simply because of the proximity of strip clubs and casinos? While I lean a little more towards the adventerous side, my fiance does not so I'm thinking this may not be a great area for us.

- I will definitely check out some of the outer areas near a metro / train stop. Any suggestions on particular neighborhoods that would be good for tourists that are historic and have restaurants, shopping, etc... within close proximity?

- The private rentals also seem like a good idea as it looks like there are some in very central locations for much more affordable rates...I will check that out as well.

Regarding attending Oktoberfest opening weekend, a couple of additional follow-up questions:

- We're stuck in our plans so the opening weekend are the only days we'll be able to attend as we're flying back to Denver Monday September 24th.

- From the FAQs I've read, admission to the festival is free and no need to wait in line unless you're trying to get into one of the tents. My question though is are there beer stands, food stands, and other events / activities outside of the tents? Or are the tents really the place to be?

- I'm thinking our best plan of attack would be to see the festival from outside of the tents on Saturday, weather permitting, and then show up early on Sunday to try to gain entrance into one of the tents. Thoughts?

Once again, thank you all for your thoughts and advice!

Amsterdam, The...
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7. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

- Does the Hauptbahnhof area being seedy mean anymore dangerous for people who will clearly be tourists? Or is it seedy simply because of the proximity of strip clubs and casinos? While I lean a little more towards the adventerous side, my fiance does not so I'm thinking this may not be a great area for us.

--> It's only seedy for Munich standards. Munich is a very clean and pretty city, the Hbf area is not the prettiest area but fine fo staying if the price is lower than alternatives. And it's a 2 min u-bahn ride to the Wiesn in case you don't want to walk (15-20mins)

- I will definitely check out some of the outer areas near a metro / train stop. Any suggestions on particular neighborhoods that would be good for tourists that are historic and have restaurants, shopping, etc... within close proximity?

--> I wouldn't worry about historic sites or restaurants, you can go into the center for that. Supermarkets you have anywhere.

- We're stuck in our plans so the opening weekend are the only days we'll be able to attend as we're flying back to Denver Monday September 24th.

--> Sunday should not be a problem. Make sure not to start to early because the evening is the best for atmosphere.

- From the FAQs I've read, admission to the festival is free and no need to wait in line unless you're trying to get into one of the tents. My question though is are there beer stands, food stands, and other events / activities outside of the tents? Or are the tents really the place to be?

--> Outside the tents there are many rides, food stands etc, but no party. You can drink beer outside in the weissbeer caroussels and in the beergartens. But the latter can also fill up, especially when it is sunny.

- I'm thinking our best plan of attack would be to see the festival from outside of the tents on Saturday, weather permitting, and then show up early on Sunday to try to gain entrance into one of the tents. Thoughts?

--> As said, early morning you can find place, but you will be done by in the afternoon. You can also try to get in on saturday of course. The last two years I managed to get in. Sometimes it involves some money.

Munich, Germany
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8. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

>Does the Hauptbahnhof area being seedy mean anymore dangerous for people who will clearly be tourists?

It isn't dangerous for anyone, nowhere in Munich is.

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>Or is it seedy simply because of the proximity of strip clubs and casinos?

That's it.

Schillerstr. for example is not the kind of area you want to have in your memories of your honeymoon.

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>My question though is are there beer stands, food stands, and other events / activities outside of the tents?

There's plenty to do outside the beer tents.

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There are many other food tents, roller coasters and distractions, please see here: http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/

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For example, I can whole-heartedly recommend the Café Kaiserschmarrn (= the tent of the Café Rischart): http://tinyurl.com/c9g8ya2

Please see here for an overview of the roller coasters: http://tinyurl.com/ce6988y

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Then there is also the "Bavarian Agricultural Fair" (which only takes place every 4 years) right next to the Oktoberfest: http://www.zlf.de/?redid=235475

photos: http://tinyurl.com/d9levyy

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So, I think you will find enough to do and see :-)

Edited: 13 April 2012, 03:02
Waterbury, CT
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9. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

Since you're arriving Saturday and Oktoberfest will be packed due to it being opening weekend, I would check out some of the other sites around Munich instead. You could go the Marienplatz, have lunch at the Hofbrauhaus, spend the afternoon at a beergarden, then head to Oktoberfest at night. The tents will be full but you can at least walk around and check everything out. If you're lucky you can find a spot in one o the outdoor beer gardens.

Then hit Oktoberfest early sunday and spend the day in one of the tents.

Broomfield, Colorado
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10. Re: Oktoberfest - Hotel and Festival Help

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions. I think I am now on the right track. Thanks again!