Oktoberfest is the world’s largest folk festival… (or beer festival as most know it by) and it is one seriously expensive time in September in Munich, Germany. You will see hostel prices hiked up to 80 euros per night when they’re normally 18 euros per night and if you book super late and miss out on the hostels and hotels you have the options of Airbnb and “couchsurfing” (if they’re still available). When I looked into booking my trip I discovered a large crazy tent on a campground for 80 euros per night (I definitely closed that tab on my browser as soon as I finished reading the price).
The beers at Oktoberfest are 10.60 euros a Stein (a large beer mug which holds 2 pints of beer) and the food at the festival ranges from 10 euros upwards for traditional Bavarian feasts… as you can understand, it’s gets a little pricey. (Information based on Oktoberfest 2016)
BUT there is a way around this! If you truly want to enjoy Oktoberfest on a budget, follow this plan:
Order your lederhosen or dirndl ahead of time as the prices in Germany can be a bit steep
Book a hotel/hostel in Salzburg, Austria as it’s only 2 hours away from Munich.
Book a Flixbus for 19 euros return from Salzburg to Munich
It is far cheaper to bus in and out of the country each day than it is to stay in Munich during Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest is a festival like no other. It is free to get into and as you walk through the entrance there are security guards, police and ambulances dotted around. You will not be able to bring a backpack into the festival itself but there are lockers just outside (You can bring in small bags/purses). As you walk through the streets of the festival you will see incredibly huge beer tents and you must walk in to each to check out the décor. During the day there are live folk bands and heaps of people sitting inside (and outside) drinking beer from Steins and eating traditional Bavarian food and in the evening they play popular music as people continue to drink.
Outside the tents you will see the respective carriages of the major brewing houses that sell their beers at the festival and people taking selfies and photographs standing beside them. (It’s quite a popular thing to do)
But if you thought that Oktoberfest was just for young people to drink beer than you would be wrong. There are people of all ages and nationalities at this festival from the old to the very young and as you continue walking through the festival you will see that the festival also houses a massive theme park full of rides for children and adults.
In general, it is a superb festival that you should definitely experience in your lifetime. However, please be aware that after 6-7pm you will see a large number of obscenely drunk people passed out on the grassy areas in and around the festival but the police and ambulance workers are incredibly vigilant and on-hand at all times making sure that people are safe.
Happy Oktoberfest everyone!