What to do in Munich During Oktoberfest - The "And More" of Beer Festival

Oktoberfest 2017

With the most awaited festival coming up soon, I’m sure you are all planning to book your tickets to Munich already! While some of you may be regulars, there may be some newcomers to this group too. For those who are recent additions to this worldwide motion, Oktoberfest is the biggest, baddest and the most loved beer festival in the world! It starts from mid or late September and goes on till the first week of October. Now you may wonder why it’s called Oktoberfest when it starts in September! Well, while the first ever Oktoberfest did take place in the month of October, the celebrations were shifted to September owing to the favorable weather conditions. Who would have thought that the wedding celebration of a king in the 1800s, would overtime turn into a global notion of merriment? People seem to have been drinking for too long now, don’t they! 

During Oktoberfest, tourists from all over the world flood Munich to enjoy the special beer brewed exclusively for this festival. A wide range of traditional culinary wonders like Hendl, Steckerlfisch and Schweinebraten and many Bavarian delicacies can also be enjoyed during this time. Horse races is a tradition that continues till date, and the grandeur of the race must be seen to be believed. The energetic buzz inside the tents, the parade and the beer barrel tapping is highly contagious. Staying true to the name "fest", it is an exciting mixture of beer, food, amusement rides & games and some more beer! 

And so, while Munich is branded as the beer capital of the world, the city has so much more than tents and brews. Here is a list of the top 10 things that you can do in Munich while you have a gala time at the Oktoberfest.

1. Go biking with Mike’s Bike Tours

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Coming to Munich and not taking a Mike’s Bike Tour is probably not the greatest idea, especially if you’re here for the Oktoberfest. As an addition to your high spirits, this tour is a must! The guides take you through the lovely countryside, to the castles, and along the gorgeous Isar river, pausing to tell you not only the trivia, but the lesser known stories of these places as well. The bicycles are custom made for maximum comfort, considering this four-hour journey. An innovative and brilliant way to explore this vibrant city, add this to your “To-Do” list today!

How to reach: Take bus 132 to the bus station “Tal”, the rental office is just a couple of minutes away on foot from here. 

Tips: The routes take you along a number of lakes and rivers. On a hot day, after riding for so long, a dip here is exactly what you’ll need.

Check Out: Munich Biking and Segway Tours

2. Start where it all started, at Hofbrauhaus

Image Source: Roman Boed/Flickr

The exhilaration of the Oktoberfest can truly be understood by a visit to Hofbräuhaus. The oldest brewery in the beer capital of the world is sure to give you an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy this festival the way it’s actually meant to be celebrated, with music, dance, games and of course beer! 

How to reach: You can take the tram, 19 or N19 to the station "Nationaltheater", or bus 132 to the bus stop "Marienplatz". Any route that you take, you will have to walk a couple of minutes to the hall.

Tips: You can try the 'Brezn' and the 'Obatzda' to go with your brew.

Create an itinerary for your vacation in few simple steps! Add & Book hotels, AirBnbs and tours to your trip plan!

3. Shop- Eat- Drink at Marienplatz

Image Source: Wikipedia

Whether shopping is on your mind or not, a stroll in Marienplatz will be rewarding. A unique blend of the biggest brands and the local artisans, the shops are exciting and the mood, lively. You can either look at the bigger shops on the main streets, or better still, you can walk down the smaller lanes to get a glimpse of the city’s traditions. You’ll be surprised at what all you can find here. The square is also filled with cafes and bars, so a couple of hours in the market and a light snack with beer sounds like a good plan!

How to reach: A number of city buses lead to the bus stop "Marienplatz (St. Peter)".

Tips: Street artists color the market with music and dance, you can feel the diversity of the city here. 

4. Surf in Englischer Garten

Image Source: Wikipedia

Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest gardens. And while there are a number of monuments within its area, what is most exciting is its artificial streams. You can take a leisure stroll in the garden, see the Japanese Teahouse, the Chinese Tower and the Monopteros and then visit the streams. One of them has a standing wave for the surfers to surf on. So, if you’re a skilled surfer, head out to the park and ride the waves

How to reach: You can take buses 54 or 150 to the bus station “Am Tucherpark” or buses 54, 150, 154 or N43 a little further in the park to station "Chinesischer Turm".

Tips: A great, enthusiastic crowd of spectators cheers you while you’re in the lake, an experience that can rarely be enjoyed anywhere else. 

Check Out: Best Villages in Germany

5. Feasting at Viktualienmarkt

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Welcome to every foodie’s paradise! Munich’s center of culinary brilliance, the Viktualienmarkt is the place to go for your tingling taste-buds. The market houses farm fresh produce, from fruits and vegetables to cheese, but what you must try here is the local Bavarian cuisine. A range of delectable goodies will entice you and the energy here during Oktoberfest is spinetingling. You can even enjoy a beer at one of the beer gardens.

How to reach: Buses 52 and 62 go to the bus station "Viktualienmarkt", just a minute away from the market.

Tips: The market often hosts events like "Brewer's day" and "Summer festival", and more, so look out for special menus and street performances. 

6. Beer und Oktoberfestmuseum- Explore the when and how of beer

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

So, while you’re here to be a part of this world-renowned festival, have you ever wondered how it all began? Beer und Oktoberfest museum gives a detailed tour taking you back to the era when beer was born and through the times till it was finally perfected in the extraordinary Munich. You can enjoy a beer in their inhouse pub, which is designed to take you back to the Gothic era and also create a countryside atmosphere. 

How to reach: Bus 132 stops at the "Tal" station, which is a couple of minutes away from the museum. 

Tips: The museum also exhibits special exhibitions and beer tasting, so you can make your enquiries and plan your visit here accordingly. 

Check Out: Top 8 Christmas Markets in Germany

7. Go Log Rafting on River Isar 

Log rafting across River Isar is an amusing activity. A unique way to see the city and its countryside, the tour gives you the best views of Munich. With a band playing for you, it is a perfect way to socialize, meet new people, understand the culture of this land and let’s not forget to mention beer! One of the offbeat activities that is slowing gaining spotlight, you would definitely want to spend a relaxing day after an eventful Oktoberfest celebration. 

How to reach: Departure is from “Neptune Fountain”, which is 5 minutes away from the central station “Hauptbahnhof”. Buses also stop at the bus station “Neptunbrunnen, Elisenstraße”.

Tips: This is the perfect opportunity to live the Bavarian way with traditional music, good food, beer and great company… make the most of it!

8. Wirtshaus in der Au- Divine indulgence

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After satiating your soul at the Viktualienmarkt, there is one more place in Munich which is as wonderful. A restaurant lesser known to tourists, is the Wirtshaus in der Au. Known for its traditional Bavarian delicacies, this small eatery will sweep you off the ground. Culinary miracles are served here, with a cold beer in the beer garden, in an atmosphere electrified by the jazz music in the background. It is ideal to stop here to grab a bite before heading to the Oktoberfest. 

How to reach: You can take buses 52 or 62 which stop at the “Schweigerstraße” bus station which is 5 minutes away from the restaurant.

Tips: The restaurant is known for its dumplings and its music. 

9. Michael Jackson Memorial, The Orlande de Lassus statue

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Orlande de Lassus was a 16th century music composer who graced the world with his music. His statue was erected in Munich as a tribute to his work. Today, a Michael Jackson Memorial adorns the base of the statue. Made by the local people, it is covered with letters, photos and dedications to the King of Pop. You can walk by this humble memorial and observe the lives that the artist touched in so many ways. 

How to reach: Trams 19 and N19 will lead you to the station “Theatinerstraße”, which is a minute away from the monument.

Tips: You can carry your personal memento and honor your favorite star.

10. Valentin Karlstadt-Museum- An amusing tale

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Dedicated to the comedian Karl Valentin and his partner Liesl Karlstadt, the Valentin Karlstadt-Museum is a quirky, fun place to visit. True to their personalities and professions the museum exhibits the most unique displays which tell the story of the lives of these entertainers. If you’re looking for something to do after an evening of Oktoberfest, you can plan this for the next day!

How to reach: Bus 132 will take you to the bus station “Tal”, which is the nearest bus station. 

Tips: After taking a tour of the museum, you can visit the small café on the third floor for a quick snack.

Apart from the above, you can also plan some other activities while you’re in Munich. The city has the most spectacular castles, graceful lakes and rivers, and some of the largest gardens. You can go on a historical journey, or relax in the arms of nature.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARUNDHATI BHAND ARUNDHATI BHAND

An animal lover at heart, marketer by education and artist by passion, Arundhati aims to seek out to all that satisfies her diverse interests. She believes that it is only through experiences that one learns, and a traveller of sorts, she strives to explore the unexplored. She finds herself drawn to the richness of mythology, and the next minute she may be pouring over the latest comic book. A combination of a carefree happy person and an introvert, you will find her playing with her dogs, or reading Yugandhar or Pride and Prejudice in the quiets of her home, staying true to the quote “Adventure is right where you are…”

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