I have already mentioned in previous posts how one of the best parts of studying abroad for a semester is the opportunity to visit different countries and cities during the weekends. This past weekend, 10 Mounties and I traveled to Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest. Known as the world’s largest beer festival, Oktoberfest originally started as a celebration for the wedding of King Ludwig I and Teresa of Sassonia-Hildburghausen, which the citizens of Munich were invited to attend.
Because of our tight student budgets, we found a bus that would take us from Prague to Munich in 6 hours, and we chose to stay in Airbnbs so we could split the cost evenly between us. Oktoberfest is free to get into itself. The beer tents are also free to get into, if you choose to go without a reservation. In order to ensure a spot at a table in the beer tents, we went to the festival around 8:15 a.m., since the tents open at 10:00 a.m. There was already a line halfway around the block when we got there. The most expensive part of Oktoberfest is the beer and food, but this is where it is worth it to splurge, because the huge pretzels and the roast chicken I ordered was some of the best food I’ve had in my entire life!
The line started moving around 9:00 a.m., and when we reached the front entrance sign, we saw groups of people running; so naturally, we followed the crowd and started running too! They all stopped in a large huddle in front of the “Hofbrau Festwelt” tent, which is known for being an American touristy, college student tent. We thought that that would be a good fit for us since we are, indeed, American students. While in line, we met students from America as well who were studying abroad in Germany and Italy. We also met students from Canada while we were in the tent. When we found a table, we were able to order our beers and food from one of the beermaids. Each tent serves their one type of beer, which they brew specifically for Oktoberfest.
The traditional dress for the occasion is lederhosen for guys and dirndls for girls. Now, these outfits aren’t required to attend, but they do make the day all the more fun! Once we were inside the tent, almost everyone was wearing them! Also, in each tent there is a stage where a band performs. Some of the tents play traditional German music, but some of them play some well-known American songs, such as the “YMCA” and “New York, New York.”
Although Oktoberfest is obviously known for their beer, there is a lot more to the festival! The food is absolutely amazing, there are carnival rides and a Ferris wheel, and there is a special section of the festival for children’s rides. After spending some time in the Hofbrau Festwelt tent, we decided to venture out and explore the rest of the festival. We walked around, took some pictures, and rode the Ferris wheel and some other rides.
From a student perspective, it was a fun day filled with great beer, great food, and great friends, but most importantly it was filled with memories that will last a lifetime! After being at the festival for pretty much 12 hours, we called it quits around 9:00 p.m., made it back to our Airbnb, and went to sleep. The next day we explored Munich for a few hours before heading back on the bus to Prague!
Make sure to “Czech out” Jeremiah’s post tomorrow, and follow us on Instagram – @MSMUtravels.