Oktoberfest in Munich

The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
75 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 300
Time of year visited
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
All Tags
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
80th/372 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 30% SUMMARY RATING: Superb


Yes its rammed, yes its now quite commercialized, yes its a bit of a cliché and like a theme park, but it really is great fun as Munich comes alive with people from all round the world for this once a year event (which confusingly is in September!).  The lederhosen, the bands, the giant beer tents, and general raucous atmosphere – its all just brilliant


Just a few high level tips:

  • Theme Park – it came as a bit of a surprise to me that Oktoberfest itself is held not in the city centre but in a large field called the Theresienwiese a relatively short walk away, and in giant tents more like buildings that what you’d imagine for a “tent”.  Feels a bit more like theme park than what you’d imagine a traditional beer festival to be
  • Book ahead – there are some tents that you can just rock up to get in to, but make sure to book at least one of the major tents, and ideally two
  • Lederhosen is expensive – the proper stuff is upwards of €200, and don’t expect any easy deals in Munich when you arrive in September.  But you can order online beforehand to save yourself a lot of money.  Or get some of the fancy-dress style outfits, which are very clearly not the real thing, but do the job considering everyone will be lashed within an hour of getting to the venue
  • Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall – whilst the main Oktoberfest is held in the Theresienwiese fairgrounds, the beer halls of Munich are still very much worth the visit with their oompah band, painted ceilings and generally raucous atmosphere.  Don’t miss out
  • Steins – these litre glasses are seriously tough heavy buggers designed for toasting and it is genuinely amazing to see the bar girls effortlessly carry 8 of them to the tables.  But they do break, so don’t 10/10 crack them together
  • Neuschwanstein Castle – if the hangover isn’t too bad, you must make the day trip to the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle that is nestled up in the Bavarian Alps.  You can drive there yourself (1 hour 40mins), get the train (2.5 hours and a bit of a faff) or get a day tour that also includes nearby Hohenschwangau Castle, Linderhof Palace and quaint village of Oberammergau as part of a loop.  For more details, see the travel entry for Munich Christmas Markets, Beer Halls and visiting Neuschwanstein Castle

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone