Huge check on our bucket list! Oktoberfest in Munich is one of those things you just have to do, at least once in your life!
I was a little nervous at how overwhelming it would be with the crowds and anxious from the uncertainty of getting into a tent. But, we entered early and headed straight to the popular Schottenhamel tent. This is where the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg of the festival calling out “O’zapft is!” to confirm the tapping was successful. At this point, all other tents may begin to serve beer.
Schottenhamel is more of a locals tent and to many, the most liked. The beer hall was recommended to us by our host, Germans and other Europeans we’ve met along the way. We arrived early at 10am to ensure admission into the tent since we didn’t have a reservation. There were plenty of tables when we entered but they filled up within 2 hours.
Two guys noticed we had seats available at our table and asked if they could join. One was from Australia, James, and the other was from Turkey, Yigo. They met on their own separate travel adventures in Slovakia. James was heading to Germany where Yigo lived so they stayed in touch and came to Oktoberfest together. They were great to hang out with and it was a relief they spoke English!
After a couple hours, a young man with 5 young girls showed up. He was either gay or a pimp, we couldn’t figure it out. But regardless, he had beautiful ladies who were the absolute sweetest! This made the Aussie and Turk’s day without a doubt!
At one point, the girls popped out this small clear bottle with white powder. We had seen it being sold in the tent and asked what it was. Instead of telling us, they showed us. White powder was gently poured on the back of their hands between the thumb and index finger then quickly snorted up their nose. What the heck?! Did these young girls just do coke right in front of us?! Nope…it was sugar!
This completely legal, sugar rush powder is called Wiesn koks (Oktoberfest cocaine). It is made of glucose and menthol. We tried it and although I did not feel any sort of sugar rush, I certainly felt the cooling sensation clearing out my sinuses! It was as if I had inhaled a whole container of Vicks Vapor Rub! Other than chugging lots of beer, this was quite the trend at Oktoberfest!
We stayed put the remainder of the day so as not to lose our precious seats. We, along with all the men in their lederhosen and all the women in their dirndls, spent most of the day jumping up on the table benches, swaying back and forth, clanking our 3 liter beer glasses and cheering “prost!” along with other German cheers. Everyone was so happy, lively, energetic and…drunk. A great first day at Oktoberfest!
That night, Elizabeth, JC’s friend from his fellowship in Peru (2014), finally arrived! She had just moved to Berlin and we convinced her to join us in the Oktoberfest activities. After her long day of travel and our full day of beer, we went to bed early so we’d be refreshed for the next day.
Our 2nd day was spent in the Marstall tent, which had very colorful carousel theme. This tent was almost the opposite of Schottenhamel. You couldn’t stand on the benches, the crowd was a lot more tame and the music was softer. We were lucky again to get into a tent without reservations so we stayed put.
After a couple hours, the tent livened up a bit and it was finally a party. We were making friends with nearby neighbors and sure enough, an older lady giddily popped out the German crack and shared it with everyone. We ended up staying much longer than anticipated! A great second day!
Our last day in Munich was spent exploring the city with Elizabeth. We walked around Old and New Town, visited Asams Church and enjoyed some coffee and tea at a very large eclectic/vintage style cafe.
For dinner we dined at Ulter Simpl where I had a typical German dish called Käsespätzle, basically a German version of Mac & Cheese. It is made with egg noodles and topped with fried onions. So delicious!
Munich was an absolute blast and we are so glad we had the opportunity to attend Oktoberfest! Lots of beer, bratwurst, loud cheering and singing!
Dates Visited: 9/30-10/3, 2016