Celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich!

Wow, where to begin with Oktoberfest?


I only started at Cave Direct a couple of months ago, but being invited to celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich, was both a highlight so far and also a bucket list experience for me! I knew the traditions around Oktoberfest but personally had never celebrated it. I was always intrigued to be involved in such a fun event and knew that one day I would celebrate in Munich. So here I was in my new job getting to do just that. 

My day started off bright and early at Heathrow airport, (maybe a little too early for me, but that's all part of the fun!) I got a coffee and boarded the plane, not knowing what to expect but getting more and more excited as we approached Munich.

Once we got to Munich it was all go from there. We started off sitting down to lunch with Paulaner, needed after a very early start but I was not prepared for the amount of food we got! The starters were a meal in itself, a charcuterie board of meats, cheeses and pickles! For me, this was the perfect start to lunch and of course, we couldn’t go to Paulaner and not order a Helles. This was just the start of Oktoberfest as I lined my stomach for a day of tasting the best in German beer. 

The main was delicious! I had a spaetzle, which is essentially European egg noodles with a creamy mushroom sauce and cheese! It was exactly what I needed to fill my stomach and came with a delicious cabbage side salad. If this wasn’t filling enough, out came the desert which was "omgosh amazing!". A traditional Oktoberfest dessert, Kaiserschmarrn, which is shredded pancakes tossed in powdered sugar, served with a side of apple and plum sauce. It was absolutely delicious, but by this point my stomach was full to the brim and it was time to check into our hotel!

After having the smallest rest ever (a nap was definitely needed), it was time to get into the real reason we were here! I got changed into my Dirndl, which let’s just say, was nowhere near as beautiful as the Dirndls I saw walking around Oktoberfest. We made our way on the metro which quite clearly was full of people heading the same direction and finally made our way to where Oktoberfest takes place, the Theresienwiese. Before we had even got into the festival, we were surrounded by hundreds of people in Dirndls and Lederhosen who all looked beautiful and as you looked up into the sky, a plane was creating a pretzel shaped cloud. It was this moment I knew that Oktoberfest was going to be like nothing I had seen before.

My first impression whilst walking through the entrance to Oktoberfest was crazy! I never expected it to be as big as it is but wow it was huge! The only way I can describe it, was like a small city. There were rides at the entrance, food stalls selling all sorts including pretzels, bratwurst and pork knuckles, and tents galore! The tents at Oktoberfest were huge! I wouldn't even call them tents because they were full-on structures. I’m sure the whole of Germany had taken the day off work because I couldn’t get over the amount of people that were there!

We were in the Hacker-Pschorr tent and on entering, I was shocked to see there were so many tables full of people with steins and food. You couldn’t hear anything but the noise of people talking, maß clinking and the oompah band placed in the centre of the tent. We headed upstairs where our table was and as soon as we sat down, a waitress carrying around sixteen maßkrug appeared. I struggled to carry one, let alone sixteen! Of course, the beer was delicious, although throughout the whole day, I think I only managed to drink three whole ones. I definitely need some practice! Just as I thought I couldn’t eat more food, out comes our waitress with a plate full of cheese, meats and pickles again, as well as a basket full of pretzels. The saltiness from the pretzel paired so well with the Marzen.

After we had a couple of beers, I made my way downstairs where no one was sitting down. The live band was playing the most incredible music and everyone was up on their feet drinking, singing and laughing. It truly was magical and looking round, everyone was having the greatest time! I danced with some German girls as they helped me learn the traditional songs they sing and when you are supposed to shout "Prost!". It was an incredible evening and it went so quickly as I was enjoying every minute of it and didn’t even have a moment to take it all in.  As it got darker the view from the balcony of the tent was incredible, with lights and people everywhere. The sounds of people singing, laughing and screaming from the rides. It reminded me just how big Oktoberfest actually is and how many people must attend to celebrate such a big tradition. It was just so magical and I am so grateful I got to be a part of Oktoberfest and tick off something I have always wanted to do. 

After a fun-filled day of drinking Hacker Pschorr and eating my weight in pretzels, it was time to call it a night and prepare for a day of exploring. Not sure how I would be feeling when I woke up, the sensible thing to do was to drink some water and flop into bed.

The next morning, after feeling a little worse for wear, we decided to do a bit of exploring around Munich. I’m not sure how I managed another pint, but you know what they say, hair of the dog and all that, so of course I couldn’t say no. When else am I going to be able to drink a Paulaner in Munich whilst celebrating Oktoberfest?!

Munich was beautiful, there were markets selling flowers and antiques, the cobbled streets were idyllic, and the atmosphere was incredible with people sitting around in biergartens, drinking in the sun on a casual Wednesday afternoon.  After a very funfilled two days in Munich, it was time to say "Tschuss" and head back to Munich airport, where a very exhausted me would fall asleep on the plane after what felt like a week of celebrating in Oktoberfest!

I can only describe the trip as an eye-opening experience I never expected. Oktoberfest was huge! It was definitely a bucket list moment for me celebrating such a big event in the most beautiful city and getting to understand and learn more about the traditions surrounding Oktoberfest.

Hopefully next time I’ll be able to manage more than three steins!