During the months of September and October, Munich becomes alive with tourists and locals who join together in the frothy mess that is Oktoberfes. With a visitor count of around six million people per year, this is the world’s largest fair. Or, to put it another way: this is the world’s largest knees up!
Held in a huge field, the Theresienwiese, in the outskirts of Munich, Oktoberfest was originally held for 16 days at a stretch, ritually ending on the first Sunday of October. However, the days of celebration were later stretched to 17 in order to ensure that the festival went on till October 3rd, which is also the much celebrated German Unity Day.
These days, the fest is held for seventeen or eighteen days, depending on which date the first Sunday in October falls.
The beer tents form the central aspect of the Oktoberfest. Brewers from around the world set up their tents in the Theresienwiese, offering a heady mix of music, food, and – of course – more beer than you could imagine in a month of sundays.
The only problem is often the huge crowd in these tents, so the backpacker who wants to get the best of Oktoberfest should get into these tents by 10 a.m. Being an early bird is worth it because you wont be served beer unless you get a seat, and if you are late, all the good seats will be taken!
While Oktoberfest is commonly known for its beer, it’s the food that many talk about after the event. Duringthe fest, Munich becomes home to people from diverse civilizations and cultures, and it has food to excite each and every individual palate. From Steckerlfisch, which is grilled fish on a stick, to tasty cheese noodles called Kasespatzle, there is a variety of food available in this fair that almost goes beyond belief.
The huge number of budget travelers and backpackers who arrive at Munich for the Oktoberfest need a good place to rest their head following hedonistic days of drinking at the festival. Luckily, there are many hostels in Munich that provide accommodation during the days of the fest. Even more luckily, some of these are to be found a within a stone’s throw of the Oktoberfest site, which makes stumbling home from a day of drinking that bit easier.
A great example of such a hostel in Munich is the Wombats City Hostel. This hostel is a short walk away from the grounds where the Oktoberfest is held and is known worldwide for the great facilities it offers. Be it ambience, comfort or cost effectiveness, the Wombats offers you the best of everything.
Another good hostel in this city is the 4 You Munchen Youth Hostel. Located near Munich station – and thus conveniently situated in terms of transport – this is a decent hostel for backpackers and budget travelers. The central location and good facilities on offer (including an excellent bar that runs regular Happy Hour knees ups) mean that the backpacker will find it a memorable place to lodge in.
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for HostelBookers.com Jonny Cooper did a backpacking tour of Germany and he checked out a variety of Hostels in Munich.