A day of exploring Munich and a night at Oktoberfest.
[ 2010 ]
We had an afternoon to spend check out the city of Munich. We decided to catch the U-Bahn to Marienplatz, then take a walk around. station and take a walk around, you'll find much to see.
Marienplats was a good choice as it is the central area and had a lot of well known buildings. We exited the U-Bahn around the Square, roamed and came across buildings like the Frauenkirche and a bunch of interesting shops.
Keep in mind that there is not much English anywhere, so that may slow you down. The biggest issue that we had was figuring out the U-Bahn subway system because there was no ticket gate, meaning you can actually ride the subway for free. The thing is you legally can't, and they run on a sort of honor system. If you are randomly checked, there are steep fines. The same goes for other cities like Berlin. Buy a ticket, put it in your pocket and ride.
In the evening, we headed to Oktoberfest. We were incredibly fortunate that it happened to be the 200th anniversary of the festival, meaning it was a pretty big deal. Oktoberfest lives up to the hype; it's a full on carnival slash circus-type of affair, full of huge tents packed to the brim with people drinking beer, singing and having fun with everyone around them.
Peeping into the different tents is worth a look, but if you can can get a seat at one, you might be better off just staying put. Our third tent was the Munich-native Hofbräuhaus, one of the largest there. It took us a while to get seated, and there was only room in the standing area. Beer women come by every now and then taking orders, but you might have to be a bit aggressive to get their attention as it's crowded and everyone is talking and having a good time with the band also playing on stage. They beer women come back with an armful, quite an impressive armful, of glasses for you. One of the best things about Oktoberfest though? So much beer and fun and did not even see one scuffle or fight.
If you can time a trip to Munich during Oktoberfest, I highly recommend it.