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Bucket List Request for 3 Older Men to Experience Octoberfest in Germany

Bucket List Request for 3 Older Men to Experience Octoberfest in Germany

Apr 30th, 2013, 09:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Bucket List Request for 3 Older Men to Experience Octoberfest in Germany

I have been asked by family members to research a potential trip to experience Octoberbest in Germany - 3 adult males ranging in age from 40 to 70. They are not as concerned about flight itineraries as they are about the location and language challenges. None of them speak German, although all are fairly experienced travelers.

Any recommendations for specific areas? I know Octoberfest is a widespread celebration over a period of weeks. They have mentioned Stuttgart. MY challenges (and I am not even invited) are to find a triple lodging room with access to public transportation that they can manage without speaking German.

Is this reasonable or do they need to drain this idea from their bucket lists?

I appreciate any and all responses.
Loisde is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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We loved staying at the Hotel Uhland, in their family quad room. The hotel is a block or two from the Oktoberfest park. It gets booked up very far in advance for that event. It's a small B&B, offering breakfast everyday. Free bikes to borrow. Easy 10 minute walk to train station. Great location for neighborhood pubs and restaurants.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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During Oktoberfest, it is extremely hard to find accomodation at all, let alone close to the Wies'n. And it will get even harder to find a triple room. The usual would be a double room with an roll-in exra bed. For hotel search use www.hrs.de. ASAP.
traveller1959 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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It's not so much about language skills (99% of the 100Ks visitors of Oktoberfest from overseas speak no more than 5 words of German) but about costs.
You are really late in looking for "affordable" rooms in Munich. In general, you pay at least twice if not three times the usual rate (and what that hotel room is really worth).
You really, really have to have an urge to go to Oktoberfest to pay the rates the hotels ask for during that time,

Not sure why you mention Stuttgart.. do they plan to stay in Stuttgart and just go to Oktoberfest in Munich as a day trip? If so, that is pretty easy to manage and trains between Stuttgart and Munich are frequent - and can be cheap if booked in advance (max 3 months in advance) at bahn.com
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Westphalia, which is also very near the Oktoberfest grounds.

No worries about language. Many if not most Germans speak English.
Pegontheroad is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Now, I'm really going to show my ignorance. Is there only one Oktoberfest (correct spelling noted) in Munich? Are there other cities where organized celebrations are held? Maybe there is no Oktoberfest in Stuttgart, which is where my nephew said they wanted to stay.

Thank you for the swift replies. I'll continue to strangle information out of them.
Loisde is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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You will be in for a major sticker shock with the accommodations. It would be at least double the usual price EVEN IF you can find anything anywhere near the festival ground for this year.

Also I have a reservation when one talks about being "experienced travelers" especially when mentioned with "the location and language challenges." In my experience, ones who claim to be "experienced travelers" have indeed traveled, but only in cruises or a part of big bus tours or have traveled domestically without having to deal with the passport controls, luggage checks even at transit airports, currency issues, to name a few.

Even if you find an acceptable accommodation out of town, they would need to use public transit or a taxi to get into the ground area. Are they comfortable doing this? Are they assuming they can drive to everywhere?
greg is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Greg, I'm afraid that I have to agree with you. This may be too ambitious for them. One of the three has experience in European travel, but the other two have not traveled without being part of a tour or all-inclusive.

I don't ever want to discourage anyone from traveling, but just from the little I have learned, it sounds as if this would be overwhelming. Maybe they should not plan to go during Oktoberfest, but later. I suspect that will still be beer to drink afterward.
Loisde is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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The Stuttgart info may shape your search.

FWIW - We found ourselves in the "area" and I wanted to check out the Oktoberfest many years ago. The Munich hotels were booked and we found a very nice hotel in Augsburg (think it was a Best Western). It was a short walk to the train station and 15-20 min ride right into the grounds of the Oktoberfest (there is a station underground). Really easy and inexpensive. No problem with language barrier--lots of folks speak other languages but watch out for the bier! Good luck.
macanimals is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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Are you talking about going this year or next? it makes a big difference in where you want to stay or how much you will be willing to pay for accommodations...Let us know and we can provide more exact feedback.
Travelforbeer is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Loisde, the original Oktoberfest aka Wies'n (translates as meadow as this is where the first festival to celebrate the king's wedding took place) is located in Munich (München), end of September, first week of October.

In Stuttgart / Bad Cannstatt, there is a festival called Wasen. It 's in spring, April / May timeframe.
grrr is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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They are talking about going this year. I left a message for my nephew to contact me. I will ask him if there is a specific reason for Stuttgart or if he/they would be willing to take the train into Munich.
Loisde is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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There is only one legit "Oktoberfest", true. However, there is a concurrent enormous beer fest in Stuttgart:


Maybe the idea to stay in Stuttgart meant something. I have not been but it gets rave reviews. It is large; so, advanced reservations are still in order.

BTW, anyone who refers to a 40 year as an "older man" might be a little shy on experience themselves;^)

Please tell them to go. Not everyone in Germany speaks English but there is almost always someone around who can help if approached with good will.

Stuttgart has an excellent transportation system, so you can stay many places in the area. We have stayed at the City Hotel, which is near an Underground (Ubahn) stop at Charlottenplatz. Bad Canstatt is a 12 minute direct ride on U2. We have reservations again at the City Hotel for later this year from HRS.com mentioned above.



Sounds like fun, Gary (An older man)
Gary_Mc is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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The Canstatter Wasen coincides with Munich's Oktoberfest and is usually regarded as the latter's little sister.
Less crowded, more authentic, less this total zoo as the big thing in Munich. Though by size the Wasen is still a big fair. But good for "beginners" to test the water if that kinda amusement is for them.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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It is a little late to be planning for accommodations for this year but you could try.
I have a couple of other suggestions that perhaps they could consider.

Munich has two other beer festivals that are really great.
There is the "Starkfierfest" (strong beer) festival held each year in March. It is not out at the Oktoberfest grounds but held in the various beer halls. Lowenbrau does a great set-up with music, contests, singing, etc.
The other festival is Fruhlingsfest (spring festival) held in late April/early May. This festival is often referred to as "Little Oktoberfest". It is held on the Oktoberfest grounds and has the beer tents and carnival. Something I really like about this festival is that, unlike Oktoberfest, you can always find a seat in a beer tent.
There are a couple of websites where you can find out more information on these festivals.
www.muenchen.de (official Munich tourism site)

Perhaps a question to ask them is if they want specifically to go to Oktoberfest or do they want the beer tent/beer hall experience. If it is specifically Oktoberfest then they need to be ready to pay and face crowds.
The other festivals are less crowded and you can find accommodations at a much more reasonable price. Even without the festivals they may enjoy a trip to Munich, it is always fun.
Goldens is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 11:50 AM
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Gary, I appreciate your comments about "older men." (Smile) I only wanted to indicate that these are not young 20-something men who want to hit on women and get drunk and wasted - they are my nephew, my husband, and my brother - but thank you for defending your age and gender.
Loisde is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 12:00 PM
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OK,. if this is REALLY a "bucket list" thing then they do NOT want to stay in Stuttgart, or Augsburg, or Berlin, or anywhere else..they want to stay IN Munich is at all possible.

They do NOT need to stay near that epicenter of drinking..Munich has an excellent public transport system they can use and no they do not need to speak German.

I agree that they should be making reservations YESTERDAY but for someone to say there aren't any cheap rooms left...there never were going to BE any "cheap" rooms for that time of year. The people know what the dates are and they will charge accordingly no matter how far in advance you are booking.

Here's some other advice: the thing lasts for two weeks; the oom paa paa and the braids on the barmaids gets old pretty fast. Advise them to make the Oktoberfest just one of SEVERAL things they should be doing since they have

paid a lot of money to get there
you can get drunk just about anywhere, and a lot more cheaply
there's more to Bavaria than wurst and beer
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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OK, here's the deal. If they really want to visit the Oktoberfest in Munich this September, I found rooms for 3 people for 300 to 500 USD per night, in on 24 Sep and out on 29 Sep. Some of the hotels are really fancy (expensive). Marriott and Ibis appear to be on the lower cost side and are more than adequate hotels with elevators and AC(Marriott is more upscale and thus pricier then Ibis).Or they could stay in several smaller towns around Munich with lower cost hotels. I have stayed in Garmisch, Ingolstadt, and Augsburg and used the train to attend the 'Fest.

As discussed above by Goldens, if they just want the beer tent experience they can try the Fruhlingsfest (spring festival) held in late April/early May. I suspect hotel prices may be lower ...

And the other option discussed by Gary_Mc is the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart East. It starts one week later (27 Sep) than the Munich Oktoberfest and also runs for 2 weeks. It looks like hotel prices in the Stuttgart environs are about 1/2 to 2/3 of those in the Munich area during this time period. There is also a springfest in the same area.

No matter which option they choose, it will be something to talk about afterward. And I will save them a brew at the 'Fest...
Travelforbeer is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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The local towns in Bavaria have Oktoberfest variations leading up to the Oktoberfest in Munich. The Bavarian beer is the best, by far, in Germany.

http://www.munichsoktoberfest.com/ for details.

You won't be able to get a table at night, as these are all reserved by various companies. I became a Siemens employee for the night, as a group took me in.

I was able to stumble drunk to the local metro system and back to where I was staying, so I wouldn't worry too much about transportation. I managed to go 4 days in a row, which was enough for a lifetime.

Depending on where you're going to stay, you would take either the S-Bahn or U-Bahn.



THE Oktoberfest started in Munich way back when.


Try not to go on a weekend, particularly the last weekend of the festival. Think of a million+ drunks, with a lot of drunk American soldiers, packed so tightly you can barely move.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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I appreciate everyone's input on this. I have doublechecked and the preference is to go to Stuttgart not only for the festival, but also an ancestry inquiry.

I have made reservations for them at the Hotel Woetz zur Weinsteige for a 2 bedroom accommodation. I went through booking.com and have received my email confirmation. I can cancel at anytime, however, so if any of you familiar with Stuttgart tell me this is not the place to stay, I can change it. It received generally good reviews and appears to be close to public transportation.

Again, many, many thanks.
Loisde is offline  

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