After spending our first night in Munich at the Hampton Inn on the outskirts of the city, we ventured into the city to drop off our luggage and try to check in to the hotel we would be staying at for the rest of our time in Munich. We arrived at Hotel Bayers.
When we initially booked our trip, we were excited to have scored cheap flights to Munich during Oktoberfest (thanks to Scott's Cheap Flights). What we didn't realize until after booking was that hotels were incredible expensive during this time. We knew we wanted a hotel and not an AirBnB because you know more of what you are getting. While we didn't have a horrible AirBnB experience in Rome, it wasn't what we were anticipating. Hotels in Munich cost upward to $400 per night for a basic hotel near the festival. I was able to score a good deal on Hotel Bayers by pre-paying.
Hotel Bayers was right in the central part of Munich. It was right across the street from the Marienplatz (or city center). We arrived at Hotel Bayers and chuckled because it was sandwiched (no pun intended) between a Pizza Hut and a KFC. Were we really in Munich or just back in America?
We dropped off our luggage and they unfortunately (or maybe it was a fortunately) didn't have a room available. We had about four hours to kill and were both well-rested so we decided to walk over to Oktoberfest. Our hotel was about a 10 minute walk to the fairgrounds. It was a chilly and rainy Monday.
We arrived at the festival and took it all in. Since it was cold out (and we knew if we wanted to get into the beer tents, it was better to go earlier), we ventured into the Haufbrau tent. I had done some research ahead of time and knew the Haufbrau tent was pretty American-friendly and would probably be a good start. We ventured in. Took in the scenes, sites, and smells. It's a little deceiving when you walk in to figure out what tables are reserved and not. We found our way to the center of the tent where there were standing tables (like bar tops) and parked there. We ordered our first (of many) beers.
I was amazed at how lively the crowd was for it only being 11 am on a Monday. The band was playing, people were singing, and some were already pretty hammered. We heard English coming from the table behind us and decided to see if we couldn't make friends, knowing that perhaps taking in Oktoberfest may be better with more people. We met an awesome couple from Minnesota, Becky and Paul. (We liked to call them Marshall and Lily because Paul definitely reminded us of Marshall from How I Met Your Mother).
After having a few beers and pretzels at Haufbrau, we decided to venture out with our new friends. (By the way, two beers and I was pretty buzzed). The tents are massive and deciding which one to go to next was like deciding which present to open first on Christmas. We ventured into the "cloud" tent. It called the "Hacker" something or the other (that I can't remember). This tent was super cool inside. We downed a few more steins of beer and by this point the day was getting fuzzy. We laughed because we said we were only going to stop into Oktoberfest and by this point we had been there for well over four hours.
We stopped into one other tent were the four of us shared a table with a family (a Dad, Mom, and their two daughters who just graduate college). They offered us their "chicken" coupons. When you reserve tables at Oktoberfest you have to guarantee a certain amount of food and drinks per table. Obviously the family didn't want their chicken, so we took them up on the offer. The chicken was AMAZING. I was well passed done for the day too, so it tasted even better. By this point it was time to venture home as the tents were trying to usher people out to get ready for those who had nighttime reservations.
We Ubered back to the hotel (and I left my phone in the Uber). My husband retrieved the phone (after a big to do and tipping the driver 50 euros) and brought back Pizza Hut for me. I crashed. Needless to say, it was an interesting first day in Munich.
Our second day we decided to skip Oktoberfest (at least during the day) and venture to the BMW Museum, which we heard was a must do. The Museum was intriguing, very clean, and very modern. I'm not a huge car person, but even I enjoyed learning about the history of BMW's and the future for automobiles. I tried to get my husband to buy me a Beemer at the showroom next door, but he politely declined. After the museum, we headed back to the hotel to relax for a while. We decided that we hadn't had our Oktoberfest fix yet and wanted to explore it at night (and with a clear head), so we ventured back to the festival.
We actually checked out the fair part of this time. We grabbed a Moscow Mule at one of the cocktail stands and enjoyed the lights and sounds. It was super cold that night, but luckily, I had dressed as warm as I could. We opted to not ride any rides (while it looked fun, after a drink or two it could be a little too much). We ventured off to find some "fair food" and to explore the tents at night. We walked into one tent and it was completely packed. We found a seat at a beer garden right outside one of the tents. Luckily, it was heated! We, again in search of friends, started chatting with a Scottish Dad and his daughter. We had a few beers at the beer garden (and a 40 minute wait in line to use the restroom) and decided to explore again.
After drinking all the beer the day before, I desperately wanted a glass of red wine. We found a wine bar in the fairgrounds. We both ordered a glass of red wine, but it was atrocious. I guess that's what you get for ordering wine at a beer festival! I had heard about the famous Statue of Bavaria, and was eager to see it, so we headed that way, before calling it a night. We grabbed some "street meat" at the Mr. Schwarma outside of our hotel and packed it in for the night.
Wednesday was our last full day in Munich. We ventured out of the hotel and across the street to check out the Marienplatz. Unfortunately, Wednesday was a holiday for Munich so not much was open. The Marienplatz was surprisingly open and clean compared to other parts of Munich. After walking around and checking it out, we decided to grab an Uber to Dachau Concentration Camp.
Dachau is about a 20 minute drive from Munich. We heard that it was something you had to see and I'm glad we did. We arrived at Dachau (amazed at how normal everything around it was. There was a Home Depot and a Burger King less than a mile away). We stopped into the visitors center then went about exploring the grounds. The first part we explored were some of the cells. I believe it was considered the "medical cell" area. It is truly a haunting experience to say the least. What really shook me was how there were three very small cells that were considered "standing" cells. They were so small that prisoners were unable to sit at any point. I read that prisoners were kept in these cells for upwards of 72 hours.
Dachau is huge. Admittedly, the Holocaust is not as talked about in my generation, so I didn't know or understand a lot of the conditions that victims had to endure. It was truly eye-opening. We strolled the grounds and ended up at the crematorium and the grounds where victims were executed. This was extremely haunting to say the least. My stomach churned and it was a hard site to see. I'm glad we did because I feel like I know understand more of what victims went through and why it's important to see this and learn about it, so history does not repeat itself.
After strolling through the grounds and taking it all in, we headed back into the city. We grabbed a bite and beer at a beer hall in the Marienplatz. The beer halls are pretty identical to the tents (albeit a bit calmer, and a permanent fixture that are open year round). We ended up at the Hacker something beer hall. Again, our search for friends yielded us a fun group of guys (and one gal) from Sacramento. I ate some truly authentic (and carb heavy) German food at the beer hall and we decided to venture out with our friends from Sacramento. We ended up in a beer garden near the Marienplatz. This was the beer garden I had seen on many documentaries about Munich. I decided to give a Radler a shot (half beer, half sprite). I sadly, wasn't a huge fan, since it was way too sweet. We hung with our Sacramento friends a while longer, before calling it a night, knowing we had to pack up tomorrow and head to London.
Haley Parler Moore
Charleston resident. Digital Marketer. Crazy Crossfitter. Bulldog Mom. Gamecock fan. Constantly clad in Lululemon.