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Friday, December 31, 2010

Oktoberfest Hotel and Day Trips

As BarleyMan said, our hotel of choice is the Hotel Alfa.  It is convenient to the train station, The Wiesn, and other local establishments, and the staff is extremely friendly.  Best way to contact them is via email, and we usually reserve sometime in January

BarleyMan mentioned some great day trips for first-timers. Another favorite of ours that BarleyMan did not mention is Kloster Andechs; a wonderful old monestary with great views, great food, and some good bier as well.

 If you are planning four days in Munchen, I would suggest only two day trips though. Depending on your arrival date/time, Friday is usually a "get situated" day, which usually ends up with us at the Hofbrauhaus for most of the afternoon and evening.  You probably would want to spend one of the days just wandering around Munchen and seeing some of the local sites; Marienplatz, Glockenspiel, and some of the local bier gardens like Augustiner Keller  and Viktualienmarkt.  Of course there is also Englischer Garden with its 3 huge bier gardens.  You just need to have a general plan and be prepared to do something different at the last minute.

Tickets for the tents ARE NOT REQUIRED.  While there are reserved seats that can be purchased, these reservations technically go on sale in January, and they are almost exclusively bought up by corporations, locals and travel groups.  In the past we have been able to get reserved seats once or twice through other contacts, but it is not something you can count on.  The fun part of Oktoberfest, especially for first timers like you, would be to just go to a tent, and wander around until you can squeeze into a table.  These are the tables with the most party oriented people, and gives you the opportunity to meet people from around the world with the same common interests as you;  good bier and fun!  There are 14 tents, some seating 10k - 12k people, so you can only imagine the fun one can have.

Two good resoureces for you:
  • Semi-offical Oktoberfest site. Lots of good information, trivia and history.
  • Beer Drinkers Guide to Munich.  While not especially about Oktoberfest, this book guides you through many of the city's great bier establishments.  We have used this "bible" since our first trip in 1993, and I suggest this be your very next purchase. Myself, BarleyMan and Einfahrt are promently pictured as Field Researchers here --->  Linky

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Beginner's Guide to Oktoberfest - Part I

Well der Kubaner, there are two big decisions you must make rather quickly; 1) when are you going and 2) how long will you go for.

In 2011, Oktoberfest runs from 17 September through 3 Oktober.  We have been on every weekend, but seem to have settled on the 2nd weekend.  This means the weekend of 23 September.  The first weekend is interesting if you want to watch the big parade that kicks off the festivities.  That weekend tends to draw alot more people at the Weisn (short for Thereisienwiese, which is the name of the area where Oktoberfest is held).  Of course you don't need to go on a weekend, it just works out best for us that way due to vacation schedules. 

We tend to arrive early Friday and leave on Tuesday, about 4 full days.  This has always been our modus operandi, and seems to work well for us.  We take trips during the day and drink in the evening.  Not to say we don't drink during the day as well.

Anyway, these two decisions are important because you then need to worry about plane tickets and hotels.  We usually have our tickets booked by the end of January/beginning of February.  We try to use frequent flyer miles, but might need to actually pay this year.  This then leads to a hotel.  As you can imagine, rooms fill up quickly, so like flight reservations, we tend to get our hotel set up at the same time.  We have been staying at a small hotel right by the train station everytime we have gone, and can provide info if you desire.

Welcome to the Blog, and keep the conversation going.  Remember, no question is a bad question.  We had to learn this the hard way, with lots of alcohol in our system.

I will let the others introduce themselves, but I am Chugger, in Dayton, OH, and have been on every trip this group has made since 1993 !  Only two of us can say that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcome Our New Members...

The following are the first Oktoberfest enthusiasts to be allowed to participate in this blog without being part of the actual "Oktoberfest Contingent":
  • Aram Guluzian
  • Dario Diaz
These future Oktoberfestians found our blog, and BarleyMan's web site, and still thought it was important enough to contact us.  They believe we are the experts (smart guys), and wanted to join the blog to ask questions and get our insight.  Please welcome them and answer their questions as appropriate.  I do not know their plans for Oktoberfest 2011, but maybe we can guide them in the right direction.

Welcome to Aram and Dario from Chugger !

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Please welcome....

... the newest member of our blog, and our official newbie for 2011, my neighbor Bob.  Bob will be joining us on this sojourn, and he promises not to meet the fate of all other newbies, the dreaded "keep up with the professionals" curse.  Only time will tell.

Say hello to Bob, treat him like family, and more importantly, suggest a screen name.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Why we go to Oktoberfest - Part II

We go for Blackmail pictures...

Why we go to Oktoberfest

To get people to experience things they never would have without our help!

We are Good Samaritans... ;-)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Possible DAY --> AMS --> MUC --> DAY Itinerary

Tue 20 Sep 2011

Depart 3:25pm     Dayton
Arrive  7:55am     Amsterdam  (Wed 21 Sept)

Fri 23 Sep 2011
Depart 7:04am     Amsterdam Centraal
Arrive  2:33pm     München Hbf

Tue 27 Sep 2011
Depart 9:50am     München
Arrive  5:56pm     Dayton

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Reiterate...

Never too early to start our planning. I tried this before, but maybe this time the conversation will move along further.

By late January or early February we usually have our plans pretty well set.  This allows us to get hotel and plane reservations.  So, with that said, let's start the discussion again, leading to some conclusions on what the 2011 sojourn looks like.

We've agreed on the weekend (2nd weekend, 24 Sept - 27 Sept), but the next decision is a pre-trip.  It's not a requirement, but always nice.  If there is a pre-trip, I recommend one of the following:

  1. Amsterdam (can't go wrong here)
  2. Paris (always a good choice even without spousal units)
  3. Venice (previously discounted by Barleyman)
There are other options of course, including many we have not visited, but we need to consider ease of getting there, as well as ease of getting to Munchen.   The three options above have easy ingress via plane and egress via train. 

A pre-trip is not a requirement.  In fact, if we do not do one, I will probably head to Munchen a day earlier than normal (fly on Wednesday).  No real reason, maybe just yearning for some quality time with my fellow Bavarians.