“OktoberBest” in Munich


(Photos and story by mentor/inspirational author Lia Ocampo. A frequent traveler and sunset fanatic, Lia has visited almost all major tourist destinations in the world. Find out more from her blog site A Diary of World Travels.)

Germany is a country with a landscape of forests, rivers, mountains, and beaches. The Capital is Berlin, which is home to nightlife and art. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and beer halls. This story will only talk about Munich and my Oktoberfest experience.

There is nothing best than to experience the real Oktoberfest with your best friend. 
Marichu was my college best friend. She beat me with the “Ms. University of Batangas” crown. We have many wonderful memories and I love her. We don’t see and talk as much as we used to, but we are still great friends.  Her family traveled to Europe, so we decided to meet up in Germany.  We made it happen. 

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest held annually in Munich.  It is a 16- to 18-day festival running from mid-September to the first Sunday of October. Millions of people from around the world attend this event every year.  Even though I am not a big beer drinker, Oktoberfest has been on my bucket list. I finally checked it off in 2018! 

Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture since 1810. Other cities across the world have their own version of Oktoberfest celebrations. I haven’t been to any of them. But to attend this authentic one in Munich was so exciting.

We started drinking at the bar in our hotel. Then we transferred the venue to this famous beer hall-Hofbrauhaus. This beer hall is a must-see to experience Oktoberfest. The place was packed and it’s hard to find a table especially if you have a big group. People were dancing, singing while drinking, and having fun. We all did.

Hofbrauhaus is a beer hall in Munich originally that was built in 1589. All the rooms, except for the historic beer hall, were destroyed in World War II bombings. Its reopening marked the end of the post-war restoration work.

I was holding a bottle of beer while walking on the street! Quite an experience that I’ve never done before anywhere. Well, just go with the crowd. This doesn’t happen often. We have to experience something not in our norm, at least once in our lifetime. Don’t you think? So I did.

One of the best parts about this trip was they paid for everything. Don’t you love it when your trip is sponsored? My accommodation, food, and beer were all free. I was lucky to have a rich and generous best friend.

You don’t go to Oktoberfest if you won’t drink.  I am in the right place, at the right time. I couldn’t believe that I finished that huge – as in huge- beer mug! What surprised me was it didn’t taste like the usual beer I’ve had. The sweetness and freshness made me finished it, not so fast, but just the right phrasing to enjoy the flavor. The crowd, the fun, and the chaos would make you drink more. I wanted more but I didn’t want to get drunk. We had the right amount of beer and we had the overwhelming experience of this fun night.

After spending a few hours at Hofbrauhaus, we finally headed to the real festival.  They closed the event before midnight.

The music, the singing, the dancing, the costume, the festive hall, the huge beer mugs, the gigantic pretzels – all these make the Oktoberfest experience. We danced with them. We sang with them. We toast our beer mugs with them. It was an extraordinary very merry night!

We didn’t have the right outfit, but we had the same fun as the rest of the people around us. Next time, I will make sure to come prepared.

Munich is not only about Oktoberfest, but it is also home to the BMW Museum.  We went to the museum and fed our eyes with luxurious and classic cars around us. 

Beer is like water here. We didn’t end our drinking at the event. As you can see, I am still holding a beer.
You don’t leave Germany without having a taste of German franks. Eating it in Germany made it more appetizing and authentic. It was really good. I bought one at the train terminal while watching people around me in this busy terminal.

This Germany trip was special to me.  Not only because of the Oktoberfest but the fun and memories I’ve had with my best friend are priceless.