Sep 7, 2016

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Last-minute Oktoberfest for spontaneous types

Last-minute Oktoberfest for spontaneous types

What do you mean you haven’t already reserved your Oktoberfest tables? What? Not even booked flights? Ooookay… That makes things slightly complicated, but hey, there’s no need to give up just because all the seats on every airline have already been sold and the only hotels with rooms left are either a) ruinously expensive or b) ruinously expensive and also brothels with an average of three gangland killings a year.

So if you’re one of those brave souls who’s decided to head to Munich on the spur of the moment, then read our guide to how to have a last-minute Oktoberfest holiday.

Trade your wings for wheels
Forget trawling through the various booking engines in the hope that those last £30 Easyjet tickets are still around somewhere. Because they’re not.

Take to the rails instead. Even if (run by the German national rail provider) doesn’t have any saver fares from London left (so close to departure, they may well not), it might still work out cheaper to just turn up at St. Pancras and buy on the day. Alternatively, German coach operators such as MeinFernbus have recently started services to and from London, offering a cheap (if grindingly slow) alternative. This is still very much an insider tip – so don’t tell anyone we told you…

Last-minute Oktoberfest hotels: invariably pricey

Munich is adding hotel capacity like there’s no tomorrow, but it’s just not enough to bring prices down, especially around Oktoberfest time. Don’t expect anything near the Wiesn for less than €150 a night (unless you like things a little, er, rustic…) The year before last, we advocated avoiding these kind of prices by camping or getting container accommodation; then last year, we prized AirBnB’s vastly increased number of Munich hosts. This year, both of these opportunities have caught up price-wise, too, as demand reliably outstrips supply. Our only advice now is to check hotels, campsites, and Airbnb, but to be more flexible about where: the ends of the U3, 6, and 5 metro lines are still cheap and within direct reach of the Theresienweise.


Available at a moment’s notice!

Order dirndl and lederhosen online
As unbelievable as it may sound, even at this stage of the game – with only 10 days to go until the first keg is tapped – you’re better off ordering Bavarian clothing online. Why not, when you can get stuff delivered from Germany to the UK in two working days by ordering on the net, and that’s got to be better than running around Munich with every other tourist on the look-out for lederhosen (and end up looking identical to them!) when you could be spending that time in the tents drinking and merrymaking, right?

Hofbräu is so over!
There are two reasons to avoid this particular tent of increasingly ill-repute. Number one: it gets packed early one because everyone has heard of it or just heads there out of habit from previous visits (and by “everyone”, we mean: “everyone who’s not from Munich”). Number two: it has become so packed with tourists that it has completely lost its traditional touch. We’d recommend avoiding other big-names like Schottenhamel – site of the tapping – too and heading for the “second rank” such as Winzerer Fähndl or Bräurosl, both of which are excellent and, while quiet before midday, prone to fill up later on in the day

In fact, chose your tent right, and you’ll be sat there nice and relaxed with a beer – looking like you booked everything months ago…

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