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Oktoberfest & Volksfest – First Impressions & Lessons Learned

Marienplatz, Munich, Germany

What a Crazy Adventure this last week has been! This was my first time at Oktoberfest in Munich and Volksfest in Stuttgart, Germany. To say that I learned a lot from this trip and pushed myself beyond my comfort zone would probably be the understatement of the century… okay maybe not the century but it was a lot of uncomfortable stretching for me so I decided to write up a few of my first impressions and lessons I learned while there.

Big crowds are a struggle for me, they give me so much anxiety and sometimes trigger my PTSD or I can have panic attacks but I have been working on overcoming a lot of my struggles this year so I wanted to accept this challenge and see how I managed. I am not much for day drinking but, you know this is a Bucketlist item for many people including myself so I wanted to jump in and accept all it had to offer. I discovered many things about myself and many things about the festival that if I were to do it over again, I may do differently or perhaps in the future I may try for.

Nothing Really Prepared Me For It

Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

There are no amount of blogs, websites, guides or tips that you can read that will accurately prepare you for the chaos that is Oktoberfest! I read and read and read and searched and looked for information and honestly, nothing mentally prepared me for how overwhelming this festival is and for good reason. In the three weeks it runs in Munich there are millions of people coming and going, drinking, eating and all having a good time dressed in their trachten (traditional outfits). 

Tent Situations in Munich & Stuttgart

Volksfest, Stuttgart, Germany

If you go with a group I highly recommend making reservations at a tent but the struggle comes in when there are only a couple of people to find somewhere to sit down. Now if there are one or two people, you might be able to squeeze in somewhere if someone is nice enough to let you. If you go super early in the day/morning you could also potentially snag a few seats at a table somewhere but inevitably that table will be reserved at some point later in the day so be prepared to move around a bit, walk, or relocate. I do recommend booking a tent seat at least once and experiencing the singing, dancing and overall party that ensues! 

We booked a tent in Stuttgart for one night and we had no clue that we happened to book the party tent that is 16 years and older while all the other tents are 18 years and over. It was pure chaos and we felt pretty old but it was good fun for a couple of hours until some drunk kid tried to fight me in the bathroom and I decided it was time to get the hell outta Toys-R-Us. I’m too old for this shit ya’ll!

Carnival Size & Walking Around

The whole festival was much bigger than I expected for both Oktoberfest and Volksfest. There are carnival rides, fun houses, food stands & stalls, beer gardens and shops. If you decide to go hard and drink the whole time then you could get burned out pretty quick but I enjoyed just walking around the festival, which was free to enter, trying different foods, people watching, going on a couple of rides and of course taking tons of photos!

The Party Doesn’t Stop

Now, Of course, you make your own rules during the festival because there doesn’t seem to be any, but you can decide if you want to start drinking early and continue through the night/next few days or you can choose to not drink at all. You can eat all the food or none of the food. You can go just during the day or just during the night but one thing that seemed to be true regardless of how you choose to celebrate it, THE PARTY DOESN’T STOP! I was heading to the airport at 5 am on Sunday, the last day of the festival and people were still out, going hard and several people were showing up to the airport in their trachten (Traditional outfits).

The Food Might Be The Best Part

It’s no secret that I love food and food is one of the biggest parts of the whole travel experience for me so festivals are always a highlight for trying new things or revisiting some of my favorites dishes. I love good beer, a good sing-song, and dancing but the couple days I spent walking around Oktoberfest & Volksfest eating and trying all of the food was the absolute best part of the festivals for me! There are so many different stalls with multiple types of wurst, fries, pretzels, chocolate covered fruit kebabs, crepes, and many other traditional dishes.

Stuttgart Vs. Munich

I spent more time in Stuttgart at Volksfest than I did in Munich but only barely and I would say that since Volksfest is quite a bit smaller despite it’s seemingly much younger crowd it was a much more enjoyable version for me (I know I sound like a grumpy old lady… that’s because I am! lol) Overall Stuttgart had several more beer gardens including one really large beer garden centered in the middle with a plethora of food stalls surrounding it and live music. It was a much calmer crowd but everyone was still having a great time singing and dancing. Volksfest was my preference for this year’s initial Beer Festival experience but who knows what it will be like if/when I decide to return! 

So while all this sounds pretty crazy and overwhelming… well, it kinda was there were some fantastic parts to it as well! I got to meet up with some old friends I haven’t seen in months, some in years and make some new friends. I set some pretty intense goals before myself to overcome the crowd challenges and social anxiety and I would say I managed fairly well, considering everything. I ate my weight in food and drank an embarrassing amount of beer, walked over 120,000 steps and took hundreds of photos.

Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Did you attend Oktoberfest or Volksfest this year or will you be attending next year?

Prost!


Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

2 Comments

  1. Barbara on October 11, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I have always wanted to go to Oktoberfest, but I think I would struggle with the crowds as well. Good for you for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

    • CocoBetty on October 27, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Yeah, the crowds are a lot to handle thats why I preferred going during the day as opposed to the night and Stuttgart versus Munich.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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