How to Enjoy Munich Oktoberfest ... without Beer

There is a general misconception that Oktoberfest can be lame or boring if you are a non-drinker (or even a non-beer drinker) but seriously nothing could be further from the truth. Oktoberfest is the world's largest Volkfest (Meaning People's Fair or festival) so it goes without saying that if it's for the people, then it can't just be about drinking, right? The famous German beer festival to end all beer festivals is gargantuan in size, over 40 hectares in fact, and only about half of it is covered in beer halls and beer tents so there is much to do besides drinking.

Munich Oktoberfest - Enjoying the many fun park rides

  1. It's a giant fun-fair and in 2017 there were over 200 different rides and sideshow attractions such as the Riesenrad (giant ferris wheel), the Krinoline (old fashioned merry go round) and a multitude of other thrill-seeking rides and activities such as shooting galleries, balloon pops, dodgem cars, chairoplane, stunt motorcycle riders and even a flea circus (yes, they still exist). So many different things to amuse yourself with you couldn't possibly get to them all.

  2. Along with beer, food is also an integral part of this events success. Enormous soft pretzels, succulent roasted chicken, sugared nuts and choc coated fruits, roasted pork, roasted beef, char grilled-fish, cheese pasta, corn on the cobb, pickle herring rolls, fairy floss/cotton candy, potato and bread dumplings and of course the most famous of them all, the Bratwurst in all its differing varieties. So many dishes and different foods to choose from. In 2017 there were more vegetarian options than ever before, and it's been noted that even vegan options are appearing everywhere now which has been a long time coming but is welcomed by that niche culinary crowd.

  3. The Old Wiesn - A new addition over the past few years has been the Old Wiesn, which is a much smaller replica of the Oktoberfest itself within its own fenced off area. The rides here are all vintage, the beers are all served in ceramic mugs. It's basically what the Oktoberfest used to be like back in the early days. There is some fantastic vintage machinery to look at as well as a very good Oktoberfest museum for the history buffs.

  4. Dress up - Come on, admit it, even at your age you like dressing-up don't you? Well the Oktoberfest is like a huge dress up party. For the gents it's the Lederhosen (leather britches in different forms) and for the ladies it's Dirndl's (dress, blouse and apron). You get to feel good about yourself in leather and party dresses and act like a kid again. These days around 60% of visitors.

  5. Munich itself - This is a magnificent city, and it would be totally remiss not to visit the sights of Munich itself. The famous Glockenspiel in the main city centre plaza of Marienplatz, the massive Deutches Museum, the sombre Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial or the Englischer Gardens to name just a few of the amazing sights of the city. The people are friendly and usually, during Oktoberfest, the weather is pleasant making Munich a fabulous city for walking and cycling. You can hire bikes almost anywhere and there are many FREE walking tours and self-guided walking tours available to you.

  6. The Atmosphere (Gemütlichkeit) - It's hard to be negative at Oktoberfest with the buzz of the crowd, the mix of nationalities and the smiles and laughter all about. Dancing and singing is common place in every beer tent even from people who never sing and dance. You will hear people comment that Oktoberfest is too touristy, and of course there are plenty of tourists, that is true, but 70% of people who attend are still German (and most of those are Bavarian) so it can still be a very cultural experience despite what many other "tourists" might believe.

  7. Wine, Schnapps and Radler - If you dislike beer you can still enjoy a drink. Many people order a Radler (known in some countries as a shandy) which is half beer and half lemonade. There is actually a specific tent where they serve wine - The Weinzelt - with over 15 different wines on the menu including bubbly and still options. There are many many places where you can enjoy traditional schnapps and various shots like vodka and sherbet for example and there are café tents with amazing cocktails on offer not to mention hot chocolate, tea, coffee and everything else imaginable.

So there you go, that's seven different reasons for you to visit Munich Oktoberfest even if you don't like beer (or alcohol).We hope you enjoyed our blog, thanks for reading.

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Posted: 02 November 2017 12:36:42 GMT by MarkThe Oktoberfest is the biggest party of its kind in Europe. It is truly awesome, truly massive and enormous fun - you need to experience it! Coach? Camp? Hotel? We are the Munich Beerfest specialists - the largest UK-based operator to the Oktoberfest - a one stop shop that covers the entire huge event! Oktoberfest 2019 begins on Saturday, 21st of September and runs through to Sunday, 6th of October. We have availability through to the end of the Oktoberfest. Choose from central hotels or accommodation at Munich's famous Thalkirchen camping ground, from just £40 per night! We also have coach/camping tours each weekend of the Oktoberfest. Find out more about Munich Oktoberfest.

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