October 1 2012 by Claudia Kunkel
By the calendar, fall has officially arrived. However, when you live in the southwest and temperatures are still hitting over 100 degrees, it makes it a little more difficult to accept that fact. Nonetheless, fall is here and my thoughts start turning towards holiday travel and fall festivals. One of my personal favorites is Oktoberfest whether I celebrate here in my own neighborhood or travel to Munich for the mother of all beer festivals. This year should be a particularly good year for those people who enjoy a refreshing frosty mug or two due to the increase in popularity of brew pubs and craft beers.
So, here are a few hints for any of you that might be thinking about going to Munich for Oktoberfest, which runs from September 22 - October 7, 2012.
First, book your accommodations and do it as soon as you've decided to go. There are a large number of hotels, hostels, B&B's within walking distance of the festival and many more that are accessible from the mass transit system. Of course, the closer in you stay, the higher the cost of the room, especially during this time of year. With the wonderful transit system Munich has, lodging choices become much easier and more affordable the further away from the festival you get. My choice for staying near the festival would be the BEST WESTERN Hotel Cristal. You can book your room by going to: http://cristal-hotel.de/
You've got your room; now get your name on a reservation list for the beer tent you are interested in by contacting the individual beer tent. Having your name on their list isn't a guarantee you will get in, but it will help. If you're lucky enough to be there for opening day, the tent you want to be in is the Schottenhammel Tent. The Schottenhammel Tent is the oldest, largest (seating 10,000) and presumably the best place to party for celebrities and the younger, "cool" crowd.
One of the more popular tents at Oktoberfest is the Hofbrau Beer Tent which draws many international visitors due to their famous Oompah bands and traditionally dressed guests and staff. You can enjoy a stein full of beer, join in the sing-along and dance a Polka - all at the same time!
There are many options to choose from when selecting the tent you want to experience Oktoberfest. Some are good for celebrity sightings; there are family friendly tents where children are welcome and traditional music is played; tents for the college crowd and tents for the slightly "older" crowd. Or, you may decide to try a tent a day - just make your reservations or take your chances.