Last month I went on what I can only describe as some sort of Bavarian Bonanza… 24 hours in Munich with BMW. Despite the time limitations, and the city being brim-full with Oktoberfesting revellers, I was surprised at just how much of Munich I managed to explore.
After arriving in Munich I swiftly checked into the Sofitel Bayerpost, a beyond large, heritage-listed Italian Renaissance building that once served as Munich’s central post office right in the centre of the city. After a bite to eat at the hotel, I was taken for a guided tour of the BMW Museum and BMW Welt. Founded in 1973, and expanded in 2008, these two attractions continue to be really popular amongst tourists.
It was really illuminating learning about the history and future of the German vehicle manufacturing brand, and I was severely dazzled by their 125 most valuable automobiles and motorcycles.
The museum is also peppered with brightly coloured MINI Coopers, which are only my favourite cars EVER, and this visit only but fuelled the flame… I need one… Or two… I digress… Basically, car aficionado or not, this is a really entertaining and interesting experience and a great way to spend an afternoon in Munich.
Hilariously, I then got to experience the other great way to spend an afternoon in Munich… Yup. Oktoberfest!
Donning my finest dirndl (shop similar HERE), which adorably said ‘to my dear’ on it, I made my way, like 6 MILLION other people did over the course of the 16-day festival, to one of the jam-packed Oktoberfest tents owned by Munich’s six breweries; Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu. Each tent sits around 1000-8500 people and are to be found amidst a massive village of Bavarian-style fun and games (think, Winter Wonderland just bigger and drunker…)
Overflowing frothy beer arrived at our table, and soon we were clinking our one litre sized mugs with our neighbours (everyone is joyfully over friendly), and singing along to the thigh-slapping oompah music where we could (‘Country Roads’ was a particular favourite!) An astounding 7.5 million litres of beer are consumed over the 16 days (that’s 3 Olympic sized pools.) I’m happy to say, I contributed to around a whooooole ¼ of those litres. LAD.
Food wise, this is not a gastro haven. I stuck to the GIANT German pretzels (delicious) and the bunches of radishes which were being quite randomly passed around. Being a vegetarian, I steered away from the popular Bavarian pork knuckles, white sausages, oxen dishes and grilled chicken, and the copious burger stands to be found outside the beer tents.
DO: Pay attention to how you tie your Dirndl… If the bow is tied on the right side, it will be perceived that you are a taken woman, but if tied to your left, it will suggest you are single and ready to miiiingle.
DO: Wear flat shoes, and not particularly special ones - they will likely be covered in beer. I ran into town to buy some cheapie Zara Velvet Loafers when I realised my heels would be both uncomfortable, and more than likely trashed.
DON’T: Put a foot wrong… Or in this case, on the table! If you do this you will be expected, in front of some 5000-8000 chanting spectators to neck your entire beer. Expect aforementioned 5000-8000 people to boo quite ruthlessly if you are incapable of such feat!
I left Oktoberfest after dark via Tuk Tuk where I whizzed around, enjoying a fast paced tour of the city, all in search of a cocktail… A LOT of fun, but I’m still more Pina Colada than Pint!
TLC ON TOUR... MUNICH SUITCASE:
(Click on the items below for their direct links)