Things to do in Munich during Oktoberfest

Leather Lederhosen and a full traditional Dirndl may not be the usual attire – but in Munich during Oktoberfest, you will see them everywhere! While the famous beer festival is now celebrated everywhere, you can be sure that it is best at home in Munich, and this event is something that everyone should experience at least once.

The popular tents and grand parade are not all you can do in Munich during your trip, though. Oktoberfest is held between 1 September and 3 October, meaning there’s plenty of time for other activities in between the beer. Follow up busy days in the tents by getting to know Bavarian culture, whether that’s through food, Munich’s huge park, or a relaxing day at the baths.

Try a Bavarian cooking class

Munich during Oktoberfest: Bavarian cooking classes
Cook up traditional delights in a Bavarian cooking class.

Whilst spending time in Munich during Oktoberfest, you may find yourself partial to delicious doughy dumplings and meaty wurst that are perfect for soaking up beer. You don’t have to leave these tasty treats in Munich when your trip is over – grab an apron and learn how to recreate them at home in a Bavarian cooking class.

The Bavarian Basics course by Miomente is designed to make chefs out of English speaking visitors and is perfect for groups. As well as learning to cook traditional dishes with fresh and seasonal ingredients, you’ll get to enjoy an aperitif and two glasses of wine or beer each. Alternatively, Kochhaus hosts a variety of cooking classes which include a Hearty Tyrolean Cuisine menu with lots of bacon, cheese and booze – the dream trio!

Englischer Garten

Munich during Oktoberfest: Parks
Take some time out in one of Munich’s parks.

Looking for a calmer way to spend the day in Munich during Oktoberfest after one too many mass’ of beer in the tents? Head to Munich’s huge Englischer Garten, which is even bigger than New York’s Central Park. Get some fresh air by strolling towards Monopteros, a small Greek temple with fantastic views of Munich’s skyline, and if you need some serious Zen, find the Japanese Teahouse nestled in a corner of the park. The Japanese grandmaster of the Urasenke Tea School in Kyoto donated the teahouse as a gesture of friendship, with an aim to introduce the Japanese tea ceremony to Munich. Relax and learn from the best while sipping on Matcha tea in a calming, meditative space.

Those after a more serious wake-up call will love the park’s Eisbach river as a more vigorous alternative. While Munich might not seem the location for surfing, that’s just what the locals have been doing on the river since 2010. Either pick a spot and watch the experts with a warm pretzel in hand or get involved yourself – but it’s mainly recommended for experienced surfers!

Müllersches Volksbad bathing temple

Munich during Oktoberfest: Sauna
Unwind in a sauna – just like the locals do!

Saunas are a major part of German culture – so do as the locals do and wind down after a busy Oktoberfest at Müller’sches Volksbad. The baths are one of the most beautiful in Europe thanks to its stunning Art Nouveau design with Baroque touches. Its large pools are perfect for lengths and the sauna facilities include Roman steam baths and a hot tub.

Those in need of further TLC should try the Finnish sauna, where an Aufgussmeister pours water on hot rocks and beats the warmth your way with a towel to the background of a soothing light show. After some intense relaxing, refuel at the café, which offers coffee, mocktails, and plenty of food.

Excited to visit Munich during Oktoberfest? The German border is less than a two hours’ drive from our Rotterdam port.