When we got our apartment in Munich, one of the features we were most excited about was its proximity to the Theresienwiese. (We were literally a 5 minute walk to the Bavaria statue.) The Theresienwiese is the big showgrounds (historically it was a meadow) where Oktoberfest happens every year… except, of course, it didn’t happen in 2020 or 2021 because of Covid. This was a major blow to the city, both in terms of the economy and civic pride.

People, there was no way I was leaving Munich without getting to experience Oktoberfest. After our small taste at Frühlingfest in April 2022, we were so excited for it to finally happen in September. Strap in – this is going to be a long post with a lot of photos and videos!

One thing that surprised me was how early they started setting up. In May I was riding my bike across the Wiese and saw the new Pschorr Bräurosl starting to take shape. We found out later that this was because it was a new, larger design than it had been previously, and they needed to set up early so it could go through security tests and approvals.

Pshorr Bräurosl

It also doesn’t look like much of a tent, does it? They’re more like barns than tents.

By the start of July, the rest of the tents were going up as well. The Pschorr Bräurosl now had a roof and the walls were going up. The Schützen Festzelt was also taking shape, as well as the famous Paulaner and Löwenbräu pillars.

A month later in August, things were still further along. I was surprised by the Nymphenburg Sekt tent; I hadn’t realised there were tents for drinks other than beer. (“Sekt” is sparkling wine.)

The last thing to go up were the fair rides in early September. By this point most of the Wiese had been fenced off as the final touches were put in place.

Oktoberfest Rides

And then I had to head off to Bangkok for a work trip… I landed back in Munich on the morning of Saturday, September 17 – the very first day of Oktoberfest. I caught the train home from the airport and was delighted to see loads of folks in Tracht on the train and in the stations. Many of them were carrying large boards, which I later found out were the trays serving staff use to carry food.

Oktoberfest servers

A few hours later I was at home when a large BOOM rattled the house. I realised it was the traditional 12 o’clock opening gun salute and ran to the window to get a video.

We didn’t plan on going to Oktoberfest on the first day, instead frantically cleaning the house ahead of the arrival of our guests the next. Around 5pm I heard drumming and watched as a drum corps marched past behind the house in the pouring rain. In full lederhosen, no less! That’s dedication.

The next afternoon we headed back to the airport to welcome my mom, step-dad, and brother. Eventually we managed to collect them and get them back onto the train home.

The Garbericks

The Garbericks were pretty jet-lagged, but we herded them out of the house and down to the nearby Wirtshaus am Bavariapark for dinner. That’s where Joe discovered a new affinity for Schnitzel. 😃

Dinner at the Wirtshaus

Me and my gorgeous Mom. ❤️

Me and Mom

We dedicated the next day to sightseeing. Our first stop was the Olympia-Schimmhalle so Joey (who swims competitively for Ball State) could get in his workout. Interestingly, they had up a sign that due to the war in Ukraine (and the need for Germany to conserve energy) the temperature in the pool would be cooler than normal. Joey didn’t mind.

Joey at the Schwimmhalle

We walked them all around the Olympiapark, including stopping by the 1972 Olympic Massacre Memorial. The 50th anniversary had recently been commemorated, so there were wreaths for each of the murdered athletes. It was very moving.

Olympic Massacre Memorial

We then went into the city to show them the highlights of the Altstadt. We finally went into the Frauenkirche, the symbol of Munich.

Of course I had to take Mom to a local quilting shop! She bought a fabric panel covered in scenes from Munich.

Mom at a local quilting shop

We walked all over, trying to take advantage of the sunshine to help them get over the jetlag. In the afternoon we stopped for a little rest in the Residenz Hofgarten.

Residenz Hofgarten

The next day was Tuesday, and it was finally time to head to Oktoberfest! Rodd and I got dressed up in our Tracht, and Mom braided my hair for me. It was cold and rainy so I wore boots and a cardigan with my dirndl.

Me and Rodd in our Tracht

We headed down early to the nearest entrance at the Bavaria statue. A kind person offered to take a group photo of the five of us! ❤️

Group photo

It was Joey’s 21st birthday, so we’d all chipped in the day before to gift him an outfit from Trachten Rausch. He got a belted lederhosen with a beautiful collarless shirt and knitted socks.

Rodd and Joey

Mom’s wearing my other dirndl. Don’t we look cute?

Me and Mom

Pretty quickly, Joe and Joey decided that they needed appropriately Bavarian hats. We stopped at a stall where a very nice guy helped sort them out.

Hat stall

The day was really cool and damp, and it was constantly threatening to rain. Little did we know it would be like this almost every day for the next two weeks.

Me and Rodd

We walked up and down the aisles checking out the tents. The Schottenhamel Festzelt is the one where – right as that gun salute had happened on Saturday – the first Oktoberfest keg was tapped by the lord mayor of Munich.

Schottenhamel Festzelt

Right after this it started to rain, so we decided to make the Armbrustschützenzelt (“Crossbowman’s tent”) our first stop of the day. It was very pretty with its green and white striped ceiling, and it wasn’t very full yet so we easily got a table. It apparently hosts the German crossbow championship (in a side tent) every year.


It had just gone noon, so it was definitely time to get on the beers. Here you can see Joe and Joey modeling their new hats.

Joe and Joey

The Garbericks were definitely feeling the Gemütlichkeit.

Mom and Joe

Never underestimate the ability of a 21-year-old to suck down beer. Joey finished his first liter in under 20 minutes!

Joey's first legal beer

We also introduced them to “Ein Prosit,” the short little drinking song you hear every 10-20 minutes at Oktoberfest. Here is me singing it very, very off-key. 😂

I was very proud to have remembered to bring my Deckel, a lid for a beer stein. It’s much more useful in the summertime to keep wasps and bees out of your beer in the biergarten. We got a pair of them engraved a few months earlier.

Me and my Deckel

We were finally at Oktoberfest! It was really happening!!

Me and Rodd

The rain stopped so we headed back out for more exploration. We saw the Paulaner bierwagen and stopped for photos. The wagon is just for show though; pretty much all the beer at Oktoberfest is served from modern kegs. (The only brewery that still does the wooden ones is Augustiner.)

Paulaner bierwagen

We were getting a bit peckish so stopped off at Cafe Kaiserschmarrn for cake. This tent is run by Rischart, a famous bakery chain in Munich. It looked like a giant gingerbread house!

Cafe Kaiserschmarrn

The nearby Münchner Knödelei (“Munich Dumping House”) had a very cute photo stand-in that Rodd and I couldn’t resist…

Me and Rodd

We were getting a bit tired and the Americans all needed a nap, so we headed back to the house to recharge. Along the way we spotted the Löwenbrau bierwagen as well.

Löwenbrau bierwagen

After a nap, we headed back in the evening to explore the Oide Wiesn. This is a fenced off area that is meant to be more like the historical Oktoberfest, and you have to pay a couple euros to get in. We went first to the Museum tent, where a traditional band was playing.

Oktoberfest Museumzelt

I really loved the exhibit of all the old Oktoberfest posters. Those ones from the 60s and 70s were so cool! The 2022 design is also available on a commemorative beer mug, which I bought later that evening.

Oktoberfest posters

We also checked out the Historische Kegelbahn (“Historic bowling alley”) with wooden balls and pulley-system for restoring the pins.

Historische Kegelbahn

Time for another beer tent! We went to the Festzelt Tradition, a 5000-seater in the Oide Wiesn that features traditional brass music and dancing. We got a table and ordered some food for Brotzeit. (You’ll notice that we changed into warmer clothes, because the weather was so chilly and damp.)

Festzelt Traditional

In the Oide Wiesn tents, the beers are served out of ceramic beer steins rather than glass, and I believe it all comes from barrels as well.

Me in the Festzelt

We were absolutely delighted when a group of folk dancers took over the central stage! This was the highlight of the day, seeing them do the Schuhplattler dancing, stomping and slapping their knees and thighs.

The men were later joined by women, who twirled twirled twirled in their beautiful dirndls.

We left the Oide Wiesn in the evening and headed back out to the midway, doing a final lap to buy souvenirs and check out the modern tents. The Löwenbräu tent looked to be pretty popular! My favourite part is the big animatronic lion over the entrance, who throws back a beer and periodically roars.


There are plenty of smaller tents too. We stopped to get some Käsespätzle at Feisingers Kas und Weinstubn (“Cheese and wine parlour”), which was  packed with happy Bavarians singing pop music.

Feisingers Kas und Weinstubn

Mom really liked her Käsespätzle!

Mom eating Käsespätzle

We couldn’t resist the opportunity to finally see inside the Pschorr Bräurosl, after seeing it being built over so many months.

Pschorr Bräurosl

It was PACKED! Definitely not getting a table in here. So many young people, standing room only, up on their seats dancing to rock music. We did a lap and then got the hell out.

Pschorr Bräurosl

And that was it for our first day at Oktoberfest! Time to go home and sleep it all off….

Me and Rodd and the Ferris Wheel

The next day was the last day of the Garbericks’ visit, and we decided to take them to Nürnberg as Joe’s father had been stationed there after WW2. We caught a train the next morning.

Train to Nürnberg

Rodd and I had visited Nürnberg back in May so we knew our way around. First stop was the castle

Me and Mom

Everybody was enjoying the sunshine for a change!

Me and Rodd

Here are the Garbericks taking in that fabulous view.

The Garbericks

We also showed them some of the highlights of this beautiful medieval city.

Fachwerk houses

River in Nuremberg

In the afternoon, we decided to check out the Germanisches Museum, which is Germany’s largest museum of cultural history. It was full of very cool artifacts. I particularly liked the really giant axe that had been turned into a painting, and the small wooden allegory of the 7 Deadly Sins (with Anger as a particularly pissed off lady with a knife).

That evening we met up with our dear friend Frank again for dinner, this time at one of Nuremberg’s oldest restaurants.

Dinner with Frank

The next day we said goodbye to the Garbericks, and less than 24 hours later, Kel and O’Malley turned up!

Kel and O'Malley

The next morning we introduced them to the wonders of Weisswurst Frühstück.


And then it was straight back to the Wies’n! Still cold and rainy though.


The Steckerlfisch man was in action.


We decided to make our first stop the Wildstuben. It’s like a two-story Alpine hut, and you’d never know it was constructed from shipping containers. We managed to get a large shared booth upstairs.

Me and Rodd

Unbeknowst to us, it was “Italian weekend” at Oktoberfest and the Wildstuben had a really large crowd of them. They began chanting and singing songs and dancing on the chairs.

Here’s me, Rodd, and O’Malley. As you can see, I wore my other dirndl on this day.

Me, Rodd, and O'Malley

We needed some food after that, so we ended up back at Cafe Kaiserschmarrn again. This time we headed inside properly and managed to snag a booth with a prime view of the live band. They were playing up on a raised tower with a sort of ramp that the singers would periodically come down.

Cafe Kaiserschmarrn

The place was pretty popular with families and kids. (Yes, I kept the crown.)

No beer in this tent, though they do serve cocktails. Instead we had coffees and pastries.

Me and Rodd

The singers kept telling us to hang around for the big 2pm surprise. Adorably, it turned out to be a giant wedding cake for Ludwig von Bayern and Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, whose 1810 wedding celebration was the first Oktoberfest. Apparently they do this every day of the Festival? (I’m unclear how much of that cake is actually cake.)

Wedding cake

We headed back out into the cold and rain…

Us with Ferris Wheel

Our next stop was Oide Wiesn. We checked out the Museum tent again, which had some bits of the old rides on display. (“Die Geisterbahn” is basically a Ghost Train.)

Museum Festzelt

It was time for more beers, so we headed for the Herzkasperl-Festzelt. Again, we managed to get seats at a table without too much difficulty. (The trick is just to find one of the waitstaff and ask them to help.)


They had a traditional band playing and various folk dancing troupes performing.


Lebkuchen (gingerbread) hearts are of course one of the most popular Oktoberfest souvenirs. There are stalls selling them all over the festival, ranging from tiny hearts to giant ones. They all come with ribbon so you can wear them around your neck. (I don’t think you’re really meant to eat them!) Mine says “Prinzessin” (Princess).

Me with Lebkuchen heart

Kel and O’Malley were definitely feeling the Gemütlichkeit!

Kel & O'Malley

They even had a go at bowling at the Historische Kegelbahn! Here you can see the mechanism of pulleys that pulls the pins back up and lifts the ball to the ramp.

Meanwhile Rodd and I decided to go on “Eine Fahrt ins Paradies” (A Trip to Paradise), one of the original old rides.

It went up and down and around and round…

Eine Fahrt ins Paradies

Our final beer stop with Kel and O’Malley was the Festzelt Tradition, which was a lot more full than it had been at the start of the week!

Festzelt Tradition

We managed to get into a shared table wayyyyy in the back corner.

Festzelt Tradition

To our immense delight, there was a WHIP-CRACKING demonstration to music! A bunch of guys stood up on some sort of stools and cracked the whip right over people’s heads!

They also had a band setting up at one end of the tent as well.

Band setting up

It was a fun way to end our Oktoberfest day with Kel and O’Malley! They had another day of playing tourist in Munich before heading out on the next leg of their European adventure.

Kel and O'Malley

A day later, our final visitor of Oktoberfest turned up… Scott!

Rodd and Scott

Once more into the Tracht, my friends! It was still rainy and cold.

Another rainy Oktoberfest day

We decided to have Weisswurst Frühstück at the Augustiner-Festhalle.



Later we headed back to Cafe Kaiserschmarrn for caffeine and sugar.

Cafe Kaiserschmarrn

I decided I had to have the Kaiserschmarrn – a chopped up fluffy pancake served with apple sauce. As we were leaving later I saw them cooking it in a giant cast iron pan!

There was one more tent in the Oide Wiesn that we had been saving especially for Scott’s visit – the Volkssängerzelt (“Folk singer tent”).


Various groups of folk singers performed on stage, and they were all excellent. At one point this older dude came down into the audience and was, like, making up rhyming verses based on people in the tent. It was wild. Here’s a clip of a very cute group…

At one point, I noticed that other people had little lyric books and were singing along. I asked the waitress for one, and the next thing you know we had a copy! The words were all in Bavarian, of course. (I still don’t quite get this one. “The way to my dirndl is… stony?” Any Bayerische want to clarify?)

Bavarian songbook

Here’s Rodd and Scott giving another one a go…

And that was pretty much it for me at Oktoberfest 2022! I had to take off the next day for a work event in Zürich, but the boys went out a few more times and visited a few more tents.

Overall the experience was amazing, and I’m so glad we did it. I can see where if you lived there, it would get annoying every year. But as a once-in-a-lifetime thing, it lived up to all our expectations. PROST! 🍻

Me at Oktoberfest