Are you planning to attend Oktoberfest Germany 2018? Each fall Germany welcomes tourists and travelers from across the globe for the ultimate autumnal celebration. From the classic German Oktoberfest in Munich to the surrounding cities, there is something to see, do, eat, and drink in every corner of Germany at this time of year, and in this Drive to Discover guide we've highlighted a few of our favorite Oktoberfest locations where you can enjoy an epic celebration this fall. Each Oktoberfest location highlighted in this guide is the perfect place to spend a day - drive there in the morning, park your Germany rental car, and then explore 2018's Germany Oktoberfest celebration safely on foot, enjoying the classic German bratwurst and beer in the open-air celebration that is known around the world.
Read on to Drive to Discover the adventures that await you in Germany!
1. Hofbrauhaus Beer Hall Munich
Pick up your rental car at Munich airport when you arrive and make the quick 30-minute drive to Hofbrauhaus! Although this is considered the most popular (read touristy) beer hall/restaurant in Munich, anyone interested in experiencing traditional, beer culture in Munich needs to start their Oktoberfest 2018 journey here. Hofbraushaus is a 3-story beer hall featuring beer stein safes, one of a kind storage racks that act as secure lockers for the, in some cases, extremely valuable steins of the regular patrons. The restaurant's location at the center of town, within walking distance to many must-see sites of downtown Munich, make Hofbrauhaus a perfect introduction to the Germany beer culture.
Next stop: 14 minutes
2. Munich's Oktoberfest Germany 2017
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany began as a horse race in 1810, if you can believe it. The horse race was held to celebrate a royal German wedding, but it turned out that the horse race wasn't quite as interesting as the beer, which everyone enjoyed so much they decided that wedding or no they would reconvene the following year for another beer-laden celebration. Oktoberfest 2018 will be the world's biggest party this year - an annual love fest for brewing which draws over six million people a year.
The Munich fairgrounds are called Theresienwiese or d'Wiesn locally and is the central location, just south of the city's main train station. Leave your rental car at your hotel and take public transportation. This will allow you to take a walking tour, enjoying great beer, a fun atmosphere, and fantastic street food. 2018 Oktoberfest Germany in Munich gets underway on September 22nd, and runs through October 7th, and we recommend arriving in Munich on a weekday which will allow you to explore the fairgrounds on one of the more tame days. This way you can skip the long lines and amazing weekend crowds, while still enjoying the atmosphere, food and drink that has made Munich's Oktoberfest celebration world-famous.
If you'd like to reserve a table in one of the large beer tents on the fairgrounds, you can do so in advance on www.oktoberfest.de, and we recommend doing so now as these prized tables usually book up several months in advance. The tent you choose will really determine the crowd you're enjoying the festivities with. Hacker tent tends to be the rowdiest, Hofbrau tent is generally filled with an eclectic mix of tourists and travelers from around the world and Augustiner will provide the most authentic Bavarian crowd. In addition to the one litre glass mugs filled with amber heaven, Munich's Oktoberfest is known for a few classic food staples which include Hendl (grilled chicken that will make your taste buds sing), Schweinshaxe (pork knuckles, you'll want a big plate for these beauties), and Breze (pretzels as big as your head).
Next stop: 2 hours & 20 minutes
3. Stuttgart's Oktoberfest 2017
If you're looking for a fantastic Oktoberfest location in Germany that will rival the world-renowned party in Munich, Stuttgart's annual celebration (known locally as Wasan), is an amazing option within comfortable driving distance of Munich. With a history that dates to within 8 years of Munich's first Oktoberfest, Stuttgart's annual beer celebration attracts four million visitors every year, making it one of the best places in Germany to experience beer culture.
Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest runs from September 28th to October 14th in 2018, and will offer you the charm of Munich's iconic celebration with less tourist traffic, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a traditional German beer celebration that's filled with locals. In addition to the wurst, brew, fair rides and lederhosen, Stuttgart is a top-notch European city filled with amazing architecture, culture, dining, and art which is well-suited to exploring by foot after you check into your hotel. If you're looking for a break from the Oktoberfest fare, why not treat yourself to dinner at an upscale restaurant in Stuttgart? Here are a few of our favorites:
Restaurant Christophorus - A European steakhouse that won't disappoint. From high-quality, prime beef complimented with a glass of wine (a nice break from all the steins!), to more casual fare, this is an excellent choice for dinner reservations, and it's near the Porsche museum, which allows you to combine some sightseeing and dining into one delicious detour!
Cube - Dinner with the best view in Stuttgart! Treat yourself to an early meal and enjoy a high-end dining experience for a middle-of-the-road price tag.
Weinstube Am Stadtgraben - Ranked by Tripadvisor as the #1 restaurant in all of Stuttgart, you can't go wrong with this beautiful German restaurant. Expect fantastic service, authentic, well-prepared food, and a cozy dining experience which will be a welcome break from the Oktoberfest crowds.
So what kind of Munich rental car should you drive to Stuttgart to take in the sights, sounds, flavors, and beer-loving community? We recommend a Mercedes Benz rental, an appropriate choice considering that the city of Stuttgart is known as the birthplace of this iconic brand.
Next Stop: 2 hours & 10 minutes
4. Red Beer from the Rock-cut Cellars of Nuremberg
Taking a break from Oktoberfest celebrations, we suggest heading to Nuremberg in northern Bavaria. The city is known for malty red beer which was historically safer than the local water supply. Thankfully the brew was just recently (1984) brought back into production by a local brewery Hausbrauerei Altstadthof using local ingredients to replicate the beer of the time. In addition to imbibing, be sure to take a tour of the maze of rock-cut cellars, a network of sandstone cellars covering six acres beneath the old city center. Be sure to stop in Wurzburg on your way to Frankfurt, where history has it, the citizens revolted against the increase in the price of beer.
Next stop: 2 hours & 21 minutes
5. Frankfurt's Oktoberfest 2018
After enjoying Munich and Stuttgart's offerings, we recommend that you finish your trip in another German Gem: Frankfurt! Oktoberfest Germany 2018 is truly a national celebration, and Frankfurt's gathering of beer-lovers runs from the 12th of September to the 7th of October. It's an excellent spot to end your trip as it offers travelers the opportunity to plan their flights into and out of several of Germany's major airports by planning to drop off your rental car at Frankfurt am Main. You can also plan an extra day or two at the beginning and end of your trip to explore one of these popular cities in Germany.
Want to get a taste of what Frankfurt's beer tent looks like? Their official website offers a 360-degree view from a seat just in front of the stage! Here you can also review the program to choose the day you would most like to attend. We recommend planning a day for travel from Stuttgart, and then once you check in to your Frankfurt hotel you can take in some of the evening's revelry to prepare for a full day of exploration to end your epic Oktoberfest 2018 adventure!
Oktoberfest in Frankfurt is as much about the music as it is about the beer, so we encourage you to do some research on YouTube for some of the names, to choose a band or two that you really love, and then arrange tickets on the evening those bands are slated to perform. Want a taste of what's in store for you at the end of your trip in Frankfurt? Take a look at this video:
Drive to Discover Oktoberfest in Germany, Touring These 3 Top Destinations
While we've listed three of our favorite Oktoberfest celebrations in this Drive to Discover itinerary, it's important to remember that renting a car in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, or Munich allows you to set your own course, exploring some of the smaller cities and villages between these cities. In most of the towns along the way you'll find small, local Oktoberfest celebrations, allowing you to break up the ride and mingle with locals to enjoy a relaxed, authentic Oktoberfest experience you'll never forget.When you plan your trip, we recommend scheduling one or two days more than you think you'll need - our guess is that when you get to Germany you'll want to linger and it will be hard to leave. Giving yourself some extra time allows you to take side-trips to visit some smaller celebrations and lets you travel safely, spending an extra night in a city if you've had too much to drink.
When you've selected your Oktoberfest locations and are ready to book your Oktoberfest Germany 2017 adventure, call Auto Europe toll-free, 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555, and we can help you arrange a fantastic German rental car to enhance your trip. Prost!