Get there by car, bus, rail or on a tour
Once you arrive in Munich for the Oktoberfest, the best way to get around is by public transportation.
There are five subway stops near the festival grounds, the best being Theresienwiese on the U4/U5 lines and Goethetheplatz on the U3/U6 lines.
Tram lines 18 and 19, several buses and the S-bahn also have stops nearby. And taxi stands ring the area.
Getting there will involve some planning. If driving to Munich, parking in the city is next to impossible during the festival — and getting your car towed for parking illegally is not worth the risk — so you’re better off stopping at one of the park-and-ride facilities outside the city and taking public transportation to the grounds. The largest parking facility is at the Allianz arena on the northern outskirts of the city, but some kind of parking is available at most of the mostly underground U-Bahn stops outside the city center.
Another option is the German railway system, the Deutsche Bahn. There is no guarantee that seats will be available to Munich during Oktoberfest, but it’s worth checking out. The railway is running four special party trains during the fest: from Dortmund (with stops in Koblenz, Mainz and Frankfurt) on Sept. 18; from Berlin and Bielefeld (with a stop in Frankfurt) on Sept. 25; and from Koblenz (with stops in Trier, Saarburg, Homburg, Saarbrücken, Landstuhl and Kaiserslautern) on Oct. 2. Check schedules and buy tickets through Deutsche Bahn’s website, www.bahn.de.
If you’re coming from farther away and decide to fly, no problem. The S8 metro line connects the Munich airport with the city center. Connect to the U3 or U6 subway lines at the Marienplatz stop or wait until Karlsplatz and connect to the U4 or U5 lines. Either way will take about 30 minutes and it will be 14 stops from the airport to the festival grounds.
And don’t forget to check with the United Service Organizations, on-base travel bureaus, and morale, welfare and recreation offices. Several are running trips to the fest. Among them:
• RTT Travel Ramstein offers four trips: the daylong Oktoberfest Express, the family express, a one-night overnight and the Oktoberfest Party Train. Find details at www.rtttravel.com or by calling DSN 480-6330 or 06371-46360.
The party train is a tradition among Oktoberfest enthusiasts and is strictly for adults. It includes round-trip transportation Oct. 2 on the Deutsche Bahn party train directly to the Munich central station. Festival-goers will be able to spend about 11 hours at Oktoberfest before the return trip departs Munich, arriving in Kaiserslautern at about 4 a.m..
The Family Express Parade takes participants by bus to Munich on Sept. 18 for the opening-day parade and festival, which includes amusement rides, music and plenty of food. It arrives in Munich in the midmorning and departs in the early evening.
• Kaiserslautern Outdoor Recreation is sponsoring four daylong Oktoberfest Express trips — Sept. 18 and 25, and Oct. 2 and 9 — plus weekend trips to Garmisch and the festival Sept. 24-26 and Oct. 1-3. For details, call 0631-3406-4117 or DSN 493-4117.
• ITT Spangdahlem provides several tours, including an express day trip on Sept. 18 and an overnight trip Sept. 25-26 that provides participants with nearly two full days of festival action. Find details at www.52fss.com/NewFiles/itt.html or by calling DSN 452-6567 or 06565-61-6567.
• Grafenwöhr Leisure Travel Services and Outdoor Recreation offer a trip each weekend of the festival: Sept. 18, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. Groups also can book private trips. Call the main office for more details at DSN 475-7402 or 09641-837402.
• The Naples USO is sponsoring a trip Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 that includes round-trip bus transportation from Italy, three nights at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany, and shuttle service to the festival grounds. Details, including booking information, can be found at http://naples.uso.it/tour/docs/ Oktoberfest%202010.pdf.
• The Stuttgart USO has a day trip planned for Sept. 26; get details by calling DSN 431-3505 or 07031-15-3505.