Update: If you came here looking for last-minute Oktoberfest accommodation, be sure to check out our comprehensive travel guide to this year’s Oktoberfest. Find our big follow-up post here: Oktoberfest on a Budget 2018.
As we wind down our second year of nonstop travel, we’re stoked to be going to Oktoberfest in Munich. I can’t believe its already September, which means Germany’s ultimate beer fest is set to begin in less than two weeks! This year’s dates for Oktoberfest run from September 19 to October 4, 2015, so if you want to have a last minute Oktoberfest trip – yesterday was the time to make your reservations.
When going to Oktoberfest, it’s really best to begin making your arrangements about a year in advance in order to secure all your transport and accommodation reservations, without totally breaking the bank. But really, who plans that far ahead? If you’re anything like us, you’re going to need to scramble to make some last-minute Oktoberfest plans!
We’re here to help! If you thought that it may be too late to make any last-minute Oktoberfest plans, we’re here show you that its not. We, just today, finished making all our last minute Oktoberfest reservations and travel plans, so wanted to share our findings for anyone else out there who may be trying to make last minute Oktoberfest arrangements.
How to Find Cheap Last-Minute Oktoberfest Accommodation
Unless you happen to have a good friend to stay with in Munich, you’ll need to find a place to stay in while there. Having waited ’til just weeks before the big fest, it won’t be easy – but its still very possible to find last minute Oktoberfest accommodation. Here, we examine what options remain at time of writing (September 5, 2015).
Last Minute Oktoberfest Hostels:
If you think you’re going to find a hostel bed at this point, think again. Every bed in town has unfortunately been scooped up long ago. Well, actually there are still a few left. Take, for example MEININGER Munich City Center hostel, where only $345 per night will get you a bed in a 6-bed dorm.
Are you kidding me? $345 per night for a bed in a mixed dorm!? That comes out to nearly $1,400 for a couple to share a room with four other drunken strangers for only two nights in Munich. You’ve got to be out of your mind! That’s downright robbery. Thankfully there are a few other options still available last-minute.
Last Minute Oktoberfest Hotels:
An obvious choice for last minute Oktoberfest accommodation is a hotel. But since its only weeks away, that becomes a pretty difficult or costly option. But there are, in fact, still some rooms available, even this late in the game. They’re just gonna cost ya. We checked all the major booking sites and Booking.com seemed to have the largest inventory of what little hotel rooms are left.
You’ll have slightly better luck if trying to find a last-minute Oktoberfest hotel on weekdays. But if a weekend is all that is feasible, the last weekend seems to have few more options than the weekend prior. Most dates are showing that 80%-90% of inventory are reserved.
The one big downside to getting a last-minute hotel for Oktoberfest is that they’re pretty pricey. On the last weekend of Oktoberfest, October 2-4, we found available rooms starting at about $200 per night, located way out in the Riem district. Between walking to the train station, taking the city rail into town, then connecting to Oktoberfest – you’re looking at nearly an hour journey each way to Oktoberfest.
Other somewhat closer (yet not ideal) options are starting around $225 per night. Still, even if you are fortunate enough to secure a room for $225 per night, spending $450 on a place to crash for some drunken sleep may be a little hard for some people to swallow. It is for us. So let’s see what else is available.
Last Minute Oktoberfest Airbnb Rentals:
Airbnb can be a good option for cheap last-minute Oktoberfest accommodation. Stay in someone’s spare bedroom or apartment, for the weekend. Current inventory is showing that about 10%-20% of listings are left for particular dates. Right now the best rates we’re seeing for a private room in someone’s apartment or house is starting about $150 per night for two people on the last weekend of Oktoberfest. But that’s on the low end, potentially including the bottom-of-the-barrel rentals. More realistically, rooms are averaging around closer to $200 per night.
If you’d prefer a private “entire place,” those are currently starting at about $170 per night and averaging around $300 per night, making for a costly place to stay. All the nice looking high rated places with decent locations are well above that range. And at that rate, you may be better off just getting a hotel room.
It may prove to be too expensive at this point, but if you do go the Airbnb route, be VERY careful to vet out how far Oktoberfest is from the location. No worries if there is some distance involved, but be absolutely certain that there is a good local bus or rail connection directly from the Airbnb rental. While overall Munich is a well-connected city by public transport, not all neighborhoods are entirely connected. Be sure to verify how connected the property is before booking. And, of course, vet out the place and the owner itself. You don’t want to wind up at in some sketchy apartment room with a creepy owner!
Stoke Travel All-Inclusive Camping Package
Our final consideration for a last-minute place to stay in Oktoberfest is camping at Oktoberfest with Stoke Travel. Yes, it is camping, but you don’t have to worry about lugging a bunch of gear with you. This is no-hassle camping because Stoke Travel brings and sets up everything you need. You just arrive and are shown to where you’ll be crashing during the beer-fueled weekend. Each two-person tent comes with mattresses and sleeping bags. You may want to bring a pillow or at least have something in mind to rest your head on.
It’s a decent location, too. Its at Campingplatz Obermenzing which is about 30 minutes by bus/train to the Oktoberfest Beer Halls and the Stoke staff can guide you there. The cost for this camping experience comes out to €60 (about $67) per person, per night.
I say “experience” because you’re not just paying for camping. That €60 also covers your breakfast and dinner at the campgrounds! For all that is included, we find this to be the best value of all the options. And unlike hotels, the price doesn’t fluctuate. It’s a solid €60 any night, no matter when you book. Just book before they sell out!
To make matters even better, you can have unlimited beer and sangria for an extra €10 per day. So you can have unlimited beer at the campground for the same price as one liter in Oktoberfest. But when we contacted Stoke about this, they’ve extended an offer to all Roaming Around the World readers to have unlimited free beer & sangria while at the campsite. Just use this link and enter: ROAMING at checkout and they’ll include the unlimited beer add-on for free!
Yes, you read that right, I said “unlimited free beer!” Yes, really!
But be warned, it is a massive party. So if you’re coming to Oktoberfest purely for the culture of it and are really excited to visit Munich’s tea houses, then you may want to pay a bit more and see if you can secure a last-minute hotel. With Stoke’s all-inclusive camp package, you will be camping in tents and using campground restrooms. There are toilets and hot showers, so that’s nice. But just realize what you’re getting yourself into. It is still camping after all.
If you enjoy camping, are ready to party, and are on a budget – than this, by far, is the best value for a last minute Oktoberfest trip! Stoke provides what they call a “festival within a festival,” as the campground is set up with carnivalesque activities and vibe, music, and of course, beer. For those wanting to take in some of Munich’s rich culture in between beers, Stoke also offers a free walking tour and a few paid excursions to consider. You can make reservations for these last minute Oktoberfest tour add-ons when booking the camping package. We’re planning to go on the bike tour of Munich, for €21.
We’ve camped with Stoke Travel once before at the annual Wine Fight in Haro and had a great time, so I can only imagine what’s in store for their big Oktoberfest gathering.
Choosing Your Last-Minute Oktoberfest Accommodation
Let’s review the options and pricing for two nights, based on two people.
- Hostel: Don’t even think about it right now.
- Hotel: $450+
- Airbnb: $300+ private room, $400+ entire place
- Stoke Travel Camping: $134, ($268 for two) including meals and free beer!
We have a really hard time passing up free beer, so if you haven’t already guessed it, we’ll be camping with Stoke Travel for Oktoberfest. (enter ROAMING when checking out). Thanks Stoke Travel!
Last Minute Transportation to Oktoberfest
Even if you’ve worked out your last-minute accommodation for Oktoberfest, you’ll still need to get there.
Again, this was something you maybe should have booked a year ago, particularly if flying. But not to worry, there are still plenty of options for procrastinators like us!
Rome2Rio is always a good place to start looking for routes based upon where you’re coming from by rail, bus, flights, and other means. But here are some other tips & options when trying to search for last-minute transportation to Oktoberfest.
Last Minute Train to Oktoberfest:
Munich is well connected by rail, so it’s a very viable way to get there. Plus many train tickets are not released until 90 or 60 days out, giving some advantage to those of us who are looking for last-minute transportation to Oktoberfest.
The Man in Seat 61 is our go-to source for up-to-date train info. You can use this link to get to his Munich page about rail travel. Enter the city you’re coming from and The Man will give you all the info you need to know on pricing, how to book, and what to expect.
Night Trains to Oktoberfest: Depending on where you’re coming from, consider taking an overnight train, which will cover a night’s worth of accommodation and you’ll wake up in Munich refreshed and ready to drink some beer.
Price Fluctuations: For trains, you must realize that they operate similar to airlines and the prices fluctuate with demand. So if you want to use rail to get to Munich, book now to lock in a decent fare. Rail fare is already starting to creep up for many destinations (well into the €100s in some cases), so if you find a high fare, you may want to consider other options.
Last Minute Bus to Oktoberfest:
There are still lots of cheap busses coming and going from Munich even during Oktoberfest. Be sure to check out Megabus and Eurolines. Bus travel throughout Europe has improved considerably over the past several years and many of these coaches are quite comfy and even include wifi. We found ourselves a Megabus leaving on the final night of Oktoberfest, going all the way to Brussels, Belgium for only $25 per person. That was our ticket out of Munich. Since Brussels has a wide variety of onward connections, we’ll have lots of options from there.
Additionally, Stoke travel also has entire Oktoberfest tour packages including overnight buses traveling from London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague, and Budapest and conveniently going directly to the campgrounds. Prices vary depending on the location but to give you an idea, the bus to/from London costs a total of €270, including two nights of camping, meals, and everything else already mentioned. (Enter ROAMING when purchasing the package.)
These bus packages are actually pretty brilliantly timed too. Leave London on Thursday evening, arrive for a day time session on Friday and continue the party all day Saturday. If you have some steam left in you by Sunday, hit up a final day session before departing for an overnight bus ride back to London where you’ll be dropped off Monday morning just in time for your 9:00 am conference call. Actually, you may want to hose yourself off before heading to work.
Last Minute Flights to Oktoberfest
If you’re coming from elsewhere in Europe, most budget flights to Munich are no longer “budget” and have been booked well in advance. But it still may be worth taking a look at.
And if you’re coming from US or elsewhere, you may actually still find some semi-reasonable airfares. We even found some fares in the low $1,000 range, roundtrip, which isn’t too bad, considering the last-minute time frame and the fact that it’s Oktoberfest.
Fly Into An Alternate Airport: Yet your best strategy here is flying into a nearby airport, then bussing or taking a train to Munich. Consider flying into Frankfurt (major hub), Dusseldorf, or Berlin. Or fly into nearby Salzburg, Austria, which has quick and cheap connections to Munich. Or fly into some other region of Europe entirely and take an overnight train or bus into Munich. While least efficient, that may also be the least expensive and you’ll have a chance to see somewhere else in Europe. If you spend some time getting creative, you’ll save some money.
Last Minute Oktoberfest Flights from the US: Even if you’re coming all the way from the US, there are still super cheap flights available. Look closely at Norwegian Air and WOW Airlines, who have some very attractive fares to nearby Berlin. Be flexible with your dates and destinations and you can still find roundtrip tickets in the $600-$800 with plenty in the $1000 range. Here’s a few sample fares we found at time of research, only a few weeks prior to Oktoberfest.
- WOW Airlines, one-way from Washington DC to Berlin, Sept 28, $271
- WOW Airlines, one-way from Boston to Berlin, Sept 28, $331
- Norwegian Airlines, one-way from NYC to Berlin, Sept 28 & 29, $380
Return flights are even cheaper. You can fly WOW Airlines after Oktoberfest from Berlin back to DC on October 8 for a lowly $255. So realistically you can actually fly roundtrip from US to Germany during Oktoberfest for $526 (plus baggage fees) even when booking just a few weeks before the plane takes off. This is an insane deal! Airfares constantly change and if someone books this fare, it will likely be higher for the next person. My intention for this example is to show you that flight deals to Germany during Oktoberfest actually do exist.
Similar fares were found to Amsterdam on these airlines on various dates.
So even late, there are still many affordable ways to get to Munich. They may not be the most efficient, but they’ll get the job done.
Last-Minute Oktoberfest on a Budget
Despite many factors weighing against you, last-minute Oktoberfest accommodation and transportation is still reasonably possible.
Coming from elsewhere in Europe, you can easily manage to cover your transportation, food, camping, and beer for about €400-€500 (possibly less) per person for a few days of fun in Munich.
Even if coming from the US, you could probably manage to get flights, camping, food, and beer for $1,000 per person if you can get really creative with your airfare.
So what are you waiting for? Come join us for a liter or ten! Otherwise start your planning now for Oktoberfest 2016! 😉
We’ll be roaming around Munich October 1-4, so come say “prost” if you see us!
Again, for a more comprehensive guide to this year’s Oktoberfest, be sure to check out our full post:
Oktoberfest on a Budget 2018.