Oktoberfest, which is the world’s largest annual fair and one of the best festivals in Germany, starts on September 18. Each year, millions of people from all around the world come to beautiful Munich to drink beer, eat sausage, admire traditional costumes and join together in song with Bavarian bands. If you are participating this year or perhaps making your plans to attend next year, here are some eco-travel tips for an eco-Oktoberfest to remember.
The best way to get to Oktoberfest is by public transport as Munich’s traffic is very congested and parking is hard to come by during the festival. Instead, use the MVV, Munich’s subway system, as it runs late into the night during Oktoberfest. If you are staying out of town, there is an S-Bahn train that makes numerous runs into the city. Trains and subways run every 10 minutes until 2:00 a.m. on weekends and until 1:00 a.m. on weekdays during Oktoberfest. The closest subway stop to Oktoberfest is Theresienwiese (take the lines U4 and U5); good alternatives in peak times are the subways stops Goetheplatz and Poccistraße (lines U3 or U6). For more detailed information on tickets and timetables, click on Munich Metro website (in English).
Stay in a green hotel such as the Hotel Alter Wirt and Maritime Hotel Munich. For a true green experience, you need to ride on the S-bahn train for about 30 minutes outside of Munich to Hotel Alter Wirt in Grünwald. This country retreat strictly serves organic produce from certified organic farms at its two restaurants. Rooms are sustainably renovated with furniture made from locally grown trees and prices include a generous organic buffet breakfast. If you prefer to stay in the city, the Maritime Hotel Munich makes efforts to conserve water, recycle newspapers and disposables, and participate in an energy conservation program.
Sign up for Mike’s Bike Tours for a local guide that will help you burn calories before you partake in the beer festival. Participants are equipped with beach cruiser bikes and the leisurely four-hour tour includes sights such as the famed Englischer Garten, which is one of the world’s largest urban public parks with a waterfall, paddle-boat rentals, a Chinese-themed tower, a Japanese teahouse, an amphitheater and its own beer garden.
Dine “green” by shopping at the Viktualienmarkt’s daily outdoor farmer’s market near Marienplatz or eating at restaurants serving local, seasonal and organic food. Some options include Saf at Zerwirk, Prinz Myshkin, and Basic Bio Bistro all located in the heart of Munich.
Take in the culture with the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade, which is a colorful display of Bavarian history that takes place on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest. If you cannot make it on that day, don’t miss the carnival which includes fun rides, Ferris wheels, roller coasters, music and parades that everyone will love.
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