oktoberfest beer

Germany: Oktoberfest, Castles & the Countryside

Oktoberfest has always been on my bucket list of things “to-do”.  I finally decided to make it out to Germany for it this year.  My cousin happens to live in Germany, and when my mom found out that I was planning to go, she decided to hop onto my plans, turning it into a family affair.  My total time there was 10 days.  Check out our trip!

My cousin lives in Heidelberg, where I met up with her and mom (she went before me).  From there, the next day, we rented a car and headed out to Munich.


Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Germany from the last week in September through the first week in October.  It started as a celebration put on by King Ludwig I, back many many years ago.  The festival itself starts off with an opening ceremony and also closes with one.  It’s a continuous 2-week experience full of festival type rides (kind of like any fairground experience you may have had here at home), Ferris wheels, daring drop rides, bumper cars etc, food stalls (all the bratwurst and pommes-fries- you may want) and games.  In addition to all of that, there are the beer tents.

That serve you gigantic I Liter glasses of beer

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Oktoberfest: Spaten

That are delicious

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Oktoberfest: Prost! (translation: cheers!)

To be served inside the tents you need a reservation; in addition, getting a reservation usually requires a larger group of people.  From my research, some tents required anywhere from groups of 4 to groups of 10 and ask that you prepay to reserve your spot.  The reservation will guarantee you a table INSIDE the tent.  Only by being at a table will you be served.  They all also serve food.

However, as we walked around the Oktoberfest grounds, pretty much all of the large tents had outside seating as well.  We found that the outside seating is free for all.  First come, first serve, grab a seat and you’ll get to order beer and food. So definitely doable no matter your budget or group size!

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Germany’s Natural Beauty

Partnach Gorge

About one and a half-hour southwest is Garmisch-Partenkirchen.  It’s close to the Austrian border and so you’ll see part of the Alps as they spill over into Germany.  It’s a beautiful mountainside town.  It’s also close to a number of other great things to see.  For instance, Partnach Gorge:

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Partnach Gorge

The Gorge is a protected area.  So you park at the Olympic stadium they have (you’ll see a huge artificial ski jump) and from there it’s about a 20-minute walk to the Gorge entrance.  The entrance fee is 5 Euros, so don’t forget to take cash.  The Gorge is as you see above and impossibly long.  There’s a very narrow walkway on the side, (you can see it in the left of the picture).  It’s not treacherous in that its flat and pretty level, but it is wet. So, water protective clothing and comfortable shoes are a must when coming here.

Eibsee Lake

Another nearby site to see from Garmisch is Eibsee Lake.  We came here after the Gorge to grab some lunch.

And to take artsy pictures of course

You can also see the Zugspitz from the lake area, which is the highest peak in Germany

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Neuschwanstein Castle

So we did all of that in one day, and then the next decide to take a look at some castles

Neuschwanstein castle, also known as Disney Castle

Germany’s cities we visited


We only had time to spend one night in Berlin.  My two favorite things were seeing the East Side Gallery:

East Side Gallery #berlin

And the Holocaust Memorial.

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Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany

If I uploaded all the pictures I took at these locations, this blog post would take a year to load, so I’ve just included my favorites 🙂

The night we were there, I also discovered a show being featured at the Friedrichstadt Pallast, which is the Berlin theater.  The entire show was a combination of fashion, dance, and acrobatics, plus some humor thrown in.  The best comparison I can think of here is maybe something like Cirque du Soleil.

Taking pictures during the show wasn’t allowed, unfortunately.


Heidelberg Castle is known for being the most famous castle ruins in the world.

Heidelberg castle, Germany

The place looks like a postcard:

Heidelberg, Germany

Getting to and from most of these locations we did by renting a car and driving.  See more about driving in Germany in my post Facing the Autobahn: A Guide to Driving in Germany.

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