Oktoberfest has become one of the great “quick getaways” of recent times. The annual event in Munich heralds thousands of beer enthusiasts each year over a two week period.
The festivities are enough to keep anyone entertained for their stay in the Bavarian capital and a whole host of attractions span the site of Oktoberfest, but that’s when you get to Munich, how do you actually get there?
The most obvious and by far the easiest choice for many is to fly, with a flight time of around two hours from the UK and prices from around £150 return. Others however may want to make the journey a little more interesting!
Driving to Germany is one of those more interesting options and allows for an experience in itself, along with a chance to see some great sights on route.
The standard route would see you get the Channel Tunnel through to Calais, before a short trip across the border into Belgium. Driving down the E40 motorway will give you the chance to stop off in a variety of Belgian cities, with Gent being the first opportunity for a sight-seeing stop-off.
Gent is a bustling city with a busy port and offers fantastic waterfront views, especially in the old city centre, thanks to the two rivers that run through the city. Also, with its medieval heritage, Gent serves up majestic architecture in its churches and Gravensteen castle.
However, it may be worth skipping Gent or making the stop a short one, as Brussels is only a quick drive further down the motorway. The capital of Belgium and the country’s largest urban area is a popular European hotspot for tourist activity due to the city’s rich culture and arts.
Liege is the final worthwhile stop-off point before heading into Germany, with Cologne the first port of call once over the border and would make a great place to make an over-night stop before the final stint to Munich.
Cologne is located on both sides of the River Rhine and has one of Germany’s most stunning cityscapes from the waterfront, with various churches and tourist highlights dominating the skyline.
Germany’s financial hotspot, Frankfurt, is an opportunity to see one of the country’s most modern cities, with most of the main banks being based there and so impressive skyscrapers line the city centre. One such building is a must see in Main Tower, with the 200 metre high skyscraper offering panoramic views of the entire city.
After Frankfurt, the final possible stop before Munich would be Nuremburg, 110 miles north from the Oktoberfest base. Famous for the Nazi rally in 1935 and the Nuremburg trials at the end of the Second World War, the city is now a hub of culture and compelling architecture.
The final stint would see you arrive in Munich and ready for the festive delights of Oktoberfest. The above recommendations are merely possible destinations on the drive down and of course you don’t have to visit them all. Last year when I did this trip with friends, we made sure to stop at least three (Brussels, Cologne and Frankfurt).
Without stopping, Google will tell you that the trip will take around 15 hours to complete, but if you are sightseeing on the way down then allow yourself about two days’ worth of travel. This is also a trip where it is imperative to have your currency ready immediately and not when you reach Munich as they’ll be plenty on offer you might want to spend your Euros on during the drive.