8 alternatives if you cannot visit/do not want to visit the Munich Oktoberfest

Why you should avoid the Munich Oktoberfest

Unless you are in the gorgeous situation that travel budget is not a big issue for you, there are a couple of reasons to consider alternatives. Yes it is said to be the largest Volksfest on the world. But definitely I am not the first to claim that it´s not always the size that matters.

As the Oktoberfest has a unique atmosphere, it inspires travelers year after year to visit and celebbrate with the cloud. Cole and Adela from fourjandals.com wrote an excellent short guide on how to survive the Oktoberfest as a foreign visitor. However if this huge event is not your piece of cake here are some

Reasons for not visiting the Munich Oktoberfest

Ok what is the main attraction when visiting the Oktoberfest:
You sit in an overcrowded tent. On an uncomfortable bank. Which you have to reserve if you go in the evening. Every now and than someone will pur his or her beer over your nice Dirndl or Lederhosen that you just bought. You are listening to music that is well … it takes getting used to it. The music will be so loud that you won´t be able to have a conversation with the person next to you. Except from screaming directly into his/her ear. Which leaves you two options:

Drinking. And Eating. Well nothing to bad about that. Only that I can think of more pleasant ways of enjoying my dinner/lunch. Which is besides that somewhat upscale at mediocre quality.

1 Liter of beer is currently close to 10.- Euro. If plan not to drink you´re probably really better of not to go. If you go though and stay away from alcohol, be informed that spring water is appr. 7 Euro.
Finding accomodiation has it´s price as well. Hostel beds tend to be around 90.- Euro, just to give you a rough idea.

It´s fun and for me this once in lifetime experience is worth everything you are mentioning you might say. And I am pretty aware that most international travelers visiting Germany think that way. And I do visit some weird events that most locals wouldn´t do as well. By the way approximately 34% of the people living in Munich did not grow up there. If, however, you are looking for alternatives with a little more real, here is my list of

8 alternative events to visit if you avoid the Munich Oktoberfest:

City Event Date
Bamberg Sandkerwa Aug 22.-Aug 26. 2013
Nuremberg Volksfest Aug 23.-Sep 8. 2013
Cologne Carneval Feb 27.-Mar 4. 2014
Passau Maidult Apr 25. – May 4. 2014
Erlangen Bergkirchweih Jun 6. – Jun 16 2014
Würzburg Kiliani Volksfest Jul 4. – Jul 20. 2014
Forchheim Annafest Jul 25. – Aug 4. 2014
Passau Herbstdult Sep 5. -Sep 14. 2014

Have you visited the Oktoberfest yet?

Probably you´re going anyhow to the Oktoberfest. Or you have already been there. I hope you enjoy yourself a lot on this unique event. You are welcome to share your experience in the comment section. Also if you are visiting one of the 8 alternative events or feel you think something is missing there.

Party on!

Cappadocia – amazing landscape and bronze age tenements

Where to stay in Cappadocia?

Ada Camping in Avanos was where we stayed with our tent in Cappadocia. The staff there is very friendly and helpful. And the camping ground is very quiet at night. The big upside was the pool that is part of the Campground. As it was very dry hot in Cappadocia when we have been there in July,it served as welcome cool down opportunity in between the various tours we took.

Alternatives for balooning while traveling on low-budget

Our research turned out that we were not able to book balooning for less than 130 Euros per Person. Even though there might have been some more room for negotiation we decided to avoid joining this mass event which turned out to be a good decission for us.

Alternative 1 Zelve Yolou Park entrance

A good alternative is to get up as early as the balooners do and drive to the entrance of the Zelve Yolu National park. You can climb small hills tehre for free. Walk around or sit down on a hill top and view the impressive light of dawn on this breathtaking landscape. Also the balloners will start shortly after dawn and they´ll sit all around some so close that you can see the faces of the balooners. We took some hilarious pcitures there and figured out that if you have to get up that early it´s much more relaxing to just sit down and relax. Rather than doing all this baloon hazzle and sit together in an overcrowded basket. You can also bring your champagne from the local groceries store if you are into drinking at 6 in the morning 😉

If the dawn is over and you have seen enough ballons rising around you (we counted somthing like 50) I recommend to also take a walk through the area and check out the stone churches and stone tenements at the Zelve Yolu area.

For those of you who are using the navigation app or s.th. similar, here are the GPS Koordinates of the completely free of charge area:

Zelve Yolu GPS coordinates:

Zelve Yolu Stone tenements 38° 40.361′ N
34° 51.759′ E

Alternative 2 Uchisar castle

A great chance to take a look at the breathtaking landscape in cappadocia from the top is climbing uchisar castle. It is the highest point of cappadocia. Though it doesn´t come completely free the entrance fee is resonable (it was 5 tL when we were there). You will have to climb some stairs for like 10 minutes, but the 360° view pays of for the effort. No need to be afraid of the stairs, a healthy person can easily take it and it is reasonably safe in my opinion.

Uchisar castle GPS coordinates:

Uchisar Castle 38° 37.797′ N
34° 48.311′ E

Pamukkale touristy but worth visiting

The Travertines in Pamukkale are absolutely worth visiting. However my personal recommendation is to stay a night in the area and arrive there really really early. In season it starts to get very crowded after 9.30 in the morning. It´s a beautiful must see spot. We stayed at Tepe Camping  . It has a great view about the area (unfotunately not at the Travertines, but beautiful, though).

The upside at Tepe Camping is that they serve good BBQ and it is really close to the entrance of Pamukkale. And for one night it´s absolutely o.k.

You should shop your groceries before going to the camp ground as you´ll have to drive 20 minutes in order to get some from there…

Western Turkey in 17 days

Distances 3000 km (~1850 miles) by car
Transport: Mainly rental car, public Transport in Istanbul
No. of Travel buddies: 2
Overall Cost excluding fly in and fly out (2Persons): 1.436,30 Euro
Daily Budget per person (excluding fly in and fly out): ~42.- Euro


City Nights Accomodation
Istanbul (3 nights) 3 Hostel
Gölbasi 1 Camping ground Tent
Avanos (Next to Göreme) 4 Camping ground Tent
Sultanhani 0
Selcuk (Ephesus) 1 Wild camping Tent
Egidir 2 Hostel
Güzelkamli 1 Wild camping Tent
Pamukkale 1 Camping ground Tent
Ayvalik 1 Camping ground Tent
Canakkale – Istanbul 3 Camping ground Tent

…to be continued