Oktoberfest finally returns to Germany after two-years

May 3, 2022

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One of the world’s most iconic festivals returns in September, after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Germany Friday, Munich city leaders announced Oktoberfest will return in 2022.

According to an announcement posted on the event’s official website, Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said he gave the green light to move forward with the celebration this year “after careful consideration” both of the pandemic situation and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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“Ultimately, it’s up to everyone to decide for themselves … whether and how much they want to celebrate,” Reiter said Friday as he instructed city and event officials to “initiate the staging” of the event, “without conditions and without restrictions.”

The announcement means the event will return for its 187th year after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19.

Toasting with mugs of beer
(Photo by Nikada/Getty Images)

For so many years, Oktoberfest has been both a popular celebration for visitors within Europe and a bucket list event for plenty around the world. From its beer and signature large tents to food, parades and carnival rides, there’s no doubt fans missed Oktoberfest in recent years.

Related: 4 reasons you should visit Germany this summer

The 2022 gathering officially kicks off 17 Sept and runs until 3 October, with the ceremonial “first tapping” of the beer. This will be followed by a thousand-participant parade featuring horse-drawn carriages, politicians, brewers, family members and event participants.

Oktoberfest’s director said the decision to move forward with the festival this year is good for people and the economy, anticipating a “mega” event this fall, given pent-up demand and the success the city saw with recent spring festivities.

Getting to Oktoberfest

With recent price trends suggesting autumn travel could be a less expensive time to travel than summer — especially if you book now — we found some decent options for those looking to pack up and make the trip to Germany this autumn to take part in the return of Oktoberfest. These include options for travellers hoping to pay the cash price for their ticket or redeem saved-up miles.

Checking Google Flights options out of London Heathrow Airport (LHR) during the two weeks Oktoberfest is happening in late September and early October, I found the cheapest options to be those available in October.

We managed to find a great return fare with British Airways for £90, flying Heathrow to Munich International Airport (MUC), though it’s worth noting that the departure flight was early at 6:55 am.

Cheaper options were also available with budget carrier easyJet for around £70 (though this wouldn’t include a checked bag) and also slightly more expensive flights with BA at later departure times.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)

Paying cash to fly economy around these dates appeared much better priced when compared with the value of redeeming Avios. We found the best value Reward Flight Saver availability for the same dates to be 14,500 Avios, plus £18.00 in fees. With our current valuation of Avios at 1.1p this would make the value of this booking  £177.50, meaning you’d stand to save £87.00 by paying cash for economy.

Looking at return business class fares for British Airways on the same dates, the best value redemption would be 23,500 Avios plus £25.00 in fees. This booking would have a value of £283.50, meaning that booking cash would give you a small saving in this instance with a total price of £277.57.

Given the short length of the flight — just shy of two hours — it’s probably better value all round to pay the cash prices in economy for these dates which are notably low at the moment.

(Screenshot courtesy of Google Flights)
Related: Use points to book these hotels near Oktoberfest

Bottom line

Oktoberfest is always an event full of great food, beer, entertainment and culture, and after a two-year hiatus, fans are sure to be excited it’s returning in 2022.

Considering how busy — and potentially expensive — the summer travel months are looking, this could be a great way to not just travel in the more quiet autumn months, but immerse yourself in the season while you’re at it.

Photo by golero / Getty Images.

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