Before going to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany we had read a lot of things about the festival, some were true and some were way off. Most of the Oktober tips and some of the horror stories have some truth to them, but after going to Oktoberfest we have a much better understanding of how the festival actually works. Here is what we learned after going to Oktoberfest in Munich 2014.
Myth #1 – You have to get to the festival hours before the tents open to get a seat
On the weekends this might be true, but visiting on a weekday (as I would advise anyone traveling to do) is pretty easy as long as you are there before the after-work crowd comes in. We were all excited and ready waking up bright and early to get in line to hopefully get a table at the great Munich Oktoberfest. Even with our early rise and planning we still managed to be later than planned (10:30 am). Expecting to have to now fight for a table, instead, we walked right into a nearly empty beer hall. It’s Wednesday, not Saturday.
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Myth # 2 – You have to be seated to get a beer
In most tents this is true, but we found a few tents that had a window to buy beer for the poor lost souls without a table, Lowenbrau tent was one. For the tents that do adhere to the no seat, no beer rules there is still a way around it. Making friends with someone that has their postier planted and have them but you one. Or if your social skills are lacking, bribes work well too.
Myth #3 – The HB Hofbrauhaus tent is the best tent
Although it may be the best marketed and nicely decorated with real hops hanging everywhere, there was just a bad vibe in that tent. We only spent about 15 minutes in the tent to take some pictures and saw several counts of douchebaggery. Mostly by the security guards. I saw one security guard walking down the alley’s outside the tables, he went out of his way by at least two-step to purposely shoulder check a guest. Then as we were leaving I saw what I thought was a fight but it was to bouncers shoving one small Oktoberfest goer.
Myth #4 – You have to be in full Bavarian gear
Lots of people are, but it’s not a requirement. As a side note, not all outfits are created equally. If you are going to do it, do it right and get a decent get up or you might look silly instead of in style.
Myth #5 – It’s going to be like the world’s largest frat party
Contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, it’s not quite like that. The tents are very organized and good at handling the crowds. People are drunk, but spirits are high and it’s a fun atmosphere. If someone gets out of hand they are tossed out. The efficiency of the beer tents amazed me. From the beer filling area that operates with army precision to the industrial-sized bathrooms that take it all away. They know what they are doing at Oktoberfest.
Monday 4th of July 2016
We were at Oktoberfest last year and plan to release a similair blog in September so this is a fantastic read and oh so true! You can have so much fun here - glad you also enjoyed it :-)
Cee @ Ceecestaxi
Sunday 18th of January 2015
I love this post. Honest. Straight to the point. Facts I actually WANT to know about And Encouraging.
I had given up on the whole "beer fest" idea for while now, due to the fact that I was afraid it would be a dangerous frat like party. Glad to hear that there is some level of organized control and people who are going to enjoy the beer not just get drunk
Yay! I love your photo's as well and will send some back, when we hit our first Fest :-) #LoveandTravelHugs
Wednesday 15th of October 2014
i have been twice & think it is the most amazing experience ever.
You need to get there early early on opening day and secure your seat ... The parade ( you will miss) and then cracking of the beer keg is at 12pm .. U will be lucky if you get a drink by 1pm.
Any other day u can just walk in and get a table. HB is full of drunk tourists so is better to start off there then move .. I highly recommend the Paulaner tent. Leave a day to just walk around , see Bavaria statue, go on rides & experience the atmosphere and food. German people are lovely and friendly ( i have made several on my two trips). Tip well from the beginning to make sure the beer wench looks after you.
Wednesday 15th of October 2014
Hey, so I am a girl from Munich and i really appreciate your post (: i am impressed every with our ability to organised, considering the amount of people going to get drunk you have a minimal amount of problems. Oktoberfest is super fun, Its the time of year when all of us get to just go crazy stereotypical and sing folksongs. Getting into the tent really depends on luck but during the week it should not be a problem on weekends its good to be their before 7. If u ask me the best tent their is is Shottenhammel or Shützen festzellt. If you are planning to go u should know that Oktoberfest is three weekends long but the fullest by far is the second weekend as that the weekends all the it aliens are their. We actually call it it alien weekends (they have a bank holiday and sprint across the border). TBH the best time to go is the first weekend because most locals will think they still have plenty of time.
Oktoberfest Info Guide
Saturday 11th of October 2014
Good review guys.
Especially the clothes party is true. Keep your dress! there is no dresscode....
You don't have to wear bavarian stuff like dirndl or lederhosen. they are traditionally bavarian but not a tradition @Oktoberfest! Read the history... just since the last 10 - 20 years everybody is wearing a "dindl"... but it's commercial!!!
Prost and like www.fb.com/Oktoberfest.Muenchen