Oktoberfest in Munich is the quintessential beer festival. After this year’s Oktoberfest under our belt we wanted to share our Oktoberfest tips on how to do it right. Some of these we did, and the rest we really wished he had. Here are our tips to the best Oktoberfest!
Go on a weekday to Oktoberfest
6,000,000 people every year attend the festival and it can be busy, especially the weekend. People from all around the region flock to the fest on the weekends and tables are full almost as soon as the doors open. If you are coming as a tourist you have a choice and don’t want the stress of possibly not finding a tent, go on a weekday.
Scope out the tents the night you get into town
There are lots of different beer tents all with different levels of craziness. It’s best to check them out at night when they are at their busiest to see if that Oktoberfest tent fits your style before signing yourself up for a whole day in the tent. We found the Paulaner tent fit our style, it looked fun, but not too ridiculous.
Eat while you drink
Liters of Oktoberfest go down surprisingly fast, and before you know it you’ll be saying “ich bin betrunken” or ‘I’m drunk’ as we say in English. There is a lot of tasty Germany treats to slow your sipping that you can order right to your table. Food will also absorb some of the beer slowing its progression to your brain. I sadly regret not doing enough of this….
Make friends at your table
During Oktoberfest, if you leave your table, you lose your spot. So make friends cause you are going to be stuck with your tablemates all day. We ended up with a fun table full of people from around the world.
Last until late
Pace yourself, and like I said above eat something throughout the day, and you have a chance of making it till late. Late night is when everyone is standing on the tables and the Oom Pa band is in full swing, so it’s worth it to stay until they shut the place down.
Stay outside the city, but stay longer
Munich’s population nearly triples during Oktoberfest so needless to say accommodation is scarce and very pricey. Many people will rent a place for the next year while at the festival. Staying anywhere around the festival will easily cost $300 plus per night. It’s convenient but you don’t have to stay right downtown.
Places outside the city are still more expensive than normal, but less than half the price than being right in the action. Munich has a good public transport system and we stayed about 10 stops away from the festival and had a cheap room for Oktoberfest. It can be troublesome to get back when you’ve had too many liters of beer, and taxis are hard to come by and expensive. I would still do what we did this year and stay longer next time.
*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels check prices on Booking.com, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
Give yourself at least one recovery day
High room prices may drive you out of town quickly, but I recommend at least one day to stay in Munich after a long day at Oktoberfest just to be a little hungover. Let’s face it, you came all the way he just to drink beer, you are probably going to drink too much. If you plan on going to Oktoberfest several days make sure to plan a day just go exploring, there are tons of nearby day trips from Munich to take. After a full day of sightseeing, you’ll be good for another day of drinking at Oktoberfest.
Don’t bring much stuff
Overall the festival felt safe, but it’s more of a protection from your own drunken self. It’s easy to lose track of things when you are having too much fun. Our only umbrella was a casualty of Oktoberfest, left under the table while we walked (stumbled) home. Also, many tents do not allow you to bring in backpacks, so just don’t bring much.
If you are heading to Munich for Oktoberfest follow these tips for a good fest. Have you already been? What other tips would you give a 1st timer to the fest?
Lina @ Divergent Travelers
Tuesday 16th of August 2016
Great tips for surviving Oktoberfest although I can't imagine how crazy it is! We spent some time in Munich this summer and the locals told us that the top item lost at Oktoberfest every year is..... dentures!! HA! I'm sure at some point we'll make the trip for Oktoberfest.
Wednesday 27th of April 2016
Great tips! Any insight on dressing up? I have been told that to avoid looking like a tourist (as if thats a bad thing), the men should wear lederhosen and women to wear a dirndl. Thoughts?
Thursday 28th of April 2016
Most local Bavarians do dress in traditional clothing, but it's not required by any means and there will be lots of people in other clothes. I wouldn't say not dressing up with get you any kind of different treatment. We have heard from locals they'd rather see people in normal clothes than bad or costume like lederhosen/dirndls. If you do it, do it right and get a real one. They're expensive, but that's the way to go if you are going to dress up.
Monday 13th of July 2015
Definitely try the roasted pork knuckle that will soak up some beer. Why does no one mention that their is a great carnival attached to the festival which is also fun