Tips for Oktoberfest
Tips for Oktoberfest
How to navigate Germany’s biggest event
The annual migration of Germans and foreigners alike will begin next week, with thousands of thirsty souls descending on Theresienwiese for the opening of Oktoberfest. For the next two weeks, the Bavarian capital, Munich, expects to host over 7 million visitors, all in their dirndls and lederhosen, to dance and drink the night (or day) away.
Here are just a few tips to help you get through the Bavarian holiday.
1. The dirndl and lederhosen aren’t just a party costume.
These iconic German clothes actually originated from around the Bavarian, Tyrol and Swiss regions. The dirndl and the lederhosen are the traditional work clothes of Bavarians and deserve a little more research than just buying the cheapest online bargain. Men: Although your lederhosen probably came with one, it is rare for a local to wear a bright red bandana around their neck. You will stand out as a tourist immediately. Women: Local women take great pride in their dirndl, so if yours is above the knee, once again you will be pegged as a tourist much like the men. If you only plan on wearing the clothes once, the 40€ option is probably the best choice, if not, then take some time, there are endless options for both men's and women's clothing. For the latest in Bavarian fashion trends, visit Angermaier.
2. The beer tents.
Be prepared to spend your entire time in a tent standing on top of your stool, rubbing shoulders with everyone near. You will probably leave with very sore legs, no voice and the inability to hear due to the continuous singing and dancing. To be honest, it is a small price to pay!
3. Think you are strong? Try the beer.
One of the most important things to remember is that the beer at Oktoberfest is stronger than your average beer. With fewer bubbles, and a 6% alcoholic content, the Oktoberfest beer has been known to sneak up on many of the most seasoned drinkers, so take it easy and enjoy yourself, you’re not participating in a race. Over 7 million liters are expected to be guzzled by the visitors, so it is probably best if you try to save some for everyone else!
4. No booking - no problem.
Every year I forget to book a table, and then stress out, and once I get into one of the 14 beer tents, I wonder if all the stress was worth it. Although it can be chaotic, after a while, a table will be found. If you are without a reservation, your best bet is to get there early and claim a spot for you and your friends.
5. Feeling nostalgic? Visit Old Wiesn.
Old Wiesn was started in 2010 and now is a permanent fixture of the Oktoberfest celebrations. Located in the southern end of Theresienwiese, Old Wiesn sets out to show party-goers a more traditional time, with multiple bands, traditional Bavarian dancing, whip cracking and the general ability to have a conversation… and to sit down!
6. There’s an app for that!
There are actually multiple apps for Oktoberfest this year. The best is the "Oktoberfest - Munich’s official app":
This is the perfect app for your Oktoberfest experience. Available for your iPhone and Android devices, this handy app has an interactive map with up to date information on tent capacities (so you don’t get stuck looking for a spot in a tent that’s at 100%). It has all the information you need to know about times, rides, accessibility and news, and is available in English, Italian, French, Spanish and of course, German. Each day they will raffle off a table in a random beer tent as well!
We hope you have a safe and fun Oktoberfest! Prost!