What started out as a huge wedding celebration in 1810, eventually turned to an annual beer-drinking, folk festival, that is now the largest festival in the world. Millions of people from all over the world come together in Munich to indulge in drinking beer! The festival lasts 18 days, and despite it’s name it actually takes place in the second half of September and ends in the beginning of October. Matt’s brother and sister in law is living in Germany, so we thought what a perfect time to go visit! When we can head on down to Theresienwiese for a day filled with drinking German beer. Give her a scroll down if you want the Do’s and Don’t in surviving Oktoberfest!
1. Bring Cash! Most of the tents only accept cash. So if you plan on having a fun time at Oktoberfest – make sure you bring it!
2. Get there early! We went at 9am on a weekday and it might have been a bit too early — as you can see from some of the first pictures of me. But! We got great seats and as soon as it started filling up, we ensured we had spots in what became our favorite tent!- The Hofbräu tent.
3. Drink water! Imagine starting your day at a beer festival at 9am.. If you want to be a survivor you should include some water into your daily beverages.
4. Don’t be shy of Shandy. Shandy is half lemonade, half beer. Sounds weird – but it actually was rather delicious. And because I started with ordering Shandys, I out survived Matt, who I had to drag on a train home at 6pm ;). Again – this is a great tip for survival.
-brief pause for some pictures of us loving life-
5. Find Accommodation near the festival – or near a train station that goes to the festival. Of course you will have to book early – because they fill up fast during these 2 weeks. We got an airbnb that wasn’t walking distance from the festival – but it was right on the train line that heads there. Here is a link of all the trains. The stop for Oktoberfest is Theresienwiese – almost in the middle of the urban map. We did have to do 1 transfer – but all in all it was only 20 minutes!
7. Go with Friends! Or Make new Friends! It was just the two of us – and it was incredible. We sat at a table with a group of guys on a guys trip to celebrate their 40th birthday, a couple doing an engagement-moon and some Australian folks. Bonding over beers is such a worldwide thing! But if you do attend with a large group, I recommend making a reservation to ensure you get a spot for all of y’all.
8. Eat some food. Again with the water above – this is all about surviving the long day battling steins of beers. We had some awesome mini chickens that went so well with the beer!
9. Dress the part. We almost didn’t, but Matt decided that we would totally regret it if we didn’t – and seeing as he was planning on proposing a few days later he wanted it to be PERFECT. And let me tell you; almost everyone is in costume, so DO IT! You could probably find affordable ones online, because we ended up buying authentic ones in Munich for a pretty penny.
10. Sing, dance, ride rides, walk around, buy food. There is a lot to do outside of the tents as well as inside! Enjoy the FESTIVAL. The only tent open past 10pm is the wine tent – so make it a goal to make it to that point!
P.S. – I thought it was worth noting again that the Hofbräu tent was our favorite!!
1. Drink too much. Kind of a catch 22. You want to drink so much, but you don’t want to lose control. The Steins are HUGE – about 3 beers in each, and the beers are pretty strong. So switch it up with a Shandy, or a water, or just drink sloooooooowly.
2. Be cheap. Don’t skimp out on tips. These servers carry more drinks in their two hands than the average person can hold, and then they fly them down the table. They work their butt’s off – so tip them well!
3. Leave the table unless you’re okay with losing your seats. It gets very, very crowded. Even during the weekdays. And the empty space is swarmed quick!
4. Stand on a bench and fail to finish your beer. If you are bold enough to stand up with one leg on the table holding your stein (I guess there’s bonus points for drinking it out of a shoe as well — ew), you are expected to down whatever is in your stein quickly and thoroughly. The entire tent will go in an uproar cheering – unless you take too long or have to quit. Then you will have food and other objects thrown at you!
5. Separate from your group. Though it was just Matt and I – traveling internationally we didn’t have cell service unless we had wifi. Drinking + separating + foreign country + having no way to communicate = potential disaster.
6. Wear a halloween costume. If you are going to buy online and you receive it and it looks super cheap – return it. You want to look authentic, not cheap!
7. Forget which way to tie your apron! Here is a little helpful guide:
Tied on the Right-taken
Tied on the Left-single
Tied in the Middle-virgin
Tied in the back-widow
8. Bring things you are terrified of losing. Unless you’re going to be relatively sober, don’t bring your $2000 camera. Try to just bring the necessities. Cash, phone (or small camera?), and your dancing shoes.
Most importantly, remember the do’s and dont’s of Oktoberfest, have fun, take pictures (even if they’re just on your phone), and prost your heart out!