Willkommen zum Oktoberfest – Tips for Surviving Munich’s Oktoberfest

Author: SDanck

Welcome to Oktoberfest! The below tips are tried and tested so keep them in mind to have fun at Oktoberfest.

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Get there Early

The tents fill up early (lines to get in start forming around 7 AM) so be prepared to get there early and wait around. If you wait til later to get to the tents, you may not get into the tents or you will have to wait in line for a few hours. Some tents do take reservations but only for large groups and it’s expensive. Get there early and bring a deck of cards to keep yourself entertained.

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Pick the Right Tent

You’re going to be in one tent for most of it and each tent has its own vibe so pick the one that suits you best.  Some tents cater to a more international crowd, while others have a more traditional feel.  

I visited:

  • the famous Hofbrau tent (international vibe, lots of English speakers and they play some English songs like Sweet Caroline)
  • but spent a majority of my time at Löwenbräu (easily identified by the pillar with the large lion on top and has a more traditional vibe with more native German speakers).

Bring a Deck of Cards

You’re not going to have a deep philosophical conversation in the tent as you’ll have trouble hearing the person right next to you. A deck of cards will keep you entertained in line, in the tent and will also help you make friends with whoever you’re sharing your table with (you’re going to be really close to the people next to you, so you might as well befriend them!).

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Cash Cash Cash

Bring plenty of cash.  You can’t buy anything at the fest with a credit card so leave the card at home.

Leave the clunky purse/bag at home

There are a lot people at Oktoberfest and drunk you is not going to remember to watch your belongings.  Bring a small cross body bag to carry your phone and cash but make sure it’s one you’re ok with getting beer on. You’re going to leave Oktoberfest with at least a little beer on you and your purse may fall victim to beer spillage.

Wear comfortable shoes

If heels are your go to comfortable shoe, then go ahead and rock that look.  I, myself, am more of a Converse/Vans/any flat shoe type of person.  Some of the tents have standing areas and you may wind up in line for a chunk of the day, so be comfortable. Don’t be that barefooted person. You’ll see a lot of the people wearing dirndls with Converse so don’t worry, it’s an accepted look by locals.

Buy a Dirndl/Lederhosen

The crowd is mixed with people wearing casual clothes and tradition Bavarian clothing so you can attend Oktoberfest either way, but why not get festive? With a dirndl, you need to know how to correctly tie your apron! 

  • The bow on your left hip means single and ready to mingle
  • Bow on the right means in a relationship
  • Middle means virgin
  • Back means widow or waitress.  

My Oma forgot the rules so I ended up correcting my bow after chatting with some locals in the tent.

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See and they’re so cute!

Learn how to Prosit

In the tents, there will be singing, dancing and a lot of clinking Steins with your neighbors. Clink your Stein and say ‘Prosit!’ while making eye contact with whoever you’re cheers-ing (yes I made that word up). Otherwise it’s 7 years of bad sex and no one wants that (also there’s a thing called manners, you heathen).

Eat something!

Each Stein is liter of beer so get some carbs in you with a giant pretzel (a personal favorite), protein with roasted chicken or German potato salad (no mayo here!).

Need a beer break?

Because let’s be real. This is Oktoberfest and you’re not going to take a drinking break. Order a Radler (so good you should just order one to try it). It’s half beer, half lemonade and REFRESHING AF. Your drunk ass is very welcome.

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Yum! 

Make it home to sleep off the beer

As you leave the gates of Oktoberfest, there’s a park right across that lot of people think is a great place to take a drunk nap. Don’t be that person and get your butt home.  Germans will get good chuckle as they’ll pin you as a tourist or a first timer. 

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Have Fun & Explore the Rest of Munich

Munich is a beautiful German city and deserves to be explored. There’s so much to see besides Oktoberfest, from Neuschwanstein (the Mad King’s Castle) to the FC Bayern stadium and more! Oktoberfest is worth the visit to Munich, but Munich has so much more to offer.

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