WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE ATTENDING OKTOBERFEST

One of the highlights of my trip around Europe last year was the infamous Oktoberfest hosted in Munich, Germany. It is simply an event that cannot be missed if you are in the area come Autumn. I have put together a quick list of tidbits to prepare yourself for the festival of the year. Enjoy!

It’s Free!

Yes, you heard that correct. Entry to Oktoberfest is 100% free. That means all 14 large tents {and all small tents} are open to your drinking pleasure all day and into the night. You can visit as many as you want and can re-visit your favorite tents day after day.

On weekends the tents open at 9:00 AM and normally fill up before 11:00 AM. This was not the case last year and I easily found open tables throughout the entire afternoon. We were told this was due to the multiple terrorist attacks that were occurring throughout Europe, deterring tourists to attend such a largely populated event. But who really knows, amirite? Regardless, I suggest getting there early. The tents do not close until midnight most nights, but personally I think celebrating during the day is preferable!

You can also reserve tables for Oktoberfest if you have a larger party!

But Your Food and Drinks Are Not…

Once inside the tents, steins of beer will cost you around 11 Euro and food will all depend on your appetite. I could barely finish two steins over the course of a day, and I was impressed with myself for consuming even that for how gigantic they are. Each tent will be serving a different beer, so if you get the chance, try and move about between the different tents.

As far as food goes, the meals I consumed in Germany were the best I had in Europe. Yes, better than France, Spain, and Italy {though let’s be real, it may be a tie with Italy}. I was shocked. But Germans know comfort food. And add {what I can only imagine to be} buckets of butter and beer to every meal. HOW CAN YOU RESIST? Plus, the beer was incredible coming from a girl who enjoys her pints.

Oktoberfest Takes Place in September

Surprisingly enough, most of the festival takes place in September, and not October. Oktoberfest was one of the top things on my European Bucket List, so I made sure to do my research about this event well in advance. I am a big crowd person {although I admit they can sometimes be overwhelming}, so I wanted to attend during a busy weekend. I opted for the last weekend of the festival which ended up being the first weekend of October. Okay, so not-so-secretly I also wanted to attend Oktoberfest in October. It’s the cheeseball in me, it just felt right.

Purchase a Dirndl in Advance {if possible}

I paid a pretty penny for my Oktoberfest outfit {which I ended up chucking out shortly afterwards — regrets}. If you have the time, and the energy, attempt to find a traditional dirndl online before attending Oktoberfest. I paid over 100 Euro for my get-up, and although I avoided buying a cheap, obviously-fake dirndl online, there were almost too many options in the city center of Munich that it became overwhelming. My advice would be to take a day to look at options, take a lunch break, and return with a clear idea of what you want.

Side note: Wear comfortable shoes with your dirndl. Technically, heels are considered the proper footwear to accompany the traditional outfit, however you will be so thankful after a few hours of standing, stomping, and dancing in the beer tents. I wore converse and my feet thanked me that night.

Technically, you can wear ‘normal clothes’ to attend the festival as well. There is no rule forcing you to dress up if that isn’t your thing. You may stand out in the crowd, but eventually everyone will be too betrunken to notice.

 

Take Public Transportation

The easiest way to get to Oktoberfest is definitely by public transportation {around 4 Euros a day}. You will be in good company as you arrive closer and closer to the event. If you get lost, just follow the ¬†other folks dressed in lederhosen’s… More information on public transportation to Oktoberfest can be found here.

Don’t Drink? Don’t Fear!

The beer tents are not the only attraction of Oktoberfest. The entire event is surrounded by a fair! There are plenty of rides to hop on, including a huge ferris wheel {always a fan favorite}. I do not suggest riding any of the rides after you visit the beer tents, coming from personal experience {bumper cars were a bad idea}. Food stands, carnival games, and traditional souvenirs can be found all over the grounds. It can be enjoyable to simply walk around the venue {imagine the people watching opportunities}.

Book Accommodation Yesterday

Hostels, hotels, and Air Bnb’s book up fast during the three weeks of Oktoberfest. This was one of the first accommodations I booked when planning my trip to Europe, and I did so at least 8-9 months before attending. I suggest getting online, um, NOW.

You Will Meet Australians

I dare you not to.

You will also have the time of your life. I can promise you, Oktoberfest is unlike any other event in the world. I had the time of my life! And it remains one of the highlights of 2016. Filled with history, tradition, and multiple opportunities to practice your vocals, it is a festival you shouldn’t miss! I can guarantee I will be back for a second trip to Munich over the next couple of years.

Hopefully sooner than later!

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