Oktoberfest München 2014
Some tips and truths to get you through Munich’s Oktoberfest.
1. Oktoberfest is, in fact, a beerfest.
So, what’s the big deal, right? No joke, it’s beer, beer, and more beer! I won’t bore you with any history(partly because I don’t know it myself), I’ll just say that it’s a very old Bayerisch tradition. A tradition, which attracts many people from all over the world. Expect a huge crowd.
2. The Wiesn
The Wiesn is home to Oktoberfest every year for the past 2oo+ years. Theresienwiese are the grounds on which Oktoberfest is held and it’s only 2 S-bahn stops from Marienplatz. You won’t be greeted with an entrance fee, just a festive bayerisch blue and white banner. Once you’re in you’ll find over 10 beer tents, each with its own Biergarten. Preferably before going into any tent, you can ride any kind of twist-and-turn roller coaster at the Wiesn. Don’t forget to try some sweet nuts! Okay, if you’re not into nuts you can also buy: Brezeln bigger than you face, Sausages longer than your forearm, even giant cookie hearts.
3. Bier, bitte. Beer, please
One beer is:
- 1 liter. an entire liter. every time.
- 10 Euros, but oh so worth it.
- brought to you by a well-trained, highly qualified waiter, who will be carrying at least 7 other beers. Make sure to tip.*
- absolutely exquisite.
4. How do I get in?
Patience my friend. Lots and lots of patience. If you plan on going during a weekend, I suggest getting there around 8:30. Doors open at 10.00. This will allow you to wait outside for about an hour. It’s not a guarantee spot in any tent or Biergarten, but it will highly increase your chances. Remember, you can also pay up and reserve a table weeks in advance. Just know that, you must be seated to order a beer.
Not an early-bird drinker? You may have to wait for more than an hour to get it, but most tents don’t close until 22.00 and (very) slowly but surely, you will get in. You can also risk it, and try to get in through the side doors. I think they’ll let people wait there until a certain hour, and then they’ll send everyone to the front line. Oh and even though Germans are known for order and structure, Oktoberfest is filled with tourists, so you won’t find actual lines, just a mass of people wanting beer.
5. Don’t break the seal!
Not much advice to be given here, just be aware of the long lines to use the restrooms. Hold at your own risk!
Men wear Lederhosen. Women wear Dirndls. It’s not a must, but it’s suggested. They’re not cheap, but very easy to find.
*How to tip in Germany: It’s not required but highly recommended, especially at Oktoberfest. 10% is about average. Don’t ever leave the tip on the table, you pay and tip up front.
**Transportation: If Munich isn’t the only city on the itinerary, and you’re looking for a way of transport, use any coach bus company. I rode with Mein Fern Bus- great experience, wi-fi included. Please note: I suggest this for those who are still young and on a budget.
***Please drink responsibly! Don’t be one of those tourists puking 30 minutes after arrival.