Raising the bar: how to have the BEST Oktoberfest experience
Thinking of heading to Munich for Oktoberfest 2018?
Good for you! Oktoberfest is a great way to experience German culture and an unforgettable trip to do with a group of friends and family.
However, there are a few things you need to know to really make the most of Oktoberfest and avoid being disappointed.
We’ve put together this quick guide to make sure your Oktoberfest experience goes down smooth…
Where is it?: Theresienwiese, Munich (Germany)
When is it?: September 22 - October 7, 2018
How do I reserve a spot in a beer tent?: Check out our Oktoberfest table booking page here.
When is the best time to go?
The weekends are obviously the biggest draw for tourists and tables fill up super fast, meaning you could end up waiting a very long time to get anything to eat or drink (unless you reserve a table).
But during the week, Oktoberfest is more of a local affair - perfect if you’re more into discovering the traditions of the area.
Do I need to dress up for Oktoberfest?
No. But Oktoberfest is a cultural event and attendees are encouraged to turn up in traditional Bavarian garb or Tracht.
You could pick up some Lederhosen or Dirndls online before you head out (just don’t get a tacky plastic one, locals don’t look too kindly on that) - but there’s also a ton of places in the area selling new and secondhand items.
Do people speak English in Munich?
Munich is a large city so you’ll find a lot of people speak English. But nothing gets you respect as a tourist more than communicating with a few local phrases.
Being able to say servus (an informal hello), measse (thanks) and prost! (cheers) will go a long way.
And if you really want to blend in, the locals call Oktoberfest Wies’n in reference to Theresienwiese where the festival takes place.
Is Oktoberfest a family-friendly event?
With a fairground, sweet treats and ad fun atmosphere, Oktoberfest is well-suited for family trip - although there are some restrictions for children...
Kids under six must have a parent present inside beer tents and have to leave by 8pm (they are still allowed on the grounds with their mum or dad though). Parental supervision applies for ages 6-15 too, except they can stay in the tents after 8pm.
Anyone over the age of 16 can drink beer in Germany, but you have to be over 18 for the harder stuff. However, the beer at Oktoberfest is quite strong (6-7%) so for inexperienced drinkers, a Radler (shandy) is probably a better option as it's 50% beer, 50% lemonade.
How do I reserve a table at Oktoberfest?
Access to OktoberFest is free. But for the true beer buff, making a reservation will seriously enhance your experience and take the headache out of trying to get a table.
If you’re heading to Oktoberfest in a large group without tickets to a table, the likelihood of finding somewhere to comfortable sit is low (and you might struggle to order food and drink in the tents otherwise).
Locals will start queueing at 6am. Tents open at 9am but can stop letting people in as early as 11am due to overcrowding.
Different tents offer different experiences. You could end up hanging out with Germany’s Bayern Munich football team, taking part in a crossbow competition (careful!) or maybe you want to make sure there’s room for you at one of the family-friendly tents.
Also, some food and drink is included in the price, depending on the tent.
Got it. Now where’s the beer?
Not to sound like your mum, but overdoing it on the beer is a surefire way to ruin the Oktoberfest experience for yourself and your friends.
Take it easy and have a good time - you don’t want to end up as a Bierleiche (beer corpse).
Also drink plenty of water, especially if it’s hot!
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