How to Oktoberfest like a Professional

Oktoberfest is a fall festival held in Munich, Germany from mid-September to early October. It is generally known for its huge beer tents, lederhosen, dirndls and drunken debauchery.  It does, however, offer so much more.   Here are my top tips to do Oktoberfest right!

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Go mid-week 

Go mid-week to avoid crazy lines and the disappointment of not getting into the tent you would like.  Mid-week you will find there are fewer people vying for those few open spots because of the locals and neighbouring countries come to play on the weekends.  Most of the crowds disperse evenly between tents so if your tent is packed I would recommend you stay put as long as possible because you likely won’t find a spot in another tent.  Avoid October 3rd at all costs, it is a holiday in Germany and one of the busiest days of Oktoberfest.

Go early in the day, day drinking anyone? 

The earlier you go, the better chance you have to get into the tent you want and find a seat, you may even be able to tent hop if you go early enough and there are no lines.  Once you start to notice the tent getting busy -don’t leave the tent.  Usually, things start to get quite busy around 3pm.  The second you walk out those doors you will be waiting in a massive line to get back into pretty much whatever tent and likely will not find a seat.

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Bring Cash

Cash is the main currency at Oktoberfest so make sure to have 50 Euro per person minimum for each day (I would bring a little extra because lines at the ATM’s on the site are generally insane).  Each beer is about 12 Euro, each, a meal around 15 Euro, Pretzels around 5 Euro and if you are too drunk to walk home public transport is another 3 Euro each way. 

Pick a meeting spot in the tent

Finding your friend in a tent of 7,000+ drunken people can be a difficult task.  I would seriously recommend you pick a meeting spot for if you get separated and can’t find each other.  It is often very loud so you may miss a phone call or even lose you phone altogether depending on how many drinks you’ve had.  It never hurts to choose a spot and hope you don’t need it.  

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Don’t forget to eat

It can be hard to remember to eat when you are drinking all that yummy yet filling beer but trust me when you wake up the next day you will be happy you ate something plus who doesn’t love fresh pretzels? Generally, you will find roasted meat of some kind with potatoes.   The meals in the tents generally cost around 15 Euro each.  There is more selection available outside the tents… but you might not get back in so be careful. 

Accommodations

Accommodations in Munich around Oktoberfest are at a serious premium.  Not only do they jack up the prices but they sell out incredibly fast.  So book your accommodations as soon as you have sorted out you plans.  If you stay in a neighbouring city you will pay less and be away from the madness when you want to sleep.  Munich is easily accessible via the train throughout the entire day and most of the night. This is a great budget saver and allows you to recuperate from that hangover in peace.  

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Dressing the part

Buy your costume/ dirndl or lederhosen in advance preferably right after Halloween the year before.  The real thing in Germany will cost you $100’s of dollars.  Of course, you will find cheap ones for less than this scattered around but if you want a particular style or are a popular size you may want to buy in advance. 

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Do you have other tips or tricks for conquering Oktoberfest?  Let me know in the comments below.

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