What To Expect at Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest in Munich is a must and should be on your travel bucket list. In 2017, I went to Munich to experience the beer festival and had one of the best experiences of my life. Here’s what to expect at one of the biggest parties of the year.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival in the world held annually for 16-18 days in Munich, Germany. From mid-September to the 1st weekend of October, over 6 million people from all over the world flock to Munich to sip on German beer.
It all began when King Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hilburghausen in 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. The fields were named Theresienwiese ("Theresa's Meadow") and have kept that name ever since, although the locals have since just called it "Wiesn".
What To Expect
Entry to the festival and beer tents are free. There are 14 beer tents on the grounds and here’s the link to the different beer tents you can check out > https://www.oktoberfest.de/en/navitem/Beer+Tents/. You don’t need to reserve a table, but arrive early to snag one. You can reserve a table, but you will have to contact the beer tent directly. We ended up meeting people at different beer tents and sat with them at their table so it worked out for us - everyone is friendly and having a good time. Everyone is dressed up in traditional Bavarian clothing (lederhosen for guys and dirndls for girls). I purchased mine at the hostel I was staying at for 80 Euros.
It’s a different atmosphere outside the beer tents, with carnival-type rides, food stalls, & souvenir shops. Gallery and video below of my experience at Oktoberfest:
Youtube link > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrpdwtHslDU&feature=youtu.be
All beer tents are free to enter. 1 liter stein will cost you between 10,50 - 12 Euros and you can also get snacks and small bites for 5-8 Euros. It’s cash only so make sure you bring plenty of cash.
For accommodations, there are plenty of options on Booking.com and Airbnb. Expect to pay premium prices during Oktoberfest. I stayed at the Smart Stay Hostel, a 2 minute walk from the grounds of Oktoberfest. Link here > http://munichcity.smart-stay.de/en/
1st time using Airbnb? Get $40USD off when you use my code on Airbnb > www.airbnb.com/c/juana131
Do not drink at a rapid pace - Treat it as a marathon as you will be hopping around to different beer tents. I was at the festival for about 8 hours and managed to survive.
Bring plenty of cash, around 100 Euros if you’re spending a whole day. There are ATM’s on-site, but the fees are high. 1 liter stein is between 10,50 - 12 Euros plus the food, if you get any, but I’m pretty sure you will get hungry after a few hours.
There are storage lockers in case you need to put any stuff away. Security will ask you to put backpacks and/or bags in storage lockers. Make sure you don't lose the ticket they give you.
Arrive before 11am to grab a table, especially on the weekends.
Do dress in traditional Bavarian clothing - lederhosen for guys and dirndls for girls. Not necessary, but mostly everyone is dressed up.
If you’re in Munich for a short time, try to at least see Marienplatz and Dachau Concentration Camp.