You’ve seen the outfits, you’ve seen tents and you’ve seen how amazing the atmosphere looks at Oktoberfest. Now what do you need to do to get there and where do you go? This travel guide will cover a list of amazing things of what to do at Oktoberfest in Munich.
Munich, Oktoberfest, 2019
A different type of festival…
Being a teacher this was going to be a challenge to do, because the festival doesn’t run through any UK school holiday. The festival Oktoberfest always starts in late September and ends on the first Sunday of October.
We had a small budget and tried to do this as cheap as possible. This meant we left school on Friday and got a flight to Düsseldorf, where we stayed in a local airport hotel. Dressed in our lederhosen and dirndl, we then got our flight to Munich in the early morning of Saturday.
Little did we know, we’d be the only ones in our outfit at the airport. Thankfully, when we arrived in Munich we were met by herds of other people ready to flock to Oktoberfest.
Next as part of our what to do at Oktoberfest, you need to think of what to wear. If you’re planning on going to Oktoberfest then you’re going to want to have a suitable outfit. We wanted to keep it cheap but also not look tacky. You’ll find many cheaper outfits on eBay and Amazon which are suitable for Stag do’s and Hen do’s. Try and avoid them.
Men will need a Lederhosen, Guy bought his Lederhosen outfit from eBay.You’ll be able to distinguish yourself which look tacky, mainly from the price. With this he also bought a red check shirt and some long white Bavarian socks. Make sure you buy boots because you’ll be dropping beer or having beer dropped on you all day! Guy just bought some cheap brown ones from Asda. He bought his Bavarian hat whilst in Munich, you’ll see lots of places selling them.
If you’re already in Germany and want to mingle in more with the other German’s then another option is to buy over there. They have shops all over the country called C and A. Here you’ll be able to buy the attire you need for the incredible day.
As mentioned earlier, try to avoid the tacky outfits. Nicola bought hers off Amazon. Read the reviews! You’ll see lots of women complaining about the sizes. Nicola bout a couple of outfits with different sizes so she knew she’d find one that fit well. There’s also a tradition of allowing the men to see if you’re single or taken, depending on how you tie the dress. Tie the bow on the left side if you are single or the right if you are taken.
As mentioned previously, the festival takes place at the end of September and early October at Theresienwiese, which is an area next to the city centre. It has no entry fee and is well supervised. We bought our outfits in England off Amazon and eBay before we arrived. We didn’t buy the really cheap and tacky ones but spent in the region of £60 each for everything, so we didn’t go all out either.
When to go?
The Oktoberfest opening ceremony in the Schottenhamel tent takes place at noon on opening day and marks the official start of Oktoberfest 2021. The Lord Mayor of Munich taps the first keg and shouts, “O’Zapft is!” to let everyone–who speaks German–know that it’s time to get drunk.
So when thinking about what to do at Oktoberfest, you need to think of when is best to go. If you have the flexibility of going during the week then this will be there cheapest way of visiting and taking part in this incredible festival. You’ll fund cheaper flights and accommodation. We have only been able to visit during the weekend, which was very busy but something which we didn’t find affecting us.
It does get very busy the later you leave it in the day, so be sure to secure your place in your preferred tent as early as possible because the tents have a maximum capacity and you might be left disappointed or feeling impatient as you queue. For a list of the different tents visit here.
Where to go?
There are so many beer tents to choose from. Fortunately, we had friends that had been on the trip earlier in the week. We were guided to a fantastic tent with great atmosphere, full of international visitors. There are tents which suit lots of people’s preferences, whether that is choice of beer or entertainment.
We chose the Hofbräu-Festzelt tent which has a capacity of 1000 visitors (although we’re sure they let more in). This tent is perfect for international visitors, where there is a mix of people from all over the world. Known as the party tent, we could see why. There’s an amazing drinking atmosphere full of people having a good time and singing. You’ll also find a band quite central to the tent who have shifts of playing classical Bavarian songs. If you’re struggling in thinking of what to do at Oktoberfest, then make sure you visit this wonderful tent.
The tent and atmosphere
Beer was well priced with 2-pint steins costing around €12. The hard and awkward part is getting served. We were completely sober entering the Hofbräu-Festzelt tent. We wish we saw this list of what to do at Oktoberfest prior to visiting, we would have been served much faster. Before we entered, there was a big queue which took around 20-30mins waiting time whilst it was pouring with rain. After a while, they finally let everyone who was waiting to enter the tent. If you want to get served, then you’ll have to find the standing tables, which will probably be occupied, pretend you’re part of that table (no one seems to mind this), then catch the waitress’s attention and place your order.
As the day went on, tables did free up which was a good chance to order and eat some food, but who wants to sit down at a party? There’s also tables outside the tent where you can be drinking and ordering food. This was an amazing weekend trip during term time for us teachers. We will definitely be visiting again.
A taste of the atmosphere from sitting at the tables. Hopefully you’ll have an idea of what to do at Oktoberfest when you visit.