Our traveler Brandi spent her tour toasting new friends at Oktoberfest in Germany. After spending all day in the tents, sipping steins of beer and eating the famous Bavarian pretzels, here’s what she had to say for making the most of your Oktoberfest experience.
Do your research
Just like traveling to any destination, it helps to have some background on where you will be going before you get there. In doing research ahead of time, I was able to figure out which tents are generally the liveliest and what to expect.
Ask your Tour Director
Your Tour Director is a local expert and will be able to give you the history and background on the event. Our fantastic Tour Director told us all about King Ludwig and how the festival originally started.
Dress the part
A number of people in our group wore Dirndls (the girls) and Lederhosen (the guys). Dressing like a local made the festival so much more fun. Plus, our pictures look great!
Food—don’t be fooled, you have options!
Inside the tents you will find an array of local options like Hendl (roast chicken), Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Würstl (sausages) and Brezen (pretzel) with prices ranging from 10 to 30 euros per item. Outside of the tents, there are food stands that sell all kinds of sandwiches and meats at a quarter of the price. Of course, you have to find a place to sit and eat it—but it’s totally worth it.
There are tons of games, rides and fun things to do on the fairgrounds. There are even bumper cars and a Ferris wheel—which, of course, are more fun after a little Oktoberfest beer! The view from the Ferris wheel is stunning at dusk.
We arrived at the festival at around 11am. Our tent, Armbrustschützen, was a great place to kick off our adventure. There was a traditional Bavarian band playing and enough space to comfortably eat at the tables. We were in a private section reserved for our group. At around 3:00pm, the tent started to fill up with more people. After 4:00pm, we decided to check out a few other tents. We just asked at the door if there was space, and we were happily let in. Each tent had a different vibe and served different beer. Once we found one that we really liked, we stayed for the dancing.
Make friends with the locals
Germans are friendly people, and they certainly know how to have a good time. Many of the beer tents have long communal tables that are shared by multiple groups. We sat with a group of lively Germans and it was definitely a cultural experience!
Don’t miss the dancing
Once the sun goes down, the party starts. In almost every tent there were huge groups of people dancing on the tables. So of course, we joined in. You know what they say…“When in Rome!” (or in this case, Munich!)
Determine a meet-up place
By the end of the night, most of our group had split up. Luckily, we set up a meeting place and time earlier in the day, making it super easy for us to regroup and share a taxi back to the hotel.
Step outside of your comfort zone
Whether it’s trying a taste of the liver, drinking dark beer or dancing when you don’t know the music, don’t be afraid to try something new—you wont regret it!