I am going to discuss my experience at Oktoberfest in Munich, or as it has been affectionately called, the greatest trip I don’t remember.
Here’s a quick list of my key suggestions to getting by one day at a time in this dirndl tidal wave.
- If you want a table in a main tent, you need to be there very early. This doesn’t mean a few hours early this means roughly show up in the morning and wait until the party at 10pm. If you have multiple people in your party just leapfrog through the day. Have a couple people drink for a few hours while others rest then vice-versa until 7-8pm, when things kick up. If you only have 1-2 people in your group you may be able to squeeze in on a table of friendly drunks.
- Dress in the lederhosen and dirndl. You’ll be surprised how many people dress in this traditional garb. You’ll also be happy to know how a simple outfit can enhance your own experience.
- Stay in an adjacent town. This piece of advice is more subjective depending on your budget. Staying in Munich during Oktoberfest is ridiculously expensive. The (slightly) better budget option is to stay in a neighboring town and take the train in the morning. It’s easy and if you worry about missing the last train then the festival has sleeping areas which are frankly an experience in themselves.
- This is likely the most important piece of advice especially when coupled with number 1. Pace yourself. It is a long day and the goal is to make it to the end. Around 10pm everyone stands on the benches, if you had too much then this becomes an impossible task(I had too much so you won’t be alone). This is when the real drinking begins. From this point on assume everyone’s BAC increases 1 point every half hour. You must make the decision to see it through now. If you are already tipsy here, I don’t think you will make it. Depending on your table drinks will get bought, drinking songs will get yelled, and chugging will happen.
- Lastly, when you leave Oktoberfest will have a very different look from when you arrived. It will be almost post apocalyptic. Make sure you make a good mental note on where you plan to spend the night earlier because sticking to that plan is key.
Overall, Oktoberfest in Munich will be enlightening to what a drinking culture can truly accomplish. Describing it can only do so much and you get out of it what you put into it. Here’s a few extra pictures to tickle your fancy.