As a longtime supporter of Oktoberfest and a former resident of Munich, I would like to share some knowledge about the renowned beer festival in Munich.
The festival, first held in 1810 to commemorate the union of Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen and Crown Prince Louis I of Bavaria, has grown into a massive exhibition of Bavarian culture, including Oktoberfest costumes and most famously, German beer.
Oktoberfest, which takes place on the Theresienwiese festival grounds and lasts for two to three weeks in September and October, is named for the princess who wed there more than two centuries ago.
Visitors are eager to drink beer from all six of Munich’s main breweries. There is some advice I wish I had had when I first attended the Oktoberfest festival.
No need to pay for table reservations.
Anybody who asks you to make reservations for a beer tent and then demands payment is trying to con you. Fortunately, my friend warned me about this scam, and I remained safe.
Keep cash to avoid lengthy ATM lines.
Although ATMs are inside the festival grounds, many others are eager to withdraw money. Avoid wasting valuable party time by waiting in lines. Bring plenty of cash with you when you arrive.
Arrive early to secure a prime seat.
Since Oktoberfest is primarily a beer celebration, many visitors in Oktoberfest costumes arrive late afternoon or evening when they feel the thirst for beer.
Many people are unaware that beer is regarded as a food and a beverage in Bavaria, where it is referred to as “liquid bread” and can be consumed anytime you choose.
Explore all the tents
You might be inclined to remain put and guard your seat once you find it. But I would advise you to do as much exploring as you can.
Larger tents are unique and provide you with fresh beer and an exotic dish to try.
Take your clothing seriously.
Dirndls and lederhosen women are examples of traditional German dress or tracht, and they aren’t just for Oktoberfest. Clothes are an essential component of Bavarian culture, and throughout the year, many rural towns dress up for church or other celebrations.
Don’t be rude; wearing an ordinary T-shirt or dirndl onesie can make you stand out from the crowd as an outsider.
If you don’t want to spend the money on true tracht, accessorize your outfit with a unique feathered cap or another genuine piece you can find on the festival grounds.
If you’re wearing your tracht outside of the festival, don’t worry about looking ridiculous. Even if they aren’t going to Oktoberfest that day, many Germans will dress all across the city in Oktoberfest costumes.
Don’t feel pressured to learn German songs.
Germans sing the repetitive lyrics at festivals, gatherings, sporting events, or really whenever they’ve had a fair lot to drink. Lederhosen women are the favorite costume to wear while singing and dancing at the beer festival.
Knowing the lyrics to a handful of these songs is enjoyable, but it’s not necessary. World-famous songs are incorporated by Oktoberfest musicians.