However, the rowdy German festival can seem overwhelming if you’ve never been.
Is it full of people being sick on themselves? Should you wear fancy dress? How much bratwurst is one expected to deep throat?
But never fear, dear Oktoberfest virgin – we’ve enlisted the help of a festival veteran to help you make the most of your beer-swilling time in Bavaria.
Here are some tips from Contiki expert Danielle Hindson, who will count this year’s festival as her seventh Oktoberfest! Wowsers.
1. Plan your dirndl or lederhosen outfit before you arrive
‘Dressing in the traditional garb is half the fun at Oktoberfest,’ says Danielle.
‘It’s in no way mandatory, but it’s definitely a big part of the experience. Traditionally it’s lederhosen for the men, and dirndl dresses for the women (but don’t be surprised to see a few stags in dresses!)
‘Locals can spend thousands on their traditional Bavarian costume, but bargain hunters may prefer to buy in advance online, or even borrow from a friend.
‘If you decide to go for the full Bavarian experience, expect to spend €80-€150 (£70 – £132) to get fitted in your very own lederhosen or dirndl at one of the traditional costume stores in Munich.’
Did you know?
The way a woman ties her apron indicates if she’s single or taken.
Tie it the right and it means you’re taken, but tie it to the left and it signals you’re single and ready to mingle…
2. Every beer tent is different… but try not to tent hop too much!
‘To be clear, “tents” isn’t a very accurate description for the 10,000 person capacity, 14 wooden beer halls at Oktoberfest,’ explains Danielle.
‘Each “tent” has its own special atmosphere. The Hacker tent is probably the rowdiest, whilst the red Hippodrom tent near the entrance is the hang out for the cooler cats of Munich.
‘International visitors (including hordes of young Brits) congregate in the Hofbrau tent, but if you want a bit more Bavarian authenticity, the Augustiner is more of a locals hangout.
‘And if you can’t get a seat anywhere else? The Lowenbrau should be able to accommodate you.
‘Tents are open from 10am on weekdays and 9am on weekends (breakfast beer anyone?!) and they fill up very quick, so make sure you’ve secured a seat inside by 2pm, or you might have to try again the next day.’
3. Find a seat to order a beer
Danielle reckons you should pick a tent and find a seat ASAP, as you can’t order from the bar: ‘The rule is you can’t order a beer until you find a spot to sit down, so keep your eyes peeled for a space and befriend your fellow beer dwellers on the bench; you’ll be best mates in no time!
‘Local Munich companies often reserve blocks of tables from a certain time, so be careful not to seat yourself here as you’ll have to move when they show up.
‘Backup plan? Ask a friendly local with a seat to order you a beer, and get them one too to sweeten the deal.’
4. Tip your server
‘This year, a litre of beer is priced at €10.95 (£9.60) in the most popular tents,’ advises Danielle.
‘Make sure you’re prepped with cash as many of the beer tents don’t have card machines, and smaller notes are easier too.
‘Each bench is assigned a server – spot the traditional costume, name tag and superman strength, many able to carry more than 16 one-litre beers at once!
‘The expected service fee is normally 15%, so a litre of beer is rounded up to around €13. And yes, if you offer a generous tip on the first round, your server is bound to deliver your beers quick smart all day.’
5. Refuel with Bavarian beer snacks
Danielle told us that the trick to Oktoberfest is to pace yourself.
‘Half measures don’t exist; it’s one-litre steins all round. But if you’re not the biggest fan of beer, ask for a Radler (beer with lemonade), or try out the Weinzelt wine tent where you can choose from over 15 different types of wine, including sparkling and champagne.’
And the best way to pace yourself?
‘Fill up on tasty German food. Outside the beer halls you’ll find stands selling all sorts of snacks – giant pretzels, sugar covered nuts, bratwurst, currywurst, käsespätzle (an egg noodle dumpling topped with cheese) and a pizza with crème fraiche, bacon and spring onions (nom nom).
‘Inside the beer halls you can order all this and more, including two Oktoberfest favourites – crispy pork knuckle and a quarter roast chicken.’
6. Learn the songs
The oompah bands play festive songs inside the beer halls all day long. But which songs should you swot up on?
‘Largely considered the anthem of Oktoberfest, ‘Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit‘, which translates to ‘A toast to cheer and good times’ is one you won’t forget.
‘When the band begins playing this tune, it’s time to sway, sing and clink glasses with your beer hall buddies.’
Give it a practice before you go:
‘Ein Prosit, ein Prosit (A toast, a toast)
Der Gemütlichkeit (To cheer and good times).’
Phonetically, it goes something a little like:
‘Ayn praw-seet, ayn praw-seet
7. Take a break from the tents to explore the city of Munich
Munich is a beautiful city rich in history, Bavarian culture and spectacular architecture.
This is what Danielle reckons you should do when you’re not swigging beer:
- Join a free walking tour.
- Check out the Marienplatz where you can see the Glockenspiel, famous for its 32 lifelike clock figures that rotate several times each day.
- Visit Bavaria’s answer to the Palace of Versailles, Schloss Nymphenburg,
- Explore the daily farmers’ market at Viktualienmarkt.
- Instagram breathtaking views of the city after climbing to the top of the 91 metre steeple of the Church of St Peter.
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/16/heading-to-oktoberfest-heres-all-you-need-to-know-6930910/#ixzz4tD8MRpET