9 Essential Tips for Attending Oktoberfest 2014
Yes, a few stragglers in Europe will take the road less traveled and check out Germany’s smaller version of Octoberfest 2014 come April for Springfest. But the real one isn’t until the end of September in Munich, and all the Germans will be waiting for this one.
Submitted by local German bro Marius Kollerer, he lets us in on his top 9 recommendations for “silly Americans studying abroad coming to Oktoberfest”:
BEERTENTS Oktoberfest 2014
- Go to one of the 3 biggest tents, “if you go there you cant do anything wrong”:
- Hacker Pschorr
- If you want a safe seat at one of the Biertents in Munich, you should make the reservation very early (you won’t have this problem in Berlin). The best time to do that is in october right after the Oktoberfest has ended, since there are so many people who try to get reservations for tables. Up to half a year before Oktoberfest 2014 it might be possible to get reservations for tables. At a table up to 10 persons can sit together and the reservation is very expensive, since you pay in food and beer tickets. This means you have to drink and eat up to a certain amount of money (I think in some tents it’s around 300Euro, which is really no big deal if you stay there a whole day), otherwise you have to pay the rest. So you should have around 8 to 10 people, who go with you to the Oktoberfest for sure, so the reservation works out for you.
- If you can’t get a reservation, it’s also no big deal, because theres a rule for the tent owners to leave one third of the tables on the bottom ( there is one big space in the middle of the the tent with the stage for music and tables, and there are two ”first floors” mostly reserved by big companies on the two ends of the tent) free for people with no reservations. The thing is, that the Oktoberfest is incredibly crowded, so if you want a table without having a reservation, you should try to get into the tent when it opens, wich is at 9AM. To actually get into the tent you have to wait in line though. And the first people getting in line are at the Oktoberfest at around 5:30AM. Which means you should stand in line for the tent at 6-7AM to get in! Then you have to wait the 2 hrs, but you won’t regret it!
- If you are looking for hotels close to the Theresienwiese (where the Octoberfest is at) you should look for a room as early as possible (6 months before the Oktoberfest), since the hotels or hostels are full very fast. Also it is a possibility to rent hostels and hotels outside of Munich, if you ask if there is a good subway, train or bus connection to the Oktoberfest (in munich the public travel system is pretty good) Very often the hotels offer deals where u get the tickets for public travel systems for free.
- If you go during the week there wont be as many people as on weekends, So if you have the chance, then go during the week. Do not be too late at the tent (also around 7AM to make sure you get in)
- Plan to spend a lot of cash..Oktoberfest is awesome but very expensive! If you stay there the whole day or at least until 4PM you should bring around 100Euro. One maß (1litre beer) costs around 10Euro (9,50 I think is the price from last year) And always give very good tips! The food is even more expensive, up to 20Euros for a Schweinebraten, but this is gonna be the best Schweinebraten that an American has eaten in his whole life unless he has been in some Bavarian beer gardens before. You going to be thirsty at the Oktoberfest, and usually you drink between 3 to 8 masses. You order food about 2 – 3 times, so you can calculate the price you pay if you really want to enjoy Oktoberfest 2014.
- Dress Bavarian: There are almost no people anymore who do not wear Lederhosn as a guy and Dirndl as a girl. It’s not a must, but it is lots of fun to dress traditionally. In stores for traditional clothing the Lederhosn and Dirndl cost something between 80 and 300 Euros.
- The beer at Oktoberfest 2014 is a little stronger than the usual german beer, and this is usually already a bit stronger than American beer. I think it has around 7-8 percent alcohol. However that Oktoberfest beer makes you very very drunk! And the thing about a maß is, that you drink it very very fast. It is always perfectly cooled down, when you get it. So you dont pay 10 Euros for crap, you get the best stuff! So you should eat a lot before you go to the Oktoberfest, and watch out for people who aren’t used to big amounts of german beer. You don’t want to end up in the first aid tent or hospital, and you would be surprised how many people wake up there!
- In the tent it is always fun if you can sing as many drinking songs as possible, or to have drinking slogans. Also many countries represent themselves and show off. But the biggest fun is, if you have heard the typical Oktoberfest songs before, so that you can sing along with them, if the music band starts playing! So just check them out first.
Octoberfest 2014 Munich Dates: Saturday, September 20 – October 5
Beer tents stop serving beer at 10:30pm each night, and close at 11:30pm. Käfer Wiesn-Schänke and “Weinzelt” are open until 1am with last call around midnight. More information can be found on www.oktoberfest.de and www.gogermany.about.com.
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Thanks to Marius Kollerer and Brian Baldrati for helping future students just like you out.