- The festival takes cash, not card. Bring enough to sustain you. Many of my friends didn't bring enough and had to cut their day short, so keep this in mind. Also keep your budget in mind- you're probably going to spend more than you want to
- Get there early:
- Some people will disagree with me but I really do think you should get to the festival early. On weekends, the grounds open at 9:00 a.m. and everyone sprints to the tent that they want. When I say sprint I mean SPRINT to get that table that you want. Make sure you look at which entrance is closest to the tent that you want so you have the fastest route! It is a mess but it is something you'll never have the chance to do again. This also (nearly) guarantees that you'll get a table or at least a standing table. Overall, I think it's completely worth it to get to the grounds and wait in line for an hour.
Booking and Travel:
- Book your flights and hotel/ hostel early:
- the prices go up exponentially and I know so many friends that couldn’t go because flights were $800+ to Munich
- The Oktoberfest Camping Tents:
- I'm talking about the tents that are like $250 for travel, twin shared tents, unlimited booze, no hot water for showering, etc. These tents are brutal, but a lot of study abroad students take this option since it is so much cheaper than anything else. It is fun and always a party at these sites but if you want a good night's rest (or really any rest at all), these tents aren’t for you. If it is cold or raining, I really am begging you to choose somewhere insulated to sleep. This being said, everyone I have asked about these tents have said that it was an experience and totally worth it, though they wouldn't do it again.
- Where to stay:
- you’re going to want to book a place near Theresienwiese, which is where the actual festival is. There are a few towns outside of Munich where you can book a cheap hotel but I don’t recommend this. My friends and I stayed in Dachau, and we honestly spent the same amount of money on taxis as we would have booking a more expensive hotel in Munich. It just took up more time and made life that much more difficult.
- WEAR A TRADITIONAL OUTFIT!!!
- please rent or buy a lederhosen(boys)or dirndl (girls). This is one of the best parts of the festival
- don’t wear a dress that's too short, it's not cute and honestly you will get yelled at by the local Germans. It isn’t Halloween, this is a festival that brings together communities of strangers including families.
- Wear comfortable shoes!
- you will be walking, dancing, running and jumping. Wear something comfortable.
- You know what your limits are. Do not put yourself in danger or drink too much just because it is Oktoberfest. It's not worth it, and it'll ruin the festival for those around you as well as yourself. Stay in a state of control.
- Walk around in pairs or groups. Share your location with your friends and make sure you are with someone at all times
- Always keep your phone, wallet and any emergency numbers/ addresses on you at all times.
- If you go to the bathroom, don't go alone because the tent may get too crowded and you may not be able to get back in afterwards.
- Arrange a meeting point with your friends in case you get lost (my friends and I agreed to meet at the Ferris Wheel if any of us got lost and had no communication for 1 hour).
- Each tent will have options for table reservations on their respective websites, however, these are not required. They all also have designated non-reserved table areas where people can come and find a seat/ table. This being said, it is not easy finding a table, so think about the time you are getting to the festival and the size of your party- booking a table may be the best plan. If it is, book it early. They sell out fast.
- Hofbräu- Festzelt
- HB!!!!! This place will hold my heart forever. If you're looking to hang out with fellow English speakers, HB is the place to go. It is also THE place for study abroad students. This is where i spent a majority of my Oktoberfest and I had the most grand time.
- This tent is very popular with international tourists and plays a lot of English pub music, you can find good company here, but it won’t be a very German experience.
- Käfer Wiesn Schänke
- This tent is open until 1AM whilst most other tents close around 10:30 PM. if you want a place to stay late, this is the tent for you.
- There are many more tents, so do your own research to find out which one best suites what you’re looking for!
Things To Do or See:
- The rollercoasters were one of my absolute favorite parts of Oktoberfest. I really recommend going on at least Olympia Looping, and the drop tower if you can. The rides are around $7-12 per ride, but it's completely worth it.
- This is a massive monumental statue that you can see on the festival grounds
- This is an old fashioned theater that puts on some shows/ performances during the festival. There is also a parade on certain days that can be seen from the outside.
Oktoberfest is, as of now, my favorite experience that I have had abroad. The amount of fun that I had cannot be put into words and the memories of those few days in Munich will stay will me forever. I hope that your experience can be similar to mine if not better. Keep these tips in mind and I think you will have a blast. Immerse yourself into those around you and have the time of your life. Prost!
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Hi!! I'm Kate Cook, a junior at Villanova University Studying Comprehensive Sciences/Computer Science. I grew up in Thailand, and spent most of high school in Fairfax, VA, but have been living in Sydney, Australia for the last 4 years. Evidently, I've got lots of experience with foreign education but I can't wait to see what it's like in Europe! I love to travel, paint, read, play volleyball, and listen to all genres of music. I am beyond excited to be living in Milan for a semester, and can't wait to share all of my stories with you!