This birthday I turned 50, so wanting to do something different, I headed over the Munich, Germany with my girlfriend for the famous Oktoberfest.
Contrary to what you might think, it starts in mid-September and goes into the first week of October.This was part of a larger trip that I will write about another time.
We got into Munich on the Friday before it started and planned on going to the opening ceremonies. Honestly we had not done a whole lot of research before going so we had a lot to figure out.
Lessons Learnt From Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest Lesson 1
Which brings me to my first lesson, if you want to sit down inside a tent and have a beer, it’s a good idea to reserve a seat. However, we found out that you need to reserve about a YEAR in advance. Well obviously we didn’t do that so we had to just show up. Luckily we changed our minds and decided to go on day two.
Oktoberfest Lesson 2
If you don’t reserve in advance go during the week, during the morning. We went around noon on Sunday, we were very fortunate. It was a lousy rainy day but this was a GOOD thing.
Sounds crazy right?
Nope, it kept away a lot of the crowds. We were able to get into all the tents before they closed. Yes, the “tents” close and you then you are not allowed in, probably for the rest of the day.
Note: I don’t know why they are called 'tents'. There is nothing tent-like about them. They are huge buildings, basically decorated warehouses with a fabric roof.
Oktoberfest Lesson 3
If you want to have a beer, you need to have a seat in a tent. You cannot get served just standing around, and that’s all we were able to do. You also cannot drink outside of the tents. There are no what I would call 'beer stands' anywhere. So if you’re not in a tent, seated, no drinking for you!
Luckily, we found some outside seating that was protected from the rain and we were able to secure seats there and get our liters of beer.
Oktoberfest Lesson 4
You can’t be shy, you will have to ask people if you can sit at their tables. You are never going to just find an open table.
Oktoberfest Lesson 5
Bring cash, there are no credit cards accepted anywhere that I saw. Not even the souvenir stands where I bought a stein and a shirt.
Oktoberfest Lesson 6
Bring Tylenol or your favorite headache medicine. I had the worst hangover the next morning, something about the draft beer.
Attending Oktoberfest was a lot of fun and I highly recommend it, just do some planning and learn from my mistakes.
For an even more fun experience, why not book a two, three, or four night Glamping Experience at Oktoberfest, which includes breakfast, dinner, accomodation, tour information and a few other perks.