Oktoberfest: What You Need to Know

In 2016, I experienced Oktoberfest for the first time, and Luke for the second. I very well understand why attending this world-famous beer festival is a bucket list item.

The German culture, beer, food, traditions, music, and everything else you can imagine is too much fun for words.

About Oktoberfest

You will be along the other six million annual attendees of Oktoberfest in Munich when attending the largest folk festival in the world. These two weeks of drinking amazing litres of beer takes place just outside of the Munich city center. Upon entering the festival, you’ll see most people in traditional dress – dirndls for the ladies and lederhosen for the guys – so to be totally immersed, I suggest you find yourself an awesome Oktoberfest outfit to wear when you go.

Oktoberfest started in 1810, and was held in honor of the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburgahusen. Parades, eating, drinking, and being merry are all still seen in today’s rendition of this historic celebration. 2017’s Oktoberfest is #184.

Reserve a table in a tent well in advance

There are 34 tents, and when you consider six million people trying to squeeze into those over a two-week period, it is smart to reserve your spot in advance here. By the way, the word “tent” is not what you’re picturing – they are massive, solid structures with extremely tall ceilings, in every color and pattern you can think of. They resemble a tent more on the inside than they do on the outside. You’ll enter and see long wooden tables and benches that can hold up to 10,000 Oktoberfest visitors.

If you aren’t able to secure a table, make sure to hit the tents during a weekday and not towards the end of the night. General hours are 10:00am – 10:30pm on weekdays, and open at 9:00am on Saturdays and Sundays. The tents get super crowded at nighttime and if packed enough, entering is cut off after a certain point.

One size fits all when it comes to beer – a litre

You will only be able to order a litre, which you may have to use both hands to hold up and drink out of they are so heavy. You’ll see waitresses carrying around 4-5 in each hand – super impressive. The price ranges from year to year; the cheapest price is usually around

Dress for the occasion

When we went to Oktoberfest, some of our greatest friends took us when we were staying with them in Munich. Alissa let me borrow one of her dirndls, the traditional dress women wear in Bavaria, and it seriously took the experience to the next level.

I definitely recommend dressing for the occasion and making sure you have the traditional attire to sport at Oktoberfest. It was such a neat experience to wear the customary outfit of Munich, and it felt so pretty, too! Minus the fact that after the corset was all done up, I could hardly breathe!

Be prepared for any kind of weather

The end of September is chilly in Munich. It also happened to be overcast and rainy the days we were visiting. But if you travel across the world, rain or shine, you are going to Oktoberfest.

I was super thankful for my rain jacket, doubling as a wind breaker, for the cold weather. Sure, it gets warmer the more beer you drink, but you will be more comfortable if you’re prepared for all types of weather.

Cookie hearts are for lovers

This was such an awesome souvenir. Everywhere you look you’ll see cookie hearts with love sayings in German written in frosting.

Note: they aren’t really meant to be eaten. I heard from our friends that they are by no means tasty, but despite that, it’s still super sweet when your lover buys you one as a declaration of love!

There’s more to it than just drinking beer

Want to attend the traditional events, like a the grand entry of the Oktoberfest landlords? Check out the full program to see what floats your boat.