This is Why You Need to Grab Oktoberfest Tickets in Munich Germany
I was happy to return to Munich. As my memory served, it was a city full of culture, tradition, and embraced that small town feeling; not to mention, this time I’d timed it perfectly to experience the largest and craziest festival in the world – Oktoberfest. How perfect to time my visit during such an iconic event I thought. This is the perfect opportunity to check out the beer lords and ladies and see just how the wenches carry the steins as if they weighed the same as a feather. I grabbed Oktoberfest tickets, I put on the flats, and went right to the festival grounds to learn more.
Oktoberfest Fun Facts:
- Considered the largest beer festival in the world.
- The festival runs for 16-18 days.
- more than 6 million people visit the festival yearly!
- The festival is old! It has been taking place since 1810.
- Approximately 8 million litres of beer are served and consumed during the festival.
- Besides beer, the festival also includes, food, amusement park style rides, shop stalls, entertainment, and more.
- Traditional attire for the festival includes lederhosen for men and dirndls for women.
- During the World Wars, Oktoberfest was suspended.
- In case there are emergencies (beer drinking can lead to inebriation or other issues), there is a large Medical team on site for any ailments or issues.
- For the 200th anniversary in 2010, a commemorative horse race was held for the opening day of the festival.
- Only beer brewed in Munich is served at Oktoberfest
- There are 14 beer tents at Oktoberfest with up to 8000 seats. You must be seated on one of the benches in a tent to be served beer.
- There’s a special postage stamp for any letters mailed in the Oktoberfest mailbox.
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So We Grabbed Oktoberfest Tickets And Went for the Experience
Not knowing exactly what to expect, after grabbing our Oktoberfest tickets, we began to plan our time at the festival. We even dressed the part! Me in my dirndl with my hair in braids, and Josh in his German Fedora and plaid shirt- there was no question where we were going! Normally, he would have dawned an authentic lederhosen, but with such a hefty price tag and the very small chance of wearing it outside the festival, he decided to leave it on the rack. (not sure what is a good souvenir buy when travelling? Check out our declutter challenge here.)
We travelled in a group to Oktoberfest. This is a great way to experience the festival and you have a great bunch of people accompanying you. Our guide went over the basics with us about the festival, describing it as a massive slosh fest with an assorted selection of beer and spirits to choose from. I think that pretty much sums it up.
The Beer and the Wenches
Oktoberfest is a festival of beer. Each brand of featured beer pitches a tent and offers 1-litre steins with a side of pretzels. Beer wenches are hired to juggle 10 steins at a time to serve all sitting attendees at tables within the tents; no seat, no drink. These beer wenches are trained and hired to serve all the attendees attentively and ensure as few issues as possible. It is suggested that if you tip your beer wench, she will be more accommodating and attentive to your table, serving you more frequently and keeping your steins full.
Not knowing what to expect, we arrived at the festival after 5 pm. I wouldn’t recommend arriving this late as the entire festival was already a sea of beer drinkers. This makes finding a seat in one of the tents extremely difficult. Without a seat, you won’t be served beer.
More than Beer at Oktoberfest
Besides the many beer tents, there are hundreds of food stalls offering pretzels, foot-long wursts, pastries and candied apples.
Carnival rides including Ferris wheels, roller coasters and bumper cars are available to ride, and souvenir shops surround the grounds offering everything from T-shirts, to magnets, to collectible steins to take home.
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The Oktoberfest Gingerbread Cookies
One souvenir in particular that was exclusive to Oktoberfest was the gingerbread cookie necklace! These necklaces all had different messages written in icing to choose from. Everything from “I love you” to “I listen to my wife,” to “Oktoberfest- where to go to get drunk” to name a few. It was the quintessential take-home treat that rarely gets eaten. Our taxi driver told us that he still has his gingerbread from 1998!
The Oktoberfest Coffee Tent
As we mingled in the festival, we strangely enjoyed watching many a tourist stumble from their alcohol consumption and attempted to join them within the tents to share a stein. Much to our dismay, we were unable to get a table. This was due to arriving too late in the day. Do yourself a favour, seriously, and arrive around the opening hours. Attendees, especially those already a little tipsy, are quite territorial and will refuse to give up their seats. This will make it hard for you to have a beer and enjoy the experience. Sadly, we never were able to nab a seat. So we continued to explore and found a tent serving cocktails and wine, as well as coffee to enjoy instead.
The cocktail and wine tent was a beautiful change to the beer tents. The tent featured heart-shaped decorations, streamers, sparkles and gingham tablecloths. There was also an Irish cover band playing popular Oktoberfest tunes. Yes I did say Irish…needless to say, it was interesting!
We sat down and both ordered a spiked dessert coffee accompanied by a decadent treat from the pastry wagon. Not the typical Oktoberfest experience, but we embraced it as our own.
Munich is a beautiful quaint city in Germany. There are many things to explore while there. We didn’t have the time to see more than the famed festival, but we are definitely keen to return…And this time, get a seat in a beer tent!
Tips for the Ultimate Oktoberfest Experience – Do’s
- Arrive early! If you don’t, you will have a very difficult time nabbing a seat in one of the tents to enjoy the beer.
- Book accommodations well in advance! Over 7 million people come to the festival yearly! You can only imagine how hard it is to find lodging nearby for the festival.
- Head to the festival during the week! The weekends are absolute mayhem.
- If you will wear them again, dress culturally! If you can justify the expense, it is quite fun to go dressed in a lederhosen or dirndl.
- Bring cash. Euros to be exact. It is much easier to nab food, play the games, buy your Oktoberfest tickets, try the rides, or buy souvenirs with cash. Few booths and tents take plastic at this time and the machines time out constantly with the overuse. Avoid any additional headache (as you probably will have one after this drink fest) and bring a wad of cash and keep it safe on your person.
- Take as little as you need! Don’t bring along heavy purses or bags as if you are one of those who gets quite drunk, the last thing you need is to forget about your possessions. Plus large bags won’t get past security anymore. They are no longer allowed inside the festival.
- Leave your important documents in the safe of your hotel.
- Bring your camera! You will want to document your epic experience.
- Grab a taxi back to your hotel. I highly recommend you taking a cab instead of walking just in case you have had too much to drink.
- Eat food along with drinking beer! To avoid getting so sick from over drinking, it is best to eat in between steins.
- Learn basic German words for food to ease your ordering at the festival. Some to include in your basic terms include: Brezeln: Pretzel, Schweinshaxe: Pork knuckle, Spätzle: Egg noodles,
- Weisswurst: White sausage
- Make sure you pace yourself! Attendees get so excited about the festival and the fact that only 1-litre beer is served (no smaller serving) and forget that these are alcoholic beverages. Go easy on yourself to avoid getting sick and drunk too fast.
- Make sure you tip the wenches! This will put in you in the good books for exceptional service.
- If you have a group, make a reservation! You can book in advance if you have a group of 8 or more people.
- If you are bringing your phone, make sure you grab a local SIM card. Data roaming is very expensive and there is no WIFI on the festival grounds.
Pro-Tip: Want to have an authentic experience with a 1-litre stein, but don’t like the taste of beer? Why not try a radler? This is a half beer and half lemonade refreshing drink that can easily be ordered from the wenches in the tents.
What Never to Do at Oktoberfest – Don’t’s
There are several things to avoid and etiquette to uphold when going to Oktoberfest. Remember, this is a festival celebrating an age-old alcoholic beverage and is a cultural tradition in Munich. Many people don’t take responsibility for their consumption, many don’t know their limit, and in the end, rowdiness ensues. After getting your Oktoberfest tickets, heed these no-nos so that you have the most hassle and stress-free experience.
- Don’t put your feet on the tables! This is code for chugging a full litre of beer in a very short time. Unless you really feel like you can, don’t tempt the fate.
- Don’t leave your seat unless someone can hold it for you! It will get nabbed right away by someone waiting to be served. Some people never leave their seats for the duration of the festival! I have heard a rumour that some lederhosens are crafted to hold and absorb urine for die-hard attendees to do their business in them to avoid getting up from there seats…(ewwww).
- Don’t tent hop! If you are lucky to get a seat, keep it! It is so hard to get a seat as it is. Don’t tempt the fates.
- Keep valuables at home or in the hotel room safe. You can usually control your actions (well, not if completely out of it) but you cannot control the actions of others. Make sure you protect your valuables and keep them away from the festival.
- Keep purses and wallets at home or in the hotel safe.
- Wear comfortable close toed shoes! There is nothing worse than getting beer spilled on your feet and having a sticky mess all night long. Plus, steins are made of glass. Things to break now and then. You don’t want exposed feet near shards of shattered glass.
- Don’t steal steins or any other Oktoberfest items! Security guards do bag checks throughout the festival and will give you a fine for stealing. Just buy the darn thing at the souvenir booths. If you want it badly enough, you will pay for it legitimately.
- Show courtesy in the beer tents. You cannot reserve seats for friends and if you try, you will be treated poorly by the public and others at the festival.
- Don’t sleep outside the festival. Take a cab and head home. If you pass out on the grass, you are easy pickins’ for theft, kidnapping, or even vandalism.
So there you have our no-fail guide to the Oktoberfest iconic festival. When you buy your Oktoberfest tickets, plan ahead, be smart, dress the part with close-toed shoes, and pack only the essentials. Have fun!
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