Oktoberfest is the world’s greatest annual beer festival and this year it’s celebrating its 185th year. Do you love dancing? Music? German food? And most importantly beer? Then make sure to get yourself to Munich for this memorable (and boozy) event.
Taking place on 17th September - 3rd October, Oktoberfest is definitely one to tick off your bucket list. Entry to the area and all beer tents are free and for the 2022 Oktoberfest, there are some awesome new attractions and rides to enjoy (including a slingshot ride that swings in all directions). To help you out we’ve created an essential guide for first-timers on how to make the most of this festival. With tips and tricks given to us by regular ‘Oktoberfesters’, here’s how to do it the RIGHT way...
If you need a bed in Munich for Oktoberfest, check out Europe's Famous Hostels. Their Euro Youth Hostel is just a 10 minute walk from the Oktoberfest grounds.
OUR 12 OKTOBERFEST TIPS:
1) LOOK THE PART
People dress up in traditional Bavarian dress during Oktoberfest. Buy Lederhosen or Dirndls so you can look the part too. Lederhosen are short or knee-length breeches made of leather that include suspenders worn over a checkered, collared shirt. This a typically worn by men whilst women wear Dirndls, a tight-fitting bodice over a puffy, white blouse and a full skirt.
You can get them pretty cheap at any C&A in the city. It's way more fun if you're in traditional dress and if you're not you'll be the odd one out.
2) YOU DON’T NEED A SEAT
Sometimes the beer tents can get pretty rammed. You don't need to be sitting to enjoy a beer, you just need to be able to lean against something if it's really busy. Don’t worry if you can’t find an empty bench, fun can be had standing and it’s all about the company, beer and the overall experience.
3) TIPPING WILL GET YOU FAR
Probably the handiest tip we can give you. Oktoberfest is always packed every year - which means waiting for your drinks can take a while. The top tip is to tip your waitress well on the first round so you’ll never have to wait for beers again…
This actually works.
4) LINE YOUR STOMACH AT HOFBRÄUHAUS
Platzl 9, 80331 München, Germany
The beer brewed for Oktoberfest is strong! They contain at least 6% of alcohol; one mug of beer here is equivalent to 8 shots of Schnapps. Go to the Hofbräuhaus in town for lunch before you go to the festival for the full Bavarian dining experience to line your stomach. It’s the world’s most famous and oldest beer tavern dating back to the 16th century. Here you’ll get really good quality German food, a great atmosphere - with no crowds on festival days. It’s cheaper to eat here first than in the actual park where it’s pretty pricey, and there’s also better food - trust us it’s incredible! Think fat pork knuckles, juicy German sausages and pretzels. No need to book either, just rock up.
The Oktoberfest ground is just a 10-minute journey on the U-Bahn or a 20-minute walk from here.
5) GO MIDWEEK TO BEAT THE CROWDS
If you haven't booked your Oktoberfest tickets yet, try to go midweek. It’s much easier to get a bed somewhere close to the grounds - on weekends it can be quite difficult because places get booked up quickly. It’s also much easier to find a good spot in a beer tent on week days too. You can try and avoid times where beer tents will be full and queues will be long - check out this page so you can plan according to off-peak times.
And on that topic...
6) GUARD YOUR AREA
When you get a good spot in a beer tent - Keep it. There are multiple beer tents to choose from this year ranging from big to small (all awesome though) but they get busy fast. Find out about all the individual tents here.
You can even reserve a spot in advance so you’re guaranteed an area, but this isn’t always necessary and we don’t think it’s a ‘must’. For example, the Feisinger’s tent is always worth a visit, as they don’t give away reservations for more than half of their seats in the tent. So there is always quite a good chance of finding an empty table without a reservation. But like we said earlier, you don’t need to be seated to have a good time so don’t fret if you can’t get a spot.
7) GET IN WITH THE LOCALS
Try to share tables with locals for a more memorable experience. The locals love Oktoberfest and go hard. Try and make some friends. Get involved, join a table and it will make your experience all the better.
8) GO TO THE THERESIENWIESE GROUNDS
This might sound obvious but several non-official Oktoberfest events take place around the main grounds. Theresienwiese is where the real Oktoberfest takes place, where you’ll find all the beer tents and rides. This huge field is easily walkable (4 minutes) from the U-Bahn station Theresienwiese, but just follow the crowds of people and you’ll find it easy peasy.
9) BE WEATHER READY
Check the weather before you go so you can prep. The weather in Munich can be a little unpredictable. Somedays it can be warm and sunny and other days it can be pouring with rain and freezing. So we recommend you bring an umbrella and a raincoat, just in case! Hopefully this year, it will be nice and dry.
10) DON’T DRIVE IN
There is almost nowhere to park nearby to the Oktoberfest grounds so we don’t recommend driving in. The subway brings you right to the gates of the Oktoberfest. Plus, who would wanna drive anyway if it means you can’t drink beer?
11) GET HOME SAFE...ON THE SUBWAY
As you'll drink quite a bit, make sure you keep your address on you to find your way home at the end of the day. On the weekends during Oktoberfest, the trains will be conveniently running until 1 am. All MVV subway lines will be running until 2 am. This will make it easy for you to travel home without having to pay for a taxi.
12) IF YOU'RE THERE FOR OPENING DAY...
If you arrive in Munich for Oktoberfest's opening on September 17th, then there's only one tent to be in. The Schottenhamel tent. Here you'll get to experience the Bavarian tradition where the Mayor of Munich will have the honour of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer at noon. Once the first barrel of beer has been opened, then everyone else can get their beers in and officially start Oktoberfest. We suggest trying to get to the tent as early as possible - most people aim to arrive at 9 am to get a good seat to watch the opening ceremony.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Beer prices can hit the €11 mark. Liquid gold ain’t cheap...
Entry to the event is free. All you have to do is book accommodation and bring some spending money
Check a full weather report for Munich
Going to Munich by plane means you will land at Airport Franz-Josef-Strauss which is located about 20 kilometres north of Munich.