Every person has their own Oktoberfest. In Spite of the crowd and the whole lot of crazy fun going around, every person has their own experience of Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the most amazing community drinking festival with superb quality beer that should be on everybody’s bucket list. It starts in late September every year and ends in the first week of October.It is locally called Wiesn and was started as a wedding festivity for the Crown Prince Ludwig which the locals lovingly continued. All the beer houses for Germany have their own tents built to cater to thousands of people at once . Even then some people are left waiting to be served.
What actually happens at the festival that is so fun?
Imagine yourself in the midst of thousands of people,sampling beer,sitting under huge decorated tents wearing traditional german outfits. Basically, all of these people get drunk after an hour into the festival and then the real fun starts.There is traditional german music playing from the top of the stage kept secured from the drinking area for obvious reasons. People join in the singing and dancing happening around. Girls get on the top of the table singing local folk songs at the top of the voice and gulp down their beer to the last drop amidst wild cheering and clapping from the crowd. People from all over the world try to outdrink people from all over the world.Mini commotions at different tables help you figure out who is competing with whom. There are a lot of pretty girls around decked up in drindls and I took a fancy to some cute swiss lads looking smart and shiny in their lederhosens. We were sitting at the table looking at the festivities and slowly got lured into all the gay banter happening around. After drinking for 2 hours we were not alone anymore but were friends with the group of 3 gentlemen from Switzerland who were attending Oktoberfest for the 18th time. They drive for 4 hours every year, spend 2-3 days at the festival drinking 9-10 litres of beer everyday without passing out on the streets. That is a great feat in itself because by 4:00 PM we were ready to wish good night to the world and we actually went back to the hotel to sleep after imbibing 4 liters of the best-brewed beer in the world. We woke up to some hazy happy memories and acute hunger pangs the next morning. I think the pictures below will give you the exact feel of Oktoberfest – One of the first international festival that I have attended so far.
But do not skip the Tips and Tricks information at the end of the post if you are a first timer like we were and do not want to miss out on the fun! Yes, that happens a lot – people do not get a chance to be served beer because all the seat in ALL the tents are gone!Prost !!!
There is a lot to do besides drinking beer at Oktoberfest. There is a souvenir market outside and an amusement park with some amazing rides. You can enjoy street food like Fish and Chips, steaks and German Roasts at the fair as well.
Tips and Tricks
When to go
Try to avoid weekends because it gets very crowded. There is a decent crowd even on weekdays, but there is a fair chance of you being able to enjoy the festivities more on a weekday. Quite a few people attend from nearby places in Germany in the first week. But if you love interacting with people and like crowded festivals go on a Saturday!
Where to Stay
If you have planned way in advance then there is a chance you will get cheap hotel rates.However, if attending the festival is an impromptu decision then be ready to pay exorbitant rates per night. The public transport in Munich is one of the best so it does not matter where your hotel is just get one at the cheapest price whenever you are booking .Yes, there are cheap tents available but it is actually a bit chilly outside in this season so bring your own blankets along!
How to reach
Take a metro ticket from an automated ticket booth at any metro station near your hotel. Theresienwiese is the nearest metro station to Oktoberfest grounds. You just step out of the station and you are just 2 minutes away from Hofbrahaus beer tent!
What time should I reach the tents
This is the most crucial part. Now, I am a planner and I went there all the way from New Delhi, India to enjoy Oktoberfest.I wanted to be sure that I make it inside Hofbrahaus Tent so I went there way early. I was outside the tent gates at 9:00 AM and there were quite a few tourists ahead of me in the line. The gates opened at 10:30 AM. It was worth it because we got a nice table right in the center that was not reserved for ourselves.
Why do you need to get a table
Well , its a rule in all tents that they will serve beer to the people who have a seat inside the Tent or have a place at the stand and drink tables. I saw that there were tables outside of the tents and people were getting served food and drink both. But the real fun and atmosphere is inside the tent.
How safe are your belongings
Please do not carry anything with you. It is not allowed inside the tent.You will be asked to leave and deposit your luggage in the locker rooms outside the metro gates. You have to pay per hour at the locker and it does not open till 12 noon. So if you have a strategy of getting there early to grab a place with a bag on you, it’s gonna be difficult. We faced the same problem and dumped our bag beneath a cupboard outside after emptying it and it was stolen by the time we came out of the tent. So, it’s better to go without any bags to the fest.