After 3 years of thinking about it, Lucas and I, along with a group of friends made the trek to the world’s largest beer festival. It was everything we hoped it would be, amazing beer, lots of singing and standing on tables, making new friends and delicious food.
We arrived in Munich on a Thursday morning, dropped off our luggage and headed to the fest. It was much less crowded on a weekday than the weekend, and while I was initially hesitant to get dressed up, most people do, German or not, and it makes it much more festive.
There are five breweries that make Oktoberfest beer, Paulaner, Spaten, Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbräu, and Löwenbräu, and each has multiple tents. Our goal was to visit a tent from each brewery, which we did. All the tents offer different types of food, one specialises in roast ox, others roast chicken and fish. So don’t worry-you won’t be drinking on an empty stomach! Expect to pay about 10 euro for a litre of beer. (Or shandy, if you are more responsible than me!)
All the tents have live music, some are traditinal oompah bands, others have more roack and roll (We heard a lot of John Denver). The drinking song, Ein Prosit, is played up to every 15 minutes in some tents, and you’ll be expected to hold your mug up and sing along. It’s worth trying to learn the lyrics before you go, but even if you don’t, you’ll probably know it by the end of the day.
Despite some minor hiccups, we had a great time at the festival and the atmosphere in the tents was amazing. The beer of course was delicious.
Lessons learned and advice:
- Bring cash! They don’t take cards at the tents, so make sure you are well prepared.
- Check into your hotel or airbnb before you visit the festival. You don’t want to be tipsily hunting around for where your airbnb host has hidden the key in a residential neighbourhood. For this reason, I’d probably stay in a hotel next time.
- Figure out how you are going to meet up with everyone/a plan if someone gets lost. Due to uncharged batteries and lack of wifi, we struggled to find each other in the crowds sometimes.
- Don’t be afraid to sit with people. You’ll probably have to to get a table, and we found everyone to be very friendly.