From the basics tips to the bespoke local know hows, we’ve got the 6 essential Oktoberfest facts you need to make your first time fantastic!
Sure knowing the details like hours of operation or what to wear for the weather is important, but how about what locals do to combat the dreaded Oktoberfest hangover?
We’ve got all those and more covered for you below in our 6 essential Oktoberfest Facts!
Oktoberfest Facts: What Is The Munich Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest ( or known to the locals as Wiesn ) is a 16-18 day annual event in Munich, Germany. It starts mid September and goes until the first week of October.
The origin of this beautiful beer festival began in 1810, when Prince Ludwig ( King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese and commemorated the occasion with a large central event. This event ended up being such a hit with the locals that they decided to keep it as an annual tradition!
Oktoberfest Facts: When Is Oktoberfest?
The Munich Oktoberfest runs from the middle of September to the start of October. Typically it is 16-18 days long (depending on the year).
Often it is extended as far as October 3rd since it is a public holiday, thus giving us 18 days to celebrate!
Oktoberfest Facts: What Can You Expect?
At first it can be incredibly overwhelming -on average about 6 million people attend! but with the right preparation it can quickly become one of the most incredible experiences you’ve had yet.
The most important thing is to make sure you have enough cash, comfy shoes (expect to queue a lot if you’ve got no reservations) and pace yourself with the drinking!..
(Trust us, we’ve all made this mistake once or thrice and its best if avoided)
However, the biggest (and our favourite) part to prepare for is getting ready to dance and sing your heart out with loads of enthusiastic strangers from all over the world!
Oktoberfest Facts: Do You Need Reservations?
This is a tricky topic. As there is no central source for Oktoberfest bookings, you need to make them specifically through the individual tents (and sometimes only per email or post!)
For the easiest and the most cost efficient (reservations are not just hard to get but can be incredibly expensive too!) option we would recommend booking through a third partysuch as our friends at Viator.
You can get a guaranteed seat, beer and meal at a pretty reasonable cost.
Oktoberfest Facts: How Much Will It Cost?
Although we say it’s a well worth experience, we’d never say it is an inexpensive one…Check out this year’s beer prices here to prepare!
This upcoming year the price of a maß (the liter beer glass) is expected to be between €12.20 to €14.50 (15€ with tip is usually what locals calculate).
In addition to that, meals in the tent tend to range between 15-20€. So if you are aiming for a full afternoon in a tent, it would be safe to expect at least 100€-150€.
Oktoberfest Facts: How Many Beer Tents Are There And What Are They Like?
There are 17 large and 21 smaller tents to choose from at Oktoberfest, however the most well known ones are ‘The Big Six’: Augustiner, Paulaner, Spaten, Löwenbräu, Hacker-Pschorr and Hofbräu.
Oktoberfest Facts: What Are The Beer Tents Like?
Inside you’ll find many large tables spread out on multiple levels. On the ground floor there is a central band stand which blasts upbeat German schlager and all the best classic sing alongs perfect to pair with your litre glasses of beer.
For the tent choice, we’d recommend Hofbräu for all you Oktoberfest newbies. It has a large international crowd and lively, friendly atmosphere. A lot of Germans enjoy to go there for just that reason!
Oktoberfest Facts: What Do You Wear?
Essentially, you should be prepared for all weather. As Oktoberfest is during the start of fall and in Munich that could mean it’s a scolding hot day or freezing cold rain storms with no hint of an approach.
Most of the time you’ll be quite toasty in the tents, but bringing a jacket for when you venture outside. And of course, comfortable closed toed shoes are the top tip!
If you are keen to jump into the wonderful world of Bavarian Trachten (lederhosen and dirndls) check out this entire guide we created especially for it!
Oktoberfest Facts: Our Top (First Timer)Tip
When it comes to this fest beer…expect it to hit you hard. If it’s your first time, we can’t stress enough to make sure to pace yourself!
Oktoberfest beer is specially brewed to come in at a whopping 6% alcohol volume, and when you’re drinking it a litre at a time, things can get real wild real quick…
You can also choose to opt for a Radler as opposed to a normal beer. A Radler is a half half mix of beer and sprite.
Ultimately, if you find yourself out for the count on the next day with a horrendous hangover, the locals have a dynamite tip; drink some Paulaner Spezi!
This magical soda mixture of cola, orange soda and lemonade always seems to save our post Oktoberfest days!