10 Ways to Win at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest (aka Wiesn) is a 16-day folk festival in Munich where over 6 million people gather from all over the world to intake copious amounts of hops and German fare. It truly is a bucket list experience for any festival goer, beer aficionado or travel junkie. The combination of culture, history and food is unique only to Munich. Read on for our tips after attending this year!


1. TRADITIONAL GARB Germans are proud of their dirndls and lederhosen–you should be too. You can find them in shops all over Munich, but they are pricey. Find one upon arrival or grab one on sale towards the end of the festival if you know you’re going to return. We ended up not getting dirndls and definitely regret not wearing them. It was fascinating to see thousands of people (of all ages) dressed up for the occasion.

2. SHOW UP EARLY It is important to show up early (most recommend 8 AM) or make a reservation for a tent. Otherwise, you won’t get the full experience of the festival. The tents (actually massive warehouses) have strict occupancy rules and once they’re full–you’re out of luck. Getting in can be tricky as well. It is fully up to the bouncers’ discretion if they admit you or not. Speaking in German will definitely better your chances of getting in along with dressing the part. The outdoor areas are really fun too and should not be missed, but you’re limited to festival rides and German food stands, the beer and cheers-ing can only be found inside.

3. DON’T PRE-BUY BEER You can only get beer from inside the tents. Of course, we learned this the hard way after buying shop beers and being stopped at the entrance. You can walk all over Munich with beer in hand, but once you enter the festival, it must be tossed.

4. THUMB UP Beer by the liter is 10 euros and you only order from the tables via waitresses–make sure to hold up your thumb for 1 beer. Hold up your pointer finger and you’ll get 2!

5. PLAN AHEAD Plan far in advance because things book up VERY early! The hotels, train tickets and airfare are very overpriced during the festival dates. Hostels are a great, cheaper alternative. You probably won’t be there much anyway.

6. TOAST LIKE A LOCAL Learn the “Ein Prosit” song, you will be singing it a lot. Don’t worry about your pitch.

7. TRY NEW WAYS TO TRAVEL With airfare being so high during the few weeks of Oktoberfest we tried out BlaBla Car for the first time and left with 4 new friends! It was a tenth the price of a flight and we met some great people.

8. PICK YOUR TENT BEFOREHAND The tents are named after the brand of beer sold in each tent. Each tent sells a different kind and varies in atmosphere, some being more traditional and others being more touristy. Do your research before you go!

9. PACE YOURSELF Everyone warned us about how much stronger the Bavarian beer was and we found it to be VERY true. The struggle was real. Take advantage of grabbing a hot German pretzel that are sold throughout the tents to balance out the beer!

10. DOWNLOAD EVERFEST This new app is a great way to be prepared for any festival you want to attend. It houses information for all of the big events so you don’t fill up your phone storage with several different festival apps! Check it out here.