Getting Tipsy at Oktoberfest Our fool-proof guide to this year’s Bavarian Booze-up Munich Guide

Getting Tipsy at Oktoberfest Our fool-proof guide to this year’s Bavarian Booze-up

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Oktoberfest
Think you can beat the Germans at their own game? Here’s some of Nick from Euro Youth Hotel, Munich’s tried and tested true Oktoberfest-er tips to make sure that you give yourself a head start.

When to go

Yes, Oktoberfest started as a party held in OCTOBER to celebrate the wedding of the Bavarian King Ludwick in 1810, but this year (as every year since the re-unification of Germany), it will start in September.

This year the Fest is running from 21st September until 6th October.

Weekday opening times are 10am – 10:30pm. Weekends it opens at 9am. If you want to guarantee a table, get there at 8:30 on weekdays and queue to get in.
Another good time to get there is 4pm. The days run in 2 shifts (even the most hardened beer drinker can’t drink for 13 hours). The early morning drinkers will go home at around 5pm, making space for the new wave that have just finished work.

Starting up

Once you get a seat (this can sometimes take a while at peak times)/the attention of the waitress, make sure you give her a nice tip. They work hard and put up with a lot during their shifts, and should be rewarded. Bear in mind, they are not likely to serve you again anytime soon if you don’t tip. This year the price of a beer will be 9,50 euros. Give her 11.

And whatever you do, and however good a keepsake that Mass would be, don’t try to pinch any of the glasses. They may be famously more easy-going but Bavaria is still in Germany so anyone caught trying to sneak away with their glasses will be fined. If you want one, you can pick them up (legally) at the souvenir stands.

The Tents

There are fourteen large tents at the Fest and twenty small ones all offering their own choice of beer and entertainment, but here’s our pick of the ones you should head to first:

Augustiner Tent
This tent serves the best beer (in my opinion), but is more traditional and popular with the older Bavarians. Don’t expect to be blind-drunk and causing a ruckus without getting thrown out.
Spaten and Hacker-Pschorr Tents
Considered by many to taste like dishwater, but their tents are filled with young Bavarians and tourists alike, looking to party and hook-up. Definitely worth a visit.
Hofbräu Tent (the ‘Zoo’)
Absolute party tent, expect to be puked on if not worse. One of the only tents that will serve you even if you have no seat (in your trousers). Not an ideal place to take anyone of a mild disposition.
If you do find that all the tents are full and are turning you away, have no fear. There is usually space at the Wine Tent, and there are lots of cocktail stands around where you can get your fix.

What to eat without spending too much of your hard-earned beer money

Food inside the tents is expensive and of varying degrees of quality. A nearby Beer Hall called Augustiner Braüstubn might be a good option before you get to the Fest. It’s a 5 minute walk away, and serves THE best food in town at a good price.
When inside the tent, make use of the Pretzel sellers. What they lack in taste, they make up for in alcohol absorption, leaving you satisfied and ready for another Mass.

Be prepared:
Take enough cash with you. ATMs are few and far between, and you will be hard pressed to find a tent that accepts credit-cards. Don’t take too much, after a few Mass it isn’t uncommon to lose your wallet (and dignity).
In Germany, it is the law to have ID on you at all times. Leave your passport at your hostel, take a driving license or photo-copy of your passport to the tents.

What to wear

If you’re gonna do it right and splash out on some “Trachtn”, there are a few things to remember:
If you wanna get some decent get-up at an affordable price, try C&A at the main station. Bavarians will pay thousands for their costume, possibly at the expense of a few endangered animals. Here you can look the part for a little over 100 euros, and will have an impressive fancy-dress outfit for life once you’re back home.
DON’T forget the socks. You can get away with wearing trainers with Lederhosen, but without the socks you will stand out a mile, and get some dirty looks from the Trachtn snobs.

oktoberfest

Guys learn from our mistakes: Invest in a neckerchief; it will pay off dividends if you use the following advice:
There are hidden messages in both guys and girls clothes at Oktoberfest. If you wear your neckerchief (guys) or tie your bow (girls) to the right, it means you’re in a relationship. To the left and it’s game-on, expect to be hit on; technically you’re welcoming it! There are also ways to indicate whether one is a virgin or a widower.

Oktoberfest Facts and Figures:

Seats in the halls: 100,000

Visitors: 6.4 million

Beer: 7,100,000 liters

Wine: 126,259 liters

Chicken: 505,901 units

Pork sausages: 119,302 pairs

Pork knuckles: 69,293 units

Toilets: about 980 seats and more than 878 meters of urinals

Lost property: around 4000 items, among them 260 pairs of glasses, 200 mobile phones, wedding rings, and 500 crutches

Special dates

The first Sunday of Oktoberfest is Gay Sunday. If you’re not that way inclined, of course you can still go, but expect members of the same-sex to try their luck.
The second weekend of the Fest is Italian weekend. Huge amounts of Northern Italians set off on this weekend to get their share of the party, so if you’re planning on having a car with you (which I highly urge you not to) be ready for traffic jams and parking trouble.

Where to stay

DO NOT try to wing a bed. Most places are fully booked well in advance, so book with plenty of time to spare to avoid paying the highest prices or worst still being left on the street.
Euro Youth Hotel is about 100m from the Train Station (the Hauptbahnhof) where the two main metro lines that serve Oktoberfest leave from.

How to get there

The U-Bahn station “Theresienwiese” is directly at the Fest. It can be reached through the U4 or U5 undergrounds, which also run from the main station.

You can buy a group ticket for up to 5 people (€22 for 1 person, €38 for 5 people).
This ticket gives you unlimited use of ALL Regional public transport in Bavaria. Including all Regional trains, buses and city transport. These passes are valid from 9am on weekdays until 3am the following morning.