What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is a carnival of epic proportions.
A funfair for adults.
Think "If Carlsberg done themeparks"
A magical place where beer and dodgems meet with an almight bang.
Where else in the world would 6.2 million people descend on a city purely to dress up and drink more beer than they thought humanly possible? For approximately 3 weeks every year, starting in September, the world's oldest and largest beer festival commences.
It's something everyone should experience once - to be part of something much bigger than yourself.
Wander through the wide streets, past the colourful stalls selling everything from delicious local German food to 5 euro a shot, shooting and accuracy games. Then move indoors to the magnificent, larger than life beer tents.
Dance on benches, sing your heart out to a live German band whilst prosting beer with new friends.
Be amazed as you watch waitresses carry 10 litres of beer at once. Watch as they weave their way through crowds, negotiating their path to a table of thirsty patrons, all without breaking a sweat.
Marvel at the sheer size and weight of the beer glasses. Steins laugh in the face of pints.
Watch far too many people jump and dance on benches until eventually the wood gives way and the seat snaps - only for the drunken dancers to fall into a pile on the flood and laugh infectiously whilst they wait for a new bench to be delivered so the jumping and dancing can continue.
No amount of beer is too much, heck it's expensive but totally worth it. Just for once you should blow your European budget.
Dawn the lederhosen and soak up the atmosphere.
Join the beer seekers pilgrimage to Munich and become part of history.
How to Survive Oktoberfest:
Accommodation: The cost of hotels and apartments sky rocket in Munich during Oktoberfest and availability is extremely limited. So book up as early as possible to secure a room. If on a budget, then there is a camp ground in Munich where a lot of travellers pitch their tents. Alternatively, you could look at booking a hotel outside of the city and traveling in by train. As the festival finishes at 11pm every night you have more than enough time to get a train afterwards. Augsburg is a gorgeous little city only 50 minutes away from Munich on the train and an area I would definitely recommend staying in!
Cost: I'm not going to lie, Oktoberfest is not cheap. The average price of a beer is 11 euros but if you ever want to see your waitress again then I suggest you tip. So really you're talking at least 12 euros a beer. On the bright side, they are so huge, most people don't drink more than four or five. Food is also somewhat overpriced although I think I would pay any amount of money for a plate of kaese spaetzle - German macaroni cheese. Best.Thing.Ever.
Tables: The beer tents are extremely busy so when it comes to getting a table you have two choices. You can book a table and this costs about 300 euro, but it does sit between 8 and ten people and includes a free meal. So if there is a big crowd of you going then definitely try and book, although beware, like everything during Oktoberfest (other than beer) availability is limited! Your second option is good, old fashioned luck. Wander around the beer tents and try to spot a space, eventually people will leave so its about being at the right table at the right time.
What to wear: You cannot possibly go to Oktoberfest without wearing the traditional clothing. At first it might appear strange, however, once you arrive at the festival you will fit right in. For men, you would wear Lederhosen. To buy proper lederhosen can cost hundreds of Euros however you can get some good deals here. Again, for the ladies, you should wear Dirndls. These are the cute, German dresses which all the girls wear and can be bought at a decent price here.
Overall, Oktoberfest is one of those bucket list items. A truly unique experience filled with unbelievable amounts of fun and beer.