Know before you go:
Going to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is a great opportunity to get to know a part of German culture, and of course to see your friends who are all over the globe. Think: the Mardi Gras of Europe. You should be sure to start making your plans for Oktoberfest by the April or May before you go, to ensure that rooms and flights are still available (and are not too overpriced).
Where to stay:
Relexa Hotel, the 4 Point Sheraton, Le Meridien or an airbnb are all great options. If possible, try not to stay anywhere that is a subway stop from the Oktoberfest grounds, but if this is necessary, then the Marriott Munich City Center is recommended. The address of Oktoberfest is: Theresienwiese, 80339 München, Germany, so it is best if you stay somewhere that is a 5-10 minute walk from the festival. Be wary that most hotels only allow up to two guests (depending on the hotel, you may be able to get away with having more guests in the room).
What to expect:
You should plan to arrive Thursday night. Thursday night is pretty relaxed since the festivities begin early Friday morning for most travelers who are visiting Oktoberfest for the weekend. Be mindful that this festival goes on for weeks on end, and the busiest times are Friday-Sunday. On Friday morning the tents open at 10 am sharp. Each tent has a different “theme” and vibe. You will find most Americans at the Hofbrauhaus tent. If you want to claim a table in one of the tents, be sure to get on line at 6:30-7:30 am…No, this is not a joke. You will be waiting on a tight line with people who you may know as well as complete strangers. You will be pushed and you will be shoved, so be prepared. When you enter the tents at 10:00 am on Friday, you will see copious amounts of food and beer. Beer costs about 10 euros, so be prepared to carry cash on you at all times. You can stay in this tent for as long as you want, but usually on the first day you will want to be there through the afternoon. Oktoberfest ends at 11:00 pm, so by that time, if not earlier, you will go back to your hotel and prepare yourself for day two.
The second day is a better day to really explore the carnival. There are rides, prizes, food, and drinks. Be sure to try the roasted chicken, big pretzels, and of course, German delicacies, such as schnitzel.
Where to eat in Munich:
Brenner Grill- Mediterranean, make a reservation beforehand. This is in the most gorgeous area of the city (explore and walk around before or after dinner).
Café am Beethovenplatz- 20-30 minute walk from the Oktoberfest festival grounds. They have an English menu with salads, fish, meat, and other foods with a German twist.
Woeners- Amazing dessert destination near Brenner. This is located in the most beautiful part of Munich. You can find a myriad of chocolates, ice cream, coffee, and much more.
1. Dress up! You may think this is ridiculous, but everyone dresses in his or her Lederhosens or Drindls. These fun costumes will make you feel like you are a real part of the celebration.
2. Certain phone carriers do not work well in Munich. Be sure to look up if your phone will work while you’re in Germany. A smart tip is to bring a walkie talkie.
3. Buy your Oktoberfest costume before you go to Munich in order to save time and money.
4. Arrive in Munich by Thursday night.
5. Each beer tent has different vibes. The tent where you will find most Americans is Hofbrauhaus.
6. On Friday, the tents open at 10am and on Saturday at 9am. Be sure to get to the tents when they open, if not hours before (if you want to get a table).
7. Be wary that on Saturday they might start kicking people out of tables at 10:30 am for those who have reserved tables.