Welcome to the Rosetta Stone guide to visiting the world’s most famous beer festival!
Get out lederhosen and the felt hats, load up your favourite Alpine hits playlist and prepare yourself for excess, it’s time to head to Oktobeerfest! Here’s our top tips to get the most from your visit.
Make sure that you see more than just the inside of a big tent when you visit Oktoberfest. There is lot more to Munich than just beer and tracht. Munich is a beautiful city to walk around on a sunny day, so do yourself a favour and plan in a ‘rest day’ to see the sights.
The very first day of Oktoberfest is the highlight. A huge procession of horse-drawn beer drays, floats, brass bands and dressed-up Müncheners parade through the streets on their way to the opening ceremony, where the local dignitaries commence proceedings by tapping the very first keg of the strong, sweet good-stuff. It’s a real spectacle on a sunny day.
Watch out, Oktoberfest mainly happens in September! The festival runs for 16 days from late September and ends on the first Sunday of October.
It can be hard work getting into Oktoberfest and many people book long in advance for a good seat. It you leave it to the last minute you might find yourself fighting just to get into one of the tents, never mind to find a seat and a beer. This is especially true at the weekends.
Every year the beer gets more expensive, and every year the locals complain. When will price increases end! – the answer is never. It is already well over 10 euros for a Maß (litre) of beer in most tents, and you are expected to put a tip on top of that.
Octoberfest beer is really really strong and beginners can struggle to know their limits. Don’t be fooled by the sweetness and ease of drinking; one litre of strong beer is a lot of drink. If you can manage two in an evening you are doing well. Drink much more than that and things can get messy very quickly.
Language learner, teacher and contributing author to the Rosetta Stone magazine
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