I’ve realized Oktoberfest first-timers have a lot premeditated ideas before walking into the world’s biggest beer festival. I’m here to resolve some for you.
Oktoberfest is just for tourists.
Statistics say that 70% of users are from Bavaria (state in which Munich lies), 15% from other parts of German and the remaining 15% from other nations (source). German is the most spoken language at the festival by leaps and bounds, although you will have no problem finding someone to speak to you in English; you are in Germany afterall.
There’s beer everywhere.
This is partly true – there’s beer everywhere inside. Walking around the Wiesn, there is not beer. You must be served beer from one of the 14 big or 21 small tents. This is why getting a seat is of signifcant importance (at least if you’re there to drink).
They only serve beer at Oktoberfest.
They serve wine and mixed beers (Radler, Colabier) in all tents (to my knowledge), although be extra friendly when asking the waiter because their standard is to load up with beer and wait til somebody throws a hand in the air for round 2,3,4 etc. Just check out the menu (Spiesekarte) for all your food and beverage options.
Beer, however, is only served by the liter. Once, a 17 year-old boy at my table once yelled his order for “ein großes Bier” (one large beer) and everyone snickered. It’s Oktoberfest, of course you’re getting a large beer! You’re welcome, I’ve saved you the embarrassment.
You don’t have to wear lederhosen/dirndln.
You don’t have to, but would you go to a Halloween party without a costume? They don’t come cheap, but if you plan a head and shop online, it can be affordable. Just stay far far far away from the terrible excuse for traditional Tracht created by those cheap American Halloween costume companies. People will judge. Spend a little more and think of it as an investment in a Halloween costume for life, a good time, and fabulous photos.
Oktoberfest is in October.
It does run into October, but Oktoberfest in fact begins in September (usually the third weekend) and runs for 17 days. Oktoberfest is an anniversary of the celebration held for King Ludwig I and Princess Therese, which did take place in October. The festival was moved up for weather (according to my friend’s at Mike’s Bike Tours). You still might not luck out with the weather, but it might be a little warmer than it could’ve been mid-to-late October.
Oktoberfest is just a beer festival.
False. Oktoberfest is actually a huge carnival that takes place on Theresenwiese (name honoring the princess, translated: Therese’s meadow). There are food stands, rides, games, the whole shabang.
Did you think any of these things?
What things do you imagine about Oktoberfest?
Past attendees: What did you notice?