As you are reading this, it is likely that I am in the midst of my fifth Oktoberfest, or Wiesn to the Bavarians. Die Wiesn is adult Disney World – the happiest place on earth! The energy in the tents is unmatchable as that Oktoberfest edition beer flows and flows. Just like Disney World though, Oktoberfest can have it’s downsides if you are not properly prepared.
Things to Bring with You
Tract: Men in Lederhosen, Women in Dirndls While you will see some women in feminized lederhosen, I like to go the traditional route. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a dirndl, decent ones start at €70 in Munich, but you certainly do not want to show up in the shiny Halloween version. Trust me on this one. Men, this goes the same, lederhosen translates to leather pants, so the fake cloth number will merely produce embarrassment. If you cannot splurge on Tracht, stick with your “civilian” clothes (although I’ve said it before: it’s like showing up to Halloween without a costume).
Pocket Tissues Hopefully won’t be crying , but there is no doubt that nature will call and you will have to answer to the Wiesn toilets. Males might get away with urinating in one of the toilet troughs, but we women need our toilet paper and it’s likely you won’t find any. A packet of tissues will be your best friend and make you best friends with anyone else in the restroom.
These beers can’t will enivatbly exit the premises.
Inexpensive Camera Attention bloggers and other photo whores: leave the DSLR at home. Yes, I brought mine and it survived, but I don’t think it ever got over the trauma. We all want to document this special experience, but trust a crummier point & shoot to get the job done. They’ll do you just fine.
You’ll need a camera to capture moments with your new best friend. Seriously though, we met at Oktoberfest two years ago and are still best friends. This is from October 2011.
Cash, particularly €10 notes You will be paying with cash at Oktoberfest (side note: just go ahead and pay cash at all drinking establishments in Germany if possible). The beer price increases every year. This year it ranges between €9.10-9.50. You can go ahead and count on leaving the change as tip, so it’s best just to hand over a tenner and make the beer-maid-lugging-10-beers through-insane-crowd’s lives way easier.
Don’t try this at home.
Party Pants Drinking, dancing, and singing are on all the table (literally) at Wiesn. Enjoy the local and international company around you; it’s a once (ok, 0r 5x) in a lifetime experience.
Things to Leave at Home
Large purse or bag You will be so sick of carrying it by the end of the day you may just leave it on a table and not even care (but seriously).
Coat Sweater, check. Coat? Leave it at home. Yes, the weather in Munich this time of year can be chilly, but the tents will be warm in toasty among the thousands of drunkies. Your liquid blanket will help you make the not-so-bad walk from Theresienwiese to the Hauptbahnhof.
Passport Do not be dumb and bring valuables along to Oktoberfest. True story: there is no Australian consulate in Munich, but they temporarily set one up on the British consulate in Munich during Oktoberfest due to all the lost and found Australian passport occurrences. Other valuables to leave behind: excesses of cash, credit cards, nice jewelry, and nice shoes.
What are your must-haves for a festival?