Anybody who’s been to Oktoberfest before will know just how busy it gets and how long you can end up waiting for a table, worse still if you’ve travelled in a group. For those trying their hand at their first Oktoberfest tent crawl there is some general advice about getting around and proper Oktoberfest etiquette.
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Before making your way over to Munich, you’ll want to have your flights and accommodation booked well in advance as hotels in and around the Theresienwiese always fills up fast. It’s a good idea to arrange things 12 months in advance and 6 months before the festival at the latest.
Making Your Travel Arrangements
Forget any form of transport that takes place on four wheels for the duration of your stay in Munich. Traffic will be bumper to bumper for kilometres though public transport serves as a completely viable option.
The best hotels to book can be found closest to the main train station and within walking distance of the grounds. There are also several campsites within 15 minutes of the festival itself if you don’t mind being in close proximity to other people.
Having finally arrived at the gates to Oktoberfest, you’ll be greeted by many wearing traditional dirndl and lederhosen. Entry is free so after the ceremonious ‘tapping of the first keg’ you can go right on it and experience everything Oktoberfest has to offer.
Now That You’re At Oktoberfest
Once you’ve made it inside you might be overwhelmed at just how spectacular that beer-lovers festival is. When you’ve gotten your bearings there are a few house rules you should familiarise yourself with:
- Tipping your servers: International travellers will understand the maths behind calculating the perfect tip but for anyone still unsure a good rule of thumb is usually 10-20%. Think of this a more of a ‘service fee’ in appreciation for the hard work of your server.
- Table reservations: If you’re a small group you needn’t worry as you probably won’t need a reservation but even if you did, it would be near impossible to get. Your best bet is just to wait patiently in line and try to enjoy the atmosphere of the festival.
- Using English or German? No, you don’t have to speak a word of German to enjoy Oktoberfest but don’t let that stop you from trying to learn a phrase or two – especially how to order and say ‘thank you’ in German. But you must learn these songs.
- When a tent is closed: You might be surprised to see some of the tents closed during the day; this happens when the ten has reached capacity and you’ll have to wait a while longer for entry. Ideally, you’ll want to get in early and be on the other side of the doors when this happens.
Don’t have beer tent reservations? Then line up early and grab a table fast!
The most important rule is to have fun and enjoy (okay, two rules) and just remember to be polite and patient to get the most out of your experience. The first year is always the hardest but you can be guaranteed that by the end of your time at Oktoberfest, you’ll be coming back for more beer drinking and dancing for years to come!
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