If you want to make the most out of your Oktoberfest adventure, follow these seven rules and learn how to drink, eat and be merry just like the veteran Bavarians do.
Fasten Your Dirndl, Hitch Your Hosen
Girls, if you’re worried that squeezing into a chest-lifting dirndl and a pair of skin-tight lederhosen will make you look ridiculous, it probably will. But remember that just about everyone else will also look like they belong in a B-grade medieval movie, so you’ll fit right in. Just remember, since you’re in Bavarian, do as the Bavarians do, and they’re pretty proud of their dirndls, tracht and lederhosen.
Learn To Sing ‘Fliegerlied’
Bavarian bonding is about sing-alongs, one favourite Bavarian tune you’ll hear time and time again is ‘Fliegerlied.’ This is one of the most popular Oktoberfest song that’s come up over the past few years. It is just a very silly, amusing song which is bound to encourage lots of standing on tables and benches, back slapping and glass raising. Even if you can’t get all the lyrics right, make sure you get the chorus. There’s lots of repetition in the chorus, so it shouldn’t be hard.
The Fliegerlied. You must know this song.
Find a Table, and Avoid Toilet Breaks
Unfortunately for the disorganised, unprepared and last-minute men, Germans book tables in the months in advance for the most popular Oktoberfest tents. So without a reservation, you’ll spend hours queuing, and, even if you eventually get a seat, you will lose it as soon as you have a toilet break.
Leave the Bling At Home
Of the thousands of items ending up in lost property at previous Oktoberfests (and then getting auctioned off at Munich city hall), some have been obvious such as Viking helmets, wedding rings, and musical instruments. Others were less obvious, including false teeth and live grasshoppers. The lesson here is not to bring any nonessential valuables to Oktoberfest (especially not your dignity).
Make a Good Choice of Tent
There are a total of 14 tents at Oktoberfest (well, 13 now that Hippodrom has closed) and the one you choose says a lot about you. The Hofbräu-Festzelt and Schottenhamel tents can both seat up to 10,000 people. The crowd in these tents are primarily young, merry and rollicking international crowd. Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke tent usually attracts champagne-sipping celebrities. The family-friendly Augustiner tent serves arguably the best beer, though the beer servers in the Lowenbräu would disagree.
Feast on the Food
Fortunately for the beer guzzlers Oktoberfest food is apparently designed to protect the stomach against excessive beer consumption. Meals such as schnitzel rolls, fish and beef rolls, whole roast chickens and giant pretzels are ideal to prepare you for a less civilised meal at a stein table (alcohol is technically food).
Enjoy the Tourist Attractions around Oktoberfest
There’s more to Oktoberfest than just beer drinking merry making. You can see the traditional side at the opening Festzug, where a thousand tent owners and brewers parade through the streets of Munich with horse-drawn, flower laden floats and carriages laden with barrels. The hipsters will love it too with steins, stickers, clothing, accessories and other kitsch stuff all with an Oktoberfest theme on sale.
Now you know the seven rules for surviving Oktoberfest & you’re ready to party – join us at the festival!