Tackling Oktoberfest is no easy feat as many an individual from all around the planet have found. Some have passed with flying colours while others have failed under dramatic circumstances. In many cases it also took some weeks to recover fully from the hangover that was instilled when celebrating the festivities of this Bavarian adventure. Here are some helpful tips to take note of if you are foreigner taking a first time trip to the Oktoberfest!
1. Tickets: buy your tickets early, flights to and from Munich will be higher during this time of year and with a large number of people jostling for seats, you would have to plan and book tickets in advance.
3. Getting into gear: if you are a foreigner and you want to blend in, then purchasing the traditional Bavarian outfit is certainly not frowned upon. However the key to pulling it off as a male is to become “one” with the leather pants and it is not a myth that all ladies look good in a Dirndl!
4. Tackling the Beer: if you arrive in Germany before the start of Oktoberfest give the traditional Waldfeste a try. It’s a great way to warm up in a traditional and slightly more placid manner before the popular beer festival.
5. If you did your “training” well then you are probably ready for the Oktoberfest and but if you have a fear of crowds, you might want to reconsider your adventure because there are loads and loads of people! Some are sober and others generally “happy” from their beer intake, but everyone is generally in a festive manner. If you are wearing your Bavarian outfit you will be sure to blend in well.
6. Local advice: finding or booking a table at Oktoberfest is normally done months in advance and having a local connection from the area does seem to help, locals will know which tents are the best etc. With all travel local knowledge is always a good thing and in this case Oktoberfest is no different.
7. Beer: tastes good and comes in large amounts, the beer also has a larger kick to match its flavour and size. So when drinking, pace yourself and have a spotter nearby to make sure you stay on track and don’t stray off your intended course.
8. If you manage to find yourself at a good tent and table that serves quality Bavarian food, eat as best you can because it balances the intake of beer.
9. If you make it out of the tent in a “happy” state do not attempt to take on any of the Rollercoasters that are on show as they will lead to your imminent “feeling ill” after any form of Oktoberfest Beer drinking. Tackle the rides before you enter your beer drinking session.
10. If you survive the circus of Oktoberst, you will most probably be sporting a hangover of degrees of harshness. A long walk through the city of Munich or a hike in the nearby Alpine region may be a good cure. Munich and its surrounding areas has a lot to offer so take in as much as you can whilst celebrating the historic occasion of Oktoberfest!
Interesting and useful links:
The official Oktoberfest website: http://www.oktoberfest.de
And the online Oktoberfest shop: http://shop.oktoberfest.de
Gästehaus Margarete: http://www.gaestehaus-margarete.de
About: Yashivan Govender, is the founder of FirstStep.me, author of the Fun Side of Being Serious book series and producer of the Breaking Stereotypes documentary series.
He tweets here: @Yashivan1