SEEERRRVVUUUSSSS (expat) Münchners and travelers!
Wiesn season is right around the corner and fast approaching. Hopefully you all have your Dirndls and Lederhosen ready to go. If not, and if by chance this is new experience for you then allow me to make the proper introductions.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest ( or known to the locals as Wiesn ) is a 16-18 day yearly event in Munich, Germany. It starts mid September and goes until the first week of October. The origin of this beautiful beer festival began in 1810, when Prince Ludwig ( King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese and they had a nice large party for the locals to celebrate.
What is it like?
There are fourteen different beer tents to attend. Inside they are full of loud, fun madness. Lots of live music, singing along to songs, dancing on tables and great big litre glasses of Wiesn Bier! Outside is spectacular. It is basically a giant carnival ( or fair). WIth rollarcoasters, a ferris wheel, haunted houses and games galour. And the best part, loads and loads of people dressed up in fantastic Trachten.
Location and getting there
S1 – S8 to Hackerbrücke, then about a 10 minute walk
U3 or U6 to Goetheplatz or Poccistraße
U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese or Schwanthalerhöhe
Line 18 or 19 to Holzapfelstraße or Hermann-Lingg-Straße
Line 53 to Schwanthalerhöhe
Line 58 to Georg-Hirth-Platz or Goetheplatz
Line 131 or 132 to Hans-Fischer-Straße
Line 134 to Schwanthalerhöhe
Oktoberfest 2017 schedule
Saturday, September 16th at 11:00 am – Tuesday, October 3rd *
*always remember on weekends to be there around 9 or you wont get in a tent!
Beer Serving Hours
Opening day: 12.00 noon – 10.30 pm
Weekdays: 10am – 10:30pm
Weekends: 9am – 10:30pm
Daily Tent Closing Time: 12:30 am
FYI: The Käfer Tent and the Weinzelt are open until 1am with the last call for alcohol is 12:15am.
Common snack saviours to indulge in at Wiesn
Brezeln: Large soft Preztl
Hendl: Roasted chicken
Schweinshaxe: Pork knuckle
Weisswurst: White sausage ( typically eaten before noon)
Käse Spätzle: aka food of the Bavarian gods. Think extra scrumptious mac n cheese
Making a reservation
As fun as Wiesn is, finding seating can sometimes be a buzz kill. If you are looking to go in the weekends or evenings, the best plan is to make sure you have a reserved spot. Most times I only go then if I have a table with friends to sit ith. Otherwise you risk walking around for ages or even not being able to get into a tent. Prices tend to be reletively high, and its always best to book in advance. Often times however you cannot book individual spots but will need to book a full table ( a few hundred euros in the least)
Cost and cash calculation
If you have never been to the oktoberfest, first off let me tell you, it ain’t cheap.
Beer only is served in liter glasses called maß. This year they will be between € 10,70-€ 10,95 (plus tip!) depending on tent . In addition you will get hungry, snacks start at around € 4 and meals around € 10. Tents only accept cash, so its best not to enter with less than € 50 in your pocket.
Pace yourself: Honestly. A litre of beer at a time can be fun enough but remember this beer is also typically higher alcohol content so before you get into the peer pressure of cheering and chugging, check yourself before you potentialy wreck yourself ( Wiesn Virgins, heres looking at you)
Hydration: As with the previous message, a Wiesn hangover is quite possible the worst hangover you will experience in your life. So much sodium so little time. However, if you manage to slip out, the next day Paulaner Spezi will be your beverage bff
Always carry cash: As I said before, 50 euro minimum is good to bring in a tent, if you plan to stay all day I would definitly keep a good amount more in your pocket as the atms are scarce and qeues nightmarish.
Dirndl Goals: Ladies, now is your time to shine. The dirndl is quite possibly the most amazing dress a woman can wear. It makes anyone look fabulous. But remember, where you tie the schleife counts. Left means single, right means taken and in the middle means virgin.
Lederhosen guidelines: Keep it simple gents. Lederhosen, a white shirt and haferl shoes. Perhaps a wool jacket or waist coat, but for goodness sake no checkered shirt or Lederhosen made out of jersey or jean. I will find you, and injure you.
Prepare your vocal cords: One of my favourite parts about Oktoberfest is all the intent singing! so if you are not a fan of sing alongs then its best you stick out to the Biergarten or Carnival. As for me, you can catch me inside belting my heart out to country roads and attempting to catch up to some Wiesn Schlager
Put your foot on the table and chug: If you are ready for some action and feeling tough, a foot on the table signifies to the tent you are man enough to down an entire litre of beer in one go. Hit that up if youre feelin lucky kid, and youll be recieved with the largest amount of applause in your life.
Dont put your foot on the table and chug:…unless you are really really confident. The 5000-8000 spectators can quickly become a nasty crowd if you arent able to rise to the challenge
Don’t steal a maß: Seriously, hands off. I know it seems like such a cool thing to have and #souvenirgoals, but don’t. Just, nope.
Leave the staff alone: One sure fire way to get you kick out of a tent faster than anything is if you mess with one of the waiters/waitresses. So you better be nice ( and dont forget to tip!)
Leave the open toed shoes at home: Save your feet from the floor tradgedy of oktoberfest. Unless you are preferential to some toe stomping and beer soaked shoes.
Ladies, ditch the big purses: There is a high picpocketing rate in those giant crowds. So the less valuables you bring the better. And the added risk of losing big purse once you set it down are pretty high
Dont accidently leave the tent: on occasion the exit is very close to the bathrooms and you can easily slip out and then not be allowed back in. So be cautious when heading out around on busy days
Have any questions or your own tips you would like to add? Comment below! I would love to hear about your experiences.
Stay safe and have a great Wiesn!