It’s that time of year again. The bratwurst is prepped, the steins are stacked, and the lederhosens have been dry cleaned since last years shenanigans. Yes, it’s time for Oktoberfest!
Oktoberfest is one of my favorite festivals of the year when people from all over the globe gather in the beautiful city of Munich in Bavaria, Germany for a 2 week long festival. This traditional wedding celebration has turned into a drinking extravaganza with biergartens, pretzels, live music, and rides. It truly is Disneyworld for adults and this year will be my 2nd trip. I’m getting my Dirndl ready and putting on my drinking boots, but first I’m making a to-do list to make sure I’m ready for this Oktoberfest!
Buy a Dirndl or Lederhosen – Yes, you can rent them and you think this is good idea because… when are you ever going to wear it again? Well, what happens if you stain it? What happens if you rip it? (like my friend did last year… ripped the butt clean in half) What if you lose it?! Anything can happen when you’ve had one too many steins and you don’t want to worry about ruining your outfit just because you have to return it. My advice is to buy a cheap to decent priced one at a store or online far in advance before you go. This way you know you’re getting a good price, you can make sure it fits, and you can make adjustments or get last minute add ons in Munich if necessary.
Girls, don’t get a trashy Dirndl! – There are some really short and skimpy dirndls out there, and you may think this is the time to wear them. It isn’t. In this regard, traditional is better. You don’t need to go grandma style, but don’t show your lady bits to the world – chances are, you probably get sloppy when you’re drunk. Your boobs will already be pushed up to the heavens (which is actually acceptable) but keep the rest classy.
Bring the right footwear – Oktoberfest is right at the beginning of fall, which means it can be chilly and rainy. Be sure to check the weather for the weekend and wear comfortable shoes you don’t mind getting muddy or wet. Also bare in mind that even though you may never spill a drop even when you’re at your messiest, other people do and your shoes, outfit, and bag will most likely get beer on them.
Bring a bag with a zipper – Take my advice from personal experience: you want a purse that closes. I’m very good about keeping my bag with me at all times, but even so I ended up losing a key to the apartment I was staying in… and it was not easy to replace.
Bring euros with you – There are ATMs in the festival, but they’re hard to come by and charge a hefty fee. May sure you bring small bills to pay the Kellnerin (waitress).
Write down your address in German – If you’re staying at a hotel, friends place, or airbnb, write the address on a piece of paper. Don’t just keep it in your phone or try to remember it because you never know what will happen. Last year, we were stranded because we got separated, couldn’t pronounce or explain our hostel’s location to cabs drivers, our phones were dead, and the metro wasn’t running late at night. This probably all won’t happen to you, but we didn’t think it’d happen to us either.
Bring tissues/baby wipes – Ok, this is gross but the lines for the toilets in the biergartens can get pretty long and then you end up with no toilet paper. Come prepared to ‘go’ anywhere and anytime.
If you stand on a table, be ready to finish your stein – This is a tradition that speaks for itself. If you stand on the table, the tent or biergarten will expect you to chug everything that’s left in your stein. Once it gets late and things get hectic, it’s not followed as much, but don’t try to climb on the table to get to your seat during the day or you’ll be put on the spot.
Well, that’s all the important stuff that you probably don’t want to learn the hard way. I’ll leave the fun stuff to you to discover. Prost!