Tips For Visiting Oktoberfest
- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED May 09, 2018
- 5 Views
Oktoberfest is an age old tradition in Germany which has become the very essence of the month of October for the Germans. This folk-festival goes on for 16-18 days leading up to the first Sunday of October. Flavoured with drinking beer and general merriment, this festival goes way back far into the 17th century. It was primarily designed to celebrate the marriage of Kronprinz Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on 12th October 1810. The festivities that were arranged for the citizens of Munich that day later evolved into the Oktoberfest. In the present day, this festival is held in Munich, Bavaria. It is also known as Wiesn after the fairgrounds known as Therese’s meadows (Theresienwiese).
The norm of the day is to drink gallons of beer, attend numerous folk-events and enjoy amusement rides and eating traditional food. Over 6 million people from all over the world travel to Germany during this time to witness this grand festival.
Some of the Tips that you need to remember before planning your visit to Oktoberfest are:
1. BOOKING TICKETS
Conduct a thorough research on the dates of the Oktoberfest before booking your tickets. The festival is generally celebrated for 16-18 days leading up to the first weekend of October. Therefore, plan your trip to Germany in such a way that you get to go to Munich during the days of Oktoberfest. It must also be noted that your flight tickets might get a price hike if you book them right before the festival. Therefore, you must book your tickets beforehand to get them cheap.
2. YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE
Oktoberfest is one of the most celebrated festivals of Germany. Therefore, it is natural that the fairgrounds will be pretty crowded. According to the rules of this festival, if you cannot get a seat in one of the tents then you won’t be getting any beer at all for the whole day. To avoid missing the very essence of the festival, you must get to the grounds early and claim your position. There is often a large line outside each of the tents. Get to the fairgrounds before the crowd can properly settle in or while the line is short to avoid wasting your day in waiting pointlessly.
3. LEAVE IMPORTANT BELONGINGS AT HOME
Needless to say, you will be getting pretty drunk once you spend a day in Oktoberfest. In such inebriated state, it is pretty risky to carry your valuables with you. On top of that, it is also probable that somebody or you yourself will spill beer all over yourself. Therefore, it is advisable to keep your wallet etc at home so that they are safe from any kind of spoilage or theft. Just carry the bare minimum in your pockets and nothing else.
4. CASH IS THE KEY
Oktoberfest is not the place for fancy credit cards. “Give cash, Get beer” is the norm of the day. Therefore make sure that you have to carry plenty of cash with you so that you can go on enjoy drinking and enjoying the whole day. There are ATMs on the fairgrounds, but using them can be quite a hassle. Therefore, just make sure that you have enough cash with you. With the rising prices of beers and the necessity to give generous tips to get service amongst the demanding crown makes it imperative that you have enough money to enjoy your day to the fullest.
5. CURE TO HANGOVER
It is quite probable in a beer festival that you get to drink too much beer. If the sheer amount of beer in your body makes you sick then try the Radler. It is half part beer and half part lemonade. A few gulps of this drink can make you forget that you have drunk litres of beer and prepare you for alcohol for the rest of the day. The Radler is very useful in curing hangover and headaches. Gulp down a glass of radler and forget that you were ever hung over in the first place.
6. EAT SOMETHING SOLID
Being a beer festival does not mean that the Oktoberfest does not have any other food stalls. On the contrary there are rows of food stalls on the fair grounds that offer you traditional German food that helps you taste the original flavour of this beautiful country. Even from a practical point of view, drinking too much beer in an empty stomach can be quite dangerous. Therefore, be sure to eat something in the middle of your drinking spree to keep yourself going for the rest of the day.
7. LEARN THE NATIVE NORMS
You can never fully take in the essence of the Oktoberfest Festival unless you get into the German mindset. Try wearing a Dirndl---- the traditional dress of the Germans. You will spot many natives wearing this dress at the festival. If you can, buy a colourful Dirndl and wear it in the festival to enjoy the actual spirit of the festival.
Another major aspect of this festival is music. Apart from the country songs, there are also some native German songs that are a popular part of the festival. The Ein Prosit is a popular song sung at this festival. Try to learn the lyrics and sing along the band in your tent and take a pint of beer at the end.
Thus, it can be seen that the Oktoberfest festival is a integral part of the German culture. If you are planning a holiday to Germany, then make sure you catch the Oktoberfest in Munich so that you get a better peek into the heritage that Germany carries.