Pull on your lederhosen or Dirndl and get ready for a frothy liter of Munich beer. Oktoberfest is right around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to travel to Germany and visit the world’s biggest two-week beer festival. According to NBC News, Oktoberfest attracted 6.4 million tourists last year. If you want to be one of the many lucky individuals enjoying the flowing brew, mountains of food and entertaining festival attractions, follow these tips.
Prepare for the crowds
With millions of visitors coming into the city, crowding is inevitable. While public transit, hotels and 10,000-person capacity festival tents may be able to accommodate many of those people, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Fodor’s Travel suggested booking a hotel well in advance. At the same time, don’t rely on the roads. Traffic can quickly get backed up in the city. Instead, use some of the public transit trains to travel.
When it comes to enjoying the festival itself, you can reserve space in the beer tents as well. In fact, The Telegraph suggested reserving space in one of the tents, especially on weekends and if you intend to go out late at night.
Over a dozen tents
They actually aren’t “tents” by traditional standards. While they may have looked like tents long ago, the establishments at Oktoberfest are actually solid buildings capable of holding hundreds of tables and thousands of people. There are 14 tents in total, and each one has a different theme and atmosphere. Instead of swimming through the crowds to see it all, you can research some of the tents and pick a few to visit using the event’s official website. The Telegraph suggested visiting the Hackerbräu or the Winzerer Fähndl for a broader feel of the Oktoberfest festivities.
Don’t miss the opening ceremony
Oktoberfest starts at midnight Sept. 20 and lasts until Oct. 4. The event kicks off when the mayor of Munich taps the first keg, and on opening day, visitors are welcome to enjoy the brew from 12 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. This is the only time tourists can drink throughout the night during the two-week festival, according to the official website.
According to The Telegraph, the only beer served during Oktoberfest comes from Munich breweries. That beer is normally found in the enormous glass liter mugs being passed around by waitresses and clinked by patrons. While indulging in the festival fervor, it’s important to drink in moderation. The Telegraph suggested enjoying a Radler – beer mixed with lemonade – if you’re worried about pacing yourself.