Well that was fun! And I honestly didn’t think I would come back saying that, you see for someone who doesn’t like beer, nor crowds, nor committing to anything in advance – when asked to attend Oktoberfest back in February this year I have to say I was on the fence, or maybe my feet were wanting to stay firmly on the ground in the UK! But after hearing the many stories from Oktoberfest’s biggest fan (aka my boyfriend Luke, who has been 9 times!!!) I didn’t feel like missing out, after all how can you claim you don’t like something when you’ve never done it? I figured I’d go and then moan at him about it afterwards supporting the fact I knew it wouldn’t be my kind of thing; I didn’t need to do that though, I loved everything about it and here’s why…
All hail the radler! German for shandy, for someone who isn’t the biggest fan of beer and other options are very limited or non existent, or worse – non alcoholic, this beverage is a blessing! Beer mixed with lemonade, I know it sounds weird but it went down a treat and as a lover of all things sugary it certainly hit the sweet spot!
You get to dress up!
If you know me, you know my favourite holiday is Halloween! Purely because you get to act like a kid, eat sweets and of course dress up!! Fancy dress is just fun, no one can deny it, so girls grab a dirndl, guys get those lederhosen on and let’s party! I got my dress from Escapade here in the UK, it’s called Oktobermiss, you can shop online or in store at their Camden showroom full of hundreds of fancy dress options. If you want to be conventional then wait until you get there as there are so many shops selling traditional bavarian attire.
Everyone is happy
This is probably the nicest part of the festival! When you put tens of thousands of people in a tent and pump them full of alcohol it’s a recipe for disaster but actually in fact the only trouble I saw over the time we were there came from the English and the Irish (come on guys, don’t let the side down!!) The Germans know how to have a good time, they are there to have fun, with friends AND with family. We shared a table with a brother and sister who were there together which was just so cute I could have cried, I mean how many of you would happily accompany your sibling to a social event? Plus it’s not just full of 20 something Kiwis and Aussies doing their round European tours, ticking off the craziest party destinations, on the table behind us at one point were an American couple and their friends who must have been in their 50s.
You are encouraged to dance on the benches!
‘It’s time to drink champagne and dance on the table’ goes that famous saying, just replace the champagne with beer and you’re ready to hit Oktoberfest. Ok so you’re not actually supposed to dance on the tables, seriously security are hot here, you put one foot wrong and you’re out! But you are encouraged to dance on the benches which is fantastic, as an avid club goer this is music to my ears! You’ll soon pick up the German sing alongs as well as some other well known classics you’ll be belting out!
It’s impossible to get bored
I know right, drinking beer all day long in a tent seems tedious? Wrong! There are 13 tents to choose from offering different family beers, I’d recommend Hoffbrau and Lowenbrau which were two of the tents we ventured into. There are copious amounts of food stalls in the festival too including crepes, meats and sweet shops. There’s also a huuuge fun fair, think winter wonderland on steroids!
Munich is pretty cool
You’re obviously going to need a day of recovery before you fly home so have a lie in and a late breakfast and head into Munich to shake off that hangover. The City centre (Marienplatz tube) is full of gorgeous architecture, historic buildings and plenty of museums to visit, markets to shop in and places to eat. Not only that but the shopping here is pretty good too with all your highstreet favourites from Topshop to Zara and H&M to Mango. There are also your luxury lines adjacent to the Residenz Munchen with the likes of Chanel, Hermes, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. Another touristy detour you should take is to the English Garden, yes it’s true we came all the way from England to visit an English Garden, ha! But it is stunning to walk around, there’s a boating lake and plenty of places to enjoy the sun, sit and read / watch the world go by and places to eat.
Some useful tips
- Prost! It’s the German version of cheers!
- Do the rides before you get too drunk
- Don’t piss off security, they’re hard core!
- Get there early to get a table on a weekend! I’m talking being in line at 9am!
- The beer wenches are top of the food chain, they’ve got the power, so be nice to them!
- Bribes mostly work, so take a 50 if you want to get into a tent once it’s closed
- Have some balls, confidence is key in everything, especially when trying to sneak into a beer tent! If you walk up to the bouncers looking like you’ve popped out for a ciggy then chances are they think you have, so roll with it!
- Eat! There’s food available in the tents, indulge, the beer will get you otherwise!
- Wear sensible shoes, if not because of all the walking you’ll be doing (Oktoberfest is set on 42 hectares) then for the beer trodden grounds – let me tell you, your suede wedges will thank you 🙂
- ENJOY! Whatever your age, whoever you’re there with, this festival was created to have fun and celebrate.
If you’re heading to the fest, have fun and let me know how you get on, PROST!