Tips for a cheap and successful Oktoberfest in Munich

Oktoberfest is the biggest beer festival in the world attraction millions of visitors to Munich each year for the 3 week event. Now often people come to Oktoberfest thinking you can just rock up with a group of mates and just grab a table, but they end up having to wait hours for a table to be free. So here are a few tips to make it that little bit easier for you when it comes to organizing Oktoberfest for you and your mates.

1. Reserving a table
This is not a must but it does make it easier for you if you have a larger group. It just means you can get to your table with limited waiting.

I booked a table in April for 12 people at the Hofrbrau Fetzelt tent. This cost €30 per person and includes 2 L of beer and half a roast chicken. I had to transfer the money to a German bank account via international bank transfer. A lot of places start taking reservations around March-April so just head onto the Oktoberfest website and make a short list of the tents you may want to book and click on the reservation link to find out more details. Unfortunately a lot of the websites are completely in German but Google translate is usually good enough to help you out there.

Once you get to the festival you just need to pick up your vouchers and find your table and you’re set to go.

2. Accommodation
As soon as we knew the date we wanted to be in Munich, I made sure to book the accommodation straight away. Be warned that if you leave this to the last minute, you can be paying €150 per night for a dorm bed!

I booked out the entire room of an 8 bed mixed dorm with ensure at A&O Hotel and Hostel which ended up being roughly €40 per person per night.

3.Costumes
You can buy these beforehand on ebay for as cheap as AUD$20 which Is what my husband and I did. Obviously ours looked a lot tackier and were poorer quality than the real dirndls and leiderhosens. If you really can’t be bothered buying it beforehand, they sell plenty at the main train station (Hauptbanhof) with dirndls between €40-€80 and leiderhosens €100-150 (they are usually more expensive than this at the start of the festival and get significantly cheaper every week).

4. Getting a table without a reservation
Make sure you arrive at the festival and line up at the tent you like no later than 7.30am! After that the lines are horrendous. The doors open at 9am. When they allow you to enter make sure you claim a table that doesn’t have a reserved sign on it or you will be kicked off later.

5. I can’t be bothered organising anything – can someone do it for me?
Yep! Plenty of tour companies such as Top Deck and Busabout can arrange everything for you. Often they don’t reserve a table as they only get final numbers last minute so it is likely that you’ll be up bright and early waiting in line anyways. But at least the accommodation will be all sorted for you.

General tips:
– bring cash as no tents accept card payment
– no backpacks or drink bottles are allowed in the big tents
– if after you’ve had a few steins and you feel sleepy, try not to sleep at your table, they will probably kick you and your entire table out
– tip your waiter/waitress as they will give you better service
– entry to the festival site is free and is easily accessible by foot or U-Bahn (inner city train) – a group day ticket for public ticket is about €12.50 and can be used for up to 5 people
– keep hydrated – the tents can get pretty hot and the beer will probably dehydrate you, make sure you order STILL water (if that’s your preference) as in Germany they will always serving you sparkling

Oktoberfest is an amazing festival. As long as you bring a good attitude, a big stomach and plenty of energy you will have a blast!

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