One of the gigantic international events in Europe is happening this month. Heading to Germany at the end of September or early October? One thing you shouldn’t skip: the insanity of Oktoberfest 2019! Be ready to fill up your day with lots of beers and bites!
Omg! We’re so excited to talk about this and we hope you can fly to Munich to experience your first Oktoberfest, or probably the fifth? Because there’s nothing quite like this festival on earth! You’re gonna love it as much as we do.
Ok enough with the babbling. To make the most of out the Oktoberfest 2019 experience, we’ve prepared this complete, fun, and helpful guide for you. Especially you, who like to dive deep into barrel upon barrel of German beers!
What is Oktoberfest?
This festival is a 2-weeks beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany. It was first held in October 1810, when the Münchner were invited to attend the celebration of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese marriage. A wedding celebration has turned into the world’s largest beer festival!
Since then, Oktoberfest or known as Wies’n by the Germans, held every year. This year will mark the 185th time of this exciting fest, where people consume more than 6 million liters of Bavarian beer.
Well, even if you don’t like beer, you’ll still gonna enjoy this event because there will be plenty of foods, parades, kettle drums and music, and other festivities that you’ll only find in Oktoberfest. Join the other 6 million visitors for „O’zapft is!“
When and Where?
In 2019, the festival is going to roll on 22nd September to 7th October in Munich, Germany. It’ll be held on the original meadow, the Theresienwiese fairground (later popular as Wiesn locally) – a short tram ride from the center of Munich.
Although most of the people who come will be Germans, some international guests are often fly to Germany only for this fun festival! You’ll also find people dress up in Bavarian clothes, having a good time and in high spirits 😉
Basic Info You Should Know
Before going, here we’ve compiled some basics you need to know about Oktoberfest so you won’t get lost.
Oktoberfest will be flooded with people from around the globe. You should note that there are beer tents, where you can find hearty food, traditional music, lots of beers, and a happy atmosphere!
Outside the beer tents, you’ll find a carnival atmosphere, filled with games, rides, souvenirs, and even haunted houses. It feels like you’re going to a small-scaled theme park!
The good news is that all the tents are FREE to enter! Reserving a table is also free, although sometimes a reservation requires you to order food and drinks first.
- A liter of beer costs around €10.40 – €10.70
- Say “No a Maß, biddscheen!” when order a beer, to sound like a Bayern!
- Most full meals are around €12 – €15
- Bratwurst are typically €4
- Pop in during the week before 2.30 pm to avoid a large crowd or early morning on weekends
- Daily closing order is at 10.30 pm and all the tents close at 11.30 pm except for Käfer Wiesnschänke und Weinzelt, close at 1 am.
- Cash is king! Prepare your fresh money and expect to pay quite a lot if you want to get drunk and full
Experience Oktoberfest Like a Local
Oktoberfest lasts for around two weeks, which means you’ll be able to attend more than once throughout those days. Come to the Hackerzelt in the final evening when they light big sparklers and play the German folk song in the darkened tent. Incredible atmosphere ever!
If you love authentic German beers, we’d suggest coming to “Augustiner Zelt” tent! It’s home to Munich’s most popular brew. Besides, there’ll be fourteen big tents with plenty of choices which showcases different personalities and vibes. Choose your tent and soak yourself up!
- Marstall – Caters to a younger and hipper crowd
- Armbustschützen-Festhalle – Crossbow competition is happening here!
- Hofbräu Festzelt – One of the biggest tents which popular among international visitors
- Hacker-Festhalle – The tent is painted with blue sky and white clouds!
- Schottenhamel – The oldest tent at Oktoberfest
- Winzerer Fähndl – The largest tent with room for 11,000 partygoers
- Schüzen-Festzelt – Located off the main drag, be ready to beat the crowds
- Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke – Known to be a favorite of local and international celebrities
- Fischer Vroni – Head here if you need some fish-based delicious cuisines
- Augustiner-Festhalle – Most family-friendly option and favored by the locals
- Pschorr-Bräurosl – Running by the Heide family since 1901
- Löwenbräu-Festhalle – Football players’ favorite tent!
- Weinzelt – A family-friendly tent with seafood, Thai food, and choice of wines
- Ochsenbraterei – Has been around since 1881, try its ox dishes!
If you go to the outside area, you can also find stalls sell thousands of grilled sausages, chickens, giant pretzels, and even wild oxen. Don’t also forget to enjoy colorful parades! It usually happens on the opening day of the festival. You’ll see carriages, floats, and people with costumes in the street of Munich.
Reaching the Festival Ground
Opening day: 12 pm – 10.30 pm
Weekdays: 10 am – 10.30 pm
Weekends: 9 am – 10.30 pm
(Käfer and Weinzelt open until 1 am)
Getting to Munich is easy! This big city is accessible by train from all major points in Europe and international airports. Since Oktoberfest takes place in Theresienwiese, it’s walkable from the main railway station (Hauptbahnhof).
Once you reach there, just follow the crowds. Trust us, you won’t get lost! If you have to fly across countries, book your flight ticket to Munich then take U-Bahn (metro) to Theresienwiese station.
Alternatively, you can also land in Berlin or Frankfurt before the fest, because exploring Germany will worth every penny you spent 😉
Can’t Speak Deutsch? Don’t Worry!
Most Germans started learning English in school as early as age 10, so if you cannot speak German, you won’t have much problem! Most of the signages are also available in English and the train or airport workers can speak well English.
That works the same when you come to Oktoberfest, food stalls, beer tents, restaurants, even the visitors can speak both English and German. So, why think twice?
Nevertheless, you can still learn some basic words like Bitte (please), Danke schön (thank you), Enschuldigung (excuse me/sorry), and of course Prost! (cheers) to enjoy the fest like a local, ain’t it fun?
Where to Stay during the Fest
Book your accommodation as early as possible! Both hotels and hostels closer to the ground fill up pretty quickly. You can find the accommodation that suits your budget and needs at tiket.com, as well as reading some reviews and detailed information.
For those who want to explore Munich, you can consider staying around the city center. While for those who want to save money, you can choose a cozy hostel instead.
Survival Tips for Oktoberfest 2019
Follow the tradition, join the crowd. Oktoberfest is much like a marathon, where you will drink all day long with your new friends there. Pace yourself because those Bayern beers are strong enough to pass you out.
But trust us, even if you do, that’s gonna be one of the best lifetime experiences! Here what you can do to survive at the upcoming Oktoberfest.
- Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water even if you drink a lot of beer
- Get to the Käfer early because all the tents are close at 10.30 pm so people will rush there. Get there around 10 pm or less to secure your spot
- Get your table at the tent by making a reservation. If not, get there by midday to order drinks and foods because usually there’ll be a minimum charge for the table
- Use a comfy outfit and don’t bring too much stuff
- Hungry? Buy food outside the event area is often cheaper. Let’s save your money for the liters of beer!
- Bring cash to avoid a long queue at the ATM
- Keep your stuff safe because you need to be aware anywhere, right?
Exploring Munich, Beyond the Beer
Well, since we’ve compiled everything you need to know about Oktoberfest 2019, so why not take a piece of that pie? Attending the largest beer festival on earth will totally be fun! Besides, Munich has a lot more to offer to you.
Swim in the Eisbach river, have a BBQ at Flaucher, visit the Nymphenburg Palace or take an evening stroll around Viktualienmarkt. After Munich, how about Paris, perhaps?
Discover the exciting tourist attractions in Paris that aren’t the Eiffel Tower because the City of Love is a perfect stop to spend your sober days in Europe 😉