Written by Karen Bornett. Adapted to English by Melissa Lyras
Taking place on the "Wies'n" (a colloquial word for "fairgrounds"), Oktoberfest in Munich is a huge event. In 2017, the organisers counted more than six million visitors. And it’s no wonder, since the festival is now world-famous. Very few copies live up to the original. In 2018, more than 30 tents will attract thousands of locals and tourists to Oktoberfest once again. Here are our tips to best prepare yourself to party safely on site.
The festive prelude to Oktoberfest is marked by the "Wiesnwirt" (representatives of the breweries) who made their way to their tents on 22.09.2018 from 11:00 clock. More than 1,000 participants moved through the centre of Munich to the "Theresienwiese" (Theresa's meadows). The various teams of the Munich breweries with their elaborately decorated horses were the highlight of the move. At exactly 12 o'clock a beer barrel was tapped and the Oktoberfest 2018 was opened with the words "Ozapft is".
A trip to Oktoberfest is infinitely better when you're dressed in a Dirndl or Lederhosen. It is the perfect occasion to invest in a special piece for the annual event. Even if you do not have traditional clothing, it is worth dressing up appropriately. In thrift stores you will certainly find something to fit your budget.
Take special note of how to tie the bow on your dirndl:
• Tied front left (looking at you) means you're single
• Tied front right loop means you're married or in a serious relationship
• Bow tied in the middle is for virgins and children
• Bow tied ath the back is for widowed women and waitresses
Whilst the traditional outfit is ideal, you can also enjoy the event in a denim skirt and T-shirt. With braids or a traditional hat as an accessory, you can at least hint to the right outfit. Choose comfortable shoes and do not forget to pack rain protection if the forecast predicts bad weather.
The best time for the Wies'n
You can expect weekends to always be packed to the rafters at Oktoberfest 2018. If you want to avoid the crowds a bit, you should visit the Wies'n during the week between 11:00 and 15:00. If you hope to experience the party at its peak, weekends and evenings are the right time. Incidentally, the weekend in the middle of the event period is the so-called "Italian weekend". During that weekend, the streets around the city are full of Italians arriving by car and there can be lots of traffic jams.
In the tents, you are expected to consume - beer or other drinks or food. If you consume alcohol brought in from outside, you will be thrown out! In addition, tipping is not only welcome, but an important part of showing appreciation for the waiters and waitresses. You don't need to get carried away here - with beer priced at €10.20, €11 would be quite appropriate. By the way, in the tents only people who have a seat are served. Unfortunately, getting one can be quite a feat, especially at peak times. Get your feet ready to stand for a while.
Basically, a respectful approach and appropriate behavior should be on the agenda. Even with a few masts under your belt, you don't want to create a scene.
For your own security, it is prohibited to carry bags or rucksacks that have a capacity of more than three liters. Small satchels and bumbags are ok.
Always keep an eye on your drink. It happens all too often that the drinks of unsuspecting women can get spiked. You can find detailed information about knockout drops as well as sexual harassment and safety information on the website ["Safe Wies'n for girls and women] (https://www.oktoberfest.de/en/article/Oktoberfest+2018/About+the+Oktoberfest/Safe+Wiesn+for+girls+and+women/5150/).
Pickpockets take advantage of the situation whenever there are crowds. Make sure you always keep an eye on your belongings.
Entry to Oktoberfest is free. However, as mentioned, you are expected to consume when you sit in a marquee. Main courses cost around €15 and offer hearty meals in generous portions. The beer is served in a generous one-litre mast and normally priced around €10. The rides vary in price, depending which they are.
This year's Munich Oktoberfest will take place from 22nd September to 7th October 2018. On the opening day, the bars start at 12:00. Most beer tents open at 10:00am Monday through Friday and close at 11:30 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays the bars start at 9:00am. You can find more information on [www.oktoberfest.de] (https://www.oktoberfest.de/en/).
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Looking for a place to live in Munich? In [Spotahome] (https://www.spotahome.com/de/) you will certainly find something!
Have you ever been to Oktoberfest or are you planning to visit it this year? Share your experiences or questions in the comments.