After experiencing my first real German Oktoberfest, I am eager to make it a personal tradition! Here are five reasons why I love Oktoberfest in Germany and recommend it highly.
1. The Food
German food is absolutely brilliant, but Oktoberfest is especially filling, cheap and delicious. I suggest mainly trying food around the carnival-like outside area instead of in the tents since the food in the tents are good, but about double in price from what you can find outside. My goal was to try all the different types of sausages I could find! They all came in fresh rolls so it’s good for soaking up the copious amounts of beer you’re destined to drink!
2. The Games
What I didn’t realize before attending Oktoberfest was that there’s so much more to it than just the tents. There’s an entire carnival-like experience outside! Picture carnival games, shooting games, ferris wheels, even small roller coasters. It’s good fun during the daytime to win some cute stuffed animals and other prizes. This offers a great deal of entertainment for non-beer drinkers and children.
3. The Attire
If you’re not in trachten, then you’re not doing Oktoberfest right. Be sure to rent or buy a dirndl or lederhosen. I bought a used dirndl (with the proper undershirt and apron) for only 50 euros last time I was in Munich and wore it the entire time I was at Oktoberfest. A special note: be certain to get a dirndl that hits your knees or lower, otherwise it’s considered highly inappropriate (and you’ll only see tourists in these!). You will feel left out without trachten, but it’s not exactly a requirement to attend. One of my favorite parts of Oktoberfest? People watching! There are so many different styles of dirndls, and individuals choose styles that suit their personality.
4. The Beer
Your reaction may be: uh, duh?! But many underestimate how fantastic German beer can be. In the tents a liter of beer (yes, they are sold in liters, so drink up!) is only around 10 euro, which can easily be nursed for an hour or more. An inside tip? Be sure to tip your waiter since they mainly make money off tips, and they’ll keep giving you attention when you want to order more. Keep in mind Americans, European beer tends to be much stronger than American beer so remember to self-check yourself before ordering more.
5. The People
One thing I didn’t expect when attending Oktoberfest was how diverse the people would be. At my first table there were people from Munich, Poland, Mexico, Ireland and Chicago. Talk about diverse! The great thing is that no matter where people are from the language that tends to be spoken is English across strangers (or German if you have a table full of Austrians, Germans, Swiss, etc.). This makes it easy to make new friends quickly and learn about different cultures all at one table!