By Lily King
October is nearly upon us, meaning thousands of tourists are currently descending on Munich for Oktoberfest. Having just returned from a wonderful break in Bavaria’s beautiful capital, I’ve put together a list of tips for anyone visiting the world’s most well-known beer festival.
Look the part
Wearing Lederhosen or a Dirndl (women’s costume) is a MUST at Oktoberfest! These traditional costumes are typical of this part of Germany, and can be found in many shops in the city. Hint: If you’re looking for a bargain, head to ‘Pick & Weight’ near Marienplatz, a kilo store with a huge variety of Dirndls and Lederhosen.
Order your beer the Bavarian way
You may already know that the German name for a two-pint beer is a Stein. However, to make this more complicated for us tourists, it is called a Mass in Bavaria. So, if you want to impress and order your beer the Bavarian way, ask for “ein Mass, bitte”- one beer please!
Explore the city
Munich has more than just Oktoberfest to offer. A good starting point is Marienplatz right in the city centre, with its stunning town hall and many shops. Be sure to also visit the Englischer Garten, a beautiful park where you can watch surfers ride the Eisbach Wave, and the Olympiaturm to get a great view of the whole city. And if you haven’t had enough of beer at Oktoberfest itself, the beer garden at Augustiner-Keller is a favourite of the locals!
Download the public transport app
The MVV-App will be your best friend when visiting Munich, as the public transport system isn’t the easiest to get your head around. The app will show you routes to get from A to B and allows you to buy mobile travel cards that can be used on all forms of public transport.
Respect the laws and customs
Lastly, but also most importantly, respect the German laws and customs whilst at Oktoberfest. Among other things, a tour guide informed me in Munich that foreign tourists are arrested daily in the Oktoberfest period for doing the ‘heil’ hand gesture. Not only is this completely disrespectful, but it is also punishable by up to 3 years in prison (according to the German Criminal Code). To prevent you and those you are travelling with from getting into trouble on your trip, please have a read of other laws and customs in Germany at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/germany .
All in all, if you follow these top tips on your Oktoberfest trip, you are bound to have a fantastic time. “Prost” to that!
Always drink responsibly by keeping track of how much alcohol you’re consuming, and never leave your drinks unattended.