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Dos and Don'ts at Oktoberfest in Munich | Oktoberfest Etiquettes

Dreaming of clinging beer steins and swaying to polka music among millions? You have probably heard about the commencement of Oktoberfest 2024 from the 21st of September till the 6th of October. But before you pack your bags and dust off your lederhosen (or dirndl!), have you figured out the unspoken rules of Oktoberfest Munich? Well, there are essential do’s and don’ts at Oktoberfest for the epic experience, not epic-ally disastrous. 

Take a Sneak Peak!

Oktoberfest Dos

Oktoberfest Don’ts

  • Make advance tent reservations;   don’t be a last-minute Ludwig!
  • Do wear traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl
  • Drink beer and dance; it's all about beer and music!
  • Tip your waiter!
  • Try out Bavarian delights like the super-spicy hendl and the thrilling rides.
  • Don’t bring large baggage; they aren’t welcome.
  • Don't forget to stay hydrated! Water keeps you energized throughout the day.
  • Don’t wait till the weekends; go on weekdays.
  • Don’t take a nap at Puke Hill.
  • Just Don’t steal the beer steins; it's awkward!

With the world's largest crowd and crazy atmosphere, the Munich Fest is a perfect place to be on holiday. The festival offers the famous Bavarian beer, breathtaking amusements, local German cuisines, music that makes you dance on the benches, and a glance at alpine traditions that stay with you forever. 

But if you are a first-timer, you might miss some essential things to do or to avoid for ultimate Oktoberfest fun. With a little planning and these handy tips, you'll be a true Oktoberfest champion in no time. Hence, take out your diary and list the Do’s and the Don’ts at Oktoberfest.

What to Do at Oktoberfest Munich?

The Oktoberfest dos that guarantee a funfilled time at the event include;

Snag Your Room Before They're Gone!

Around 6 million people visit Oktoberfest, which means hotels in Munich and surrounding areas fill up incredibly fast, sometimes a year in advance. To get a booking early, you ensure you have a place to stay and avoid the stress of scrambling for last-minute accommodations. Don’t assume you can find a room near Theresienwese (Oktoberfest ground) during the fest. Be aware the skyrocketed prices in the season might leave you broke. Find the best budget-friendly accommodations in Munich to stay at Oktoberfest online, and book your room today!

Reserve Your Table at the Oktoberfest Tent

People often leave out reservations at last-minute entry. It's recommended that you reserve a table at your desired tent in advance. There are 17 large and 21 small tents, each with a different ambiance and limited seats. Be aware of the music they play and the food they serve. Avoid relying on locals; you can make your reservations online. Also, don’t waste your time asking to book a table for a couple; the seats are 6 to 8 in each tent. Reservations usually start in March, and you might not find a table at the end of July. Explore tent reservations for Munich Oktoberfest 2024 and book your table today!

Dress Up Like Bavarian

The Oktoberfest male costume is traditional Lederhosen, knee-length or below-knee leather shorts often decorated with Bavarian embroidery and aesthetic accessories. The Oktoberfest costume for women is the Bavarian Dirndl, a combination of a ruffled blouse, sexy bodice, flowy skirt, and classic apron. To get into festive flair, wear these German outfits, which aren’t only elegant and durable but also grab instant admiration from everyone!

Do Plan Your Day

Too lazy to plan your day? Here is the suggested day line:

  • 8 AM: Grab breakfast, arrive early (especially weekends)!
  • 10 AM: Prost! Raise a stein, enjoy music and Bavarian food.
  • 2 PM: Explore rides and games
  • 5 PM: Second wind! Sing along, grab dinner at a Biergarten.
  • Onwards: Nightlife beckons (optional)!

Bring Cash, No Cards, Please!

The tents and stalls in Munich accept only cash, so don’t ask for e-payment or card-swiping machines. Focus on €20, €10, and €5 notes. These are more readily accepted and provide flexibility for various purchases. Avoid taking large bills like €200 or €500 notes because they can leave you stuck waiting for change or even unable to make a purchase. 

Learn Some German Phrases

It's always handy to know the native language of any region. If you are a social bird and want to make friends, learn a few German phrases to start a conversation. You can say “Grüß Gott” (Hello) or probably wish for “Guten Tag” (Good day. If they respond to you, ask instantly, “Entschuldigung, sprechen Sie Englisch?” (Excuse me, do you speak English?). To order a beer, speak up, “Ein Bier, bitte." (One beer, please!). Be aware the German term for cheers is “Prost!

Dance on Benches and Sing Along!

Once in a tent, you cannot just drink beer and sit silently. Oktoberfest is all about letting loose. Climb onto the benches (safely, of course) and waltz to the lively oompah music. Don't be shy; join the crowds in belting classic Bavarian anthems. For starters, learn this primer Oktoberfest song and sing along with thousands. Embrace the joyful spirit and create unforgettable memories. Don’t try to get on the table; the tent’s staff wouldn’t like it, and you might get kicked out. 

Do Drink Beer Responsibly

Oktoberfest is all about Bavarian beer, with 6.5 million liters consumed during the fest. The delicious brews are for you, but it is always recommended that you keep a limit. Bavarian beer has an alcohol content of 5.8% to 6.8%. Know your limits and enjoy the festival without overdoing it before people call you “Besoffen” (beh-ZOF-en), which means drunk (intoxicated state). Your body (and your memories!) will thank you later!

Tip Your Waiter

Show your waiter some love!  While tipping isn't mandatory in Germany, it's a kind gesture for good service. Leave cash on the table or discreetly mention a tip amount while paying the bill. You can pay a 10-15% tip of the total bill, which is usually 1 to 2€ each round, which is customary. A small token shows appreciation for their hard work keeping your steins full!

Do Try Traditional Bavarian Food

Don’t just fill your stomach with beer; every tent has a traditional menu. Let’s paste the famous Bavarian delights that are a must for every visitor.

  • Obatzda (Bavarian Cheese Spread)
  • Käsespätzle (Cheese Noodles)
  • Leberkäse (Meatloaf)
  • Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
  • Weißwurst (White Sausage)
  • Schweinshaxe (Roasted Pork Knuckle)
  • Brezeln (Pretzels)

Respect Bavarian Traditions and Culture

Oktoberfest is a celebration of Bavarian culture! Show your respect by dressing modestly (think lederhosen or dirndl variations, but avoid wearing funny styles). Get along with locals, sing and dance alongside them, and stay respectful toward everyone. Remember, it's about enjoying the festivities responsibly and appreciating the rich heritage of Bavaria.

What Can You Not Do at Oktoberfest?

The common Oktoberfest mistakes to avoid at the event include;

Don’t Spend Your Entire Life Savings on a Costume

Look for an Oktoberfest wear store that offers authentic outfits at super-discounted prices. To get into festive flair, wear these German outfits, which aren’t only elegant and durable but grab instant admiration from everyone! Our store features exclusive Bavarian designs and colors for lederhosen and dirndl to wear to the upcoming Oktoberfest. 

Don’t Bother Large Baggage

Before you pack your entire wardrobe, be aware of the festival's strict baggage restrictions. Only small bags are allowed within the festival grounds to ensure safety and efficient crowd control. The maximum size is 20 cm x 15 cm x 10 cm (approximately 8 in x 6 in x 4 in). Bags bigger than that, stay outside!

Pro Tip: Take a small purse or mini backpack to carry your essentials—pack essentials like your phone, cash, ID, and medications in your small bag. 

Don’t Carry Forbidden Items

Pack smart and party safe! Avoid bringing forbidden items to Oktoberfest. The security check posts will confiscate the items and will never be returned. To ensure a hassle-free passage, don’t bring these items:

  • Glass bottles
  • Knife
  • Guns
  • Explosives 
  • Flares 
  • Pressurized cans
  • Prams/Buggies/Strollers are not permitted after 6 pm.
  • Aerosols

Never Forget to Drink Water

To keep yourself hydrated, drink as much water as you can. It is recommended that you take a personal water bottle along. However, refill it at designated water stations around the Theresienwiese festival grounds. These stations might have lines, so plan accordingly. Pack some water purification tablets if you're concerned about water quality at refill stations. Remember, staying hydrated is vital to a safe and enjoyable Oktoberfest experience!

Don't Be a Seat Hog

If you haven’t reserved a table, look for empty seats. Oktoberfest tents are packed, so securing a seat is a win! But remember, courtesy is essential. Don't cover up empty seats without asking.  These might be reserved for someone else or part of a larger group.  Politely inquire with those occupying the table or seek guidance from a server. Respect goes a long way in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience!

Avoid Up-Close Photos of Strangers

The atmosphere might get a bit crazy at noon; some drunk ladies might get naughty. Avoid taking close-up photos of strangers enjoying their meals and drinks in the tents. It's a celebration, but privacy matters too.  If you see a particularly fun scene, politely ask permission before snapping a picture. A quick "Entschuldigung, kann ich ein Foto machen?" (Excuse me, can I take a photo?). Capture memories, not faces! 

You Cannot Steal Steins!

Oktoberfest steins are iconic souvenirs; remember, they're tents’ property! Taking one "home" is considered stealing. Enjoy your stein during your visit, but buy a legitimate copy from stalls when the temptation hits. Official Oktoberfest merch tents offer plenty of stein options to purchase as a treasured memento.

Avoid napping on ‘Puke Hill’

Most people take a break at the side hill during the Oktoberfest to lower their beer. Well, this grassy lawn isn’t quite hygienic. Don’t rest at the little hill behind the tents (locals call it Puke Hill for a reason). Instead, go outside the ground or take a round trip to your room and return after recharging yourself. 

Don’t Test Your Bladder

Oktoberfest is crazy, but remember, beer and crowds mean frequent bathroom breaks. Don't wait until the last minute! Plan bathroom visits strategically throughout the day, and be mindful of your beer consumption. There are plenty of bathrooms both inside tents and outside the tents. Knowing your limits ensures a smooth and enjoyable festival experience for everyone!

Avoid Rides After Beer and Food!

Don’t just stick to beer mugs or hendl; visit amusement parks for thrilling rides. While some recommend getting on rides right after having a couple of beers, most people start vomiting and get dizzy after one or two rides. It's best to approach the rides with a clear head. That first loop-the-loop can be a real doozy after one too many steins. Maximize your fun by enjoying the rides earlier in the day when you're feeling fresh. This way, you can experience the full thrills without unwanted side effects. Plus, shorter lines in the morning mean more time for both beer and adrenaline!

Wrapping Up

If Oktoberfest is on your list this year, you must follow these do’s and don’ts to avoid unwanted situations. From advance reservations and hotel bookings to dressing up traditionally, your time at Munich Fest should be a perfect memory. So, plan your tour today, make a list of the do’s and don’ts at Oktoberfest, and say Prost to Bavarian traditions! 

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