Here are some other helpful tips and fun facts to make your visit to Oktoberfest in Munich more enjoyable.
Oktoberfest Fun Facts:
1. Bathrooms: There are almost 1000 toilets & 1 kilometer of urinals troughs at Oktoberfest which is no wonder as some tents hold almost 10,000 people a piece. While that may seem like a lot there are 120,000 daily visitors so the bathroom lines inside the tents can still be quite long. Make sure not to leave your tent to go to the bathroom or you might not get let back in if the tent is full.
2. Maß Weight: The average full 1 liter beer Maß weighs 5 pounds when filled. Remember that the glass Oktoberfest mugs are called Maß (mass) and not steins which are stone or ceramic.
3. World Record: Waitress Anita Schwarz, from the oxen tent, holds the women’s Genius World Record for most beer steins carried. She carried 19 at once weighing 90lbs for over 130 feet with no drops spilled.
4. Secret Discounts: From 10am-3pm on the weekdays there are hidden deals at tents and stands displaying the Mittagswiesn sign which most tourist never notice. The deals cover food and amusements rides deals with 30% of everything but beer.
5. Lost Items: Over 40,000 items are lost at Oktoberfest every year including at least 1 pair of dentures. More common items are clothes, phones, and cameras.
6. Paris Hilton: It is possible to get banned from Oktoberfest which is what happened to American socialite Paris Hilton after a 2006 visit. She was banned because locals felt her promotion of canned wine cheapened Oktoberfest. Since then they have put strict rules in place to prevent companies from hiring celebrities to hype their products at Oktoberfest.
When Should I Book My Hotel?
You should book your hotel 6-12 Months in advance if possible as they start selling out really early. Just like Mardi Gras in New Orleans the hotels in Munich for Oktoberfest, even junky ones, will be 2-3 times their normal rates. Expect to pay $200-300 a night if you book early or anywhere from $400-1,200 per night if you wait too long. Try a couple searches on www.booking.com to see what you can find and check out our list of our best hotels in Munich HERE. We skipped most of the chain hotels on our list in order to shared hidden mom and pop places.
Helpful German Food Words:
Brezn (Pretzels); Fisch (Fish); Hendl (Roast Chicken), Käse (Cheese); Rind (Beef); Ochsen (Ox meat); Lebkuchen (Gingerbread Heart Cookies); Radi (Radish); Würste (Sausage); Spätzle (Mac & Cheese); Gebrante Mandeln (Roasted Almonds); Rindertartar (Raw beef platter with radish).
Every tent has robust menus with the most items being available during lunch and dinner. The staples include apple strudel, potato salad, sausage, cold cuts, cheese, schnitzel, roasted chicken and duck, and of course sauerkraut.Semmel or bread is a good cheap food at only 1€; Kartoffel Salat (cart-af-el sal-ot) is Potato salad and is also cheap with serving starting at 1.50€
Gingerbread Heart Cookies?
You are going to see gingerbread heart cookies, called Lebkuchen, colorfully decorated and hanging everywhere in Munich during Oktoberfest. They are like German Valentine’s Day card as you buy them for someone you care about. They two common phrases written on them are Ich liebe Dich meaning I Love You and Gruß Vom Oktoberfest meaning Greetings From Oktoberfest.
What Ages of People Go To Oktoberfest?
A bulk of the visitors range from 18-50 but we’ve seen 80 year old grandmas slamming steins at the tents too. The average age varies from tent to tent depending on if it is more for partying or families. No kids under 6 are allowed in the tents after 8pm, but why would you bring a young kid at night anyway?
Easy Way To Meet Your Friends:
Having over 6 million visitors means 2 weeks of slow cell phone service near Oktoberfest, that is if you even have international service. The best way t meet your friends at the tents is to pick a tent and a side.The Tent Entrances are labeled with the directions they face like S or N above the door making it super easy to set a meeting point.
Beer Maid Training:
Recently a local German TV personality went under cover to find out what it is like to be a beer maid waitress at Oktoberfest. The video to the right is in German but is still easy to follow and enjoyable to watch.
The Other “Oktoberfest”:
The Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing Germany is considered the other Oktoberfest. It runs in mid-August instead of September, is celebrated by the whole city in a big beer tent, and is called the 5th Season by locals.
During the last week of September Salzburg also has their famous Salzburg Festival. It isn’t on the same grand scale is still awesome if you are in the area.
Other Major Drinking Events In Munich:
You’ll find plenty of other festivals centered around drinking in Munich. The other highlights include the Strong Beer Festival (Starkbierzeit) each March where the extra strong Doppelbock beer has been featured since the 1600s. This festival is very much like Oktoberfest as everyone dresses up in traditional clothing, uses communal benches, sings to music. The biggest difference outside of the beer itself is that instead of glass Maß, you will drink out of one-liter ceramic steins called Keferloher.
May Day celebrations are also a ton of fun as it is when the year’s first batches of Marzen (March) beer is tapped. The festivities for May Day also have a lot of dancing around the May Pole. Our favorite May Day celebration is probably the 2 week long Münchner Frühlingsfest which centered around May 1st each year and is known as Oktoberfest’s little sister. This Spring festival is huge and has been taking place on the same grounds of Oktoberfest since 1964. It is complete with carnival rides and huge beer tents, some the same ones from Oktoberfest.