Tips for Oktoberfest

1. Second Weekend is where it's at

If you want to join the universe of American college kids abroad, go to Oktoberfest during the second weekend.  The opening weekend is typically family based.  The second weekend is packed with American college students.  So, if you want to meet up with your college buddies, I strongly recommend coordinating and going to the second weekend.  

2. Don't be lame, stick around for both Friday and Saturday

Friday is the first day college kids start going.  This is the day people usually arrive in Munich.  People go and test the waters around 12pm - 4/5pm. However, the big day is Saturday.

3. Everyone will be in the Hofbrau tent (well, American college kids will be)

There are multiple tents, but every abroad American college student goes to the Hofbrau Tent.  It is a white tent with a yellow crown and blue HB sign above it. There are many entrances to Oktoberfest.  If you want a table in the Hofbrau tent, then make sure to wait in line near the entrance of the tent.  Use Google Maps, and search for the Hofbrau tent to find the closest entrance.  A huge indication that you are in the correct “the line” will be by the number of American college students in it.

4. Bring a "frat" blanket

At Colgate we love our "frackets" or jackets we wear out to frat parties that we don't care about losing. Well the same can be applied to Oktoberfest, but this time with a blanket! You don't want to have to cover your cute outfit, obviously.

Oktoberfest does take place during early fall; however, the temperatures are brutal.  The weather in Munich at 6:30am is not the warmest to wait in an outside line.  Buy a cheap blanket that you don’t care about losing and bring it with you in line.  You will be very thankful to have it.

5. Buy a cheap fanny pack

Before going to Oktoberfest buy a cheap fanny pack and/or a money belt.  Something that can go under your skirt section of the dirndl.  This is very helpful to store your phone, money, and/or anything else you do not feel like holding for the day.  You also do not need to worry about a purse or theft throughout the day.

6. If you're not a morning person, sleep in.

Not everyone needs to be there at 6:30 am. Whoever is feeling adventurous and eager should line up that early. The morning people don't want your cranky attitude anyway.  All you need to do is send a group of about six to go secure a table.

7. You can buy dirndl at the train station 

You do not need to over stress about finding a dirndl before Oktoberfest.  There are some at the train station, but for your sanity you might want to buy one beforehand.  Buying an overpriced or new one is unnecessary.  There are plenty of thrift stores that will do the job: Humana Vintage or Bootik 54.

8. Don’t leave the tent

Don’t leave the tent once you have entered.  Chances are if you leave, you might not be able to get back into the tent.  Even if you can get back into the tent then you will have to wait in line for upwards of an hour.

9. Be Careful of Reserved Sections

You can sit at a table in the reserved section, but be careful.  You should leave at least 15 minutes before the “reservation” starts.  As soon as the reservation starts they kick you out.  You are not just kicked out of the reserved section, but also the whole tent.  So, if you move to a different section before the reservation begins then you are in the clear.

10. Bring snacks 

Bring snacks for the line. If you are determined to get a table for the group, then you’ll start lining up at 6:30 am. The line won’t start moving until about 9am, so snacks are a great thing to bring.

11. Put the fastest people in your group at the front of the line

When those gates open at 9am, it is a SPRINT, not a walk.  It is an all-out sprinting competition to find the tent and get a table.  So, put your fastest and best runners in the front, and let them run through the crowd in search of a table.

12. It's a marathon, not a sprint

Unless you’re planning on partaking in a 26.2 mile marathon run, this could potentially be the longest marathon you will ever do. The day of drinking starts in line at 6:30 am, and then some people stay until 10 pm.  It is definitely a rally to keep yourself going.