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  • Writer's pictureJenna Broughton

So You Wanna Go to Oktoberfest…

Everyone should go to Oktoberfest at least once in his or her life. It is a test of endurance and human spirit. It is an experience like no other, and I promise before you finish your trip you will already be planning for the next year.

So, what do you need to know when planning your trip to Bavaria for the world’s most famous Beerfest? Here are the lessons I learned (some the hard way) from Oktoberfest 2011.

  1. Book your hotel early. Otherwise, you end up in a town called Hallbergmoos. It is never too soon to start

planning your trip to Oktoberfest, as hotels in München book up very quickly. That said, if all else fails Hallbergmoos is dandy town.

  1. Learn the S-Bahn and U-Bahn. Taking public transportation into and around München will save you a lot headache. Not only will you not have to be bothered with parking, but also you are free to have as much fun as you want. (The Oktoberfest tents stop serving at 10:30 p.m. and the trains run until 2 a.m., so there is plenty of time to get back to the hotel.)

  2. Have a way to contact people or have a meeting place. At some point someone will get separated from the group, so plan for it. I recommend springing for the international phone plan, but at the very least have a designated meeting place if you get separated.

  3. Don’t take anything with you – seriously nothing. Oktoberfest is like a black hole for people’s personal belongings. Take yourself, and if you have pre-paid for drinks all you need is about 40€ to cover tips and the restroom entrance fee.

  4. Don’t go on the rides. You would think this would be common sense, but after a few liters it may seem like a good idea….but it is not.

  5. The cookies should not be eaten. When you get to Oktoberfest you will see people running around with

heart-shaped iced gingerbread cookies around their neck. Now this may sound counterintuitive, but do not eat the cookies I repeat do not eat the cookies. The cookies are meant to last years, and as such possess a sort of cardboard texture and taste.

  1. Come prepared to sing. Notable Oktoberfest hits include: Happy Birthday (even though it is nobody’s birthday), Summer of 69 (over and over again) and Alice, Who the F%*k is Alice.

  2. Have a Radler or two. A Radler is part beer and part lemon soda, so it is a good way to pace yourself.

  3. Wear the traditional Bavarian clothing. How often do you get to wear lederhosen or a dirndl? Pretty much never, so do it. The only people who look like fools are the ones who are not dressed up.

  4. Be sure to plan. You cannot just show up to Oktoberfest. If you plan to go inside the tents (and trust me you want to) then it does require some planning. Some tents are considered more desirable than others, and getting tickets for them is like a sport. Tickets become available as early as December, and you want to get in as early as possible.

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