Munich in autumn isn’t all beer, pretzels and short dirndl dresses – in order for you to enjoy your time outside of beer tents as well, you can now download the tripwolf Munich guide for free until the end of the Oktoberfest! Have fun!
On September 20th, the (in-)famous Oktoberfest festivities begin in Munich – new Mayor Dieter Reiter will give the beer tap a mighty blow at noon precisely and announce, “It’s tapped!” for the 181st annual celebration. Together with the guys behind the MyWiesn Secrets app in Munich, we have once more created the most up-to-date Oktoberfest Survival Guide 2014 so you can enjoy the Oktoberfest adventure to the fullest.
Each year, 6 million people come from all over the world and guzzle millions of pints of beer and over 500,000 roast chickens. Any “Zuagroaste” (as residents of Munich lovingly call newcomers) standing at the gate of the Theresienwiese for the first time might be forgiven for asking: “How the hell do I find my way through this sea of intoxicated people, tents, beer gardens and sausage stands?”
Answer: The tripwolf Oktoberfest 2014 Survival Guide
What to wear? The right outfit
The gentleman slips into his Kracherte (leather pants) and Haferlschuhe (Bavarian rugged shoes), while the lady opts for a dirndl – ranging from the traditional long cotton dirndl to sexy couture.
Traditionally long, or perkily short? Photo: flickr, shlomp
When to go? Find the right time
You should know that, on average, there are only enough seats in the tents for one out of every four visitors to the “Wiesn,” and it’s even more crowded on the weekends. Another important thing to note is that the second weekend is known as the “Italian weekend,” when some 100,000 of Germany’s southern friends invade the Oktoberfest festivities, on the prowl for Weißbier and Weißwurst. So if you want to get in, the earlier the better!
Where? So hard to decide
Which tent should I choose, anyway? There is a wide range of tents to choose from; this year there are 14 large tents and 21 medium/small tents, each with its own unique character. The classics are:
- The Schottenhammel: a must on the day of the opening tap, but please note that people start to fill up the tent as early as 9 o’clock in the morning. During the weeks that follow, traditional fraternities and Munich’s youth come and go in a continuous stream.
- The Marstall: This year, the famous Hippodrom has to give way to the Marstall, which thankfully took its place at the entrance to the festival grounds. Up to 4200 guests in and outside the tent can enjoy the excentric interior in colors like orange, green and pink and myriads of horse ornaments, referring to the Marstall’s origins in the venerable Munich horse riding school. In the evenings, long-established Munich bands like „Münchner Zwietracht“ and „Die Oberbayern“ play here to keep the Schunkel activities rolling.
- The Hacker Festival Tent: Heaven in Bavaria: a lively atmosphere with a mixed crowd beneath the unique ceiling painting, over 13,000 square feet.
- The Hofbräu Festival Tent: Especially popular among international guests. Your chance to make friends with people from all over the world!
- The Löwenbräu: Generally hosts an older and more sedate crowd, but it is certainly one of the classics.
- The “Oide Wiesn”: After the “Oide Wiesn” was reinstated last year, this year it will take its visitors on another trip down memory lane. You will find the marquee “Tradition” and the Museum Tent, plenty of attractions, booths, and historic carnival rides from the 1920s. And this year, for the second time, re-entry to the Oide Wiesn will be possible thanks to wrist bands.
- The beer price: As sure as eggs is eggs, the beer price at the Oktoberfest is subtly raised every year. This year it will range from 9.70 € to 10.10 € (e.g. in the Löwenbräu and Schottenhammel) per Maß (Mass). Still, this probably won’t reduce the consumption of beer.
If you make it into the Hacker Festival Tent, you’ll find yourself in heaven! Photo: flickr, sillysocks
How? Getting into your tent of choice
How do I get into the tent? This problem is an annual challenge even for Munich natives. There are several possibilities here:
- Reserve or get to know someone who has reserved (since the reservations are distributed about a year in advance, this plan will unfortunately not work for most visitors).
- As already mentioned, arrive early! On weekends, there are crowds lining up at the foot of the Bavaria statue as early as 8 a.m. looking to grab a seat.
- Become the doorman’s best friend, just like in any other line! (Show a little something something, ladies.)
- Get to know the waiters at the beer garden right in front of the tent, perhaps one of them can get you in.
- Tip your servers well.
- Other than that, we’ve heard wild stories of bribes of up to 100 € and getting smuggled in inside a service cart… You have some cool stories yourself? Then we recommend the myWiesn Secrets app that lets you share your funny or interesting stories and facts with other Wiesn visitors – anonymously, of course!
A truly sad sight:
A truly sad sight: “Closed due to overfilling”. Photo: flickr, kudo88
What else is there to do? Action away from the beer
In addition to the beer tents, the Oktoberfest also offers countless rides and carnival attractions, including some real rarities, such as:
- The Vogelpfeifer: The smallest stand at the Oktoberfest should be easy to find, because you can hear the songs of the birds from almost anywhere. There you can show off your bird imitation skillz.
- The Flohzirkus: Since 1948, the Oktoberfest has had a real flea circus with a real flea dressage! In 2005 the owners ran out of fleas shortly before the start of the Oktoberfest, but helpful dog owners were able to rescue the circus just in time. Interesting and unique…for sure.
- The Toboggan: A huge tower slide and one of the oldest rides at the Oktoberfest; the ascent is especially adventurous. The passenger jumps onto a treadmill moving at high speed to get to the the top of the 100-foot-high tower. It looks so easy when the staff does it, but it takes some practice and is quite amusing for spectators watching people try their best after one or two Mass too many.
- Feldl’s Devil Wheel: A real classic. While you sit with a few other volunteers on a giant rotating disk, the staff makes every effort to get you to fall off. Staying there with a rising blood alcohol content level is a true challenge — and real fun for spectators and participants alike.
- Pitt’s Original Todeswand (Wall of Death) has been showing the art of motordrome for 70 years now. Bold men and women present their daredevil motorcycle riding skills in a wooden cylinder 8 meters in height and 12 in circumference.
- The Olympia Looping: A roller coaster with five loops, inspired by the symbol of the Olympics. For anyone that found Feldl’s Devil Wheel too lame, the “five-loop” is just the thing.
- In this year’s new attraction, Encounter, visitors can let themselves be flabbergasted as a virtual professor shows off his most exciting scientific experiments.
- Another newbie of this year, the Big Bamboo attracts vacation-hungry guests with exotic rhythms and the entrancing atmosphere of a South Sea island.
- The Sky Fall and the Power Tower: At 70m the highest Freefall Towers in the world and thus for the brave at heart only.
- Don’t forget the “Riesenrad.” Perfect for taking in the evening view with your sweetheart.
- One should not forget to buy a gingerbread heart (“a heart for Herzl”) at the Wiesn; your friends will thank you!
Obvious, where the Olympia Looping got its name from. Photo
Prize question: where did the Olympia Looping get its name from? Photo: flickr, Oliver Mallich
Mmmhhh, gingerbread. fd
Mmmhhh, gingerbread makes every heart melt. Photo: flickr, digital cat
Where to go – after 10 p.m.?
Hastily order your last Mass (liter of beer) and check out the remaining singles (assuming you are looking for an “Oktoberfest Gspusi,” or amorous adventure). At 11:30 p.m. most of the tents have closed for the night. But anyone who still has the energy can continue partying in two tents (Käfer’s Wiesn Schänke and Weinzelt) until 1:00 a.m. It’s probably a good idea to think ahead — get there before 10:30 when everyone else will want to get in, get into a friendly conversation at the security entrance at the back of the tent.
Wiesn after hours?
Anyone who still wants to continue partying can find one of the numerous Oktoberfest after-parties. If you don’t want to take a taxi or the subway, there are plenty of clubs near the Oktoberfest grounds. Otherwise, all the trendy clubs in Munich have special “after-Wiesn” parties.
But expect lines and entrance fees — better check the MyWiesn Secrets App beforehand! In different categories Wiesn visitors can post their secret tips, tell stories about celebrities they have spotted schunkel-ing somewhere, let others in on their after-party ideas (word has it there’ll even be some guest list code words) or share their funny/embarrassing Wiesn anecdotes. All anonymously – it’s the Oktoberfest, so there’s no need to be shy!