Everything You Need To Know About Oktoberfest
September 8, 2020
Oktoberfest is the world’s most popular folk (and drink) festival, but many attendees aren’t sure what to expect. When is it, is it about drinking and how to get in?
A brief history of Oktoberfest
October 1810 was the date when the original Oktoberfest was held. It was to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Teresa of Saxony-Hildburghausen (named after the place, Theresienwiese).
All the good people were invited to eat and, of course, drink for five days. The celebration was a success; they decided to do it every year and extended the celebration until September to better adapt to the harvest. That is why today, the festival spans 16 days from late September to early October.
Dates for Oktoberfest
The dates for Oktoberfest 2020 are from September 21 to October 6.
Many people just go through the day and host their entire party at once. If you want to see everything the festival offers, three days is usually enough to do so.
Reserve a table for Oktoberfest
Most people who plan to visit Oktoberfest reserve a table for at least one day of their visit. You can see the different atmosphere of the tents with our handy Oktoberfest tent guide and then plan to reserve a spot by March.
While reservations make finding a seat during rush hour much easier, you can still get in if you haven’t planned it months in advance. A quarter of the spots in the tents are not available to reserve and are open for walk-ins. Also, up to half of the seats cannot be reserved on weekends and holidays until 3 p.m. M.
The outside seating within the restaurants in the beer garden is generally open, although they often reach capacity at peak times.
That said, theft is common, especially at a big drunken festival. Limit the valuables you bring and try to avoid getting too drunk.
Furthermore, recent terrorist threats have been a cause for concern. The city of Munich and the festival organizers have worked hard to make this event secure as possible, including providing secured entry and baggage checks to enter the fairgrounds.
Weather at the Oktoberfest
The weather at Oktoberfest has a nasty habit of being rainy. This doesn’t bother the people inside the tents, but it can make one day exploring the gardens and turning around on walks a bit dreary.
Pack an umbrella, a coat (or a traditional T-shirt ), and a smile.
Traditional clothing at Oktoberfest
Traditional Bavarian clothing such as Lederhosen and Dirndl (known as Tracht ) can be seen throughout the festival in Bavarians and foreigners.
Stores are happy to help you find your dreams’ Bavarian outfit, but these outfits can be pricey. Check out our guide on Lederhosen for options and an idea of what budget. Silly beer hats, funky glasses, and everyday wear are perfectly acceptable too.
Smoking at Oktoberfest
Most of the time, smokers congregate just outside the tents’ entrance, but this can get tricky when the tents are full as they may not be allowed to go back inside. Some tents have balconies organized outdoors for smokers.