10 Ways We Survived Oktoberfest With Only A Slight Hangover

Thinking about going to Oktoberfest?! PROST! Oktoberfest is awesome and so are you! Strap in, it’s a wild ride and certainly lives up to the hype as one of the most legendary annual events around the world. Here are 10 ways we survived Oktoberfest with only a slight hangover and helpful tips to stumble your way through the unofficial Bavarian Disney World for drunk people.

  1.  Getting after it early and claiming a spot at a table. Festivities kick off at 10am (9am on weekends) and tents will fill up quickly, especially on weekends, so find a zone, order a brew and get comfy. Whether you take a seat inside or out, introduce yourself to your neighbors because with all that beer flowing, you’ll make friends instantly and you never know who you’ll meet! Oktoberfest attracts visitors from all over the world and last year 6.3 million people flocked to Munich to party! Oktoberfest actually starts in late September, and if weather is nice, enjoying the ambiance of a beer garden is a must. There is so much going on inside the tents and all around you so try not to have fomo by not bouncing around. There are 14 tents to choose from each offering its own unique experience with one common denominator, good times and a heck of a lot of beer being consumed, 7.5 million liters to be exact. We actually lost our seat every time we took a bathroom break and found it was always good excuse to switch up the scene and try a new tent or table. So be sure to pop in a couple different brew tents, try as many different beers as possible, stay for a sing along and a couple prosts. We had a blast at every tent we set foot in, but if your not feeling spontaneous, you can always study up on which tent may match your vibe and be more inline with the experience you want to have.

    Prosting at the Marshtall Biergarten tent with our new friends from England.
  2. Staying with a local via Couchsurfing! As you can imagine, hotel and hostel prices sky rocket during the festival. Some visitors even book their lodging as early as a year in advance! We were lucky enough to link up with Barb, a Munich local who let us crash at her place during our stay. Back story here, Vito met Barb when she was exploring NYC during her trip around the world trip through Couchsurfing.com! Vito played tour guide for Barb in New York and they instantly became friends. The beauty of Couchsurfing is that you don’t necessarily have to even host someone, you can just meet up and show them some cool stuff in your city. When we arrived, Barb said we’d probably be over it after a day. Too many drunk people, the hangover, it’s expensive. HA! Not us, we found ourselves there 3 days in a row. Barb has been going to the wiesn her whole life so she wasn’t even planning on attending (she doesn’t drink beer and may be the only German in Germany who doesn’t) until she saw how stoked we were, and she couldn’t help but to throw on her dirndl and join in the fun.

    Barb! The hostess with the mostest.
  3. 3 Days was enough! After those three days, we couldn’t stomach the thought of another liter of beer. We felt 3 days was the perfect amount of time to cross this once in a lifetime experience off your bucket list. But hey, everyone is different, so do YOU! You can go for one, hell you can go for 5. Anything over 3 is pretty heavy metal though and you better really like to drink if that’s the case. Munich is an incredible city so try and set a day aside to explore the area outside of the festival. Extra points for checking out the surf at the Eisbach.

    Eisbach translates to “ice brook” so a wetsuit is a must in this man made river break.
  4. Not splurging on authentic lederhosen. We love to get decked out in the appropriate outfit whenever we have the chance, but unfortunately due to the size of our packs and the price tag on traditional Bavarian attire, we opted to not dress up. And, that’s ok, you’ll fit in either way. For minimal investment, you can always opt for the German Alpine hat, an instant classic you’ll be able to throw on long after you are done throwing back liters of some of the best beer you’ll ever drink. Side note- we met many locals who had informed us their lederhosen were passed down to them from generation to generation. Some of them belonging to their father, grandfather, even great grandfather and the best part is they were so proud it had never been washed…Imagine all those beer spills survived over the years. The ladies also pull out all the stops wearing extravagant dirndls.. Ladies, IF you do wear a dirndl be sure to brush up on how to wear the bow, and guys take notes here, this will help you know if you should approach a female or not. Bow to the right = married or taken, bow to the left = single. True local or tourist, playing dress up or not, either way you’re bound to have the time of your life, if you can remember any of it. 

    No attire, no problem!
  5. Soaking in the culture! A true locals tip is to check out the Old Oktoberfest. It a very chill vibe with a family friendly atmosphere. There are some good photo ops and it’s a nice break from the chaos ensuing around you. The Oide Wiesn is a trip back in time to experience how Oktoberfest was celebrated over 200 years ago. It was cool to see how the festival has transformed, evolved and grown over the years. Also, the food here is amazing. So grab yourself a roasted chicken and fish on a stick and soak in the rich history and tradition of the Oide Wiesen.

    The famous steckerlfisch, an iconic beer garden food staple.
  6. Cash rules everything around you. Bring cash, (literally nothing else, besides your phone of course) a big smile and stay out of your servers way! These ladies are super talented, have a tough job and deal with drunks all day so be generous and tip, it will go a long way! We spent an average of $87 per day at the festival. You may want to limit your cash after a few steins in, as your stomach will be full and your pockets will be empty. So go ahead, dance on that bench (NEVER the table), chug that beer and prost to your new pals, just know it will come with a wee bit of a price tag.

    In 2019, 1 Litre of beer costs between 10.80 and 11.80 EURO in the various beer tents. This represents an average price increase of 3.11% over the previous year.
  7. Roller coasters before beer and you’re in the clear. Beer and roller coasters are quite the combo and we conquered both of them in stride. Pretty sure this is a given, but don’t go on one after more than two steins in, for everyone’s sake and your own. The Ferris wheel offers an incredible bird’s eye view of the festival…a must see! Do it! Definitely worth it, a solid photo op. Find the Teufelsrad aka The Devil’s Wheel and check it out. Won’t go into too much detail here to leave an element of surprise. But, the Teufelsrad is rad and has been an Oktoberfest staple since 1910, offering fun for all ages. Spectate or participate, it’s pure entertainment, so get involved, who knows, you may even walk away a winner.

    The Olympia Looping, the world’s largest transportable rollercoaster, who knew?
  8. Pace yourself, it’s not the Autobahn. Bring your drinking shoes, no seriously, don’t wear open toe shoes, it’s a war-zone out there. Oktoberfest is a marathon of beer drinking, not a sprint, so take your time and try to soak it all in. Don’t feel like you need to put back steins until you can’t stand, switch it up and sip on a lemonade and do some people watching. Lining your stomach before you drink won’t be too hard as you fill up on the best wurst of your choice, bratwurst, weisswurst, currywurst, bockwurst, wollwurst or knackwurst. Usually around 9pm people will turn into drunk zombies. Join the hundred other people who needed a break and take a nap on the hill, it’s par for the course.

    Taking a break on the of the hill as the evening approaches.
  9. Learning a proper PROST! Prosting your new tipsy friends is fun but having your fingers smashed in the process is not. So learn some stein etiquette. Cheers while holding on to the handle, tap the bottom of the glass on the table then grip you fingers around the stein before you drink. It’s customary to always make eye contact and take a drink after a cheers, even if it’s just a small one.

    The Augustiner brewery is the oldest in Munich and one of our favorite tents.
  10.  No stealing steins. Or do, we won’t tell. Just beware of large security guards ready to yell at you in German and grasp you in their clutches. These dudes are intimidating and won’t be happy if you try and rip off their glassware. We even witnessed someone being escorted off by police for stealing a stein. Speaking of police, we met a American dude who spent 2 nights in jail for lighting up a joint on the hill, so play it smart when it comes to the party favors…the Polizei don’t mess around.

    Auf Wiedersehen Oktoberfest! Until next time!

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