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Oktoberfest tips for first timers


Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival in the world attracting millions of people every year.

Located annually in Munich, Germany – also known as the Bavarian region. With only 14 large tents and 20 small tents combined with millions of people looking for a good time, your experience can go from exciting to nightmare real quick.

Thankfully I’m going to share with you some helpful tips I have learned that will have your first time at Oktoberfest be a memorable one to say the least.

This post is filled with tips from when to book tent reservations to must-wear traditional attire that will have you arriving like a seasoned attendee in no time. 

Follow this guide and you are sure to have the authentic Oktoberfest experience you are looking for. 


Oktoberfest tips for tent reservations

Book tent reservations well in advance for everyone is after the same thing as you.

Booking Your Oktoberfest Tent Reservations

Tip #1) Book well, well in advanced.

This one is easy although usually overlooked. Remember, MILLIONS of people are attending. There is no such thing as a last minute booking success.

My advice, submit tent reservation requests between January-March. 

Each tent does reservations a little differently. Some allow for electronic reservations while others require either a faxed or mailed letter request. Make sure to carefully read up on all the different reservation requirements. For example, my tent reservation was for Wildstuben which required a fax submission.

Another thing to consider. . . 

Tip #2) It’s not “possible” to make tent reservations for parties less than 6-8.

If you are attending with a small group, no need to fear. Just grab some people waiting in the standby line and ask them if they would like to join you. I did and they ended up being a blast! Still friends today.

Also, if the tent requires an advance payment for reservation, PAY IT!

You can either drink for 8 or again find people to join you and make them pay you. I’ve heard tents will refund you whatever you don’t spend, but please confirm for I am not 100% sure. It’s not like they are hurting for business.

Oktoberfest tips: where to stay during Oktoberfest

Grab people waiting in standby and ask them if they would like to join. Instant friends!

Where to Stay During Oktoberfest

Tip #3) Again, book well in advance.

Even the run down youth hostels become a fortune. Surprisingly, the cheapest option I found was Airbnb. Their shared room option for a couple nights will run around $500 total while hotels are nearly $500/night.

The reality with booking accommodation is Oktoberfest happens around the same time every year and hotels know they can charge more. The prices will always be higher during this time even if you book months in advance.

The point of booking early is to ensure that 1) You have a room at all and 2) It is in a good location.

So where should you book your stay? 

Airbnb was the cheapest option I found, but pay attention to the comments and rating of the host.

A huge CON with Airbnb is the host can cancel at anytime. I originally had an Airbnb booked months in advance when less than two months before the festival, the host canceled on me leaving me to pay $800 at a 3 star hotel.

If you can’t find a hotel near the festival, look for hotels near train stations.

I stayed 9 stops away from the festival at Econtel, but all I had to take was the S8. It was right next to my hotel and I couldn’t have been happier with my choice.

Did you know Oktoberfest offers Glamping options?

Check out your options here. Some even offer free breakfast!

Oktoberfest outfit: tips on what to wear

What to Wear to Oktoberfest

Dirndls, worn by women, are the tradition Bavarian dresses with jackets or scarves and heels. Yes heels! Nothing amazed me more than seeing women walking around in the rain wearing heels.

Lederhosen, worn by men, are the traditional Bavarian overall-type-shorts usually with a colored dress short underneath and long socks.

Tip #4: DO NOT buy Dirndls and Lederhosen right before or during the festival.

These outfits can run up to 300 euros. Take my word for it. Best advice is to buy your attire after the festival from the year prior. For example, if you plan on attending the festival next year, then buy your outfits after this year’s festival when everything goes on sale.

Look at your local Halloween store for a costume or


What if you don’t want to wear the traditional outfits or it’s too expensive? 

That’s ok too, but I recommend not going in a completely boring outfit. Everyone dresses up, and in my opinion that is part of the celebration.

I bought a festive shirt, threw my hair into pigtails, and hung a cookie necklace around my neck. I fit right in!

first time at Oktoberfest tips

Fashion never tasted so good!

What else will you find people wearing?

  • Cookie necklaces with cute German phrases such as “I love you”.
  • Clothespins with other written German phrases.
  • Pretzel necklaces. Nothing like tying your snack around your neck for when you get hungry.

What else should I pack for Oktoberfest?

  • Rain poncho or umbrella. A little rain is expected every year during Oktoberfest. Don’t make the rookie mistake and come unprepared.
  • Shoes you won’t mind throwing away after they are ruined by rain, dirt, and BEER. You cannot avoid it!
  • For women, a small purse like this adorable stein purse! You can tuck cash and cards in your shoes or bra if needed.

Is Oktoberfest worth it?

Yes! 100%. If there’s any hyped festival out there that still delivers on quality of experience, it’s Oktoberfest.

What is the best way to get there?

While there are many ways to get to Oktoberfest, the best and most budget-friendly way, in my opinion, is FlixBus. Their comfy coach buses will zip you to Munich leaving you with plenty of money leftover for Bier!!

Book your ticket!

What are the 2019 Oktoberfest dates?

Oktoberfest Munich is happening from September 21, 2019, through October 6, 2019. Learn more here.

first time at Oktoberfest tips

Who can resist men in Lederhosen

Oktoberfest Traditions to Learn

  • Dress the part.
  • Rehearse the chants. Nothing is more thrilling than yelling out German chants as loud as you can while holding your stein high in the air.
  • Say Prost! Not cheers.
  • Order a Radler when you are getting too drunk. Yes, German’s know it’s a marathon and not a sprint, so every few beers they order a Radler – a half beer half lemonade concoction.
  • Be happy no matter what tent you are in. It’s all the same dancing, cheering, and laughter everywhere so have fun!
  • Finally, come prepared knowing these 28 hilarious German words

Do you have any tips to share from your experience at Oktoberfest? Leave a comment and share below!

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