Beginners Guide to Oktoberfest: How to prepare.

Wiesn is hier! The first keg is tapped, the tents are open and the beer is flowing!

If you’ve been to Wiesn before, you may have learned form your mistakes and have all the necessary equipment, but if this is your first go-round, I’m here for you.

These are some things to get and bring with you to Wiesn, so you can enjoy this fest to its fullest!

Los geht’s!

Cash!

Bring cash. You cannot pay with card at Wiesn (or honestly in Germany in general), so bring cash. Beers will run you around 15 euros, that’s the price of beer plus tip, food is around the same depending on what you get (the half chicken!).

Not many people want to carry around so much cash, but it is normal in Germany and I encourage it. You don’t want to have to wait in line behind a hundred people who are drunk and you definitely don’t want to have to leave the tent in order to find a Bankautomat (see : So, you want to move to Germany? Here’s some words you should learn. Pt. 1). Also, if you leave your tent, you might not be able to get inside without waiting in line for over an hour.

 

An ID that is not your passport

This is very important. I forgot this rule and almost couldn’t get into a tent the other day. I didn’t want to bring mine, because the only ID I currently have is my visa and my passport and I can’t lose these since I am leaving the country this weekend. I was able to get into a tent (barely), but they were checking almost everyone’s IDs. Not every tent will check, but its good to have on you. Also, this is a good safety precaution in case you get too drunk and the paramedics come (happens all the time) they will be able to find out who you are if you aren’t able to speak.

I would recommend bringing a drivers license from your home country, because you don’t need that here unless you have to rent a car soon and it is something relatively easy to replace. Hundreds of people lose their passports during Wiesn time (mostly Aussies) and that can really ruin what was supposed to be a good holiday. Be German, prepare!

Your address

Wether you are staying at a hostel, a glamping site, or a friends, you need to have your address written down (not saved on your phone) and kept somewhere on your person. This is good advice for any type of traveling, but especially useful if you are going to be doing some heavy drinking.

If you have the paper, then it doesn’t matter if you forget where you’re staying or if it was saved on your phone and your phone dies, you can give it to a police officer, cab driver or stranger and they can help get you get to where you need to go. Most people will help you if you are in need (thank you kind Netherlands man, feeding me pretzels like a bird when I was trashed!)

 

MVG App

This is the public transportation App in Munich. It shows current location, all Sbahn (suburban trains), Ubahn (underground lines), trams and busses within Munich and some surrounding areas. On this App, you can also buy tickets and look at maps. This makes traveling much easier, since most people use paper tickets and those have a tendency of getting lost.

Normally, during Wiesn, there is a special button that you press and it calculates your route to Oktoberfest from your current location. Now, they have added another button, “bring me home”. Before you start drinking, put in your address and then when it is time to leave (and your phone isn’t dead), just press the button and you are on your way back! This is a great feature for anyone not familiar with the train lines and has already come in very handy for me. You can show someone the path as well and they can push you in the right direction without you having to try to pronounce German names while inebriated.

[Photos from left to right]

  1. This is the home page. To get to Oktoberfest, just click the ‘Go to the Wiesn’ button and then put in your current location or let it find your location automatically.
  2. This is the loading page. I just thought you’d be interested in seeing how fun Germany can get with their technology sometimes 🙂 this image alternated between a few cool Wiesn images: a pretzel, rollercoaster, ferris wheel and a bicyclist.
  3. Once it has loaded, you will come to the page that gives you the different routes. It shows the fastest paths. This one is only showing Ubahns to Theresienwiese (the stop directly at Wiesn), but I know you can also take an Sbahn to Hackerbrücke and walk, but there must be a reason they have left that off. The exclamation mark means that there is an alert or warning about this particular train line. Once you click on it, you can see the alert.
  4. This shows a more detailed journey. You can see the time that you leave and when you get there and if you click on the actual train or the walking icon, it will give you a map with a blue line showing you which direction to walk. The alert says “Tight passage (on the train) becuase of Oktoberfest, a soccer match, and rush hour traffic). Switch your app to English if your German isn’t that great, but this alert will be on any train you get during the Wiesn season.

Power bank and necessary cords

Is it just me or does the night suddenly go downhill when your phone dies? Nothing is worse than being in a new city or country and, while you’re trying to find your way home or get in contact with someone, your phone dies. Suddenly, you are alone in the world with no one to help you.

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This is an important one that I think about all the time (actually going to the store today to get another one). I will get one thats a little bulkier, but can charge more than one phone at once, since my friend’s phone and mine are on the same death schedule. You don’t have to go all-out, grab a 10 euro one from Müller when you get here or one from home and you’ll be all set. Don’t forget to charge it, though, that is key haha

 

A Bag

This one is mainly for the ladies, but I encourage everyone to have a bag of some kind or pockets if you can swing it.

Bring a small bag to Wiesn to hold everything mentioned above. This bag should be small, lightweight, not expensive and have a zipper closure. Make sure the bag is comfy enough to wear at all times and unobtrusive enough to not have to take off in the tent. The biggest mistake I made in the past is bringing one of my bigger bags and overpacking the heck out of it. I never waned to put it down, because the floors are covered in vomit and beer, I really liked my bag and I was worried about getting drunk and forgetting it somewhere. A friend of mine laid hers down a few days ago and hasn’t found it yet 😦

There is a lost and found at Wiesn, but I would not rely on that to get your stuff back. I bought a purse at C&A, an affordable retail store, for 15 euros and it has already paid for itself many times over. I wore it for 7 hours the first night, didn’t lose anything and honestly forgot I was wearing it the whole time. It was easy for security to check and held my phone, charger, wallet, and lip balm with no problems.

 

 

 

I hope this has helped any Oktoberfest newbies or oldies. Let me know if I have forgotten any ket items and have a blast!

Pfiat di!

 

 

 

 

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