Be aware, that only a few tents accept credit cards, which is why it is recommended to bring cash. Moreover, your server will be way too busy to coordinate an electronic payment for each drink you order (it is not possible to open a tab at the Oktoberfest). Make it easier for your server and bring cash. Also, go to a bank machine outside the Oktoberfest area or you’ll most likely find yourself spending prime drinking time waiting in line at an ATM machine.
Tip your server.
One of the most important Oktoberfest tips involves tipping. Yes, it is likely you have to wait a little while before you receive your beer, but keep in mind that sometimes the kegs are backed up filling the glasses of over 5000 guests. Furthermore, did you see how many beers the servers are carrying at once? Servers at the Oktoberfest cover a wide range of drinkers so a good tip can help yourself get noticed and stay in the server’s good books and be first on the refill list.
It’s easy to get carried away once you finally have your first mass in your hands. However, over eager attendees often end up tapping out early and will miss the tent’s prime time evening festivities. Keep in mind that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Dress in the traditional garb.
Guys wear Lederhosen and girls wear dirndl. These traditional outfits are sold all over Munich and the surrounding cities during and prior to the Oktoberfest. During the time leading up to the Oktoberfest you can find the traditional clothing at almost all local department stores and of course there are specialty store where you can find your traditional outfits any time during the year. Girls be aware: there are certain things to keep in mind when you put on a dirndl, because how you wear your dress says a lot about you: a dirndl tied on the left = single; right = taken; front = virgin and back= waitress.
Practice a few common German phrases.
We admit German isn’t the easiest language to quickly pick up, however, taking the time to learn a few common phrases can help you get on the waiters’ good side and maybe even be your in with a fun local crowd. Here are a few German phrases that will be useful during your Oktoberfest time:
A stein of beer: ein maß (ß is a double ‘s’ so the word is pronounced mass).
Thank you: Danke
You’re welcome: Bitte schön
Don’t try to switch tents during a busy day
If you are able to get a seat in a tent during a busy day don’t try to hop to another after a few hours. It is very likely that the next tent will be jam packed as well and that you won’t be as lucky as you were before. Switching tents can mean a long line up before you can enter the next tent or having to stand.
Don’t accidentally leave the tent.
In search of a washroom or smoking area people often wander outside and leave the tent, not considering that they might not be able to get back inside. Make sure you check with security that you will be able to re-enter without any trouble.
Girls, try not to bring a purse.
If you bring a purse it will most likely end up sitting on a beer drenched table or floor and after a few Maß you might be in danger of forgetting about it entirely. If you really need one take a very small one which you do not mind carrying around your shoulder for a long time or put what you need in your pockets – little extra bonus of most dirndls – they have a zipper and lined pockets.
Don’t try to make extra space for your group by not allowing others to sit in empty spots.
The Oktoberfest is a jovial celebration amongst strangers and if you try to make extra space for your group you will miss out on the opportunity to bond with other beer enthusiasts. Take it all in and be open to strangers joining your table, who knows…you mind end up becoming friends for life.
Do not wear sandals or open-toe shoes.
The weather might be nice and warm, but the Oktoberfest is a beer festival and, inevitably, some people get pretty intoxicated. Best case scenario: someone jumps on your foot while jumping along to a traditional Bavarian song. Worst case: the almost 1,3kg (3lbs) stein falls on your foot. Moreover, the floor gets extremely grubby.