Oktoberfest mistakes - don't do these eight things

Take our advice and avoid these common Oktoberfest pitfalls

1. Not tipping the waitress - Oktoberfest beers might seem expensive - they’re just under €11 as of 2017 - but you still can’t neglect to tip the waitress or waiter who’s serving at your table.
If you give them anything less than an extra euro they’re likely not to return!
oktoberfest waitressSERVICE: It pays to keep your waitress smiling. Picture: Miles Cave

But luckily this cuts both ways - give your waitress an extra generous tip on your first round and you’ll ensure excellent service for your entire session.

2. Not pacing yourself - Tell your college buddies you were pickled after downing just four beers after a night out in Sacramento and they may laugh in your face and give you a candy bar.
But at the Munich Oktoberfest it means you’ve probably consumed enough alcohol to launch a small aircraft carrier.
Oktoberfest beers are brewed especially for the festival and they come in at about six per cent - stronger than what you’ll find in German bars and supermarkets.
And the size of the fest’s beer glasses can be deceiving - they’re a full, glorious litre - or Maß, as it were - nearly double the amount you get in an imperial pint.
So when you get to the party and order your first beer at 9am just remember, you’re there for the long-haul and they’re not going to run dry. Some people alternatve been beers and glasses of water - not a bad idea.

3. Not booking your bed well ahead - Forget any ideas you had about scoping out the cheapest hostels on offer while still bearing your backpack after actually getting to Munich - accommodation around Oktoberfest time books up months in advance!
And most hotels tend to jack up their prices around festival time knowing there’ll be scores of travellers just begging for a place to crash so they can be part of the world’s most famous party.
So do your bank balance a favour and book your place to stay as soon as you know you’re going to Oktoberfest - even if it’s a year ahead it’s not too soon.
And do you want to camp, stay in a hostel, hotel or try for an Airbnb?
It pays to do your research and our very own Accommodation Guide is an excellent place to start.

MORE: The Old Oktoberfest (Oide Wiesn) - This is a part of the Munich Oktoberfest grounds where you can experience what the festival was like in days gone by

4. Not mixing with your neighbours - Never mind the stereotype about Germans being standoffish - they’re actually among the friendliest people in the world - especially at the Oktoberfest!
And this is a party that draws visitors from around the world like no other.
The festival is the perfect opportunity to clink a glass with the person sitting next to you and make a few new friends, it’s as easy as ‘eins, zwei, drei, g'suffa!’. And for singletons, flirting is practically de rigueur - although it may pay to remember the simple rules about where the bow is tied on a lady’s Dirndl dress (not just for background information, it's also a great coversation starter).

A post shared by Oktoberfest (@oktoberfest) on

Above: There's plenty of opportunity to make new friends at the Oktoberfest.

5. Not getting their early - Don’t expect to just rock up in the evening and get a seat at any old table - the Oktoberfest tents can fill up - especially at weekends.
The situation gets trickier the bigger your group is and it’s practically impossible to find an entire free table (which seats a dozen) anywhere after about 10am.
You don’t want to be stuck outside a tent in a queue while those inside are having the time of their lives - so get your act together and arrive early!

MORE: Lederhosen - The story behind the famous leather shorts

oktoberfest beer pace yourselfDRINK: Oktoberfest beer is delicious, but don't forget to pace yourself! Picture: jadcab
6. Not bringing enough cash - Unlike countries such as the US and UK, Germans don’t tend to prefer paying in cash rather than plastic.
And at the Oktoberfest cash is the only way to pay virtually everywhere.
Just try waving your American Express at a waitress in an Oktoberfest tent and see how far it gets you - instead of frothy mug of amber bliss you’re more likely to be served with a stern frown and marching orders to the nearest ATM (FYI - they’re at the main entrance).
So make sure you think you bring all the money you think you’ll need with you - and when you’re skint - go home! You’re drunk!

7. Sleeping on the Kotzhügel - The name really says it all.
The Oktoberfest Kotzhügel (which translates as: puke hill) Is a grassy slope next to the Bavaria Statue that’s become rather infamous.
This is where trollied Oktoberfest revellers often try to offload what they’ve taken on board one way - one end - or another.
It’s gross, and you don’t want to be one of the scores of victims who end up passed out there every day only to wake up with a 3pm hangover.
If you’re feeling rough: drink some water, use the real toilets and AVOID THE KOTZÜGEL!

A post shared by LAG (@mausiii712) on

Above: The Kotzhügel - try to avoid

8. Not going! - Some say Oktoberfest is just full of tourists and has got way too commercial for it’s own boots. They say it’s tacky, loud and inauthentic. We say: Let those haters be your motivators.
There’s a very good reason why Oktoberfest has become the world’s biggest festival - it's bloody awesome.
And when you’re standing on a wooden bench in the middle of 8,000 happy people with a beer in one hand and a chicken leg in the other dancing to 99 Luftballons like it’s the last night on Earth, you’ll agree. Just go, I beseech you.

Above: There's a reason why the Munich Oktoberfest is so famous - it's awesome!

Do you like this site? Get the guidebook!

Destination-Munich-eBook
Every once in a while a book comes along that changes your life.

Until it does, please consider buying Destination Munich and Bavaria, the grooviest, most informative guide on the market :-)
It'll give you full-colour maps, practical info and hundreds of tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
It's 285 pages of up-to-the-minute travel intelligence and it can be yours as an eBook for less than the price of an Oktoberfest beer. (read on)

Sharing is caringshare-me

Share this page:

Or follow us on Facebook:


Still after more on the Munich Oktoberfest?

Jump to the Munich Oktoberfest index - all stories and descriptions listed here.

Or you could just...

• Return to the Munich Festivals main page.
Jump from Oktoberfest mistakes back to Destination Munich Home.


book-a-hotel-here