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Oktoberfest, Germany- Any info?

k
knoble Sep 16, 2009 06:11 PM

I am planning on heading to Oktoberfest in Munich this year in a week. It might seem crazy but I don't really know anything about the logistics of the event. My family won a house to rent for the week near Munich in an auction so it's a happy surprise.

Does anyone happen to know if one definitely needs a reservation to attend Oktoberfest? Is it worth it to pay around $250 for tickets (that's what I'm finding online)? I've also been reading that you should get there early so I'm wondering if you just head in the AM if you can get a seat at a table.

Basically, any info would be great. I realize that it's going to be a crazy affair but I'm willing to deal with the crowds to check it out.

Thanks!
Katie

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    sk4sk4 RE: knoble Sep 17, 2009 06:19 PM

    i'm in the same boat! i don't have any beer tent reservations either. i'm gonna try to show up very early next Friday morning (i get in thursday afternoon). i heard the weekends are impossible, so Friday might be my only shot.

    where have you seen tickets for $250 online? that's crazy....

    1 Reply
    1. re: sk4sk4
      b
      barndog RE: sk4sk4 Sep 17, 2009 06:36 PM

      My wife and I and some friend made this trip two years ago. We had the time of our lives. You don't need reservations in the daytime, (but they help a lot). You can go into most beer tents and find tables that have a piece of paper that will say: Frei - 2:30; that means the table is free until 2:30 that afternoon (or whatever time is written on it). You can sit down, and some very nice staff will offer you beer and a whole lot of delicious food. I recommend getting there in the morning, (I think most open around 11:00-ish). Veal bratwurst is an awesome late morning dish to go with a lager. Great way to start the day. Most tent have a minimum of beer and food that you must buy, but if you stay longer than an hour it's pretty easy to hit.

      I also recommend the Spaten and Hofbrauhaus tents. They're both pretty big and pretty accommodating to non-German people. A couple tents aren't very welcoming if you're not German (i.e. the Lowenbrau tent is very exclusive, locals hand down their reservation rights to their children, kinda like Red Sox season tickets). The Hofbrauhaus tent also is the only tent that will allow you to buy a beer without being seated at a table. If you want to go at night, you're going to need a reservation, and the experience is much more lively. Or you might be able to make friends with someone who has reservation and space at their table, but that's a bit of a long shot. There's also a carnival that goes on outside the tents on the Theresienwiesse, so there's plenty of stuff to keep you occupied if you can't get in.
      Good luck!

    2. pikawicca RE: knoble Sep 17, 2009 06:30 PM

      Holy crap! Unless things have changed enormously in 30 years, no reservations are needed. You just show up. If this has turned into a big ticket advance purchase event, it's lost its gestalt, and you should just stay home. I spent my freshman year in college in Munich, and Oktoberfest is my favorite memory. $250? No way -- this is a peasant festival.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pikawicca
        c
        Clouston RE: pikawicca Sep 21, 2009 08:15 AM

        Hi, pikawicca:
        Yep things change in thirty years even in old Bavaria. You wouldn't recognize the organisation and tents. Yes, reservations are usually necessary if you would like a seat in a tent at night when it is most drunken. Yes, tickets can cost $ 250, but probably for a box and not just a place at a table. The place is jammed packed with Italians (who move their motorhomes there weeks beforehand), Australians and Brits. Their sole intention would seem to be just to get drunk. We locals look forward to the days after the Oktoberfest when there is no more puke in the local trains early in the morning on our way to work.
        Take a walk through the pedestrian zone for atmosphere and more comfortable drinking and eating.
        Enjoy your time there and get out to some of Germany's prettiest scenery, even without the non-existant peasants!

      2. Behemoth RE: knoble Sep 18, 2009 01:07 PM

        If you go early on a weekday, around 11am or so, you should not have any problems. The people with reservations (lots of corporate accounts) will generally start showing up around 4pm. Also rainy weeknight evenings are also usually not too bad (especially towards the end of the second week when all the locals are Wies'n-ed out.)

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