When we get to Munich, we do a quick excursion to C&A- the local department store. They have a good selection of “Tracht” at reasonable prices. Avoid the kiosks on the street- they are overpriced for china made crap and they just look cheap. Go to C&A and get the better quality for about the same price.
Men: Lederhosen come in either kniebund or shorts. Both are acceptable and it will just be your preference. I personally like the look of kniebund, and if you have boney knees, it will make them look better.
Ladies: Most of you will want to get the “Midi” length. The mini length are only for the under 21 stick figures Paris Hilton wannabes- you will be frowned at if you wear one of them- trust me. Midi length is for the 20-50 age range. The long dresses are for the 50 and above, or for special evening events that are more formal. There are two types of Dirndls- cheap costume type (which you will get laughed at), and the good ones (which earn respect and comments). I suggest you get a good one. For reference, I wear a US size 6/8 and a EU size 40. The measurements are pretty accurate, so measure yourself and order away. Unlike the American sizing, Europe is very consistent. . You will also need a sweater or a boiled wool coat to match your dirndl. Buy something cheap, so if you lose it, no loss. I have a light cream short cardigan sweater with little pearl buttons, but it wasn’t warm enough last year and ended up freezing. This year I am going for the boiled wool jacket. LL Bean and Woolrich are two good brands that make the Austrian style wool coats.
1. Don’t visit the tents on Saturday without reservations. We have tried several years, and its a zoo and it is downright dangerous. We got to the tent doors, the guard opened the door, and one of our shorter woman got pushed down to the ground and luckily we were able to grab her and get her out of there. Don’t do it- it’s a waste of time and there are many places around Munich to visit including some lovely outdoor beer gardens.
2. Get your souvenirs on Saturday or Monday- the shops at the airport are disappointing and have very little selection. We wanted a shirt, but we were SOL at the airport and settled for a beer glass (not that that’s a bad thing- you can never have too many beer glasses). Shops are usually open the following hours:
• Monday-Friday 9am-12pm, 2pm-6pm
• Saturday 10am-6pm
• Closed Sunday
3. Electrical Power- there are two items you may need- Converter and/or a plug adapter. The converter actually changes the voltage and the plug adapter just changes the American plug into the European standard, but does not convert the voltage. Many items such as hairdryers and laptops are built with the voltage transformation internal, so all you need to do is either reset the voltage or just plug into the adapter. Read your manual. For those things that don’t have internal transformation, you are risking the appliance even using the converter. I blew up my boot heaters, hairdryers, and curling irons, even using a really good converter from sharper image, so I suggest that you be very careful with your electronics. If you have lots of stuff to plug in and charge, bring a power strip because most German hotels only have one plug in the entire room. It will also give you a tiny bit more surge protection.
4. The best way to get Euros is through the ATM. The worst place to get Euros is at a currency exchange. Also, we try to use our credit card as much as possible, but for cash, just use your ATM. Make sure your credit card will work internationally and make sure you call them ahead of time to tell them you will be oversees. We have gotten over there and have had our cards rejected because they “suspected” irregular usage. If you just call them and give them the dates you are there, you should have no problem. Also, debit cards do NOT work. Also note that Amex has a 2.7% currency exchange surcharge, so you will need to do the math on the better choice of payment.
5. When using ATMs, unlike the states where you get your money first, then take your card, overseas it is opposite. You will need to pull your ATM card out before the money is extracted. If you don’t grab your card in time, the machine sucks it back in and it is shredded (yes, you hear the dreaded sound of chomp-chomp-cut-cut). Be careful- we have seen this happen and we don’t want to have to loan your ass cash every 10 minutes for a beer.
6. If your phone works overseas, get on the international plan for the time you are there. For my phone, it’s a $4.95 monthly fee and the calls go down by $2/minute and my TM’s are a quarter. I cancel when I get home, so it saves a lot of money. Also, try using TMing as much as possible vs. the phone because the calls do add up.
7. Credit cards and ID- make copies of everything. If you get heisted or your drunk butt leaves your wallet somewhere, the copy you made will have the number on it to call, as well as your account number. Same with your passport. It’s a lot easier to get a replacement if you have a copy of it when you get to the embassy.
8. Bathrooms: There will be a lady or man in the bathroom (mens and womens), and they clean up after all the drunks. It is expected that you throw a few coins in the tray for her troubles (a quarter euro/visit is norm). Men- yes you will pee in front of her- get over it… After a few trips, you won’t even notice her/him.
9. Apparel: No slogan T-shirts that ID you as a stupid American. If you want to be welcomed at a table, the last thing you want to be wearing is your t-shirt that has the Detroit Lions on it. Remember- most Europeans do not like Americans, so you want to polite, use as much German as you can do, and don’t be that ugly American. The better dressed you are and the less American you look, the better your chances of scoring a table.
10. Backpacks are not allowed in the tents. Women can bring a small purse, but don’t bring anything bigger or you will be going back to the hotel to deposit it. For men, you can use a small camera bag, but remember, anything you set down, your drunk ass will lose it. Also, be careful putting your stuff in your jacket pocket. Some other drunk might mistakenly pick it up and carry it out and you won’t notice it’s gone until it’s too late. NO FANNY PACKS Please!!!!(unless you want to get laughed out of the tent) I suggest you carry the following on you:
• ID and Health insurance card (in case you get hurt)
• ATM Card
• One credit card
• Business card from Hotel (after a number of beers, Mittererstrasse is quite difficult to pronounce to the cabbie or to get directions)
11. Drunkenness and theft: Although it’s Oktoberfest, obnoxiousness is not allowed. Also, don’t even think about stealing that glass- the Nazi regime is alive and well and can see the would be thieves a mile away. Even if you get it out the door, fellow tent Nazis will bust you upon entering- it’s a mutual agreement between the tents. If you have a mug, you better have a receipt.
12. Insurance: Call your health insurance to see if you are covered when you are over there. If you stumble out of a tent and break your leg, you will need to pay in full for the entire amount before you leave the hospital. If your health care company does not cover you, look into some insurance that has health coverage like www.travelguard.com. It will also cover you in case of airline delays, baggage loss, and trip delay. We use them all the time and they are great.
1. Purse- You want a small purse that you can hang over your chest all the time- you do NOT want to put anything down. If it leaves your body, consider it gone.
2. Shoes- don’t wear shoes you don’t want to toss when you leave. It’s called beer and puke and mud. Prepare to leave your shoes in the trash on the last night- they will be way too gross to pack. Also, even if those heels look fabulous with your dirndl, don’t. After 3 litres of beer, do you really want to be in heels when you are standing on a wobbly 12” bench? Your ankles will be happy if you wear a nice pair of ballerina flats.
3. Weather- you will need a sweater or trenchcoat- it can get chilly and rainy while you are there. Again- buy cheap, your drunk ass will probably leave it on the hook at some beer tent.
4. Hair- The rooms come equipped with hair dryers, but they are not that great. If you want to bring your own, check your hairdryer to see if you have a way to change the voltage from 110 to 240. If it doesn’t, don’t bring it. It will probably blow up, even using a converter.
1. Camera- your camera bag needs to be small enough so you don’t have to put it down. you put it down, your drunk ass will lose it.
2. Wallet- always have in front pocket. It’s crowded and with any big event, there will be pickpockets. Again- bring as little as possible and always have a backup plan if you get lifted. Better yet, use a wallet pouch that you can put around your neck and hang inside your shirt.
3. Shoes- please no bright white tennis shoes- you do not want to stick out like a dumb American. Wear black or brown casual shoes with your jeans or lederhosen.
Also, many of the kiosks do not accept american credit cards because they are not equiped with a smart chip. there are no US companies that provide these cards, so if you get to the train station and your card isn’t reading, its because it’s not a smart card. Just go to the ticket booth and purchase the tickets.
That place seems to change owners and names approximately every three years or so…
Looks like I’m going to be going toward the end. Getting there on Tuesday the 27th, and staying for 3 nights.
“If you are living for tomorrow, you will always be a day behind” – Bill Hicks
Comish: That sux! I will be home by 9/24 or 9/25/11… However, BigFoot and his merry band of drunkards may still be there, as they do not arrive till the 23d.. MIKE
Yeah I’ve gotta head over to England first, and I can’t change those days. The 26th would have been the earliest that I could make it over there, but I’m meeting up with a friend on the 27th.
Just three months now!
They have started building the tents, see this webcam:
Looking good, as progress is being made!
We are so psyched to go! We got our reservations back from Hofbrau and Hippodrom and we are confirmed and paid! I have one double room with or without air available if anyone needs it before I give it back. Sept 21-26th, 2011. $1890 includes n/s air from IAD-MUC, 4 nights accomodation at Hotel Metropol which is walking distance to the tents, TWO tent reservations, Day trip to Saltzburg, and transfers ($920 without air). We have 38 from our “drinking club with a skiing problem” The Fagowees (pronounced where the f*ck are we).
I gurantee you will have a most memorable trip!
Lisl, your plans sound good! Let us know where you are during the fest and we will drink a beer together. Will be there myself sept 21-24 (leaving sunday morning) so plenty of time!
Yes, and I will be there from Monday (9/19) thru 9/Bigfoot, myself, Luvbeers, Peter, Maik, and a few other Oktoberfest Veterans will be meeting-up at (probably) the Augustiner Zelt at approximately 1300 hrs (1:00pm) on Weds. (9/21)… That is the “unofficial” T.A. first meet-up, then we can make plans to hook-up at a different spot on Thurs. (9/22) afternoon, etc. I am planning on meeting some T.A. and other folks for lunch near the Marienplatz on Tues. (9/20) – about 1200 noon… We can then walk-over to the fest, maybe hang at the Schottenhamel or Hacker tent… Prosit!
I would like to visit the Erdinger brewery and do that famous tour incl. unlimited food and drink. Either on thursday sept. 22 or saturday sept 24 . Who else is in?
Some other options for sidetrips: – Andechs Brewery – Lunch at Augustiner Braustuben , afterwards going into the tents
We did Andechs last year. The hike up is nice, and because it was getting dark when we left, we took the bus back to town to catch the train. Highly recommend the hike up though. Also, say hi to the “Pukalator” in the mens room. Yes, you heard me. Pukalator. It’s in the mens room outside of the beer garden (not in the main building, but in the annex downstairs). It has handles to hold onto, is all stainless for easy cleaning, and has a built in “chunkerator”. Priceless. My husband came up and got me and dragged me in there to see it. I would love to put one of those in my party room bathroom!!!!!
Anyway, when we get closer we will all have to do a meetup on the 22nd, as that sounds like we have the most people there. We have reservations until 4, so anytime after that sounds good. We will probably migrate to a tent, so we can either try to get a set place to meet, or just text each other if we can grab tables, or just meet in the Hofbrau in the mosh pit.
In the Hofbrauhaus (am Platzl) they also have this “Vominator” , very funny indeed.
Tour at Erdinger is set for Saturday sept. 24 – 13.30. If somebody wants to join let me know.
Also, let’s meet at the Augustiner Braustüben on Thursday sept. 22 at 13.00 for lunch and beers, afterwards we go to the Oktoberfest tents. I will make a reservation, respond if you want to join. This is a great and inexpensive restaurant located between the s-bahn station Hackerbrücke and the Wiesn, on the Landsbergerstrasse.
Bigfoot- After the tents, we usually go to the Millenium bar after the tents. We’ve been going several years now:
Millennium – Cafe, Bar, Restaurant. Schwanthaler Straße 12. München, Deutschland 80335
Also, what tent are you looking at? We are at the Hofbrau on Thursday and I think they still have availability. I’ll let you know what table we are at when they send out the seating. We are at the Hippo on Friday, Saltzburg on Saturday, then sunday we go to the ochsenbrauterie.
Sunskin- Us DC’ers are looking at making the trek to NYC via the Chinabus on the 17th. How about heading over to Lederhosen’s on the east side? Or we can head over to Lorelei’s?
I will be in NYC (Staying at Andaz Wall St.) – Sept. 17 & 18th… Send your e-mail addy to me at Munichbeerboy on the g mail side, and I will send you my cell phone. I plan-on being checked-in to the hotel by 3:30pm on 9/17/11, then in Mid-Town an hour after that… But Delta does keep changing the flight stuff by 10-15 mins here & there, and the flight number about every week or so! Just e-mail me the link and directions to that German place! I think I know where she is, but not 100% certain..
@Lisl: I am not that picky about which tent, as long is there is good music/ party and nice girls around, any big tent will do for me. Usually I visit HB, Augustiner, Hacker, Lowenbrau, Schottenhamel and Hippodrome.
Several of the tents are pretty similar, but a few are quite different. I like the Augustiner Zelt, Schottenhamel, Hacker-Pshorr, Hippodrom, and Paulaner myself. Lowenbrau and Hofbrau are okay..
My schedule for the first day, wednesday sept. 21:
-12.45PM arrival Munich airport – 1PM first Mass at Airbrau beergarden – 1.30PM: s-bahn to Hauptbahnhof – 2.30 PM: change into lederhosen, put luggage in locker, and off to Theresienwiese – 3PM: start drinking in Augustiner tent!
My schedule is Wed 21 Sept- arrive at 850am, go to airbrau for beer to wait arrival of friends at 910am, hop train to Regensburg. Drink and eat heavily. Thursday, hop train to hauptbahnhof, drop off luggage at hotel and go to Hofbrau tent for noon reservation. Drink until close, then hit after hours pub.
Excellent! I concur…
Would anyone happen to have extra spaces available? I will be in Munich Sept 27 to Sept 30.. Someone please throw me a few bones!
@futbol4ever: during those (week) days you can walk right in the tents, no problems…..
Thanks however, I scored and found spaces for sept 29/30 evenings! WooHoo!!
Where did you get these reservations?
Hello all !!! Just found out about this site. I will be going to Oktoberfest for my 4th year in a row this year. We have reservations in Hofbrau & Hacker this year. Can’t wait , 2 months to go !!!!
Very good! Which days will you be there en with how many?
Thanks !! We’ll be in Munich 9/18-9/25. We have 2 others coming with us from NY, but they are going home that Wednesday.
So maybe you like to join us for a beer. There will be some meetups on those days…..
BTW do you have some available spaces in your reservation?
Thanks for the informative posst. I’m curious to know if they increase the prices for dirndls during Oktoberfest and whether I should buy one online in advance. I’m looking into getting a good one but stay under the £100 range…so I was thinking of looking into secondhand shops. One major issue is that I am fairly petite and I’m worried that there won’t be anything in my size.
Any suggestions would be really helpful!
Many many thanks.
Just before and during Oktoberfest, the dirndls don’t necessarily go up in price, but you will have a much better selection. There are several shops around town that sell Tracht, and you can get a very nice dirndl for about 100-120euros. There are some high end shops that carry some drop dead georgeous dirndls, but I don’t think you really want to spend that much money just to have someone spill beer on it. There are a few second hand shops, but if you are petite, I would recommend that you stick with the tracht shops as they will carry the biggest selection with the most sizes. You can mail order, but most of the shops only put their biggest sellers online, as they carry hundreds of different styles, it’s next to impossible to offer every one. My recommendation would be to wait until you get there and go shopping. If you want high end, go to Angenmeier- they carry the most beautiful dirndls. If you want cheapo, go to the tracht stores along the streets that go from the Hoptbahn to the fest grounds, and if you want middle of the road, go to the department store C&A- decent quality at a decent price, but not as much selection.
Hope that helps!
I am leaving Sept 12, a few days South of Munich with friends, I will be in Augustiner opening day and Hofbrau for Sunday….Get in touch with me before I leave, I see you be in on the 19th, will try and have a few beers if we can…..Frank
Hey guys~ we are getting less than 40 days out and the tents are starting to take shape.
Anyone going to be in NYC labor day weekend for a “Pre-O’fest” beer?
Frank, Lisl, & Chris: BABY, we be gettin close! I depart in exactly 30 days!
Frank: Yes indeed, let’s meet-up at the Lowenbrau Zelt about 1200 hrs on the 19th.
Instead of my usual 5-star hotel deal, I am flying First Class (spending a lot there), and staying cheap as far as accomodations go this year. Three nights in a little studio apartment, about a mile from the fest grounds, then one night in a 3-star hotel, near Hauptbahnhof.. Still, even at the ripe old-age of 45 – I am getting excited about the trip!
Again a new accomodation?
Anyway, I am getting excited too! Is going to be a big blast this year!
I have decided to spend 300 EUR total for the first 3 nite’s,, as opposed to the 897 EUR.. !
Sounds much better!
I noticed on the toytown forum an advertisment for private accomodation for just 40 euros, so it can still be cheaper
Will do, lets make a place to meet, outside front doors at 1200 , so neither of us have to walk around looking…..Last year I had trouble finding myself in the Zelt…..Frank….
Frank: Sounds like a good plan. As long as my flight arrives on-schedule, I will be there between 1200 & 1215 hrs.
Therefore, with only 15 days to go till the start of O-Fest 2011,,, we shall meet-up in front of the Lowenbrau Zelt on Montag, 19.9.11 at 1200 to 1215 hrs. I will be sure to wear my Detroit Red Wings cap the first day, so it will be a tad easier to find my ugly mug! See you then people! Prosit!
Oh it’s going to be another great Oktoberfest. I’ll be meeting up with a friend on Tuesday 09/27/11 for three days in Munich. I’ve got less than a month… I can’t wait!!!
You know that we are getting close when……… the count gets down to 7 days and a few hours!!!
Hey guys! Only 8 days for me! If I close my eyes, I can hear Viva Bavaria, smell the scent’s of the fest, and taste the beer in my Mass.
Are we meeting up at all on Sunday the 25th? Anyone interested in joining us at the Oschtenbraterie tent for the day? We are typically 2 rows in front of the band, so if you want to stop by, come one over and join us for a Mass.
With the non-smoking bans enforced this year, those ‘pretty’ smells you write about might well consist of mainly beer farts, now that there is no cigarette smoke to hide them……
Sunday 25th i am on the plane back to Amsterdam… will be there sept. 21-24
Monday the 19th – we are meeting-up at Der Lowenbrau Zelt about 1200-1215 hrs. On Tuesday, 9/20 – Meeting at the Paulaner about 1300 hrs.. On Weds., (9/21) – at the Augustiner Zelt about 1300 hrs..
Each of these days, we will meet-up at the front entrance – outside – and I will wear my Red Wings cap (Red & Black) the 1st day (Montag), before switching to my traditional Bavarian Cap & Garb the next three days…
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