Oktoberfest is among us! Oktoberfest is a festival in Germany that happens every year and is taking place between September 16 and October 3 this year. People from all over the world travel to Germany to experience the fun. While many cities around the world try their best to recreate the magic of an authentic German Oktoberfest, none can hold a candle to that of Munich. If you’re thinking about planning a trip to Germany to experience Oktoberfest first hand, keep in mind these tips to get the most out of your vacation.

Get to know Munich

If you’re traveling to Germany for Oktoberfest, hopefully you’re also planning on taking the time to explore more than just the festival! Munich is full of plenty attractions for tourists. From exploring the Neuschwanstein Castle (the inspiration for the Disney castle!) to checking out one of many museums, you’ll never be bored in Munich! Before your big trip take the time to research the city and map out a plan for what you want to check off your bucket list. Are you only exploring Munich or are you traveling around Germany? Before you get too caught up in the excitement of Oktoberfest, make sure you have answers to all your basic questions so that you can make your trip a once in a life time experience. It also might be a good idea to brush up on some basic German phrases!

Understand the rules

Just like with any big event, there are rules. Don’t cause a scene because your stroller or backpack isn’t allowed into the festival. The rules are in place for your safety, so be sure to respect them. Before attending, check out the hours of operation and the best way to get to the festival. Don’t be surprised by the lack of parking and keep in mind that public transportation is probably your best option. Traffic jams are bound to occur, so be patient on your way there. Prepare in advance to avoid in bumps in the road that may make your Oktoberfest experience stressful.

Make reservations

No matter when you go, Oktoberfest will be crowded. Some days might just be “less” crowded than others might. Making reservations are probably your best bet for experiencing Oktoberfest. If you have a small group of 2 or 3 people you might be okay with lingering around a tent waiting to pounce on seats as they come available. If you’re a larger group, this option is probably impossible. Reservations tend to book up months in advance, so don’t be surprised when you find out that many tents are already booked. If you manage to snag a reservation, don’t be late! Germans are known for being punctual, so don’t show up to your reservation 30 minutes after it’s scheduled. If you’re in a larger group and aren’t able to secure a reservation, you might have to break up your party across multiple tables as they become available.

Prepare for the weather

The weather is unpredictable, but you should plan as much as possible for it. The weather can impact many things from seat availability to a tent’s closing time. It can also change a lot throughout the day. You may enter a tent in the afternoon when it’s sunny and warm, only to leave that evening and find out that you need a jacket. Research the weather before your visit so that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way!

Find somewhere to stay

Deciding where to stay used to be relatively simple. However, in a world of Airbnb the options may seem endless. Take the time to scope out your options to figure out which is right for you. Plan your itinerary to decide how long you will be in Munich and if you will be traveling throughout the rest of Germany or any other part of Europe. Accommodations may be more expensive during Oktoberfest because of the high demand for a room. Hotels book up quickly so finding a villa or apartment to rent for your stay might be the best option!

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