You already know the Oktoberfest basics – big beers at the world’s biggest beer festival; German culture, or better still Bavarian culture, on display; more than seven million people in attendance over the course of the 15 day festival. You also know that Stoke Travel is the biggest tour operator to Munich, that we have the craziest, most fun pre and post beer hall parties, and that for only €60 per day we have your accommodation, cooked breakfast and dinner, and festival within a festival atmosphere covered.
But here are some other things about Oktoberfest that you might not already know, and that we think you really should know.
The beer tents are temporary
They’re huge, solid, seat up to 10,000 people, with elaborate woodwork, balconies, gazebos for the bands, paintings, kitchens, huge bathrooms… and they’re totally temporary. Construction, and deconstruction, of the beer tents takes around a month, and they’re fitted with plumbing, electricity, heating and AC, as well as animatronic lions (Lowebraü), or giant beer mugs, or a rotating roast ox.
It’s almost as much about the food as it is about the beer
The food is perfectly salty, fatty, hearty beer drinking food. Big hunks of meat, be it pork, or beef, or chicken, fish, schnitzels, the wurst sausages, dumplings, sauerkraut, fries, pretzels, radishes (!). Stoke Travel includes a hot, filling breakfast and dinner, but for lunch you should dabble in the beer hall fare at least once.
There is an insane carnival seemingly devoted to encouraging you to vomit
Like the beer tents, the carnival is temporary, but that doesn’t mean it’s in any way, shape or form like the temporary carnivals you know. The rides are huge, hectic, and will definitely challenge your ability to hold your beer and beer drinking lunch down. Once you’ve had your fill of delicious Bavarian beer, make the stumble to the fairgrounds.
The beer servers work Oktoberfest and then have the rest of the year off
It’s a rumour that we’ve consistently heard for the past 10 years or so that we’ve been attending this festival, that the beer servers will work the 15 days of Oktoberfest straight, and then retreat to their home villages and live off the profits for the rest of the year. They work off tips, and the average should be around €2 per beer. When you consider that seven million beers are consumed over the course of the festival and there are around 1000 beer servers, that means that on average servers are taking home €14,000 from their 15 days of work in tips alone, not including food, wine or soft drinks. But don’t worry, they earn it working 16 hour days, dealing with the drunkest people on earth, and carrying up to 14 litres of beer at a time.
You can choose Oktoberfest by day, or by night, but only a fool would try and do both
Apart from the first day, when the first keg is tapped at midday, the beer halls open at 10am on weekdays and 9am on weekends. They then serve beer non-stop until 10:30pm every day. Now, the beers are very tasty, but also rather strong, with about 6% alcohol content, and are obviously served by the litre. What we’re saying is, you will get rather drunk if you stay in the beer halls for too long, and while many a partier has tried to follow the day session with a nighttime party, most fail miserably.
Wearing the traditional clothing isn’t mandatory, but you have to do it
The locals wouldn’t be caught dead at the Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest fairground) without their dirndl (women) or lederhosen (men, sometimes women). Sure, you can enter if you don’t wear the traditional Bavarian beer drinking costume, but you really won’t feel like you’re taking part in the ‘Fest. You can buy crappy, fancy-dress style outfits for €10-20, or you can buy crazy tailored made ones for 100s, if not 1000s. We sell high quality, leather lederhosen and the cutest dirndls at our campsite at amazing prices, so probably just hook yourself up there.
You will get a hangover from the pure beer, maybe just a little less of one
Don’t listen to what anybody says, because while Oktoberfest beer does strictly adhere to German purity laws – only water, malt, barley and hops legally allowed in the beer – you’ll be drinking enough of it to get properly drunk, and the next day you will have a hangover (you’ll probably think it’s a good idea to do Jager shots, etc, so that will contribute too). No next-day pain, no night-before gain.
Seven million beer drinkers will make their way to Munich for the world’s biggest, and original, beer festival – with more than seven thousand of them staying with Stoke Travel. We have the biggest, best and wildest pre and post parties, and give you wayyyy more bang for your buck, when you pay €60 per day all inclusive. This event will sell out, so book sooner rather than later.
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