Oktoberfest: 7 Survival Tips for the 30+ Year Old Crowd

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If you’re over 30 years old you need to read this before going to Oktoberfest.

Living in Munich I end up going to Oktoberfest several times each year. But I’ve learned the hard way how to do it and have gotten many tips on the right way to do it from my German friends.

Oktoberfest Survival Tips for the 30+ Crowd:

  • Go on a weekday.  Any other festival might be lame on a weekday, but not Oktoberfest.  We’re talking about the world’s largest folk festival people.  On a weekend, you’ll need to be there by 9:00 am to have any chance of getting a table.  On a weekday, 4:00 pm should do it.
  • Visit the Wine Tent.  I like beer but can’t drink it sadly due to a gluten allergy, which is the primary focus of the 14 beer tents in Munich.  Therefore, I usually find that I end up in the wine tent. Not only do they offer a decent selection of wines, but it’s also an older (30+ crowd), which is more to my liking.
  • Avoid the Hippordrom Tent at all costs. I should clarify that statement.  If you like to see really drunk single 20-year-old people hitting on each other, then go have a peak. It will have one of two effects:  you will be very thankful that you are no longer 20, or you will feel really old.
  • Go with a Group.  I’m not single, and not looking to meet cute boys (although I’m quite happy to look thank you very much – there’s something about a man in lederhosen….).But I digress. Going with a group of friends is so much more fun than just going with a couple of friends. This year, Oktoberfest has also made it easier for individuals to book tables, which in previous years were about as scarce as snow in Florida since all the companies had booked them up.  You still need to make a reservation in advance, but weeks out, not months out.  A friend of mine just booked one last week  – something that would have been unheard of in previous years. You can book a table (for a hefty fee) through the individual beer tents. In my 20s I had a good time dancing on tables with strangers, in my 30s I prefer to do it with friends.
  • Check out the Rides. Despite what most people think, Oktoberfest is not just about the beer.  OK, it’s mainly about the beer, but there is also a really good selection of carnival rides.
  • Go see the Oktoberfest Parade.  You’ll see traditional costumes and the six Munich breweries taking their beer to Oktoberfest.  It really is something to see. It’s happening on Sunday, September 23rd, starting at 10:00 am.
  • Check out a smaller Oktoberfest Celebration in a neighbouring city. They will still be busy, have a festive atmosphere, but be less crowded.  The first one I attended was the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart.  I was in Nuremberg a couple of weeks ago and it looks like they also have their own smaller version of Oktoberfest.
  • Learn the lyrics to the most popular songs.

You can also skip the line, get a guaranteed seat in the fun Löwenbrau Tent, a walking tour of the Oktoberfest grounds and 2.5 litres of beer with this tour.

Feel free to add any Oktoberfest survival tips in the comments below.