Jetting off to Munich’s Oktoberfest this year? If your answer is a resounding “Jawohl”, it’s best to get a proper introduction to the world’s biggest – and weirdest – beer festival. But before you start buying guide books (yes, there are entire books on this one-of-a-kind festival!) and frantically consulting your search engine, check out this handy infographic from HomeAway. From fun facts to practical tips, you’re sure to find everything you need right here. Bitteschön!
What to Eat and Drink
Let’s start with the most important stuff: food and drink, i.e. the main reason you’re going to Oktoberfest. Did you know that approximately 15 million pints of beer make their way from kegs to guests’ stomachs every year? To put this insane statistic into perspective, that’s a whopping three pints for every Scottish resident.
All beers, which are called Märzen, consist entirely of water, hops and barley, and are brewed in Munich. If you’re a lightweight drinker and don’t want to end up dancing on the tables (which is sadly forbidden), beware: all drinks have an alcohol volume of about 6%. If you want to make memories and not forget them again, drink responsibly!
There’s nothing quite like washing down a Märzen with a hearty meal. Fortunately, you’ll be able to feast to your heart’s content at Oktoberfest, which is known for its pork sausages and knuckles, pretzels and roasted chicken. In fact, these delectable dishes are so popular that the 338,604 pork sausages that were served a few years back weighed as much as 10 African elephants. Crazy, but 100% true.
How to Dress and Behave
In addition to its food and drink, Oktoberfest is known for its underlying rules of conduct. First and foremost, it’s wise to invest in a Dirndl (dress with an apron) or a pair of Lederhosen (leather trousers). Although this may sound strange to you, you’ll certainly fit in with the crowd: these outfits are traditionally worn at the festival and, more generally, at a variety of Bavarian events.
What’s more, good behaviour is not only appreciated, but required. Most importantly, leave your cigarettes at home and be courteous to servers to prevent expulsion from the festival’s tents. Along with leaving beer mugs in the tents – although it may be very tempting to take one as a memento – it’s advisable to arrive as early as possible so that you can snag a good table. The festival is attended by more than six million visitors every year, so beating the crowds is essential.
There’s plenty more to learn about Oktoberfest in HomeAway’s infographic. For example, did you know that a Viking helmet and a grasshopper once ended up in the lost-and-found centre? This festival is certainly peculiar, but also incredibly wild and wonderful. Prost!