Oktoberfest – “Things to Hate”
Well, we’ve established by now that Oktoberfest is EPIC! It is the largest folk festival in the world and if you have a chance to visit it, I highly recommend you doing so.
I’ve been to Oktoberfest only once and I personally had a great time. My adventure in Oktoberfest and Munich motivated me to create this Oktoberfest for Tourists Guide, which consists of several parts, in order to help future visitors to set their expectations straight and plan their trip accordingly.
So far, you’ve been introduced to the idea of Oktoberfest in Part 1 and I’ve listed for you the things anyone would love about Oktoberfest in Part 2. However, I don’t believe that there is a perfect concept in this wonderful world of ours. Therefore I’m sharing the things I didn’t really enjoy at this jolly, beer festival.
I See People Everywhere
Even though one of the awesome things about Oktoberfest is the fact it attracts millions of visitors, this is also its major negative, too. If you are a person like me, then you probably don’t feel comfortable being stuck in a crowd, waiting forever in lines to buy food or being unable to walk on a street without being constantly pushed by other people.
Yes, everyone’s smiling, everyone’s happy and visitors are generally in a good mood; however, that doesn’t exclude the fact that there are people literally everywhere. Plus, even if you try to escape the festival and go explore Munich instead, you shall find that all means of public transportation and streets that lead towards Oktoberfest are crowded as well.
Ruined Clothes and Shoes
Remember how Adidas launched beer and puke resistant shoes for Oktoberfest? Well, that should reveal enough on the topic of ruined clothes and shoes.
Visiting the festival during the day when everyone is still in a normal (semi-sober) condition may save your clothes from destructions; however, getting stuck in a crowded tent with hundreds of drunk people is the secret formula to having your clothes and shoes stained with various drinks, food, sauces etc.
I strongly advise to wear your oldest shoes and get mentally prepared to throw away whatever you’re wearing in case you plan to join the late night (drunk) party at Oktoberfest.
Finding a Place in the Tents is a Real Challenge
Many say that you haven’t experienced Oktoberfest unless you had at least one beer in the popular tents.
These huge buildings that resemble storage units are equipped with hundreds of wooden benches and tables, offer live music and a bit expensive food and drink menus. However, due to the huge number of visitors, it is often next to impossible to find a spot there if you arrive after 12 pm; during weekends they get packed with people even earlier.
We were lucky enough to easily find a spot after a waitress literally took us from the street inside the tent, but it was Thursday and it was around 10 am.
I was shocked to find that only a few tables were left and since we were only three visitors at a table for six people, the waitress placed random Canadians on our table as well. The Canadians, unsurprisingly, were very nice and we had a great talk; we ended up making new friends.
It is an option to book a table online; however, I think that it includes extra costs and we weren’t in the mood of spending money on something we weren’t sure we would like. As it turned out later, we made a good decision.
Spending Money is Too Easy
I know that anyone visiting Oktoberfest is aware of the threat to go bankrupt; I was shocked by how easy it was to spend money at the festival.
There are numerous different park rides, all kinds of souvenirs and food stands.
I paid 6 euros for a Scary House ride, 5 euros for a gingerbread heart, 10 euros for a hat, 10 euros for a pork chop and water, plus additional 5 euros for pancakes. All of this was outside the tents, in which everything is more expensive.
So, I highly recommend creating a daily budget, carefully planning your cash and somehow preventing yourself from buying literally everything that catches your eye.
Some People Expect Much More
I’m not going to lie, I was surprised by Oktoberfest when I first got there. To me, it seemed like a state fair or carnival on steroids, as I have already mentioned in the previous parts of this guide.
Did I like Oktoberfest? Yes. Did I have fun at Oktoberfest? Yes. Do I regret visiting Oktoberfest? Absolutely not.
However, I’ve heard many people complaining that they expected much more than fair rides and food stands and I can understand their point of view. So, I think it really depends on the person and their preferences whether Oktoberfest is a one-of-a-kind experience or just a larger-than-usual fair.
Every year there seem to be some new rules added to the already-long-enough list of rules that visitors should have in mind. For example, this year the ban on backpacks and large bags was introduced. I can say it wasn’t that serious and many visitors did decide to carry one of those; however, they were checked at the entrance points by authorities.
Also, there are random identity checks, lots of police officers and even a ban on outside drinks. I must admit all those security precautions made me a bit nervous and anxious; I was wondering whether they expect something bad to happen. Does Oktoberfest get violent often and stuff like that?
Obviously, nothing bad happened and, as I’ve read so far, Oktoberfest is actually a very safe place to be; nonetheless, it would’ve been better and more relaxed if visitors didn’t feel under surveillance at all times.
That’s all I have my dear. In the end of this Part 3 of the Oktoberfest for Tourist Guide, I would like to point out that I enjoyed Oktoberfest very much and that my intention isn’t to complain. Quite on the contrary, I hope to include some positive criticism so first-time goers would know what to expect and therefore don’t get shocked or disappointed by these negative aspects of this awesome event.
Also, don’t forget that an Oktoberfest adventure is not complete without appropriate festival gear. Below you can find some items that can help you with that. These are all affiliate links, so if you buy something I will earn a small commission, which will go to my travel fund, but at no extra cost to you ?.