Survival Guide

Oktoberfest Survival Guide

The beer

Oktoberfest beer is around 7-8% and comes in 1 litre jugs. If you drink at your normal rate of beer consumption you’ll get into a mess quickly. If you need any evidence of this, wander into a tent and visit the toilets. You’ll be greeted by many people in a very messy state.

My tip would be to start easy, and quench your initial thirst with what is called a ‘Radler‘, which is shandy. Don’t worry, it looks like beer and still comes in a litre jug. Many Oktoberfest veterans have no trouble drinking only Radler as it’s strong enough and won’t kill you, on the other hand, most Oktoberfest veterans would probably say to this something to the effect of ‘wimp’.

Getting home

Despite my sensible advice, chances are you’ll ignore it and drink normal beer getting yourself very drunk. This will cause a problem when you go back to your hotel because:

a) you probably will have forgotten where you are staying

b) your mouth will no longer have a logical connection to your brain.

c) your vision and other senses will be impaired

d) you are in a foreign city where they speak German.

My advice? Write your name, and the address and telephone of your hotel / hostel / campsite on many pieces of paper, then put those bits of paper in every pocket on your person. That way when you get into the taxi and the driver says ‘wohin?’ which means where to, you can reach into any pocket and give the paper with your address on it to the driver. Try not to be sick in the taxi, that is very bad form.

Other tips

Do not take any unnecessary valuables, mobile phones, keys etc. chances are you will lose them. Take the very minimum of possessions.

Be aware, people walk around the tents taking pictures to sell them back to you in key fob later, and things like that. Chances are you will be too drunk to notice and wake up in your hotel the next day with a new key fob.

Do not do silly things to attract the attention of the police, they don’t mess around in Germany.


In 2009 we were readingĀ  in the newspapers about knockout drops, i.e. people putting drugs in your drink, wait for you to pass out and then in some way take advantage of you. The police are advising not to drink from a drink that you have not had 100% sight of or that has not been looked after by a friend.