American Living in Germany: The BIGGEST German Festival – How to Oktoberfest in Munich! (On a Budget)

One of the biggest festivals in Germany is Oktoberfest in Munich! People come from all over the world to drink beer, eat pretzels, sing, and enjoy the rides for three weeks. And if you’re an American living in Bavaria, Germany, it’s an easy day trip…relatively speaking.

If you don’t do your research, you may find yourself packed on the train at 9 in the evening with a bunch of other drunk fest attendees trying to get home. But if you follow these steps, you’ll have an Oktoberfest worth remembering!

A step by step guide to enjoying Oktoberfest without the stress!

How to Get to Oktoberfest

Ultimately, you don’t need to map directions from your starting point to the fest grounds. You need directions to the train station!

If you drive to Oktoberfest in Munich, be sure to have a designated driver!


If you have a designated driver, we highly recommend taking a car. It means you’ll spend less time crowded onto the trains with (potentially) very drunk people, and you have a bit more control over your schedule.

Park at Allianz Arena parking for just €1 per day. If your DD happens to get too drunk, you can leave your car overnight and pay €3 for every additional day your car is parked.

Then, take the U6 from Fröttmaning train station going towards Klinikum Großhadern, and get off on Goetheplatz. Once you arrive, just follow the crowd to the festplatz!


The city is prepared for Oktoberfest in Munich: they have more trains than usual, and the staff is ready to help visitors make their way to the festplatz.

Pro tip: if you’re traveling to Munich from within Bavaria, get the Bayern ticket! It’s good for the whole day and offers a discounted price for a group of up to five people.

Depending on which trains and station are most convenient for you, there are multiple ways to get to Oktoberfest. Theresienwiese is the most recommended destination station, but you can also walk from Goetheplatz, Poccistraße or Schwanthalerhöhe.

Get some flair to accompany your trachten!

What to Wear to Oktoberfest

You may feel out of place wearing leather pants or a dress with an apron, but at Oktoberfest in Munich, you’ll fit right in!

Trachten, like lederhosen and dirndl, are traditionally worn at Bavarian fests. While men almost always wear lederhosen with checkered shirts, women may wear dirndl or lederhosen. But sometimes you’ll find a dude wearing a dirndl!

And the garment isn’t complete without some accessories. Buttons, hats, necklaces, and bow ties are just the beginning of the flair! Bottom line: if you think you’re too cool to wear trachten, you might be in the wrong place.

You can't spend the day at Oktoberfest without enjoying some music!

What to Do at Oktoberfest

At any given time, there will be a band playing somewhere. They may march through your tent, or they may just parade through the fest grounds!

There are also tons of carnival rides and games. Enjoy the view of the festplatz from the ferris wheel, ride a roller coaster or two, and test the strength of your stomach on whatever this ride is:

Which Tent to Choose at Oktoberfest

This may seem like the most stressful decision to make about Oktoberfest in Munich: which tent do I choose?

No doubt you’ve heard how difficult it is to get a reservation for a table in a tent. And while this may be true, you don’t actually need a reservation to sit at a table. A reservation just guarantees that you can sit at a table for a certain period of time.

Pro tip: Whenever you think about going to the bathroom, go to the bathroom! The lines will be insanely long (for women, at least), and you’ll want to be pro-active about your bladder situation.

If you don’t make a reservation, we highly recommend you arrive early. And by early, we mean before 9 a.m. You may not think you’re ready to drink beer at 9 a.m., but after getting ready, seeing everyone else in their trachten, and smelling all the delicious food…you’ll be ready for a beer.

Plus, when you arrive that early, the tents aren’t packed yet, so the morning is a bit more relaxed. It’ll be easier to order beer and food, and you can prepare yourself for the shenanigans that will ensue.

Because shenanigans will ensue.


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