I will be going by myself to Oktoberfest on Tuesday September 24th. I chose a weekday because I know that the weekends would be very crowded. I plan on getting there around 10 in the morning and hopefully staying till the early evening. I know that there are 14 tents, but I am not sure which ones to go to. I've heard that Hofbrauhaus is touristy and that the Hippodrome is more focused on wine so I'm not sure if I want to consider those or not. My main concern is finding a seat at a table somewhere in the morning and in the evening since I don't have a reservation. I figure that since I will be by myself and it will be a weekday that it won't be that difficult for me to walk in a tent and find a seat? Which tent would you recommend for me? Also, I am new to drinking alcohol (Jackmormon, lol) but I'm a large guy. Any tips or recommendations would be awesome! Thank you.
If you're new to alcohol, Oktoberfest may not be the best start. You'll be in an environment conducive to overdrinking, and you won't know your limits yet. So, I'd start drinking small amounts, now, to learn how it affects you. Remember that if you drink on an empty stomach, it "hits" harder and faster than if you are eating (food is also served in the tents, so be sure to have this as well).
I plan to eat a big breakfast that day and enjoy some food of the tents. Not sure to pick one of the tents for roast pig, ox, or pork knuckle? I plan to drink slowly too as I won't have a ton of money to spend on beer anyway. I started drinking beer a year ago and have drank about a pitcher of beer or close to it with the effect of a meletonin but I bet Germany beer is much stronger. Can I get a recommendation on a tent? Should I find one in the morning and stick with it the whole day or pick one in the morning and then switch to another one later in the afternoon and stick with it in the evening?
I went to Oktoberfest a few years ago and recall it was easy to get a seat at a table on a weekday morning. HOWEVER - that might have been because at the time I was an attractive single woman, so maybe that made a difference. Yes, the Hofbrauhaus is touristy, but so is Oktoberfest! I recall a huge group of Italian postmen taking over the table I was at at one point, before being replaced by some Romanian dudes, so I think 'touristy' is a relative term. Now. A-hem. Alcohol. Just because you are a large guy does NOT mean that you necessarily have a higher tolerance. For example, women are affected by alcohol more rapidly than men b/c they tend to have a higher proportion of body fat than men. And since fat cannot absorb alcohol, it is concentrated at higher levels in the blood. So if by "large guy" you mean you are on the fat side (me too, no judgement, just sayin') then you could get drunker faster than you are expecting. Also, the beer really does come in those ENORMOUS liter-sized steins. :-) I recommend, therefore: 1) SOAKAGE. Eat plenty of bread and cheese and sausage (provided you are not veggie) before you start on the beer. Luckily, you will be at the intersection of Fabulous and Amazing when it comes to bread and cheese and sausage. The options are many and the deliciousness factor is high. 2) HYDRATION. Drink plenty of water before you go! Do not be thirsty, or those 1 liter steins of refreshing brew will go down way too quickly. 3) PACE YOURSELF. It gets really, really convivial. There are many toasts! There are drinking songs! Pay attention to how much you're imbibing. 4) HAVE FUN! :-)
Re: which tent - it almost doesn't matter, the atmosphere is similar and I think most have oompah bands..so just walk around and peek in and you'll get a good feeling about one of them sooner or later..and if you get a seat, just make some friends (tables are communal) and hang out a while. I think I chose the Paulener tent because I like that beer a lot. The weird thing is that there are rides (maybe not weird because it is a carnival), including roller coasters...can't think of a worse thing to do after a day of drinking.
Change of plans. I will be going on Monday 9/23 instead. Is Monday a good day to go? I'm hoping to experience 3 tents that day.
German beer is not necessarily stronger than American beer. It depends on the type of beer. The vast majority of German beer, and anything you're likely to encounter, will be between 4.5 and 6.5% alcohol - well within the range of American beers. Drink slowly - very slowly. Sure the beer will get warm but that just makes it less appetizing. Most people I know - who are QUITE regular drinkers - drink between 3-4 liters of beer over the course of the 6-8 hours we're in the tents. And we all wind up very inebriated but we also have experience being inebriated. For someone new to alcohol, I'd try to cap your drinking at half that. Set a limit for yourself before you go - like no more than a mass every 2-3 hours - and stick to it. Don't let people buy you shots, whatever you do. It will probably be difficult to get a seat in the evening no matter what. But if you're starting early, unless you've napped, you may not be up for evening antics anyway.
According to the Wiesn-Barometer, Monday looks like you shouldn't have too much trouble. That being said, Oktoberfest is always crowded past dinner. If you find yourself sitting in the evening, it's probably best not to try to change tents and then not get a spot. But earlier in the day you can wander around. There is also a lot to do outside of the tents. Don't spend too much time in Hofbrau, it's way too touristy. I've always had a great time at Schottenhamel. It fits 10,000 guests, but you shouldn't have a problem finding a spot. Consider Hippodrom, it's a Spaten tent and one of the least touristy I've been to. The Hacker-Festzelt is always a favorite because of the clouds that are part of the tent. Löwenbräu-Festhalle, Augustiner-Festhalle, Armbrustschützenzelt... you really can't go wrong. My only advice would be not to go home too early. Most of the day Oktoberfest has some Bavarian music and, during the week, offices out for a Wiesn lunch. After dinner the bands switch to sing-a-long songs and people stand on the benches. You'll make friends with everyone around you. This is the real Oktoberfest.
"Don't let people buy you shots, whatever you do."
I think this is good advice regardless of the location!
I suggest drinking until you puke, and then you'll at least have that life experience taken care of.