Oktoberfest: 5 Things Women Need to Know Before Going

Ladies, are you planning to attend Oktoberfest, in Munich, Germany?

Here’s what you need to know. As someone who’s been over 20 times – I live in Munich. I’ve learned from experience.

Oktoberfest women

5 Things Women Need to Know About Oktoberfest

1) Wear a Dirndl:

Oktoberfest girls

Me and a friend at Oktoberfest wearing our Dirndls.

It’s not required but is a lot of fun.  If you live in Munich or plan to attend Oktoberfest multiple times, it’s worth it to buy a real Dirndl.  It will set you back at least €200 or more, but you’ll have it forever.

Although it’s possible to buy your Dirndl once you’re in Munich, you can also avoid the hassle by bringing one with you. If you do decide to buy one in Munich, I recommend Angermeier. They’re known for their quality traditional dirndls and have two locations.

If Oktoberfest is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for you, buy one of the costumey Dirndls. It will cost you less than €50 and can be purchased online. Alternatively, you’ll find a variety of stores around Marienplatz.  Another option is to buy a second-hand Dirndl from Kleidermarkt, (Im Tal 30). It’s one of the largest second-hand stores in Munich.

Ladies, if you’re going with a guy, encourage him to wear Lederhosen. Most guys will be. Tell him that you think he’ll look sexy in it if he needs extra encouragement.

 Insider travel tip: Go on a Tuesday between 13:00 pm 3:00 pm and save 30%.

2) Indicate Your Marital Status with the Tie on your Dirndl:

Knot it on the right to show that you’re taken.  A knot on the left shows that you are single, while a knot in the front middle means you are a virgin.  A knot in the back means you are widowed.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell a man’s marital status from his lederhosen. But if you tie your dirndl on the left, you’ll have no trouble attracting some drunk dude’s attention.  Believe it or not, there’s something really sexy about getting hit on by a guy wearing lederhosen – as long as he’s still coherent.

3)Wear flats.

One of the tents at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

A huge part of Oktoberfest is dancing to songs like this one, on the benches.  Trust me you do not want to be doing this in heels.  I did this once and only once!

The benches can be wobbly with 12 drunk people jumping up and down on them.  Not only is it difficult to dance on a wobbly bench in heels, it’s also very easy to lose your balance. You don’t want to end up spraining an ankle.

4) Bring a small cross-body purse.

I made the mistake of bringing a regular size purse the first time I went to Oktoberfest.  This was a really bad idea.

First, there’s no place to put your purse. The floor is dirty and covered in beer. Plus it isn’t safe. You never want to leave valuables at Oktoberfest. And the table is covered in beer.

Your only option is to hold your purse the entire time. It’s much easier to do when it’s a small cross-body purse. Carry only a few essentials.

5) Leave your coat at home.

Know the Fliegerlied song before going to Oktoberfest

There is nowhere to put your coat. And the tents can get really hot with up to 8000 dancing people.

Your only option is to wear it and sweat like crazy. Or put it on the floor and have it get dirty and soaked in beer at best or at worst stolen.

If it’s really chilly, bring a light sweater.  In my opinion, it’s better to be chilly while getting to and from Oktoberfest and to be comfortable while you’re in the tents than the other way around.

If you’re over 30 and going to Oktoberfest, read this first.  Also be sure to check out my Oktoberfest page for more handy tips.

Ladies, here’s how to make your visit to Oktoberfest happen

  • Avoid standing in lines with this Oktoberfest tour. Get the details here.
  • Or extend your Oktoberfest time with this four-day tour. It includes camping where the party continues.
  • Don’t see what you’re looking for? You’ll find more Oktoberfest tours HERE.

Remember there’s more to Munich than Oktoberfest. Check out our Munich Travel Guide here.

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their hiking, cycling and wildlife vacations in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.



  1. Corinne September 23, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Hilarious article! I didn’t know the stuff about the knots…awesome! Prost!

  2. Traveling Ted September 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Some great tips for Octoberfest bound men and women. I would definitely be wearing my fanny pack although I don’t think it would fit too well with the fashion, but I am used to it.

  3. OCDemon September 24, 2013 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Typo in #2. Knot it on which side to say you’re single?

    • Laurel October 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      @OCDemon – OOps, good catch, should be left side if single, right side if taken.

  4. Jennifer September 24, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply

    Great tips! Even when cold outside, it really does get very hot in the tents.

  5. Nate September 24, 2013 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I agree with the “wear a Dirndl” bit 😉

  6. Roy Marvelous September 25, 2013 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Yeah, my friend had her purse stolen within 10 mins of putting it down by her feet 🙁

    • Laurel October 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm - Reply

      @Roy – Yikes, that sucks, but unfortunately is quite common at Oktoberfest.

  7. Dana @ Wanted Adventure September 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Definitely agree with your dirndl tip! Takes the experience to the next level of fun 😀

  8. Lily Lau September 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Hahaha that was funny! I hope Dirdnls aren’t so expensive cause this October I won’t miss it!

    • Laurel September 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      @Lily – You can easily spent up to €1000 for a custom-made one, but there are lots of cheaper version around Marienplatz which cost €40. Enjoy!

  9. Adrienne @ AdrienneAway September 15, 2014 at 1:36 am - Reply

    Very interesting. I’ve never heard the thing about the knots. Can’t wait to make it to Oktoberfest one day.

    • Laurel September 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      @Adrienne – The guys definitely notice, especially if your knot is on the left side which means that you are single, or in the middle, which indicates that you are a virgin.

  10. Elizabeth October 24, 2014 at 1:51 am - Reply

    What do I do if I want to experience Oktoberfest, but don’t drink? I feel like I would be an odd person out…

    • Laurel December 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

      @Elizabeth – You can still go, and even better if you can let yourself go and be just a little bit crazy, and be prepared that a lot of people will be drunk. I’m allergic to beer so when I go, I usually only have a glass of wine or two.

  11. Clarissa February 2, 2015 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Just a small tip: Bring a plastic bag to the beertent
    and put your coats and bags inside so they don’t get dirty 😉

    • Laurel February 2, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      @Clarissa – Excellent tip! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Ally September 25, 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    @Laurel do all tents serve wine? We have a non-beer drinker in our party, they found out they are allergic after booking

    • Laurel September 26, 2016 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Ally, I believe so, but most are not happy about it as they can’t carry as many mugs of beer when they’re carrying wine. You’ll also pay a lot for it.

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