When in Rome: Student braves crowd at Oktoberfest


The moment that I realized I would be in Europe when the real German Oktoberfest was going on, I knew I had to go. The possibility was real because there were trips going with a tour group called Bus2Alps.

My friends planned their own trip and there was a chance to go with my parents when they came to visit.

Since my mom was dragging my dad to come visit me, we bribed him with the idea of going to the luxurious Oktoberfest. After a three-hour train ride and a six-hour drive, we made it to Munich.

The mass amount of people we saw leaving when we arrived was promising. If that many people were leaving, how many could be left? The answer was way more than I could have ever imagined.

It was not what I expected. The amount of people that were there was too overwhelming for me to handle.

I don’t like overly large crowds but this was beyond that.

Pushing and shoving was the only way of getting around. Plus there were no ordinary lines to get into tents or get food.

When I think of lines, I think organized. These lines were white and painted on the ground to keep people out of some areas. Behind those lines and areas were very rude and scary security guards.

To get into any tent you had to hopefully get to the front by the 20-yard wide line to maybe get picked to go inside. Waitresses in their cute dirndls would come out and randomly pick people from the masses to come inside.

Being picked was like winning the lottery. Of the 100 hands in the air begging to be picked, we got picked after two hours of being smashed in the group.

They let us past the line and we walked in with people begging behind us, but we didn’t look back.

A regular Oktoberfest visitor would know to get in line and reserve wristbands a whole year in advance to avoid these mosh pits of people. As someone who has never been there before, there is no way of knowing.

With a band, we would have been able to get into one of the many tents but instead there was only one that you didn’t need reservations for.

Many people dream of going to the German Oktoberfest like I did. After this experience, I am left with mixed feelings. It was definitely an experience and fun when we got into a tent.

But I would never go on another weekend again, especially if you’re claustrophobic.

(Kat is studying abroad in Rome this semester and is documenting her travels with the Knight on a monthly basis.)

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