The majority of visitors to the world famous Okotberfest simply do not see much of the actual event. Like a state fair in the United States, there are many things going on at the Oktoberfest and to walk in, take the first seat you see, spend the whole day there, and then leave, is not what I call experiencing the Oktoberfest.
Sitting in one of the main beer tents, dancing on the benches, and watching the madness that ensues is certainly part of it, but I would like to suggest something that most just don’t even think about: have a long walk around the grounds, walk through each of the tents, and visit the historic Oktoberfest as well.
There are eleven major tents at the Oktoberfest. Each of these has a different theme and because of that you might find one tent to be dramatically superior in your opinion.
Nearly half of the Oktoberfest is filled with typical carnival rides and even a couple very large roller coasters. The entire East and South-East part of the Oktoberfest grounds are the carnival section and definitely worth the walk just to take in what the whole experience is about.
As of last year (2010), you can also explore a new section of the Oktoberfest which dwells on the past and in many people’s opinion is the best part of the Oktoberfest today: the historic section. The historic section has a lot of the old rides and games of Oktoberfest’s past as well as two large tents to rival those outside in the main section of the fest grounds. There is a €3 entry fee to the historic section which brings down the crowds tremendously with a tiny fee. This also makes it a lot easier to get a beer in the historic section so you can enjoy yourself. Another difference is that in the historic section you will find the bands only play traditional music rather than pop songs. This section is located in the South-West corner of the Oktoberfest grounds and is most likely larger than you imagine.
Also, before entering the Oktoberfest I would recommend finding a map of the entire Oktoberfest grounds which you can find at many hotels as well as the tourist information office at the main train station.