1. The tents are the place to be
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    But all of the tents are pretty much the same, so don't spend too much time worrying about which one to pick.
  2. Buy a hat upon arrival
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    Hats are probably the best part of Oktoberfest. You're infinitely cooler if you're wearing a dumb hat. Plus they make for great photo ops.
  3. Make German friends immediately
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    They will teach you all the traditions and songs. This will be much easier after your first stein of beer.
  4. Find a posse
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    If you're traveling in a small group you should definitely make friends and then stick with them. They can save you seats and there's safety in numbers. For us it was a group of Australian guys we met in Greece. By the end of it they were basically our brothers.
  5. Pace yourself
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    This is a several day drinking event. You will be judged on your endurance, not your speed.
  6. If you shout Hendl enough times, someone will bring you chicken
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    And it will be delicious.
  7. If you shout Brezeln enough someone will bring you a soft pretzel
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    It will also be delicious
  8. You can also buy a giant pickle, but I don't know the German word for it
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    The pickle selling man didn't seem very popular, so please order one, if only to make him feel better about his life.
  9. Bring cash
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    You can use a credit card most places but I wouldn't recommend it. Waiting to get your credit card back from your waitress could take until November.
  10. Tip!
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    Tipping is the only way to ensure your waitress will return to you in a timely manner and how are you going to get trashed without your waitress?
  11. Always keep a firm hand on your purse
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    Crammed together with thousands of other people, Oktoberfest is a great place to be a pickpocket. Also, bring a purse you don't mind getting beer all over. Because no matter what you do you will get beer all over. You will be swimming in beer. Trust me.
  12. Do not be afraid to ask strangers to take photos with you
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    Taking pictures with strangers is unarguably the point of Oktoberfest. If you're not going there to take pictures with strangers I don't even know why you're going. To learn about German culture? No. To eat food and drink beer with your friends? No. It's literally all about taking photos with a stranger where you stick your hand through his lederhosen strap while still holding a stein of beer.
  13. Definitely take time away from the tent to walk the grounds
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    The only other thing you could possibly be doing, when not taking pictures with strangers, is taking pictures of/with all the strange signs and props they have around the grounds. You don't want to miss a painting of a chubby effeminate Sean Penn dressed as a hotel concierge and holding a tiny dog.
  14. But wait until you're a little drunk to go on any of the rides
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    It's a thin line. You need to be drunk enough to enjoy what are admittedly lame rides, but not so drunk you puke. May I suggest the Titty Twister?
  15. Do not commit an Oktoberfest foul
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    You do not want to be that guy who gets too drunk and falls down, or worse yet, causes a scene. The waitresses will look at you with scorn and you're friends will turn against you. You will be the laughingstock of your tent because a real German knows how to handle their bier.
  16. Two days is really all you'll need
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    Day three starts to get rough and two days of drinking and celebrating is really all you need. Maybe it's time to head to Berlin before you embarrass yourself.