A Complete Guide to Attending Oktoberfest (Updated 2020)

“Just how many days are you at the Wiesn (Oktoberfest) for?” the German girl wearing her Bavarian dirndl over the table asked me.

“We’re here for five days,” I replied, putting down my umpteenth stein of beer.

Her face became a variety of shock, disbelief, and horror.

“Five days! That’s crazy! You’re a bit insane, huh?” she said. “You merely need 1 day for the Wiesen. I am hoping you survive.”

And she was right. My friends and I were a bit insane to believe five days wasn’t that long at Oktoberfest. We quickly learned that a lot of Germans come for a day because that basically is “plenty of time at the Wiesn.”

It’s the tourists who stay longer.

Five days at Oktoberfest was something I wouldn’t do again. It had been pure overkill. Even the group I was with, filled up with able-bodied, hardened drinkers, was exhausted by day 3 and uninterested by day 5.

By the finish, I never wished to visit a beer again.

But I survived the knowledge – and along the way had an enjoyable experience, made a whole lot of new friends, hardened my liver, met various other cool travel bloggers, and learned how to plan an ideal Oktoberfest trip.

Planning your Oktoberfest visit

  1. What’s Oktoberfest?
  2. What things to Expect at Oktoberfest
  3. JUST HOW MUCH Does Oktoberfest Cost?
  4. A listing of Oktoberfest Tents
  5. Learning to make Table Reservations at Oktoberfest
  6. Booking Accommodation at Oktoberfest
  7. Getting Your Oktoberfest Outfit
  8. General Oktoberfest Survival Tips
  9. How exactly to Visit Oktoberfest in 2019

What’s Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest was among the best festivals I’ve ever attended. It’s a 16-18-day beer festival held annually in Munich, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. Everything began when Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to wait the festivities held on the fields before the city, that your locals call “Wies’n” (this means grass, and just why Oktoberfest is nicknamed Wiesn in Germany). Since then, it has turned into a major event, especially within the last few decades as increasingly more international travelers have already been drawn to the festival because of tours, cheap flights, and better accommodation options. It’s such a big thing that you’ll find Oktoberfest activities in cities all over the world (though nothing beats the initial).

What things to Expect at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a wild, wild time. Around 7 million people visit each year, with nearly all those Germans (they represent 85% of attendees)! You’ll see just about everybody decked out in traditional Bavarian clothes (lederhosen for guys, dirndls for women), having a great time, and drinking a whole load of beer. These pictures and video can help paint the scene for you personally:

You get yourself a large amount of people chugging beer….

….and lots of individuals who fail at it….

….but whatever, there’s a whole lot of singing.

Beyond your beer tents, you’ll look for a carnival atmosphere. Literally. The lands include a carnival with games, rides, and even haunted houses. It really is such as a theme park in Anywhere, USA. If it wasn’t for folks decked out, you wouldn’t have known you were in Germany. (That is also where you’ll find everyone passed out from an excessive amount of beer!)

In the tents is where you find the original Oktoberfest you’ve come for: plenty of hearty food, traditional music, large decorated tents, friendly people, large steins of beer, and communal happy atmosphere that breeds friendship and joy! Many people are here for a great time and in high spirits!

JUST HOW MUCH Does Oktoberfest Cost?

All of the tents are absolve to enter. Beer is normally around 11 EUR & most full meals are 12-15 EUR. You may get snacks and smaller meals for about 5 EUR. You can even buy alcohol beyond your tents (however, not beer), and the drinks cost around 8 EUR. You’ll find a great deal of stands everywhere with sausage and wurst for 4 EUR too. Reserving a table is technically free, however, a reservation requires you to order food and drinks. Usually, this can be a equal to 2 beers and half of a chicken (which is just about 30 EUR per person). So a table for 10 will be around 300 EUR, according to the tent.

It’s virtually impossible to get this done event with limited funds. You can purchase beer or food beyond your event grounds, that may decrease your costs (get drunk and full before) but if you’re purchasing anything in the tents, be prepared to pay!

Steps to make Table Reservations at Oktoberfest

All of the tents are free during the day and all have free tables and also reserved tables for folks eating meals (they are also prime seats in the heart of the tent). If you would like to consume or guarantee a table (rather than fight for all your free tables), you’ll have to make a reservation. We’d a table reservation each day because my friends and I needed to make sure we’d a location to sit. To create a reservation you’ll have to contact the tent directly via email, phone, or fax (yes, they still accept faxes!). That is typically done in the beginning of the year between January and April. Tables at the very best tents fill quickly.

In the event that you do book at among the tents, remember that most tables seat 6-10 people and cost about 300 EUR (about 30 EUR per person). You’re necessary to book a complete table, so even if it’s one among you going, you reserve the table as if you ‘re going fill it. While you’re likely to have a complete table when you sit back, we arrived minus some individuals and they didn’t appear to care. This reservation includes some beer and food.

Personally, I’m not sure I’d reserve tables again. It’s nice to learn you have a location to sit back, but apart from on weekends or during the night, it appeared like you could always find an open seat, in case you had to are a symbol of a while. EASILY booked a table again, I’d only do it for the nighttime hours, when tables are harder to get, you’ll want a location to eat, and you will possibly not want to stand around waiting.

Take into account weekends, when the Germans aren’t working, are incredibly busy and it’s much harder to have a reservation and find free tables. In the event that you don’t have a reservation, make it happen early!

If you wish to take a few of the stress from booking an Oktoberfest trip, Fat Tire Tours includes a fun Oktoberfest tour that will assist you maximize out of your visit. You’ll get yourself a local, experienced guide to take you around, a table reservation with food and beer, and transportation to and from the festival. It’s an ideal way to take pleasure from Oktoberfest without needing to worry about everything yourself!

A listing of the very best Oktoberfest Tents

There are 14 main beer tents at Oktoberfest and each you have its personality. Some have a tendency to be heavy on Americans, other Australians, others older Germans, other rich celebrities, while some are just everyone beneath the sun. Listed below are the fourteen major tents plus some information regarding them:

  • Marstall – This tent holds over 3,000 people and may be the newest addition to the function. It’s a little more modern and inventive (it is possible to get vegetarian food here) and suits a younger, hipper crowd.
  • Armbrustschützen-Festhalle – This comfortable tent in addition has been home to a crossbow competition since 1895! It’s probably the most popular.
  • Hofbräu Festzelt – Here is the most popular tent for international visitors, especially Americans, and is among the biggest & most famous tents in the faregrounds. It gets busy but I loved it!
  • Hacker-Festhalle – This tent is well known for it’s painted blue sky and white clouds on the ceiling that may, if the elements is nice, start to really show the blue sky above. It’s also one of the most popular tents.
  • Schottenhamel – It is the oldest tent at Oktoberfest and hasthe convenience of over 10,000 people. It’s where in fact the party gets started and is quite favored by Germans.
  • Winzerer Fähndl – This massive tent may be the largest at Oktoberfest with room for 11,000 partygoers. You’ll have the ability to recognize it by the giant rotating beer glass.
  • Schützen-Festzelt – This tent is situated off the primary drag therefore you will often beat the crowds by heading here.
  • Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke – This tent may be considered a favorite of both local and international celebrities along with their night time ending time! Many individuals finish their night here.
  • Fischer Vroni – If you’re sick and tired of all of the pork (the primary dish generally in most tents) then head here for another thing: fish!
  • Ochsenbraterei – This tent ‘s been around since 1881 and is well known because of its numerous ox dishes and its own big brass band.
  • Augustiner-Festhalle – This tent is known as to be the most family-friendly option. It’s also the hardest tent to acquire a table at as much locals have reserved seats here.
  • Pschorr-Bräurosl – The Heide family has been running this tent since 1901 and has their own yodeler.
  • Löwenbräu-Festhalle – This tent, that includes a giant 15-foot lion at the entrance, includes a bit more of a mature crowd to it. It’s the favourite of local football players.
  • Weinzelt – This tent is another more family-friendly choice, with less traditional offerings like seafood, Thai food, and even wine (something you don’t really see often here).

Booking Accommodation at Oktoberfest

To put it simply: Book your Oktoberfest room early. Accommodation fills up incredibly quickly – plus some hotels and hostels book out up to year beforehand. The closer you can the festival grounds, the more costly beds are and the quicker everything fills up. I booked an area in April & most places were already sold-out. That room cost me 120 EUR per night, nonetheless it was near to the festival grounds. Hostel dorms often choose 60-80 EUR.

There’s very little budget accommodation around but there are several options in the event that you don’t want in which to stay the town center (or want to save lots of money):

  • Stay at The Tent, a hostel (well, really, an enormous tent) beyond your city for 40 EUR per night.
  • Couchsurf (which is hard, because locals get yourself a large amount of requests from people searching for a free spot to stay) or have friends you can stick with.
  • Using Airbnb is another great option so long as you book beforehand.

Getting Your Traditional Oktoberfest Outfit

You can’t head to Oktoberfest without the original Bavarian outfit (it just wouldn’t be right or as fun), and the ones are not cheap. An excellent lederhosen outfit begins at around 140 EUR. Dirndls, the original outfit for women, begin around 100 EUR. (You can, of course, find cheaper outfits, though, in the event that you aren’t looking for something of quality.) You can order them online prior to going or find them to get through the entire city. Stores just selling outfits sprout simply for the festival. We found lederhosen your day we arrived. You can rent costumes for about 40 EUR each day but that’s only an excellent option if you’re taking a day or two. If you’re choosing longer, it’s cheaper to get an outfit.

General Oktoberfest Survival Tips

It’s a marathon, not really a sprint – you’ll be drinking all day long, so there’s you don’t need to rush it. Way too many people distribute on the lawns by dinnertime. Pace yourself. Those liters of beer are strong.

  • Hydrate: Drink a whole lot of water while you’re there. I had Powerade and water bottles prearranged in my own room for when I arrived home so when I woke up.
  • Reach the K ä fer tent early : Almost all of the tents close at 10:30pm. Käfer may be the only 1 open until 1am, so everyone rushes there following the others shut down. Make it happen a bit before 10:30pm which means you have an area. Otherwise, you just won’t be capable of geting in or get served.
  • Get yourself a table early : No reservation? Just winging it? In the event that you aren’t there by midday, your likelihood of finding a table shrink greatly. Stay away from the times if they switch reservations. All of the individuals who got kicked out are actually searching for a free table, and competition is fierce.
  • Eat beyond your event area : While all of the tents have amazing rotisserie chicken, the meals inside is merely expensive. Just walk outside, buy an inexpensive sausage for some Euros, and save your valuable money for the overpriced liters of beer.
  • Set a meet-up point : The lands are huge. If you’re there with friends, set a gathering point in the event you get separated (which is inevitable).
  • The tents don’t really matter : While everyone tent will offer you a distinctive experience, the differences won’t be that drastic. Every tent will offer you up an enjoyable experience, so there’s you don’t need to be picky. Look for a tent you prefer and just stay there!
  • Bring cash : Keep your daily life (and the life span of your server) simple and just adhere to cash.
  • Keep your stuff safe: Pickpockets aren’t an excessive amount of a problem nevertheless, you could easily get drunk and lose stuff. Only bring the requirements of the thing you need and become sure to keep them safe in a zipped pouch so they don’t get wet and ruined!

How exactly to Visit Oktoberfest in 2019

Oktoberfest begins on Saturday, September 21st with the opening ceremony at the Schottenhamel tent. At noon, Munich’s Mayor will tap the first keg and start the celebration. The festival will go until Sunday, October 6th.

Oktoberfest Hours Opening day: 12:00 – 10:30pm Weekdays: 10:00am – 10:30pm Weekends and Holidays: 9:00am – 10:30pm Tents Open late: Käfers and Weinzelt open until 1:00am

Addressing Munich is simple as it’s accessible by rail from all major points in Europe and has its major, airfields.

Oktoberfest occurs on Theresienwiese. It walkable from the primary railway station (Hauptbahnhof) and the closest U-Bahn is, aptly called, Theresienwiese. Just follow the mass of crowds to the lands. You can’t miss it!


Oktoberfest only happens one per year, and though it type of busted my European budget, I don’t regret the money I spent. I’m really glad after years of false starts that I finally surely got to visit and celebrate Oktoberfest. My friends and I already are considering returning next year (though maybe not for five days again).

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Book Your Visit to Munich: Logistical Guidelines

Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight to Munich through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s. Focus on Momondo.

Book Your Accommodation For an inexpensive place to stay, browse the Tent. To book another hostel in Munich, use Hostelworld. If you wish to remain elsewhere, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates. (Here’s the proof.)

Don’t Forget TRAVEL COVER Travel cover will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. I never embark on a trip without it. I’ve been using World Nomads for a decade. You should too.

Need Some Gear? Have a look at our resource page to get the best companies to use!

Want helpful information? Fat Tire Tours offers fun and insightful bike tours around the town. You’ll see all of the main sights by using an area guide and you’ll reach start to see the city in a complete new light. They’re an excellent option to your standard walking tour.


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