When is Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest dates 2017 in Munich start from 16th September and end on 3rd. October. In other cities like Berlin and Frankfurt the dates may differ. You can easily find this information Google.

Why does it start in October although it takes place mostly in September? Because the original festival began in October but was brought forward because it's less chilly to celebrate in September.

Oktoberfest Dates 2017 Munich

What time does Oktoberfest open and close?

Opening time on weekend: 9:00 a.m. - 23:30 p.m.

Opening time during week: 10:00 a.m. - 23:30 p.m.

After 23:30 only two tents are still open until 1 a.m. They are called: Käfer's Wiesnschänke and Weinzelt.

Best Oktoberfest weekend

Usually it's not recommended to go to Oktoberfest on a weekend unless you have a reservation or arrive early in the morning. It will be very busy during the afternoon / evening so you might not get inside a tent.  However, there are just little differences between the weekends of the festival. On the first weekend (16th-17th September) you'll usually meet more locals. The second weekend (23rd-24th September) is the so called "Italian weekend" where you find lots of tourists especially from Italy. On the last weekend (30th September - 1st October) it is usually a bit less crowded and the audience is mixed.

Where is the Oktoberfest?

The original Oktoberfest location is in Munich at Theresienwiese which is a huge open space in the middle of the city. Most people leave the train at U-Bahn Station Theresienwiese and walk from there to the festival.

Here is an inside tip: If you don't want to be caught in the crowd just leave at the U-Bahn Station Schwanthalerhöhe instead. There'll be less people and it's just 600m (about 8 minutes) away from the first beer tents. The exact Oktoberfest address is Theresienhöhe 14 but you can just follow the crowd to the festival.

Oktoberfest Costs

You don't need to buy any tickets for the entrance or for the beer tents. The entrance is for free! However, if you don't go to the original festival at Theresienwiese in Munich some operators demand a cover charge.

Best Oktoberfest tents

The Oktoberfest in Munich offers 14 big beer tents and every single one is unique. If you want to just party and hang out with younger people we recommend the Hacker Festzelt with about 9300 seats. A good atmosphere with lots of international tourists can be found at the Hofbräu Festzelt with ~7000 seats. Locals usually go to the Augustiner Festhalle (~9400 seats). More traditional tents are Schützenfestzelt (~5500 seats) and Schottenhamel Festhalle (~6000 seats). Famous people usually go to Käfer Wiesn Schänke (~3000 seats)  - they are more expansive but sometimes you can see VIPs there (for example the football team of Bayern München). If you prefer wine to beer you can go to the Weinzelt (~2500 seats) that offers 14 different sorts of wine, champagne and other drinks. Delicious German food can be found at Ochsenbraterei (~7400 seats) where you can eat ox on a skewer.

Oktoberfest beer tent Hacker-Pschorr
Paulaner beer tent

Oktoberfest Reservations

Table reservations in beer tents at Theresienwiese should be done about one year in advance because they are are highly conveted especially on the weekend. The reservation itself is for free but they expect you to buy a food and drinks voucher (2 beer and 1 meal) for about 30-35€ per person. The reservation is only possible for a whole table which correspond 10 persons.

Reserve a table now

Inside a beer tent at Oktoberfest Munich

How to get into the beer tent without reservation?

  • If you go to Octoberfest on Monday-Thursday usually you will find free seats until late afternoon especially if you go with a small group. One table is big enough for 10 people – so if you want to have you own table you should arrive earlier.
  • On weekend and Friday most tables are already reserved. You should arrive at ~ 9 a.m. so that you still get free seats. If you don't get inside a certain beer tent, look for another one. Don’t try to negotiate with the bouncer – it won’t help.
  • Don't leave your table - at least someone of your group should keep the seats.
  • Live Party Music starts at 6 p.m. – better don’t be too drunk before the festival actually begins. (On our first Octoberfest we started drinking at 9 a.m., were already wasted at 2 p.m. and left the festival because we were too tired to continue.)

Hotels / Hostels for Oktoberfest in Munich

Munich is already one of the most expansive German cities but in September / October the hotel prices explode! Some people became creative and slept on the ground of Munich central station or in the park near the funfair (called "vomit hill"). Due to pickpockets it's not recommended to do this. If you don't have friends in the city who can host you, here's a list of the best places to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest 2017:

Sleeping at Oktoberfest Wiesn

1. Flexotel: Flexotels are mobile hotels in containers. It's probably the best choice if you want to a find a low budget accommodation because you save more than 50% to a normal hotel/hostel in Munich.

2. Oktoberfest Camping: Wies'n camp allows you to rent a tent which is big enough for 3 persons just for 44€ per night. Caravans or Containers (including up to 4 persons) can be rented for 120€ per night. The location is in München Riem which is about 30 min with public transportation away from the festival.

Reserve a tent now

3. Couchsurfing/Airbnb: Similar to Hotels and Hostels this is also expansive. Last year we have checked Airbnb apartments in August but few apartments were left. Best chance to find one is to look for a room that allows 2 guests. Most of them start with a price above 100€ per night.

4. Sleep in the Car: If you haven't book the trip to Munich yet you might think about renting a car and then sleep in there. Well it's definetely not very comfortable but better than sleeping on trainstations like some other tourists. Make sure you don't drive drunk and that your keys are not in the ignition.

5. Stay in nearby cities: If you don't want to stay the whole night in Munich it would be possible that you stay in a nearby city of Munich. The accommodations (airbnb or hotels/hostels) will be cheaper than in Munich. We recommend Augsburg because it's the closest major city. You can take the last trains from Munich main station at 10 pm or 2 am which will bring you in less than one hour to Augsburg.

6. Hostel/Hotel: Hostels and Hotels will be really expansive during Octoberfest. The longer you wait the higher the price. If you find something for less than 100€ it'll be a good price. I recommend you to check www.kayak.com to find the cheapest hotels.

7. Local Oktoberfests: If you believe all accommodations in Munich are too expansive you still have the possibility to check wether there's a local Octoberfest in your city. It won't be the same as in Munich but you'll probably still have fun.

Oktoberfest Outfit

Lederhosen Outfit for Oktoberfest

An Oktoberfest Outfit is a traditional german clothing which is called "Tracht". Men wear a Lederhosen Outfit and women a Dirndl Dress. Although the Bavarian Clothing is not required the festival would lose it's appeal if you wear your normal clothes. A german saying is "If you don't appear with Lederhosen or Dirndl, you strike like a colorful dog". Also it'll be much easier to connect with Bavarian people if you follow their traditions and customs.
Besides, an Oktoberfest Outfit has not to be expansive if you compare some offers in the internet. Just make sure to buy the outfit that fits for the purpose. That means when you just want to go several times to the Bavarian festival it's enough to buy a cheap Lederhosen Outfit. But if you want to move to Munich and wear the costume regularly you might think about high quality Lederhosen made of deer leather.

Compare Lederhosen OutfitsFind an Oktoberfest Costume for a low budget

German Oktoberfest Beer and Food

Most international people we met told us German Oktoberfest Beer is the best they’ve ever had. We totally agree! Bavaria has this certain beer culture that Germany is famous for. On Oktoberfest the famous breweries Hofbräu, Paulaner, Augustiner etc. offer 1 Liter Bavarian beer (called „Mass“) in their own beer tents. It has about 6% of Alcohol and costs ~10,50€. Just one important reminder:

Never underestimate the power of this beer!

There are enough people who did this mistake and ended up as a „Schnapsleiche“ (=booze corpse). There’s even a website that shows the most embarassing moments of the Oktoberfest.

Bavarian Beer on Oktoberfest

To compensate your alcohol consumation try German food – you will probably pay about 10€-15€ for a meal with sausages and sauerkraut (Würstl),fried chicken (Hendl) or roasted pork knuckle (Schweinshaxe). We can also recommend to try „Weißwurst“ – basically a white sausage with sweet mustard.

Oktoberfest food German sausages
Oktoberfest Pork Knuckle

Oktoberfest Flirt

Oktoberfest girls flirt

At Octoberfest it is easy to connect with people – especially because of the logistics, the casual atmosphere and of course the alcohol. Let’s imagine you go inside one of the beer tents and you see interesting people. Just ask them if you can sit next to them and start talking. With this approach we met interesting young people from California as well as an old lady with her family who went last year to Octoberfest for the 60th time in her life. On the other hand you can also sit down on a free table and invite cool people who are looking for a table themselves – that’s actually the best way to flirt with people. Ask them to teach you Bavarian words and songs.

Later in the evening (from 6 p.m.) people start dancing on the seats – if you still haven’t connected to your partner with the first approach you can try to walk to another table and ask your date to dance with you – the selection is great!

If you are a man who wants to flirt with a woman check her dress:

A german saying is “No matter if she’s a doctor, farmer or vendor – Dirndl make all men tender”. Watch the ribbon on her skirt – if she wears the ribbon on her right side it means that she is in a relationship. If it’s on her left side it means that she’s single and willing to flirt.

Dirndl Ribbon Flirt
Dirndl Ribbon left single

Oktoberfest Customs and Traditions

https://youtube.com/watch?v=dD2-aSbcW0s

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=g7Y3GhbfBuU

On Octoberfest they play a mix of traditional German music and modern party music. But you'll hear one song the whole time which should prompt you to drink. It's called "Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit". It's always an arousing atmosphere when the crowd sings this song together. The lyrics of the song can be found on the youtube video. Translated the song means:

        Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.
ONE! TWO! THREE! DRINK UP!

Furthermore you'll see some crazy people who climb up the table and empty their full 1 liter beer in one guip. Those people are the unofficial heros in the beer tents and receive applause from the audience. However, if you plan to imitate this, remember two things: It's illegal in the one hand - the bouncer could throw you out. On the other hand it's 1 liter of German Beer and a lot of people fail. If this happens the audience will boo you.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fC6nu3hZWL0
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