Your smiling the whole time, singing and hoisting huge beers with strangers at long picnic tables.
It’s everything you’ve heard it is and more. Here’s everything you need to know about this event. Ein Prost!
2023 DATES: Sept. 16-Oct. 3
TICKETS: Oktoberfest is free. The beer tents are free. So, no tickets are needed or sold for this event.
HOURS: Basically, Oktoberfest is open from 10 a.m.-midnight. But there are slightly different hours of the grounds and the beer tents and when beer is served in those tents. Here’s the breakdown.
Beer Serving Hours
Opening Day: Noon-10.30 p.m.
Weekdays: 10 a.m.-10.30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday & holiday: 9 a.m.-10.30 p.m.
Daily closing hour: 12.30 am ‘Käfers Wiesnschänke’ and ‘Weinzelt’ open until 1 am
Opening Day: Noon midnight
Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m.-11.30 p.m.
Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m.–midnight
Sunday 10 a.m.-11.30 pm
BEST TIMES TO GO TO OKTOBERFEST: As you can see, the beer tents are open pretty much all day. There are two “shifts” of people in them. If you’re single you want to be there in the evening but note there can be lines. So it’s advised to go be there by 6 or 7 at night if you want to really party it up at night. On weekends, the beer tents can reach capacity by 11 a.m., so if you’re not in one you’ve got to walk around until you find one that’s not full.
LOCATION: Theresienwiese festival grounds. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the Marinlatz. There is also public transportation; take the U-Bahn U4 or U5 underground Munich subway line to Theresienwiese.
THE BEER TENTS: The are huge. The size of airplane hangers. There are literally people – all holding big beers – as far as the eye can see. In the center on an an elevated platform is a German oompha band playing fun tunes. Smoking is not allowed in the beer tents.
THE BEER: Yes, the beers are served in those huge beer mugs. They are all-glass, thick 1-liter mugs. Empty the are heavy. Full of beer they are really heavy. The cost of a 1-liter beer is 11 Euros.
YOU MUST BE SEATED TO GET BEERS: This is something that may catch you by surprise if you’re new to Oktoberfest. In most beer tents, you have to be seated at one of the long picnic tables to get a beer. They are served by waitresses (and yes, they do carry several of them at once; it’s pretty amazing, actually). There are no bars to walk up to where you can order a beer. One tent where you can be standing is Hofbrauhaus which is why it’s the most popular and biggest party tent, especially among singles from around the world.
BEER TENT RESERVATIONS: It’s not a bad idea to make a reservation ahead of time at a beer tent.
Link: Beer tents & reservations.
FOOD: The beer tents have food: huge pretzels, sausages and roasted chicken dinners. There are also food booths (which may be a bit cheaper than in the beer tents) on the grounds of Oktoberfest.
THERE’S MORE THAN BEER TENTS: Oktoberfest is more than giant beer tents and oompha bands. It’s a full-on festival. There are carnival-style rides, food boots and other attractions. It’s like a big county fair in America.
WHAT TO WEAR: You can put on a barmaid outfit or lederhosen – this is how many locals dress – or you can go casual. While it’s cool outside, the beer tents are warm, even hot. When PubClub.com was there, it was t-shirt and shorts for us. Then again, we’re based in California.
WEATHER: The 2018 weather is cool and rainy for much of Oktoberfest. This may mean there will be longer beer tent lines as people will want to be inside rather than doing things at the festival. Opening weekend calls for thunderstorms Saturday night and Sunday morning. The daytime temperature is in the mid-70s and it will be low 50s at night.
Link: Munich Oktoberfest Weather