Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival in the world, celebrating all things liquid gold and drawing in around 7 million visitors to Munich annually. The Oktoberfestivities in Munich begin on the 17th of September and runs for 16 days until the 3rd of October. The festival sees 34 vast beer tents and a range of fairground attractions, music stages, and food markets set up throughout the area. With so much to see and do across Munich during Oktoberfest it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed. Which is why we have put together this guide to help any beer-loving visitor to Munich properly enjoy this two-century-old folk festival.
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is a harvest folk festival that started in Munich, the first festival taking place in 1810. The festival started off to celebrate the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria but has now become an annual homage to beer drinking!
Oktoberfest sees several traditional drinking tents appear mainly in the Theresienwiese area, a 100-acre open space near the old town. In these tents, you can witness Oktoberfest patrons drinking one-litre Steins at long beer hall tables, dressed in traditional Bavarian outfits. Visitors to these tents can enjoy some of the best beer in the world brewed by Munich's top 6 breweries while also eating hearty traditional food, like fresh pretzels, sausage and roast ham. Plenty of these colourful festival tents also play live music, and you can find yourself listening to anything from traditional German polka to local rock bands. Outside the beer tents, you'll find a carnival-like atmosphere with the area covered in rides, food stalls and games. You can also find plenty of music stages near the beer halls, really adding to the festival-like atmosphere.
How expensive is Oktoberfest?
It is free to enter the Oktoberfest beer halls, although you are encouraged to book a table as they can become very crowded, especially on weekends and evenings. It costs around 12 Euros for a stein and most meals range in prices between 12 to 15 euros. Reserving a table is technically free, but it usually requires you to order a drink and a meal.
The Oktoberfest tents
There are 14 main beer tents set up during Oktoberfest, and each one caters to a different type of crowd, such as tourists, older Germans or rich celebrities. To help you find the tent that suits your needs, we will list some of the best as well as where they are located.
Armbrustschützen-Festhalle – Located in Wirtsbudenstr near Bavaria Park, this comfortable tent has space for more than 5000 and has hosted a crossbow shooting competition for guests since 1895!
Hofbräu Festzelt – The most popular tent amongst international visitors, here you can find crowds of Americans, Brits and more! Located at Innere Wiener Street, this tent sits amongst the larger fairground area of the festival and is perfect for anyone that likes a lively space to meet other like-minded travellers!
Hofbräu Festzelt, Munich, Germany
Winzerer Fähndl – This tent is by far the largest at Oktoberfest and has space for around 11,000 people. Here you can enjoy fresh beer and delicious meals while listening to live bands. You can find the Winzerer tent in the centre of Theresienwiese, and you can easily spot this 24-meter-high tower thanks to the giant rotating beer mug atop it.
Winzerer Fähndl GmbH
Winzerer Fähndl GmbH, Hochstraße, Munich, Ger...
Where to stay during Oktoberfest
Due to its popularity, it is easy for Oktoberfest accommodation to book out quickly, so it's best to get your reservation in early. Here is a list of some of our favourite places to stay during Oktoberfest.
The Tent- Camping style accommodation located on the edge of the city, this is a great place for solo backpackers to meet other like-minded travellers. A floor or bed space here will cost between 6 to 40 Euros a night.
The Tent Munich
The Tent Munich, In den Kirschen, Munich, Ger...
Hotel Brack- Located in a traditional Munich house five minutes from Theresienwiese, this hotel is comfortable and convenient. You can enjoy a stay here for around 70 to 160 Euros depending on availability.
Hotel Brack, Lindwurmstraße, Munich, Germany
Many choose to stay close to the festival grounds, but this tends to be where accommodation is most expensive. Thankfully, the Munich public transportation system is extensive and runs until 1 am, so you can quickly and easily get around. Any trip to Oktoberfest is sure to have you enjoying nights filled with laughter, live music, delicious German food and some of the best beer in the world. This and more is what makes Oktoberfest perfect for anyone hoping to enjoy a wild few days of Bavarian culture.