Ultimate Oktoberfest Guide by a Munich Local

The biggest German fair Oktoberfest, also called Wiesn, started a few days ago, because it always starts in the end of September and ends after 2.5 weeks in October. As a local from Munich and regular Oktoberfest visitor, I want to pass on my full Oktoberfest knowledge to you, because I know that it can be overwhelming for new visitors. In addition, some things should be clarified in advance, so you know what you’re getting into!

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Where do you sleep?

Let’s start with the accommodation, because that’s the first hurdle to overcome. During the Oktoberfest period, as much as 99% of all hotels / hostels / … are occupied in Munich, so you should get your accommodation sorted way in advance. It is best if you start to look for accommodation a year in advance. However, public transport in Munich and in Germany are generally very reliable, which means that you can also spend the night in a in nearby village and can come to Oktoberfest by public transport. This will probably be even cheaper than staying in Munich, as prices go up really high.


When should you go to the Oktoberfest?

This is probably one of the most important points if you want to visit the Oktoberfest and yet there is no exact answer, because it depends on many factors.

If you’ve reserved a table then you do not have to worry about it, just go there in time.

But if you have not reserved a table, it depends on what you expect from your Oktoberfest-day.

You just want to see the Oktoberfest area and go on some roller coaster rides, then it does not matter when you go to the Oktoberfest, because the area itself is free and you can get there in the morning to the evening.

You want a table in the beer tent without a reservation and want to party-hard,hen you should queue up in front of the area on Saturday & Sunday at 6:30/7 in the morning so that you can run to the beer tents at 8 t o’clock (when the terrain opens) and you can fight for a table. During the weekday you can go there around noon, because it is a bit more relaxed.


How do you get to the Oktoberfest?

The best way to get tot he Oktoberfest is by public transport (S-Bahn and U-Bahn). Simply get off at the stations Theresienwiese, Hackerbrücke or Hauptbahnhof and follow the crowd. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost as there are signs everywhere. I just want to warn you, since the trains will be super crowded!


Which beer tent is the best?

There are around 17 tents on the the Oktoberfest, each one accommodating several thousand visitors. Most tents sell only beer, but there are also some tents (for example Kufflers Weinzelt) which also serve wine. My absolute favorite beer tent ist he Hacker Bierzelt, simply because it is super pretty inside and I feel like it has the best music and atmosphere. Most younger people go to this tent.


What to do if the beer tents are full?

There has been some day where even I did not get a spot in a tent, because at some point they will close up the tents, if it gets too crowded. One possibility now would be the beer gardens of the tents, but if these are also  closed and you just want to sit down and enjoy your beer in peace, you can go to in the beer garden behind the Bavaria statue. The beer garden is not part oft he official Oktoberfest but food and drinks there are a little cheaper.


What does a typical Oktoberfest day cost you?

That depends a lot on your alcohol consumption!

Here is a list of general prices (as of 2019):

  • Beer (1 liter) 10 € – 12 €
  • Water / Spezi (1 liter) 9 € – 11 €
  • Food 10 € – 19 €
  • Snacks 5 € – 9 €
  • Rides 4 € – 8 €


Is there a dress code on the Oktoberfest?


In general you do not have to wear a traditional German outfit, ut of course it helps to complete the whole Oktoberfest experience. Wearing the Bavarian costume

Men wear a Lederhosen (leather pants), a traditional shirt, a traditional vest, knit socks or calf warmers and Haferlschuhe (traditional shoes).

Women wear dirndl (traditional dress) with blouse and apron. ( remember that the bow of the apron should be on the front and your right side if you are in a relationship and on the left side if you are single! The bow in the front middle means ‚Virgin‘ and on the back ‚waitress‘). An alternative tot he dirndl course woman may also wear Lederhosen.

Traditional clothing can be very expensive, but there are plenty of shops that also sell cheaper outfits, such as the shops at the central train station. Second-hand shops also sell beautiful  traditional clothes.

Absolute no-gos in terms of clothing are carnival / costume clothing, because they look cheap and ridiculous!

Tip: Always wear closed shoes on the Oktoberfest, because you do not want to know what’s on the floor!


What happens after the Oktoberfest?

If you can survive until the end and  want to continue celebrating after the Oktoberfest, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Many Munich clubs and bars offer so-called ‚After-Wiesn‘ parties, where you can continue to party in the morning.


Other important things, you need to know

On the entire Oktoberfest grounds no larger backpacks and bags are allowed, if you still have your luggage with you, you can leave them at all Oktoberfest entrances in lockers, or you leave them in lockers at the main station or Ostbahnhof.

It is not allowed to bring glass bottles with you to the Oktoberfest site.

Beer is only available in the tents and in the beer garden. So you can not buy beer outside the tents and walk around the grounds.

Insider tip: If the Oktoberfest is too crowded and exhausting for you, just go to the Oide Wiesn. Here you get a small, relaxed and traditional version of the turbulent big Oktoberfest for a small entrance fee of 3€ (as of 2019).