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Oktoberfest

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

The world’s biggest collective drink-up started in 1810 as a royal wedding celebration cum horse race. Müncheners soon invited the world to join in – and roughly seven million visitors do so annually. They get through 7.5 million litres of beer, half a million chickens and 118 oxen, mostly in enormous beer tents with oompah bands.

Guests who’ve had their fill of the suds lurch to the amusement rides, old-fashioned games of skill and stands selling traditional sweets.

While you’re there

A parade of ornate, horse-drawn beer wagons takes place the first Saturday (11am), from Sonnenstrasse to the fairgrounds. Compete with the crowds or buy grandstand seats from Munich tourist office.

Among the most memorable events is a concert with all the Oktoberfest bands, held at the Bavaria statue (11am) on the second Saturday. Musicians don their best traditional costumes.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 18
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: annually
When: End September
Duration: 2 weeks

Getting there & doing it

Oktoberfest is held at the sprawling Theresienwiese fairgrounds, 1km west of the old centre. The simplest way to get there is by U-Bahn. The city lays on extra trams and buses (look for signs ‘Zur Festwiese’). Don’t even think about driving – parking is scarce, traffic a nightmare.

Access to the festival and beer tents is non-ticketed and free, but aassive as the beer tents are, the epic crowds sometimes make it tough to get a spot. You can, however, reserve a table in the beer tents (starting December the previous year, for groups of at least 10 people). Contact details for each tent can be found on the website.

Oktoberfest fare is tasty but very dear, so better to eat before you come. A litre of famous beer costs around EUR10, a serving of pork leg around EUR20.

When to do it

The festival takes place over 2 weeks in mid-September to early October.

The crowds are lightest on mornings and afternoons during the week. Avoid Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, when access to the beer tents is restricted due to overcrowding.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Munich City Walk and Oktoberfest Tour With Beer Tent Reservation

  • Munich

Munich City Walk and Oktoberfest Tour With Beer Tent Reservation

Viator

Join this 7-hour tour and learn about the history of Munich and the Oktoberfest before enjoying a wonderful afternoon with a guaranteed seat in one of the major beer tents at the Munich Oktoberfest.

Price €175

Min age 16

Rating 4.88 / 5 [144 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Oktoberfest Tour with table reservation and unlimited beer

  • Munich

Oktoberfest Tour with table reservation and unlimited beer

Viator

With over 12 years experience bringing people into the Oktoberfest we know how to ensure a great time! Our goal is to give you an introduction to the worlds greatest beer festival and provide you with an amazing memory. We do this by first bringing you to a local beer garden for pregame beers an opportunity to learn about the history of beer and the festival. While at the beer garden we have lunch and plenty of beer before heading into the festival for our reserved afternoon table at Schottenhamelfestzelt or Marstalfestzelt where the beer continues and so does the fun!

Price €469

Min age 18

Rating 4.57 / 5 [28 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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