Everything you need to know to plan your Oktoberfest visit. From which beer to order to how much it will cost to get in. Also what to wear and how do you even get there? Plus a map that you can print to take with you.
Entry to Oktoberfest is free, but…
Oktoberfest or Wiesn (as the locals call it) is like a big county fair with attractions for all ages. From heart racing roller coasters to teacup rides for the kids. There is something fun for all. You will find small tents selling food, drinks, local crafts, etc. It’s fun to just walk around… and free, but…
If you are there for the beer tents, that is not free!
Then there are the mega-tents. Enormous structures that fit 5,000 – 10,000 people at a time. This is where you will see hundreds of tables full of thousands of people with waiters dashing by with food and 1-liter beers (Maß – as the locals call it). Everyone is singing and dancing along to traditional and popular tunes. The bands that play are amazing and do a great job of firing up the crowd.
These tables are usually booked way in advance, especially for the afternoon shift starting at 4PM. However, if you get there early in the morning (9AM), you can find some spots available. Maybe even an entire table (tables are shared). I’ve walked into a tent with a few friends around 11AM and have had luck. Just don’t forget to ask those at the table if you can squeeze in.
YES, IT IS TYPICAL TO SHARE A TABLE WITH OTHERS
Get there early in the morning, if you want to secure a spot inside a tent.
Beer is served in the tents from 10AM to 10:30PM (22:30) Mon – Fri and from 9AM to 10:30PM (22:30) on Sat – Sun and bank holidays.
It’s All About the Beer
Once in the tents, 1 liter beers are all you get. I’m kidding, kind of! Over 6 Million liters of beer are sold each year at Oktoberfest compared to 94,000 liters of wine. So yes, Beer is the Star of the Show. And yes, beer only comes in 1 liter glasses. Don’t fret though, soft drinks are available as well: water, fruit juice, juice mixed with sparkling water, etc.
Cost of Beer
This year costs have gone up over 3%. On average you will pay between 10.80 – 11.80 Euro for a liter of beer.
So which beer do you order?
Keep in mind that Oktoberfest beer is especially brewed for the event. It is stronger than what you would find the rest of the year in Munich. With alcohol levels over 6%, make sure you pace yourself. Most tents serve the following beers:
- Helles: It is your standard Bavarian lager beer.
- Radler: Half helles, half lemon soda. This is a lighter, more refreshing option that is not as strong.
- Alkoholfreies Bier: available at all tents.
You might also find the following in some tents:
- Dunkles: A dark lager beer, not as thick as one would expect, it has the same thickness as a helles, so it shouldn’t weigh you down at all.
- Weißbier Bier: wheat beer.
- Dunkles Weiß: Dark wheat beer.
Fun Tip – The Big Six
There are over 1,300 breweries located in Germany, most of them in Bavaria. However, only the Munich breweries are allowed to serve beer at Oktoberfest, as custom dictates. Even weeks before the festivities, you can find many restaurants and beer gardens already selling their newly brewed Wiesn beer.
THESE ARE THE LUCKY 6:
What To Wear
You will see most women wearing Dirndls and men wearing Lederhosen. This is the traditional attire for Oktoberfest and other festivities as well. There are many shops selling anywhere from cheap to expensive Trachten (traditional clothing). For the best vintage options on Drindls, Check out this article.
Ladies– how a lady ties her dirndl apron says a lot, especially if you are looking for love. So pay attention! If you tie the bow to the left, this signals you are single (meow). If the bow is tied to the right, she is taken boys! Tied to the middle, you ask? That is reserved for young girls. So what message will you be sending?
Getting Around – Map of Oktoberfest
Keep this Map handy to get around the event.
How To Get There By Public Transport
During Oktoberfest the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses and trams run more frequently than normal. It is a well-organized event, but it can still get a bit chaotic. Luckily, Theresienwiese is centrally located and the routes are short. Depending on where you are, I would recommend walking from anywhere in the city center.
Public Transport Tip: download the free app or just visit “MVG Oktoberfest Info”. Plan your stress-free journey and buy the right ticket for you and your family with the app. There are also Customer Info desks at the major train stations like Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) and Marienplatz.
Taking the U-Bahn to Theresienwiese
The U4 (green line) and U5 (yellow line) take you directly to Theresienwiese in a few minutes. If the Theresienwiese station is too busy, you can travel one stop further to Schwanthalerhöhe.
The U3 (orange line) and U6 (blue line) take you to Goetheplatz or, one station further, Poccistraße. From here it is just a few minutes walk to the east and south entrances to Oktoberfest. See below for map of event.
Taking the S-Bahn to the Wiesn
The main S-Bahn lines (S1 to S8) all go to the Hackerbrücke station: from here you can comfortably walk to the main entrance of Oktoberfest in 10 minutes. You can’t get lost, simply follow the people in Dirndls and Lederhosen!
Taking the bus to Oktoberfest
- MetroBus line 53 to Schwanthalerhöhe
- MetroBus line 58 to Georg-Hirth-Platz, Beethovenplatz or Goetheplatz
- MetroBus line 62 to Hans-Fischer-Straße, Poccistraße or Herzog-Ernst-Platz
- StadtBus line 134 to Theresienhöhe or Schwanthalerhöhe
And of course, the Straßenbahn, or “Tram” in Munich
- Lines 18/19 to Holzapfelstraße or Hermann-Lingg-Straße
- Lines 16/17 take you to Hackerbrücke, from which you can walk to Oktoberfest in 10 minutes.