Oktoberfest tips for celebrating Oktoberfest in Munich in 2019 by a local who’s lived in Munich for 8+ years.
When Is Oktoberfest 2019?
Yes, it’s called Oktoberfest but most of it is actually held in September. The 2019 dates are September 21 – October 6.
Octoberfest Opening Times:
Beer Serving Hours:
Opening day: 12.00 noon – 10.30 pm
Weekdays: 10am – 10:30pm
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 9am – 10:30pm
Daily Tent Closing Time: 12:30 am
Insider Travel Tip: The “Käfer Wiesn-Schänke” and the “Weinzelt” are open until 1:00 am with the last call for alcohol: 12:15 am.
Oktoberfest Tickets and How to Get a Table at Oktoberfest
Entry to Oktoberfest is free. There’s no need to buy a ticket. Entry to the beer tents is also free. If the tents aren’t full you can walk right in and try to find a seat. That’s easier said than done depending on when you’re going.
However, often the tents are full and they won’t let you in unless you have a table reserved. There are several ways to get a table:
1) Reserve your table months in advance as locals do
2) Go early – 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday or by 3:00 pm on weekdays
3) Go on an Oktoberfest tour where they’ve made the table reservation months in advance.
Skip the line, get a guaranteed seat in the fun Löwenbrau Tent, a walking tour of the Oktoberfest grounds and 2.5 litres of beer with this tour.
Oktoberfest Tours and Packages
Check out these Oktoberfest Tours and Packages to take the stress out of getting a table or finding out that all the tents are already full and standing outside for hours just waiting to get in:
Where to Stay at Oktoberfest
Hotels Close to Oktoberfest
Pros of Staying in These Hotels During Oktoberfest:
The big one is convenience. All these hotels are a short walk away from Oktoberfest. As Oktoberfest is centrally located, you’re also close to other attractions in Munich.
These are usually the most expensive hotels in Munich during Oktoberfest because they’re so close. They will also very likely be noisy.
BOLD Hotel München Zentrum – This modern hotel is only a 5-minute walk to the Oktoberfest and 50 m from the Underground station, from where you can quickly reach Marienplatz. BOLD Hotels also has apartments, some of which equipped with a kitchenette.
Roomers Munich, Autograph Collection – A modern and stylish provides a wide range of amenities, including a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a spa. The Asian in-house restaurant also caters to vegetarians and vegans.
Hotel Senator München – This hotel is just minutes from the Oktoberfest and near Munich train station. It features contemporary rooms and underground parking.
Accommodations in Munich’s City Centre
Pros of Staying in These Hotels During Oktoberfest:
The city centre is a great choice if you’re looking for a convenient location and want to explore the city on foot and see more than just Oktoberfest. Many of these hotels are within walking distance of the Hauptbahnhof (main train station), Marienplatz and many other sights. You may have to take a train to reach Oktoberfest but it will take you less than 15 minutes.
As they’re centrally located they’re not the cheapest option.
Bayerischer Hof – This five-star hotel is a hot spot for celebrities and heads of states when they visit Munich. It’s conveniently located close to the Bavarian State Opera and Marienplatz. It’s a great choice if you’re seeking luxury. The rooftop bar (open in summer) has some of the best views of Munich.
Rocco Forte The Charles Hotel – This elegant hotel overlooks the Old Botanical Garden providing an oasis even though you’re in the heart of the city, just steps away from the Hauptbahnhof. It’s also home to the longest indoor pool in Munich. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a larger hotel room.
Anna Hotel – Munich’s first design hotel has beautiful aesthetics with attention to details like lamps and textiles carefully thought out. Located right at Stachus (Karlsplatz) you’re right in the heart of all the attention. If you’re interested in design and architecture, you’ll love staying here.
Oktoberfest Accommodation Alternatives
The cheapest option is camping or glamping as this tour offers. It’s also said to be the wildest with parties ranging all night long.
You don’t need to worry about bringing a tent or a sleeping bag. A stand-up glamping tent is provided, along with an inflatable mattress, sleeping bag and free wifi.
Don’t let the “glamping” part fool you. It’s far from luxurious and it’s noisy. However, you’re guaranteed to meet a ton of other people. And it will be an experience to remember forever. Check out this glamping tour.
Theresienwiese. Insider Travel Tip: Don’t drive, parking is extremely limited and difficult to find. Walk or take public transport.
How to Get To Oktoberfest:
S1 – S8 to Hackerbrücke, then a 15-minute walk to the Theresienwiese.
U3 or U6 to Goetheplatz or Poccistraße
U4 or U5 to Theresienwiese or Schwanthalerhöhe
MetroBus-Line 53 to Schwanthalerhöhe
MetroBus-Line 58 to Georg-Hirth-Platz or Goetheplatz
StadtBus-Line 131 or 132 to Hans-Fischer-Straße
StadtBus-Line 134 to Schwanthalerhöhe
Streetcar / Straßenbahn:
Line 18 or 19 to Holzapfelstraße or Hermann-Lingg-Straße
Special Oktoberfest Events For 2019
Saturday, Sept 21st: The Schottenhamel tent is the place to be at 12:00 if you want to watch the official opening ceremonies. At 12:00 pm, the mayor of Munich will tap the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Once the barrel has been tapped, you’re allowed to quench your thirst. O’zapft is! That’s German for time to drink!
Insider Travel Tip: Be there by 9:00 am to make sure that you get a seat but the first beer won’t be served until 12:00.
Sunday, Sept 22nd: Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade at 10:00. There are close to 10,000 participants dressed in traditional costumes and doing traditional dances as they make their way to Oktoberfest.
Sunday, Oct 5th: Traditional gun-salute on the steps of the Bavaria monument at 12:00, marking the end of Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest Tips to Make the Most of Your Visit
There are a whopping 14 beer tents to choose from. Here are a few highlights:
Augustiner-Festhalle – considered the friendliest of all the tents.
Winzere Fahndl – the place to be if you want to do some celebrity spotting. Also known for its cozy feel.
Armbrusthschützen – home to the famous crossbow competition.
Hippodrom – if you’re young and single you’ll want to head here. It’s known for its single and ready to mingle scene.
The Wine Tent – for non-beer drinkers like myself! You can still order beer here – along with 15 different types of wine!
Beer Prices for 2019:
The cheapest beer is €10.80 and the most expensive is €11.80. Plus, remember a tip between 10 – 15%, if you want the waitress to keep coming back!
How Much Money to Bring:
There is no entrance charge to the Oktoberfest grounds or tents. A litre of beer will cost you just over €10, plus tip. I recommend bringing a minimum of €50, to purchase a couple of beers, some food and for the fair grounds. If you plan to be there from opening to closing time, then bring more.
More Insider Oktoberfest Tips
- On weekends you should be there by 9:00 am to get a seat.
- The grounds and tents are all free to enter.
- If you still want the atmosphere, but a little less craziness, go on a weekday. You can likely get a table if you’re there by 4:00 pm. Any earlier and you’ll be hanging with the elderly crowd.
- Plan to go more than once. It’s huge and it’s fun to try different tents. But once you’re in a tent stay there, as the other tents will likely be full unless you’re there really early.
- There is secure storage at the entrance so you can leave anything that you don’t need.
- Children are allowed in the tents at certain times. But children under the age of six must leave the tents at 8 pm even if they are with their parents.
- Smoking is not allowed inside the tents. Punishment is not being served or a fine.
- Every Tuesday is Family Day – meaning you get a discount on rides.
- Over 30? Don’t go to Oktoberfest without reading this post first!
- Remember there’s more than just beer, check out this article on beer festivals. Applies to Oktoberfest and other beer festivals in Germany.
What Else To Do in Munich Besides Going to Oktoberfest
Check out the Bier and Oktoberfest Museum – All signs are in German, but it’s in the oldest crickety character-filled residential house in Munich. The cozy pub is worth a stop, even if you don’t go to the museum.
Check out our Munich Travel Guide.
Here’s how to make your visit to Oktoberfest happen
- Avoid standing in lines with this Oktoberfest tour. Get the details here.
- Or extend your Oktoberfest time with this four-day tour. It includes camping where the party continues.
- Don’t see what you’re looking for? You’ll find more Oktoberfest tours HERE.
With these Oktoberfest tips, you’re sure to have an incredible time! Prost!
And remember, there’s more to Munich than Oktoberfest. Munich Travel Guide here.