For over 200 years, people have been gathering in Munich for Oktoberfest to celebrate and share Bavarian culture with the world. Today, the centre of this culture is beer and, with roughly 7 million litres of it poured at the festival annually, over zealous travelers run the greatest risk of missing out and becoming a ‘Bierleichen’ (or beer corpse) before the end of the first day. With a few years of festival attendance under our belts, we wanted to share some essential Oktoberfest tips to help you navigate the grounds, get into the best spots, and make the most of your time in Munich. But first, lets start with the basic details.
To begin with, most of Oktoberfest doesn’t actually occur in October. Instead, the festival runs from the 3rd Saturday in September to the Sunday in October or October 3rd, a national holiday celebrating German unity, whichever is later. The Oktoberfest grounds are called Theresienwiese, or just Wies’n to locals, and is centrally located in Munich. The festival runs on weekdays from 11am to 11pm, and weekends from 9am to 11pm, however, beer is not served until noon on the first Saturday, which marks the opening of the festival. Finally, it’s free to enter Oktoberfest and any of the tents – no tickets necessary.
Theresienwiese grounds are accessible by metro, taxi or by foot.
Getting to the Wies’n grounds is fairly easy as its located near the centre of the city and is on the u-bahn line (metro). From the hauptbahnhof (main train station), just go underground to the u-bahn and travel one stop to Theresienwiese and you’re there. You can walk it as well in about 15 minutes.
The Oktoberfest grounds are huge.
And it feels even larger when its jam-packed with hundreds of thousands of similarly dressed individuals. If you’re with a group, designate a meeting spot within the festival in case you get separated. I know it sounds a little too responsible for this occasion, but you’ll regret not setting this up beforehand if you lose someone in your group… especially if that person has the only key to your accommodations.