Oktoberfest In Munich – Tips For First Timers Everything You Need to Know

Oktoberfest In Munich – As you walk along the streets of Munich this week, you could be forgiven for thinking that you’d stepped back in time.

Men are decked out in lederhosen and checked shirts, women are showing off their curves in traditional Dirndl dresses and everyone is slurping frothy beer and enjoying huge platters of meat.

It can only mean one thing – Oktoberfest is back in the town!

The world’s biggest beer festival invites locals and visitors to eat, drink and be merry together, and 6 million people flock to Munich city each year to do just that.

Oktoberfest In Munich

So whether you’re a first timer at Oktoberfest or looking at Munich flights and growing your mustache in preparation for next year, here are some tips for how to survive the crowds and really get into the spirit of this exuberant two-week celebration.

Munich Oktoberfest Tents

Oktoberfest takes place across 14 different tents, which spring up across the city in the week before the festival kicks off.

The tents vary in size but all house the familiar rows of beer-stained wooden benches, with colorful bunting draped across the high ceilings.

The first beer of Oktoberfest is always poured in the largest tent Schottenhamel – it houses a massive 10,000 people, so expect the cheers to be deafening.

Backpackers tend to head to the Hofbräu tent, where you’ll predictably find young American travelers enjoying liter on liter of the beer that they’re banned from buying at home.

If you’re in Munich with the family, head to the Augustiner Festhalle tent for a calmer and cozier atmosphere and to enjoy beer from more modestly-sized wooden kegs.

Tuesdays is family day and this friendly tent offers great-value meals for kids and adults between 12 and 6pm – for an afternoon of German celebrity-watching check out the famous Hippodrum tent – it’s a favorite of Boris Becker’s.

Oktoberfest In Munich Accommodation

If you’re already in Munich, you’ll know that the city is crammed to capacity – booking a hotel room in advance is an absolute must and even the city’s temporary campsites become full weeks before the festival begins.

In the city center expect to pay hiked-up ‘festival prices’, particularly in the area around the hub of the action in the Wiesn.

If you don’t mind a short train journey into Munich, try looking at rooms in the neighboring towns of Nürnberg, Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Landshut and Rosenheim.

Oktoberfest In Munich

With so many revelers crammed into one city, it’s often hard to find at seat at Oktoberfest.

But the one rule of the festival is this – no seat, no beer.

Do a bit of pre-planning before you leave for the airport and note down all the tents and events that you’d like to see.

On weekdays make sure you get to your chosen tent by 2pm at the absolute latest and before midday on weekends.

There are outside places to sit across the city, but the cold weather and lack of brass bands playing sing-a-longs may dampen your festival spirit somewhat.

Oktoberfest Beer Halls

Hofbräuhaus am Platzl – One of the most famous beer halls, it operates the second largest tent at the Oktoberfest, one of Munich’s most famous tourist attractions for beer and food.

The beer tents are called “Bierzelte”, and attract millions of tourists worldwide during the two weeks of festivities.

The Oktoberfest finishes on the first Sunday of October. Augustiner Bräu, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu are a few of the most popular beers.

Living In Kreuzberg Berlin
German Dining Etiquette

Have you ever been to Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest In Munich

Things To See and Do In Munich Germany

The capital city of Bavaria, Munich, regarded as one of the most livable cities in the world, cannot be abstracted down into a few paragraphs of traveling possibilities.

Things To See and Do In Munich Germany

Very true to its motto “Munich likes You”, Munich is characterized by architectural and cultural delights to the traveler and has a long history of richness, prosperity, and development.

The third largest city in Germany, Munich stuns visitors with its royal class architecture, royal squares and parks.

It is a major international business and technology center and home to a couple of premium research centers, and some of the global corporate giants including the famed BMW, Siemens AG, Allianz, Man AG among many others.

Known for its culinary specialties and world famous beers, Munich hosts the world famous Oktoberfest, wherein tourists from across the globe visit its famed beer tents.

Munich Architecture

The inner city of Munich boasts some of the most imposing historical buildings in the world that includes The Old and New Town Hall in Marienplatz, Frauenkirche – the most famous building in the city and the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, Peterskirche – one of the oldest churches of the inner city and many other churches and official buildings.

The Briennerstrasse, with its neoclassical architecture; Ludwigstrasse, with its Romanesque architecture; the neo-Gothic Maximilianstrasse; and the Prinzregentenstrasse form the four grand royal avenues of the 19th century.

Reminding us of Bavaria’s Royal past are the two baroque palaces Nymphenburg and Oberschleissheim.

The BMW Headquarters is worth visiting as a piece of rare and unique architecture that has been built from top to bottom.

Alongside is the bowl-shaped BMW museum.

Munich Museums

Deutsches Museum – Also known as the German Museum, it is located on an island in the River Isar.

It is one of the oldest and largest science museums in the world.

There are also several important museums and art galleries across Munich.

The Glyptothek holds a significant collection of Greek and Roman art.

Munich Parks

Englischer Garten

It is one of the largest urban parks in the world, and is bigger than the Central Park of New York, covering around 3.7 Sq. Km. in area.

Munich’s second biggest beer garden is located here. It is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy.

Tierpark Hellabrunn

Located near the Flaucher Island on the banks of River Isar in south Munich is the city’s zoo.


Famous for the “fairy-tale castle” Neuschwanstein, built by King Ludwig II, located in the Alps of southern Bavaria.

It also houses the Hohenschwangau castle where Ludwig II grew up. (about 1 hr drive, passing through Austria).

The trip by road offers unforgettably beautiful landscape views.


An hour drive from Munich, the largest lake in Bavaria, Chiemsee houses a castle on an island named Herreninsel built by King Ludwig II, and a monastery built on another island named Fraueninsel.

(photo credit: 1)

11 thoughts on “Oktoberfest In Munich – Tips For First Timers Everything You Need to Know”

  1. I’m glad i read this. I’ve thought about Oktoberfest before but never really looked into it until now. Is it still enjoyable even though its so busy?

  2. in several countries, oktoberfest is also celebrated. in the philippines, it is even a much-awaited event as local bands would gather together to perform for the crowd while beer is free-flowing.

    good times. good times.

    i wonder how different it is though when celebrated in its munich~~

  3. I think it depends on what you’re ready to withstand, haha. But the more prepared you are (you can reserve seats at a table months in advance), the easier it will be for you to relax and enjoy as you won’t spend too much time trying to find a seat.

    There is however, a beer festival in Munich in spring time. Not many tourists know about it, but the locals party just as hard as during Oktoberfest, so it’s definitely an option if you want to enjoy lots of beer, lederhosen and Drindls, but with much smaller crowds and fewer tourists.

  4. I’ve seen so many pictures that I really want to visit the beer festival! See how the server holds 6 giant mugs of beer? OMG!

  5. Good tips! I was thinking of going since we’re in Greece at the same time. Too hard to leave here though. Any idea how early some of the hostels and hotels start taking reservations?

  6. When it comes to Oktoberfest, you’re never too early 😉
    You can book your stay for next year already shortly after this year’s festival is over.

    Next spring is definitely time to start booking though, by summer many of the good quality places will already be booked out.

  7. Haha I know, pretty incredible how many beers they can hold at the same time. You don’t have to be at the festival to see that though, just visit one of the beer halls when you’re there, I don’t know how the girls do it!

  8. When I was young I never missed October Fest in Germany and I always had such a great time hanging out with Germans and other travellers. Now, when I travel in Asia I can only look at the photos and be jealous of people who went there and had a beer. Great tips guys!

  9. Sound like so much fun 🙂 My friend is in Munich and she has participated in Oktoberfest, She told me much about this all))))

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