Dates and General FAQs
Essential and useful information about the Oktoberfest:
On Saturday, September 19th, the Schottenhamel tent is the place to be, if you want to catch the official opening ceremonies. At noon, the Mayor of Munich will have the honor of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Once the barrel has been tapped, all visitors will then be allowed to quench their thirst. It pays to arrive early in order to experience the festivities up close and personal and it's quite common for visitors to come around 9 am to secure good seats. The festival will last until October 4th.
What are the opening hours?
Beer Serving Hours
Opening day 12.00 noon - 10.30 pm
Weekdays 10.00 am - 10.30 pm
Saturday, Sunday & holiday 09.00 am - 10.30 pm
Daily closing hour 11.30 pm 'Käfers Wiesnschänke' and 'Weinzelt' open until 1.00 am
Opening hours of stalls
Opening day 10.00 noon - midnight
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 11.30 pm
Friday 10.00 am – 12.00 midnight
Saturday 9 am - midnight
Sunday 9 am - 11.30 pm
Fairground attractions & sideshows
Opening day 12.00 noon - midnight
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 11.30 pm
Friday, Saturday 10.00 am – midnight
Sunday 10 am - 11.30 pm
End of Oktoberfest
Sunday, October 4th, 2015 11.30 pm
When is Oktoberfest scheduled for 2016?
2016: September 17th - October 3rd
Do I have to pay an entrance fee?
No, the entry to the area and all beer-tents is free.
How can I make a reservation for beer tents?
For making a reservation in a beer tent you have to contact the respective beer tent. You can find the contact dates of the tents on our tent-overview.
Can I enter the beer tents without a reservation?
Of course you can also enter the tents without any reservation. But please consider to come early, because the tents fill up very quickly! When the tents are overfilled, you can not enter anymore. On weekend the tents often close before 11 am. because of overfilling. During the week the tents are normally open until afternoon.
The historical background: the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.
By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over "die Wiesen" or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.
Are children allowed to visit the beer tents?
It depends on the age: Children under the age of six must leave the tents at 8pm even if they are in the company of their parents. A crowded tent wouldn’t be much fun for either the childern or the parents.
Is smoking allowed in the beer tents?
No. Since August 2010 there is a new no-smoking law in Bavaria which interdicts smoking in all kind of bars, pubs and restaurants including beer tents. Contravention is punished by not being served or from 2011 on also by a fine.
The locals in Munich fondly refer to Oktoberfest as "die Wiesn" because of its location, Theresienwiese, which was named after Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
Is there a program of events to observe during this folk's festival?
The main highlight of the Wiesn events and an important must-see is the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade. The parade happens every year on the first Wiesn Sunday.
Other important events are the Parade of Oktoberfest Landlords and Breweries, the Official Tapping of the Keg, the Oktoberfest Mass , "Böllerschießen" (handheld canon salute) in front of the Bavaria statue and - this year- an agricultural festival.