Oktoberfest: FAQs for visitors

From opening hours to reservations to lost and found office

Do I have to pay for entry at Oktoberfest? How much does a liter of beer cost at Oktoberfest? Am I allowed to bring bags and rucksacks onto the fairground? Where do suitcases and strollers go? Where are the ATMs located? All the facilities available to Oktoberfest visitors.

Sebastian Lehner

FAQs for visitors

When is the Oktoberfest open, do you have to make a reservation, where is the lost and found office? On and around the festival grounds, there are all kinds of things that Oktoberfest-goers want to know. The answers to the most important questions can be found here.

There is always a lot going on at the Theresienwiese. But there are also times at the world's largest folk festival when it's a bit quieter and more leisurely. The Oktoberfest barometer shows for each day how busy the Oktoberfest is expected to be.

Basically not. Admission to the tents is free of charge. A quarter of the seats in the tents may not even be reserved in principle. On weekends and public holidays, even half of all seats are exempt from reservation until 3 p.m., after which 35 percent are still exempt. The Käfer Wiesn-Schänke and Kufflers Weinzelt are exempt from this rule. By the way, reservations can only be made inside the tents, not in the beer gardens. Read more

That depends on the day and the time. For this, it is best to look at the Oktoberfest barometer, which gives hints of how busy the Oktoberfest is. Of course, the tents generally fill up faster in bad weather.

The tapping of the Oktoberfest 2023 (opening ceremony) with the Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter is on September 16, 2023 at 12 o'clock in the Schottenhamel festival tent. Traditionally, there are these other parades and events at the Oktoberfest :

All dates in the overview: https://www.oktoberfest.de/en/information/events

 

Tickets for the spectator stands for the parades of the Oktoberfest landlords (first Oktoberfest Saturday) and the Trachten- und Schützenzug (first Oktoberfest Sunday) are available in advance from München Ticket GmbH and all known ticket agencies. More information here

If you want to participate in the parades, you can find all the information here

 

There are security staff at the entrances who will check you if necessary. This is because you are not allowed to take large bags or dangerous objects to the Oktoberfest. All info

No, access to the festival grounds on the Theresienwiese is free. This also applies to the tents. However, the historical Oktoberfest section "Oide Wiesn" costs four euros admission. More info

The date of the 189th Wiesn is from 21.9. to 6.10.2024: Oktoberfest 2024 begins on September 21, 12 noon, and
ends on October 6 with the end of operations.

On the opening day, large and medium-sized catering establishments may only sell non-alcoholic drinks (no non-alcoholic beer) and small dishes from 10 a.m. until the tapping.

The fairground stores open from Monday to Thursday from 10 am and are open until 11.30 pm. On Fridays and Wednesday, October 2, they are open from 10 am to midnight. On Saturdays from 9 am to midnight, on Sundays and on the public holiday, October 3, from 9 am to 11.30 pm.

The festival tents at the Oidn Wiesn are open every day from 10 am to 11.30 pm. The bar closes at 10.30 pm. The showmen's stores are open on the opening day, September 21, from 12 noon to midnight, Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 11.30 pm, Friday, Saturday and Wednesday, October 2, from 10 am to midnight. On Sundays and on the public holiday, October 3, the Oide Wiesn opens at 10 am and closes at 11.30 pm.

To ensure that celebrating together with thousands of people goes smoothly, the Oktoberfest organizers has drawn up 10 golden rules for the Oktoberfest: Here you can find out in a nutshell what you should bear in mind when visiting the Oktoberfest.

It is recommended to travel by public transport. You can find all the information about travel times and prices on the MVV here

For the Oktoberfest, a cordon will be set up around the Theresienwiese with road closures and stopping bans. This will be limited by Lindwurmstrasse, Herzog-Heinrich-Strasse, Paul-Heyse-Strasse, Schwanthalerstrasse, Schießstättstrasse, Heimeranstrasse, Ganghoferstrasse, Hans-Fischer-Strasse and Poccistrasse. Bavariaring and Theresienhöhe will be closed to motor vehicle traffic, and the side streets leading into them will become cul-de-sacs.

All information on the traffic concept with a detailed map of the closed area for downloading (in German) 

  • U4/U5: Theresienwiese and Schwanthalerhöhe
  • U4/U5 or S-Bahn S7 / S20: Heimeranplatz
  • U3/U6: Goetheplatz and Poccistraße
  • S-Bahn: Hackerbrücke (Please note: The Hackerbrücke will be closed as needed. The closure takes place when there are large numbers of pedestrians, especially on weekends and in the evening hours)

The entire area within the Mittlerer Ring is designated as an environmental zone. This area may only be entered by car with a valid green sticker on the windshield.

E-scooters may not be driven or parked within the Outer Restricted Ring. No-lending and no-parking zones will be established.

There are no parking spaces directly at the Theresienwiese. If you are coming from outside, you should park at the P+R facilities. More infos

There are no parking spaces for motorhomes at the festival site. Special parking lots and camping sites with good connections to the Oktoberfest can be found here.

Just behind the Schottenhamel tent is the Theresienwiese Service Center. Here the most important contact points for those seeking assistance can be found. Among others you can find:

  • The Oktoberfest Guard
    The central police station, from which patrols are continuously on the move at the Oktoberfest, can be directly accessed at the Service Center. The Oktoberfest station is manned around the clock. More info on security and controls at the Oktoberfest

  • First Aid 
    The Aicher Ambulanz maintains emergency stations at the Theresienwiese Service Center (entrance "First Aid"), at Esperantoplatz and at the northern end of Schaustellerstraße as well as at Street 6 of the Oidn Wiesn.

  • Safe Space for Women
    For female festival guests, the "safe Oktoberfest" campaign offers a contact point in the form of the Safe Space in the event of harassment, theft or if contact with the group has been lost. A cab can also be ordered here.

  • Children's Lost and Found
    Lost children can be dropped off and picked up here. Changing and breastfeeding facilities can also be found here.

Lost items are turned in to the lost and found office at the Service Center, where they are stored and returned. However, the visit is only useful one to two days after the loss. The Oktoberfest lost-and-found office is open to the public daily throughout the Oktoberfest. Telephone information will not be provided during this time. More infos

If you have large luggage with you, you are not allowed to take it to the festival grounds. Bags and backpacks may have a maximum volume of three liters and be no larger than 20 x 15 x 10 centimeters.

Yes, but on Saturdays and October 3, "German Unity Day," strollers are not allowed all day. On the other days of the Oktoberfest, this ban on strollers applies from 6 p.m. onward. However, security personnel may check strollers. Parking a stroller at the baggage storage facilities costs a fee.

Those who nevertheless bring large luggage must hand it in at the baggage storage at the entrances P1, P5, P8 and P10 for a fee. The fees are 5 euros for a small piece of luggage weighing up to 10 kilograms, 7 euros for a large piece of luggage weighing more than 10 kilograms, and 3 euros for a baby carriage.

Yes, of course! It is always best to drink some water with the Oktoberfest-"Maß". More about the offer for non-alcoholic drinks can be found here. Wine is also served in the small tents and several festival halls. The Oktoberfest even has its own wine tent.

According to Bavarian tradition, you are allowed to bring your snacks to beer gardens, but not your drinks. This also applies to the beer gardens at the Oktoberfest. There you can bring, for example, the fish sandwich you bought at the stand or your own snack. However, only small bags or mini backpacks are allowed on the festival grounds (more about this). Therefore: Rather try the special Oktoberfest delicacies that are only available here.

Hotels near the festival grounds are usually fully booked months before the start of the Oktoberfest. Getting a room in the city center during the Oktoberfest is difficult, but not completely impossible. The sooner you book, the better. Munich Tourism offers a hotel search

ATMs of various banks and savings banks can be found at the entrances to the festival grounds. In most of the large beer tents there are also ATMs, which also take MasterCard and Visa. The upper limit for withdrawals is 1,000 Euro and the machines are located in quieter parts of the tents – the security staff keep an eye on them.

You can find a matching dress, for example, in the official Oktoberfest store https://www.oktoberfest-shop.eu/en/ or in many Munich traditional costume stores.

On October 17, 1810 - The first Oktoberfest was a horse race on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Regent Ludwig of Bavaria, later King Ludwig I, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Read more

Because the first festival was held in October and remained so until 1871. Because the weather in October was usually already cooler and the days are significantly shorter, one let the Oktoberfest begin since 1872 already in September - and always on the first Saturday after September 15 until the first Sunday in October.

If you want to get to know the Oktoberfest properly, you can let professionals show you around and also take a look behind the scenes. The official guides of Munich Tourism offer tours for groups and open tours for individuals, which last about an hour and a half. Of course, they are also available in various other languages.

The one-and-a-half to two-hour walks around the world's largest folk festival can be booked at München Tourismus, https://www.munich.travel/en/categories/book/guided-tours,Tel. 089/233-30234 or 233-30204, E-Mail: tourismus.guides@muenchen.de.

Yes. An offer from "Universum Oktoberfest" - there are various packages, from classic to hearty (here you can join in) to "Schützenlisl" with crossbow shooting or "Knödel und Kultur" with lunch in the Munich Knödelei on the festival ground. Individual wishes are also taken into account. Children can participate as well as people with mobility restrictions. More info

Yes, if you want a completely individual tour, you can contact the "Münchner Gästeführer Verein e.V." and choose the right guide from a list of qualified guides. In addition to contact details, the website also lists the qualifications and foreign languages offered by the guides. More info

If you want to get a job at the Oktoberfest, apply as early as possible – by early summer most jobs are gone. There are different ways to find the right job at Oktoberfest. Here you can find more information on the subject.

The Oktoberfest is a festival of the City of Munich. The organizer is the city's Department of Labor and Economic Affairs (RAW). Clemens Baumgärtner, the Head of the Department of Labor and Economic Affairs, is responsible for the organization and management of the Oktoberfest.

In recent years, the number of cashless acceptance points among businesses and rides at the Munich Oktoberfest has increased significantly, and fortunately it continues to grow steadily. By Oktoberfest 2023, well over 200 establishments will offer cashless payment systems, making an important contribution to digital accessibility and growing visitor service at the Oktoberfest.

This year there will be four free drinking water taps at the Wiesn. These are located outside at the WC facilities on the eastern delivery road (parallel road between Wirtestrasse and Schaustellerstraße). The taps are handicapped accessible. It will be possible to tap water in unbreakable drinking vessels that you have brought with you. It is not allowed to bring drinks in the tents.

For the first time, there will be information booths at three key points on the festival grounds, near the main entrance, in Schaustellerstraße and on Matthias-Pschorr Straße. The official Oktoberfest souvenirs, such as the Wiesnkrug, the Wiesn poster and pins, can also be purchased there. Those who want to equip themselves with them before their visit can purchase the products online in the official Oktoberfest store at www.oktoberfest-shop.eu

Minimum purchase vouchers purchased in connection with reservations must retain their validity for the entire duration of the Oktoberfest. Wiesn restaurateurs must additionally offer the option of redeeming unused vouchers in their establishment or refunding the voucher amount within a reasonable period of time, but at least until Dec. 31. Exceptions apply to all reservations made before the deadline of June 16, 2023. For more information, please contact the restaurateurs.

The Oktoberfest originated as a horse race organised by the Munich civic guard on 17 October 1810 in honour of the wedding of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1786-1868) to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1792-1854).

To take advantage of the often mild and sunny weather of the "Indian summer", the Oktoberfest was moved forward to September in 1872. Traditionally, it now always begins on the first Saturday after 15 September and ends on the first Sunday in October. 

The Oktoberfest 2024 will take place from 21 September to 6 October 2024 over 16 days on Munich's Theresienwiese.