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Oktoberfest 2019

Hey All!
I"m looking for a little input from people that have done this before. I will be in Munich late September and plan on going to Oktoberfest. How much time do people normally go for? 6-8 hours? Would half a day be enough to get the full experience? Which days of the week would be the most ideal? How hard is it to get a seat in a tent? Are there certain tents that are better for Americans? Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks.

Posted by
33339 posts

I see you are new here, welcome.

We often get similar questions, but you may be unfamiliar with the search facility here and how to see previous threads which may have your answers.

I've copied the search result link for you to browse. Some of the links may well provide what you need before others come back and answer directly. I'm not directly answering because I'm normally in Munich earlier in the year. My last Oktoberfest parade was in 1972.

Look at https://search.ricksteves.com/?button=&date_range=6m&filter=Travel+Forum&query=oktoberfest&utf8=%E2%9C%93

Posted by
980 posts

It's pretty late to be planning an Oktoberfest 2019 trip so hopefully you already have your accommodation sorted.

How much time do people normally go for? 6-8 hours? Would half a day be enough to get the full experience?

Most people only spend half a day at a maximum. Table reservations are in roughly 6 hour blocks from 11a-5p and then 5p-11p so you can expect a lunch crowd then a dinner crowd. Yes, a half day would be enough.

Which days of the week would be the most ideal?

That depends on what you are expecting: party atmosphere? family atmosphere? state fair atmosphere? etc? It's most rowdy during Friday-Sunday. Monday-Wednesday are more low key (Tuesday is Family Day). Then things ramp back up a little on Thursday before starting the cycle over again on the weekend. You can have a good time any day of the week.

How hard is it to get a seat in a tent?

That depends on the number of people. Assuming you just mean yourself you should not have a problem finding a seat on a weekday before 5pm. After 5pm or on a weekend is should still be possible but you might have to make friends with a partial table first (not hard to do)

Are there certain tents that are better for Americans?

Hmmm, not sure how to answer this as it depends on what you consider "better for Americans". My advice is to check out a couple of tents. Make note of the decor, crowd, band and general ambiance. Compile this all into a list with pros and cons for each. Then throw this list in the garbage and head to either Augustiner-Festhalle or Fischer-Vroni because these are the two tents that serve Augustiner which has be field tested and scientifically proven to a high level of accuracy to be the best beer in Munich.

DJ

Posted by
7906 posts

I lived in Augsburg, Germany for four years and did the big fest three times.
The parade at the beginning of the fest is very interesting, but you have to stand for hours, saving a place to see the parade and then see the parade with all the horse/beer wagons and people in traditional dress.

Other than that, one day is about all you need.

German beer is stronger than what we have in the USA and you drink beer in a one liter stein. It is best to pace yourself, enjoy the music, singing and atmosphere. We always found Australians to drink with, they were always fun. Amazing how many Australians come to the fest.

Posted by
7726 posts

Just to add on to what others have said:

There is no entry cost to get into the fest grounds, though they have implemented security, so best to leave a bag at your room. Weekday afternoons offer the best times to be able to get into several tents and easily get a seat. For the most part, you must be seated to be served, head into a tent and catch the attention of a host or waitstaff, if they have open seats, they will direct you to one. Many tables may be reserved, but look at the cards, the reservation likely starts at 5:00, if so, then you are free to sit there until then.

I suggest as well that you spend some time just going into the tents, the magnitude of them and the decorations are something to see. You can likely have beer at a couple tents, depending on your tolerance, I look for a tent with a good size crowd, people getting into the music and having a good time is what makes the experience memorable.

Checking out the evening crowds and maybe getting a seat should not be overlooked, as a single or a couple, there is a good chance, especially weeknights to get a seat.

Posted by
531 posts

I have replied this advice in the past but always love passing it along. We love Oktoberfest and will no doubt be back again sometime in the near future. First, as someone said already - if you don't have hotel reservations yet..yikes. You may need to stay in a nearby town. But assuming you do - my advice is go on a weekday. Weekends are so crowded you may not even get into a tent or in some cases I have heard that police turn people away from even entering the fairgrounds. Dress up! Get a dirndl or lederhosen. So much fun. Get there early! 11am or before and go to a tent. Most tables are reserved but typically towards the center of the tent are the no-reservation spots. Signs are posted. Put your most outgoing/friendly foot forward and ask people to join their table if they have any room at all. I have always had tremendous luck with fantastic people who squeeze in to make room. The rule is - if you don't have a seat - you won't be served. The best tents (in my opinion) are the Hacker (himmel) Tent and the Lowenbrau tent. love love love those two. Pace yourself. One Liter of beer is equal to 3 cans of beer. That sneaks up on you. I do fine...my husband gets a little "caught up in the moment" and that's a whole other thread. Have a plan on where to meet if you get separated from your group. We usually spend the first day dedicated to the big tents. When we go back the next day (a little road worn) we spend time in the little tents that are very easy to get in and out of. The food at the fairgrounds is off the hook! Get ready to learn the "gemuetlichkeit" song. You will hear it when you sleep when you get home. Hope that helps - it was down and dirty advice.