Best Time to Go to Oktoberfest 💡 [Insider Tips]

best time to go to oktoberfest

Planning your trip to Oktoberfest? Let’s help you pick the best time to go! Whether you’re seeking a relaxed experience or eager to dive into the bustling crowd, this guide has got you covered.

As a seasoned Oktoberfest attendee, I’ll share insider tips on when to visit, from the exciting opening day to the vibrant Italian weekend.

Plus, I’ll guide you through accommodation options, budget planning, and more. So, whether you’re a first-timer or a returning visitor, let’s make your Oktoberfest experience unforgettable. Prost! 🍻

Best Time to Go

If you’re still wondering whether you should go to Oktoberfest, knowing the best time to visit might help you decide.

I’ve always found that the best time to visit Oktoberfest varies depending on the experience you’re looking for. With around 6 million people attending each year, there are definitely times when it’s more crowded and other times when it’s a bit quieter.

As Oktoberfest takes place over 2.5 weeks, from the end of September to the beginning of October, I personally prefer going during weekdays in mid-September as it’s less crowded compared to weekends when it gets really busy.

Weekdays also allow me to enjoy Oktoberfest on a more relaxed level, taking my time enjoying the food, drinks, and atmosphere without the rush that the weekend crowds bring.

I must say, though, that Oktoberfest is always something to look forward to with its events and stalls, pretzels, chicken, and beer, among other attractions.

In case you want to be a part of some real action, the closing weekend is a popular time to visit Oktoberfest since it coincides with the German Reunification Day, which falls on October 3rd.

This means the final weekend is accompanied by a long holiday weekend, attracting even more festivities and excitement.

⚽ Pro Tip: Keep your eyes open for FC Bayern Munich, who attend as a team during this time!

No matter when you decide to visit Oktoberfest, with a casual and open attitude, you’ll surely have a great time during the amazing annual celebration. But if you’re to plan or want some ideas for your entire trip, why don’t you take a look at this Oktoberfest Europe trip itinerary?

📅 Important Dates

Opening Day

Oktoberfest kicks off on a Saturday in mid-September. If you ask me, Opening Day is one of the best times to be there. It’s when all the excitement begins, and there’s a festive vibe in the air.

The celebration starts with a traditional parade and the tapping of the first barrel, which is not to be missed. Plus, since it’s the first day, everything is super fresh!

Opening Weekend

Speaking of freshness, the Opening Weekend (September 16-17) is an excellent time to visit Oktoberfest. I like the energy and enthusiasm as everyone gets warmed up for the festivities. The first weekend could be on the busier side, but it’s perfect for soaking in the Wiesn atmosphere.

Italian Weekend

Ah, Italian Weekend! The first weekend in October tends to be dubbed the “Italian Weekend.” You’ll find a large gathering of Italian visitors flocking to the festival during this time, adding their own flair to the celebrations.

If you love mingling and meeting new people, Italian Weekend might just be your thing. Just remember, this weekend can get quite crowded, so be prepared for some bustling scenes.

Family Days

They usually fall on Tuesdays and offer discounted rates on rides and concessions. If you have kids or simply enjoy a more laid-back vibe, Family Days could be ideal for you. Besides, who doesn’t love a good deal? Just bring your family and friends, and enjoy the Wiesn experience together.

National Holiday

Oktoberfest sometimes coincides with German Unity Day on the closing weekend. Expect a festive spirit as everyone comes together to celebrate, making it a great time to visit. Be aware, though, that the festival does wrap up after this, so it’s also your last chance to enjoy the one-of-a-kind Oktoberfest experience.

🎊 Crowds and Atmosphere

Weekdays vs Weekends

During my visit to Oktoberfest, I noticed that the atmosphere was more relaxed on weekdays compared to weekends. On weekdays, it was easier to find a place to sit and enjoy my beer, and the overall vibe was cosier.

In contrast, weekends were bustling with lively crowds and heightened energy. If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, I’d recommend visiting Oktoberfest on a weekday.

Locals and Tourists

Oktoberfest is not just for tourists; locals love it too! In fact, I saw many people from Munich and the surrounding areas enjoying the festivities.

However, there’s still a significant number of international visitors, like Aussies and Italians, adding to the diverse atmosphere. While the event can get busy, it’s a unique opportunity for tourists to interact with locals and bond over their love of beer and good times.

During my trip, I found that attending Oktoberfest on a weekday was a great choice for me since it was less crowded and had a cosy atmosphere. This made it easier to meet and chat with locals, as well as fellow tourists from countries like Italy and Australia.

Regardless of when you choose to go, just remember to soak in the experience and make some unforgettable memories.

If you’re busy doing research, remember that Oktoberfest takes place in a number of locations, and knowing where to go for Oktoberfest in Germany is just as important as when to go.

🍻 Beer Tents and Gardens

Types and Themes

When I attended Oktoberfest, I found that there were various beer tents and gardens, each with its own unique theme and atmosphere.

Some tents were brewery-specific, like Spaten, Paulaner, and Löwenbräu. Others had a more traditional Bavarian feel, while some were even popular spots for celebrity sightings!

So, depending on your preferences, you might want to do some research beforehand to find the tent that best fits your taste. It’s also worth knowing that smaller tents sometimes offer a more intimate and cosy environment, as opposed to the larger, more crowded ones.

Since each tent serves unique beers, you might want to do some tent hopping if you’re keen on trying out brews from all of Munich’s “Big Six” breweries. Trust me, it’s worth the effort, given the wide range of flavours you get to experience.

Table Reservations

One thing I learned during my visit to Oktoberfest is that table reservations can be crucial if you want to guarantee a spot in your favourite tent.

While it’s true that there are a few first-come, first-serve tables, considering the six million people that attend the beer festival each year, it might be wise to make a reservation in advance.

To avoid the hassle of figuring out the reservation process on the spot, I recommend looking into the specific tent’s website ahead of time. Some tents might require a deposit, while others might have minimum spending rules.

Keep in mind that it’s usually a good idea to reserve a table for your group size, as most tents have strict seating regulations.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t snatch a reservation, though. I managed to find a few seats during off-peak hours when the event was less attended. So, if you’re flexible about when to visit Oktoberfest, you just might luck out on finding a spot without a reservation.

Remember, Oktoberfest has a casual atmosphere, and while table reservations are helpful, they’re not the only way to enjoy the many beer tents and gardens at this iconic festival.

🏨 Staying in Munich

Accommodation

There are plenty of accommodation options available in Munich. From hotels to hostels, there’s something for everyone, no matter your budget or preferences.

Hotels near the festival grounds tend to fill up quickly, so booking in advance is a good idea if you want to stay close by.

Hotels: There are various hotels near Oktoberfest in Munich to suit different budget levels. Some of my personal recommendations include:

Hostels: If you’re on a budget like I was, Munich also offers a variety of hostels. One unique option to consider is The Tent Hotel – it’s an affordable and fun choice!

Neighbourhoods

As for neighbourhoods, there are several areas in Munich that you might want to consider staying in. Each has its own vibe and proximity to the Oktoberfest activities:

  • Maxvorstadt: This central district is close to the city’s main sights and has a youthful, artsy atmosphere. I found numerous cafes, bars, and galleries to explore in my downtime.
  • Haidhausen: A lovely residential area with plenty of cafes, restaurants, and pubs. It’s a bit quieter but still offers good accessibility to public transportation, taking you directly to the festival grounds.
  • Schwabing: This lively neighbourhood is the place to be if you enjoy nightlife. With various bars, clubs, and eateries, there was always something happening. Plus, it’s just a short tram ride away from the Oktoberfest location.

Remember, no matter your preferences, Munich has an abundance of accommodations and neighbourhoods to fit your needs during your Oktoberfest trip.

I know safety is also always a major consideration as well, so it’s worth checking out whether Oktoberfest is safe before making your final choices.

💰 Budget and Planning

When it comes to cost, you might be asking yourself: is Oktoberfest worth going to?

Oktoberfest can be a blast, but I found that planning ahead saved not only time but also money. When I made my trip to Oktoberfest, having a clear budget allowed me to enjoy the festivities without breaking the bank.

First off, going on weekdays worked out better for me. Not only were hotel rates cheaper, but it was also easier to get a table and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, there are discounted Family Days on Tuesdays, which could help you cut costs even more.

When it came to cash, I made sure to have enough on hand because paying for beer and food was mostly in cash. Bringing cash from home instead of using ATMs at the festival saved me some extra money on withdrawal fees.

As for tips on saving money during Oktoberfest, I found that sticking to a budget was crucial. Prioritizing which beer tents to visit helped me make the most of my experience. My personal favourite was the Hacker Festzelt tent which had a fantastic atmosphere, music, and beer.

Tipping is also important to consider in my Oktoberfest budget. It’s essential to tip the servers, as they work hard to keep everyone’s beer flowing.

I made sure to set aside 10% – 15% extra for tipping, which showed my appreciation for their service and guaranteed a friendly and attentive server throughout my time there.

In short, planning a trip to Oktoberfest on a budget may take extra effort, but it’s definitely worth it. By going on weekdays, preparing cash, following some cost-saving tips, and considering tipping, I was able to make the most of my Oktoberfest experience without going over budget.