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A Pocket Guide to Oktoberfest 2023

The largest beer festival not to be missed

· 4 min read

Are you ready for the world's largest beer festival? Oktoberfest 2023 is just around the corner, and it's time to start planning for this epic event. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned Oktoberfest veteran, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most out of your experience.

Source: Oktoberfest
Source: Oktoberfest

When is Oktoberfest 2023?

This year, Oktoberfest will begin at 12pm on Saturday, September 16th and end on Tuesday October 3rd, 2023.

What to expect at Oktoberfest 2023?

Beer, lots of beer. Well, given it's the world's largest beer festival, this shouldn't come as a surprise. This year, you will be able to find 17 large beer tents and 21 small tents, each having its own unique atmosphere and offerings. While you go around trying the beer in the different tents, be sure not to miss out on the special Oktoberfest beers from the six traditional Munich breweries: Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Löwenbräu, Paulaner, Spaten and Staatliches Hofbräuhaus.

Source: Oktoberfest | Sebastian Lehner
Source: Oktoberfest | Sebastian Lehner

Beer aside, you will also get to try out a wide range of dishes at the festival. Oktoberfest is a feast for both the senses and the stomach. Indulge in traditional Bavarian dishes like pretzels, bratwurst, and schnitzel as you soak up the festival atmosphere. These hearty meals will give you the energy you need to keep the festivities going strong. For those with dietary restrictions, fear not - Oktoberfest has something for everyone. Many food vendors offer vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the culinary delights of the festival.

Source: Oktoberfest | Sebastian Lehner
Source: Oktoberfest | Sebastian Lehner

You will also be able to find booths selling unique Oktoberfest memorabilia that you can pick up as a souvenir. And if you are looking for some adrenaline-pumping activities, there are also rides and rollercoasters that you can have a go on! With so many things going on, you are bound to have a great time at the Oktoberfest 2023.

Special Events

Source: Oktoberfest | Rico Güttich
Source: Oktoberfest | Rico Güttich

Oktoberfest also hosts a number of special events throughout the period of the festival. Here are some of the key dates that you might be interested in:

  1. 16 September: Opening Day Parade an Official Opening
  2. 17 September: Traditional Costume Parade
  3. 24 September: Annual Outdoor Concert
  4. 26 September: Memorial Event in Commemoration of the right-wing extremist attack on the Oktoberfest in 1980
  5. 3 October: Unofficial Closing Ceremony

For more information on the various events and where and how watch them, you can refer to the official event calendar.

Best time to attend Oktoberfest 2023

With Oktoberfest spanning half a month, you might probably be wondering when the best time to attend the fest would be. Well, there are a few factors we could consider:

  1. SPECIAL EVENTS: There will be special events held throughout the Oktoberfest. From the signature costume parade to traditional Bavarian concerts, these events are held on different days during the period of the Oktoberfest. If there is an event that you would like to attend, you can plan your visit around the events! And of course, some of the best events you might want to catch include the opening ceremony or the traditional costume parade.
  2. WEEKDAYS: You can expect the festival to be really crowded, and especially so on Fridays and weekends. If you are traveling and are able to visit the festival on weekdays, it is advisable to do so, so that you can avoid the crowds.
  3. FAMILY DAYS: If rides are your thing, or if you are planning to bring your children along, consider visiting the festival on family days. On family days, young children and families will get to enjoy discounts and special prices at many rides and snack stands. This year, family days take place on both Tuesdays of the fair, and will last until 7.00pm.

What time should I plan to arrive?

If you are planning to visit during the weekends without a reservation, and in particular, the opening weekend, you might want to plan to arrive at 6.00am, or even earlier. It is going to be crowded, and while alcohol wouldn't be available until 12.00pm, you will expect queues to start forming really early. If you arrive later in the day, chances are you are not going to get a spot.

If you will be planning to arrive early to wait, make sure to pack along some entertainment or food to keep yourself occupied!

How much will I spend at Oktoberfest?

Well, it really depends on how much you will expect to consume. Your main expenditure will typically be on food and drinks, rides, and probably souvenirs. As a guideline, the prices of beer at Oktoberfest 2023 will be between €12.60 and €14.90 per litre. Menu options and prices also vary, but you can expect to spend between €10 – €30 for a meal.

Preparing for Oktoberfest 2023

One of the most exciting things to prepare for for your visit to Oktoberfest would be to figure out what to wear. If you have always wanted to try on some traditional Bavarian clothing, then this is your chance to do so!

Source: Oktoberfest | Sebastian Lehner
Source: Oktoberfest | Sebastian Lehner

Traditional Bavarian Clothing

For the ladies, that means a traditional Bavarian dirndl—white blouse, knee-length (or longer) dress, apron, and most importantly, comfortable shoes.

For the gents, that means lederhosen—white or plaid button-up shirt, loferls (or calf warmers), and some comfortable loafers. The calf-warmers are really important and is a must if you want to look trendy. And if you really want to go all out Bavaria, get an Alpine hat.

Dress for the weather

Although the weather is generally better in September than in October, it can still be rather unpredictable. Check the forecast before you head down to make sure you are appropriately dressed for the weather. It might be good to bring along a jacket in case it gets too chilly.

Making Reservations

If you are planning to visit Oktoberfest, it is recommended that you make an advanced reservation at the tents to secure a seat. Unfortunately, there is no central reservations for the tents, but you can find the links to the reservation portal for each tent here.

Not to worry if you are unable to make a reservation though, as walk-ins and allowed. Of course, it will be subject to availability, but to increase your chances of getting a seat, consider visiting during a weekday or earlier in the evening!

Getting to Oktoberfest in Munich

For a start, don't attempt driving. You are not going to be able to find parking. And remember, you WILL be drinking, so all the more you shouldn't be driving. Instead, you can take the train to Hauptbahnhof, Munich's central train station, and take a short 10 minutes walk to the ground. Or head to the Theresienwiese stop on the U-bahn.