Oktoberfest area is actually a big (42 hectare) empty field which is called Theresienwiese (as it was the place for the wedding of princess Therese. check the story here) . Each year in the middle of July they start constructing the tents and demolish them soon after the Oktoberfest. So nothing is left of Oktoberfest after Oktoberfest, except the memories and damaged personal finances 😛 (It is kind of the Burning Man!)
Be smart, get off at the right stop for Oktoberfest
The usual and easiest way in terms of bird-view distance to arrive to Oktoberfest is to get off the U4/U5 in Theresienwiese.
On a busy day, this means being smashed waiting for the Ubahn, in the Ubahn, and coming out of the Ubahn station to the festival area.
Smarter way is to exit in one of these three stations and walk to the festival area:
Hauptbahnhof (most of Sbahns and Ubahns pass through here), Hackerbrücke (Sbahn), Schwanthalerhöhe (U4/ u5) or Goetheplatz (U3/ U6).
Get to know the beer tents
Only local breweries that have a long tradition and that comply with the purity law are allowed to sell beer in Oktoberfest. These 6 breweries are Augustiner, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Hofbräu and Loewenbraeu.
Although it is a beer festival, you cannot get beer everywhere inside the festival area. You should go inside a tent or the beergarden of the breweries.
Let’s look at the tents now.
There are 14 big beer tents.
They serve Spaten.
The opening ceremony is done here. The mayor opens the Oktoberfest each year at 12 with tapping the first Oktoberfesz beer keg and saying O’zapft is! (it is tapped)
It is known as party tent for young people.
2. Hofbräu Festzelt
The beer served is obviously Hofbräu.
This is known as the most touristic tent. Most Oktoberfest tours have agreements with this tent. It is especially loved by Australian and New Zealander visitors.
Apart from seating arrangements, there is also a big space for standing visitors which increases the capacity of the tent. And because of that, it is usually easiest to get into this tent.
3. Hackerbräu Festzelt
Hacker – Pschorr beer is served.
This tent is famous for its amazing ceiling decoration which is called Himmel der Bayern (Bavaria sky or Bavaria Heaven as himmel means both sky and heaven). It was designed by an Oscar winner set set designer.
It is also famous with its well-known rock ‘n’ roll band that plays in the evening session.
You can say that it is the second party tent for young people after Schottenhammel.
4. Augustiner Festhalle
As the name tells, this tent serves Augustiner beer (which is also my favorite).
It is a traditional tent with good music and it is the favorite tent of Munich locals.
What makes this tent unique is that it is the only tent that taps its beer from the wooden kegs.
This tent serves Löwenbrau beer.
It is just by the feet of Bavaria statue. And can be forgotten by the masses.
It has good music and party mood.
The difference from other tents is that they serve other alcoholic drinks booze and wine. They have Wildeverbar, half liter wine.
Jewellery company Tiffany invites its guests here in the first saturday for breakfast.
In this tent Hacker-Pschorr beer is served.
This tent is famous for hosting the gay party of Oktoberfest, yodeling and its whip masters called Goaslschnalzer.
The gay party takes place on the first Sunday of Oktoberfest. The story of the yodlling comes from the first owner of the tent called Rosi. She was a good yoddler. So the tent has a yoddler that continues her legend. The whipmasters get on the tables do their whip show several times a day.
You can recognise the tree from its 20 m maypole (Maibaum).
7. Winzerer Fähndl
This tent serves Paulaner beer.
You can recognize this tent from far by its 25 meter tower with a huge beer mug on top.
This tent is loved by all ages and has a nice mood.
8. Löwenbräu Festhalle
As the name tells, they serve Löwenbräu beer.
There is a huge lion that is drinking beer outside of the tent that roars frequently.
This tent is beautiful, decorated with a lot of lamps. It is the meeting point TSV 1860 team fans as they also call themselves “the lions”.
The music is nice, the place is nice, so overall a very nice tent.
You will definitely spot this tent while walking in the festival area because of the turning pork at the top of the tent.
This tent serves Spaten beer.
Ochsenbraterei means literally ox roaster. And as the name tells there is always a full ox being roasted on a spit. The tent is considered a good tent for party.
10. Armsbrustschützen- Festhalle
The name of the tent means ‘Tent of the Crossbow Shooters.’ Since 1935 German Crossbow Shooting Tournaments take place in this tent during Oktoberfest time. (But visitors of the Oktoberfest cannot see it due to security measures). This tent is totally living its bavarian tradition. And the music is more traditional. Like in the Bräurosl tent, there are also shows of whip masters (Goaslschnalzer ) in this tent.
Paulaner beer is served here.
11. Käfer’s Wiesn Schänke
This is the celebrity tent. It is smaller than the other tents and the party continues here till 00:30 where in the other tents the music stop at 10:00. You usually need to have a known name, or know someone to get inside.
They serve Paulaner beer, wine and champagne.
12. Fischer Vroni
Follow the smell of fish and you find this tent. The specialty of this tent is fish on a stick. The beer served here is Augustiner.
This is one of the smallest tent and attract an older audience. But it can also get really crazy here especially on the 2nd Monday of Oktoberfest when there is the LGBT party.
This is the first tent you will see when you enter from Theresienwiese U bahn stop or you walk from Hauptbahnhof.
They serve Spaten beer here.
This is a new tent, it replaced the famous Hippodrom in 2014. It is a smaller tent with a nice decoration and music. Hippodrom was a party tent and so tries to be Marstall. Unlike other tents, they serve beer also to the standing guests. They have some corners where you can stand and place your beer. So worth entering for a beer.
14. Weinzelt – Nyphenburger Sektkellerei
This tent as the name tells is the wine tent. They serve wine and champagne. There is of course also beer and it is Paulaner.
The music here is a bit more traditional. It is the only tent you get half a liter beer, not 1 (mass).
If you would like to get a feel of how Oktoberfest was in the old times (and definetely want to sit and drink beer) visit Oide Wiesn
This is a separated space from the rest of festival and you need the ticket to enter (costs 3 euros). There are traditional fun rides and a traditional beer garden.
You get here very traditional Bavarian brass music, good beer (Augustiner) and traditional food. You probably always find a place to sit here so if you cannot enter the other tents, you might just buy the ticket and enter. With the ticket you can enter and exit multiple times to the Oide Wiesn.
You now know about the tents, and the festival area.
For German speakers, here is a quiz to find out which tent suits you best.
Oktoberfest is fun and you will have fun in any tent if you can get in!
Let me know which ones you visited this Oktoberfest and how it was? Write in the comments or send me a message!