Frequently Asked Questions
** PART 1 - OKTOBERFEST INSIDER TOURS FAQS **
1. What is the average age of people who book this tour?
Guests of all ages book this tour! From guests in their 20's to guests in their 70's and even 80's! The average age group of our guests are people their 30's - 50's. All are welcome, and the wider range in age the better!!
2. Does the package include airfare?
Our packages do not include airfare or transfers to the hotel from the train station or airport. Each of our featured package hotels is walking distance to the Munich train station and the Oktoberfest Grounds - in each case, just a few short blocks.
3. Are there any additional taxes, booking fees or credit card processing fees?
No! All posted prices reflect the final, total cost of the package. There are no additional taxes (this is built into the package cost) nor do we charge booking fees or credit card processing fees. What you see is what you get :)
** PART 2 - OKTOBERFEST DATES & GENERAL FAQS **
When does Oktoberfest 2017 take place?
On Saturday, September 16th, the Schottenhamel tent is the place to be, if you want to catch the official opening ceremonies. At noon, the Mayor of Munich has the honor of tapping the first keg of Oktoberfest beer. Once the barrel has been tapped, all visitors will then be allowed to quench their thirst. It pays to arrive early in order to experience the festivities up close and personal, and it is quite common for visitors to come around 9am to secure good seats. The festival last for 2+ weeks with the final day being October 3rd, 2017.
What are the opening hours?
Beer Serving Hours
Opening day 12.00 noon - 10.30 pm
Weekdays 10.00 am - 10.30 pm
Saturday, Sunday & holiday 09.00 am - 10.30 pm
Daily closing hour 12.30 am 'Käfers Wiesnschänke' and 'Weinzelt' open until 1.00 am
Opening hours of stalls
Opening day 10.00 noon - midnight
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 11.30 pm
Friday 10.00 am – 12.00 midnight
Saturday 9 am - midnight
Sunday 9 am - 11.30 pm
Fairground attractions & sideshows
Opening day 12.00 noon - midnight
Monday - Thursday 10 am - 11.30 pm
Friday, Saturday 10.00 am – midnight
Sunday 10 am - 11.30 pm
End of Oktoberfest
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 11.30 pm
Do I have to pay an entrance fee?
No, entry to Oktoberfest is free.
Do I have to pay an fee for a beer tent reservation?
Yes, in order to secure a guaranteed spot inside a tent, you must secure a beer tent reservation. These often sell out months before Oktoberfest begins and are very hard to secure. Beer Tent Reservations generally include 2 pints of beer and a meal, usually a chicken dinner. Each beer tent reservation is about 2.5 - 3 hours.
How can I make a reservation for beer tents?
You do not need to make a beer tent reservation as Oktoberfest Insider Tours includes 1 guaranteed reservation in each package. To add additional beer tent reservations to your package, contact Oktoberfest Insider Tours.
Can I enter the beer tents without a reservation?
Yes, but space is very limited and the tents fill up fast, so it is imperative to arrive early! On weekends, the tents often close to new entrants before 11am due to overfilling, meaning if you do not secure a spot inside, you are out of luck for the day. During the week, the tents usually have space for new entrants through the afternoon.
Why is Oktoberfest called "Oktoberfest" when it actually begins in September?
The historical background: the first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig's marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festivities began on October 12, 1810 and ended on October 17th with a horse race. In the following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.
By moving the festivities up, it allowed for better weather conditions. Because the September nights were warmer, the visitors were able to enjoy the gardens outside the tents and the stroll over "die Wiesen" or the fields much longer without feeling chilly. Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.
Are children allowed to visit the beer tents?
It depends on the age: Children under the age of six must leave the tents at 8pm even if they are in the company of their parents. A crowded tent wouldn’t be much fun for either the children or the parents.
Is smoking allowed in the beer tents?
No. Since August 2010 there is a new no-smoking law in Bavaria which impedes smoking of all kind of bars, pubs and restaurants including beer tents. Breaking the rules can result in a fine.
What is "Die Wiesn"?
The locals in Munich fondly refer to Oktoberfest as "die Wiesn" because of its location, Theresienwiese, which was named after Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
Is there a program of events to observe during this festival?
A must-see event is the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade. The parade happens every year on the first Wiesn Sunday.