Some of the frequently-asked questions about Oktoberfest 2017 in case you want to be here this year. With this information, you might be better prepared as this is one of the most lively but also chaotic events of Germany and coming here unprepared seems to be unwise.
Time and place
When will the 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 will have 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’s quite common for visitors to come around 9 am to secure good seats. The festival will last until October 3rd.
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 attractions & sideshows
Opening day 12.00 noday 10 am – 11.30 pm
Friday 10.00 am – 12.00 midnight
Saturday 9 am – midnight
Sunday 9 am – 11.30 pm
Fairground on – midnight
Monday – Thursday 10 am – 11.30 pm
Friday, Saturday 10.00 am – midnight
Sunday 10 am – 11.30 pm
End of Oktoberfest 2017
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 11.30 pm
When is Oktoberfest scheduled for 2018?
2018: September 22 – October 7
Do I have to pay an entrance fee?
No, the entry to the area and all beer-tents is free.
Reservations and other rules
Bags and Backpacks
Backpacks and large bags are generally not allowed. Please leave everything you don’t necessarily need at home. The less you carry with you, the easier you will find it to move around the busy parts of Oktoberfest. Bags and backpacks with a volume of more than 3 litres and/or larger than 20cm x 15cm x 10cm is not allowed to be taken into the showgrounds (‘Wiesn’).
All bags and rucksacks will be checked by the security staff and will be tagged with a security check band. Personal medical devices or medication are allowed once cleared by security personnel.
If your luggage exceeds the maximum size you can secure them at one of the several locking stations around the Wiesn (fees apply).
How can I make a reservation for beer tents?
For making a reservation in a beer tent you have to contact the respective beer tent.
Can I enter the beer tents without a reservation?
Of course, you can also enter the tents without any reservation. But please consider coming early, because the tents fill up very quickly! When the tents are overfilled, you can not enter anymore. On weekend the tents often close before 11 am. because of overfilling. During the week the tents are normally open until 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 childern or the parents.
Is smoking allowed in the beer tents?
No. Since August 2010 there is a new no-smoking law in Bavaria which interdicts smoking in all kind of bars, pubs and restaurants including beer tents. Contravention is punished by not being served or from 2011 on also by 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 folk’s festival?
The main highlight of the Wiesn events and an important must-see is the Oktoberfest Costume and Riflemen’s Parade. The parade happens every year on the first Wiesn Sunday.
Hope you enjoy your stay in Oktoberfest 2017!
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