For just over two weeks from mid-September, staid and prosperous Munich erupts in a riot of beer, dirndls, parades, lederhosen, oompah bands, pork products, and fairground rides—the Oktoberfest. Beer halls and gardens, many with a capacity of thousands, spring up across the Theresienwiese, drawing travelers from around the globe to indulge in millions of liters of Bavarian beer.
While it’s easy to visit the Oktoberfest independently, tours that include accommodation and transport often work out cheaper than booking hotel rooms, particularly if you’re traveling from cities such as Salzburg or Prague.
Things to know before you go
- Entry to the Theresienwiese is free of charge, even during Oktoberfest.
- For great views of the Theresienwiese with Oktoberfest in full flow, climb up inside the Bavaria Statue.
- Tuesdays are family days at the Oktoberfest, and the rides and Familienplatz are perfect with kids. Baby changing rooms and microwaves are available, while the grounds are stroller-friendly.
- The Theresienwiese is wheelchair-friendly and welcomes travelers with disabilities. All beer tents have accessible entrances and wheelchair-friendly spaces; there are a range of accessible bathrooms plus barrier-free parking and public transport; while many fairground rides are wheelchair-friendly and many spaces offer Braille menus.
How to get there
The Theresienwiese is about a 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) walk west of Munich’s Marienplatz square. Catch the U-Bahn (subway) to Theresienwiese (line U4 and U5) or the S-Bahn (suburban train) to Hackerbrücke, a 10-minute walk away. Public transport gets congested during Oktoberfest, so consider joining a tour with transfers.
When to get there
Oktoberfest, which runs from mid-September to early October, is by far the best time to visit Theresienwiese. But you might also find yourself visiting during spring or winter festivals.
Make the Most of the Oktoberfest
The Oktoberfest draws vast crowds every year, so planning ahead is essential. Booking is vital if you want to sit down at most popular beer halls, especially at weekends; if arranging accommodation direct, reserve your room several months in advance. Bring plenty of cash, including change, as not all tents accept cards, and consider visiting midweek for a more mellow experience.
- Paulaner Brewery (Paulaner Brauerei München)
- Jewish Museum (Jüdisches Museum)
- King's Square (Königsplatz)
- Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady (Frauenkirche)
- Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)
- St. Peter's Church (Peterskirche)
- Munich Toy Museum (Spielzeugmuseum)
- Munich Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)
- Bavarian State Opera (Bayerische Staatsoper)
- Old Pinakothek (Alte Pinakothek)
- New Pinakothek (Neue Pinakothek)
- Hard Rock Cafe Munich
- Beer and Oktoberfest Museum
- Munich Residence (Residenz München)