Yes, that’s right: it’s not too early to start planning for Oktoberfest 2018, the greatest festival on earth. With over 6 million people attending every year, the event is once again expected to be a massive celebration of everything that is Bavarian. From the incredible food and fine Munich beers, to traditional dress music, the beer tents will once again pack out with people from all over the world.
Whether you’re attending Oktoberfest 2018 as a first-time visitor or a seasoned veteran of hoisting raising your glass in the beer tents, you are guaranteed to leave in awe at the sheer marvel of how this celebration comes together every year. It’s German culture and hospitality at its very finest, and it’s worth booking early to reserve your place at Oktoberfest.
The Dates to Save for Oktoberfest 2018
If you’re planning a trip to Munich in Germany for the 2018 festival, here are the dates for your itinerary:
Saturday 22nd September to Sunday 7th October 2018
It’s hard to accurately predict the weather in Bavaria at this time of the year; it ranges from cold and rainy (it has even snowed!) to blue skies & sunshine where even the outside beer gardens pack out early. While it gets comfortably warm in the beer tents, it pays to bring a light jacket.
What to Wear to Oktoberfest
About half of the people who attend Oktoberfest get right into the spirit of the occasion and wear traditional Bavarian clothing. That’s a Dirndl for the ladies and Lederhosen for the men. Remember that there may be broken glass on the floor, so don’t wear open toed shoes or sandals.
The Best Days to Attend Oktoberfest 2018
Oktoberfest veterans suggest that the ideal way to enjoy the Oktoberfest festival is to spread out two or three visits over the course of a week. This gives you time to rest and recover, recharge your batteries, and start looking forward to your next visit! And it does give you time to visit Munich and other destinations in Europe and Germany. But, if you’re here solely for Oktoberfest and you have the stamina, why not enjoy every possible moment of the world’s greatest fair.
Remember that the festival is extremely busy over the weekend periods, particularly opening weekend, so it’s highly recommended that you arrive early if you want to gain entry to beer tents. This particularly applies if you’re in a group. On some weekends people think nothing of lining up for 3 to 4 hours in order to gain access to beer tents.
Crowds will reduce towards the middle of the week, so if you enjoy a seat with your beer then you might choose to attend the festival on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; always remembering that the evenings can also be very busy.
Getting to Oktoberfest
Parking is virtually impossible during Oktoberfest so it’s highly recommended you don’t drive. Either walk the 10 to 15 minutes from the Central Train Station or join the crowds and take the underground to the Theresienwiese stop. If travelling by taxi, plan ahead by getting a business card from your hostel or hotel so you have an address to hand to your taxi driver.
How Much Money to Allow for Oktoberfest
There’s no charge for entering the fairgrounds or tents, and of course it depends on how much you intend eating and drinking during the course of a day as to how much money you should allow but, as a rough guide, about €100 per day should cover your food and 5 steins of beer.
No Reservation? Then Get There Early
If you don’t have a reservation, then get to the festival early and grab an unreserved table. As long as you keep drinking and eating, the table is yours. Never leave your table unattended, because empty seats are snapped up immediately. It’s never wise to leave a full tent without your friends because there’s every possibility that you won’t be able to get back in.
If you do have a reservation, you must be very punctual. If you arrive just 15 minutes late, the table will be re-allocated.
Commonly Asked Oktoberfest Questions
Can I Take a Beer Mug as a Keepsake?
Don’t even think about it. You’ll be arrested and fined if you’re caught stealing a beer mug.
Can We Dance?
Yes, you can dance on the benches to your hearts content, but not on the tables.
Where Are the Toilets?
Large tents have their own bathrooms, and on the grounds you’ll see statues of Cupid pointing the way to toilets. Ladies, once the drinking is in full swing you could be standing in a queue for at least 20 minutes, so plan ahead.
Other Important Oktoberfest Information
- Daily walking tours, most of which are free, are available throughout Munich if you want to orientate yourself;
- There’s some fabulous food available at Oktoberfest, including vegetarian options;
- Remember, don’t get caught with an empty mug during a toast. (Apparently it’s a bad omen and your love life will be ruined: or perhaps that’s just a terrible rumour?)
- Smoking is not permitted in the tents, although each tent does have an allocated smoking area outside.
So, start planning now. Oktoberfest is the event of a lifetime, where everyone is happy at the biggest and most beautiful festival on earth.
Thirsty for Oktoberfest 2018? Then check out these Oktoberfest tours and packages.