Oktoberfest 2021 in Munich: What You Need To Know
Update: Oktoberfest 2021 has been officially cancelled due to the global health emergency. Instead, head over to the Oktoberfest 2022 page–it’s never too early to start planning.
If the past 200+ years are any indication, Oktoberfest 2021 is going to be the best yet! The biggest and most bodacious celebration of beer and Bavarian culture this side of Mars only gets better as time goes on. Six million people (and counting) each year can’t be wrong, right?
With the signature Bavarian food and delicious Munich beers, to lederhosen and dirndls and brass bands galore, the beer tents will once again fill up with people from all over the world! Oktoberfest 2021 is the ultimate bucket list item you need to experience to believe.
When is Oktoberfest 2021?
Oktoberfest 2021 will begin promptly at noon on Saturday September 18th and end on Sunday October 3rd, 2021. (Oh, you thought Oktoberfest was in October? Silly.) Though the dates are always different, Oktoberfest always starts in late September and ends on the first Sunday of October, though there are sometimes exceptions. Check out the full list of Oktoberfest dates and key days to attend the festival here.
Planning for Oktoberfest 2021
It’s never too early to begin Oktoberfest preparations (seriously, the sooner the better!), so pour yourself a beer and let’s get cracking!
Join the Oktoberfest Travel Facebook group for updates on Oktoberfest 2021. ⇣⇣⇣
When to attend Oktoberfest 2021
So when exactly should you attend Oktoberfest 2021? Well, looks like you have a few decisions to make. (This is why we drink first.) Here are a few factors to consider when deciding on when to attend Oktoberfest 2021:
BEGINNING, MIDDLE, OR END? | If you’re into key events, look no further than the Oktoberfest 2021 opening ceremony… well, or look way past that to the closing ceremony as well. Both awesome. Both equally tough to get into.
The Oktoberfest opening ceremony in the Schottenhamel tent takes place at noon on opening day and marks the official start of Oktoberfest 2021. (YAY!) The Lord Mayor of Munich taps the first keg and shouts, “O’Zapft is!” to let everyone–who speaks German–know that it’s time to get yo’ drank on.
On the last night of Oktoberfest, the unofficial (but pretty much official) closing ceremony takes place in the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The lights go down, the sparklers are lit, and 10,000 others just like you all sing together commemorating another great year on the Wiesn and another 7 million beers consumed. If that’s not worth celebrating, we don’t know what is.
Both the beginning and ending ceremonies are popular and totally worth attending – but, personally, we recommend both and every day in between. Just something to think about…
DAYS OF THE WEEK | It should go without saying, nights and weekends will be the busiest times to attend Oktoberfest 2021. But if you must–arrive as early as possible. No, earlier than that. Keep going. There ya go…
Attending Oktoberfest during the week (and especially during daylight) will be your best chance to secure your spot in the beer tent. You may even get to sleep in a wee bit. (But why waste precious drinking time??)
SPECIAL EVENTS | Oktoberfest 2021 will bring you all the usual special events–including, but not limited to, the opening day parade, the traditional costume parade, family days, Bavarian concerts, and even an Oktoberfest church service if you’ve done some stuff that needs confessing, mm-hmm.
Click here for the full 2021 Oktoberfest Schedule of Events.
What to Budget for Oktoberfest 2021
Well, how much can you drink?
How much you should budget for Oktoberfest 2021 largely depends on how much you will consume–beers, brats, unicorn balloons, whatever. The good news is that getting into Oktoberfest is and always has been 100% admission free.
But since you don’t want to just sit around empty handed in a glorified parking lot, you can bank on spending around 12 euros (+ tip) per litre of beer and a little less for non-alcoholic beverages (are you feeling okay?). Check out the full list of 2021 Oktoberfest beer prices here.
For Oktoberfest 2021, you’ll also need to budget for:
Oktoberfest food | Each tent has its own menu offerings (most even offer lunch specials!) and you can prepare to spend between 7 – 30 euros on meals of all shapes and sizes. The standard Oktoberfest 1/2 chicken will run you around 12 euros.
Entertainment | If riding Oktoberfest rides is in your <possibly misguided> Oktoberfest 2021 plans, plan on spending a few euros (plus varying levels of dignity) per ride.
Souvenirs | Like it or not, someone in your group is going home with a dancing chicken hat. Souvenirs start at just a couple of euros and work their way up to “how big a feather can I get in my hat” expensive.
What to wear for Oktoberfest 2021
At Oktoberfest (and as it should be every day, if you ask us), traditional Bavarian clothing is what all the cool kids are wearing. For men, that means lederhosen with a checkered or white button-up shirt, what used to be socks but are now just calf warmers (?), and an Alpine hat–you can get that feather pretty damn big if you really want. And for the ladies that means a traditional dirndl–knee-length dress, white blouse, apron, and comfortable shoes.
There’s a ton more that goes into properly dressing for Oktoberfest (hair styles, accessories, what to know about cleavage, the unwritten rules you’ll be glad you learned–like, did you know it matters where you tie your dirndl bow?) so follow that link for the lowdown on all things push-up.
How to get to Oktoberfest in Munich
…since driving is totally out of the question.
The Oktoberfest party grounds (the Theresienwiese, locally known as the Wiesn), is just a 10-minute walk (you can do it!) from the Hauptbahnhof, Munich’s main train station, and an even shorter walk from the Theresienwiese stop on Munich’s U-bahn.
Not into walking? We get it. Calling a taxi is always an option (though not a cheap one) and you’ll have your choice of pedicabs around the Hauptbahnhof and the entrance to the Wiesn. Choose wisely!
What will the weather be like for Oktoberfest 2021?
What? You don’t like surprises? We’re going to let you in on a little secret… part of the reason Oktoberfest was moved to September is because the weather is better than it is in October.
Some years it’s sunny and warm, some years it’s chilly, some years it rains, you never really can be sure. (Unless you’re inside the Hacker tent where it’s always blue skies and sunshine.) However, this page gives you a good idea of precipitation and annual temperature averages for Munich for the months of September and October.
FAOQs – Frequently Asked Oktoberfest Questions
Do I need a reservation in the beer tents? Technically, no, but it definitely helps! (Lucky for you we can help with beer tent tickets & reservations). If you plan the best times to attend Oktoberfest, getting a seat in a tent won’t be a problem. If you’re set on attending on a weekend or at night, you may need a little help. We got you!
Where are the restrooms? The larger beer tents have their own restrooms with plenty of stalls and attendants to keep the paper stocked and the people flowing. Outside on the Wiesn, just follow giant Cupid’s arrow to the nearest restroom. That’ll make sense when you get there.
What are the dancing rules? Rule #1 – Dance on benches, not on tables. Rule #2 – Shake it like a Polaroid picture. Rule #3 – Don’t get mad if you become the viral sensation of Oktoberfest 2021.
Can I smoke in the beer tents? Absolutely not. There is a strict no smoking policy inside the beer tents and each tent typically has a designated smoking area outside the tent.
Will I get fined and/or arrested and/or publicly ridiculed if I try to steal a glass mug from a beer tent? 100% yes.
Oktoberfest 2021 will be here before you know it so you better start planning! Munich’s Oktoberfest is the festival all other festivals wish they could be. Check out our Oktoberfest 2021 tours and packages and pick the one that best suits you! See you in the tents!