The popularity of Oktoberfest in Munich has seen an unexpected surge of interest from Americans. According to data analysis, search queries for accommodation in Munich on their US site have increased by 25 percent.
Data shows that the US, Canada, and UK are among the top 10 countries of origin for foreign Oktoberfest visitors. Other countries on the list include Italy, Australia, Austria, Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, and France.
Are you planning to attend the Oktoberfest in 2023? TR covers all the essential details you need to know before you go. From the festival dates to the cost of reserving a table, we'll fill you in on everything you need to know. Oktoberfest is a beloved tradition in Munich, drawing in millions of visitors yearly to celebrate with food, drink, and fun.
How long does the Oktoberfest in Munich last?
The 188th edition of Oktoberfest is scheduled from September 16 to October 3, 2023. The tents will open at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of Oktoberfest, and non-alcoholic beverages will be served from 10 a.m. At noon, the Schottenhamel tent will witness the tapping of the first beer keg by Munich's Lord Mayor Dieter Reiter.
What is celebrated at Oktoberfest?
The Wiesn is a renowned folk festival known for being the largest in the world. Its roots trace back to 1810 when Prince Regent Ludwig of Bavaria (who later became King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hilburghausen on October 12. A horse race was held on what is now known as Theresienwiese to celebrate this occasion on October 17. The event was a huge success, and people were eager to see it happen again. Thus, Oktoberfest was born, although it did not have rides and beer tents then. The festival now starts in September, but it was only later that the start date was moved forward. Interestingly, Bavarian National Guard member Andreas Michael Dall'Armi is credited with the idea of the horse race in 1810 and is considered the official founding father.
Oktoberfest 2023: Why is it called Wiesn?
The Theresienwiese has been the traditional venue for Oktoberfest since 1810 when it was still a meadow on the outskirts of Munich. However, locals found the name too long and opted for a shorter, more convenient term - "d'Wiesn". It's important to note that this is not referring to multiple meadows but rather the Bavarian abbreviation for "die Wiese." Therefore, it's correct to say "at the Wiesn" instead of "in the meadows."
How much does admission to the Oktoberfest 2023 cost?
Attending Oktoberfest doesn't require an entry fee, as there is no charge for staying on the Theresienwiese grounds. The only exception is the "Oide Wiesn," which offers historical rides, and individuals aged 14 and over must pay four euros for entry, except for those arriving after 9 p.m., who can enter for free.
Can you go to the Wiesn without a reservation?
You can enter festival tents without prior notification, and some tables are kept free for spontaneous visitors. In large tents, a quarter of the places are affected. It may be as much as half on weekends and public holidays up to 3 p.m., with the remaining 35 percent after that. However, Käfer Wiesn-Schänke, Kufflers Weinzelt, and the smaller tents are exceptions, and reservations are impossible in beer gardens. It's possible that in the evening or as a group, there may be no more spaces left in the festival tents, and sometimes the entrance may be closed due to overcrowding. To be on the safe side, it's recommended to reserve in advance.
How do you get a table at the Wiesn?
Tables, including the small ones, can be reserved in advance directly at the festival tents. The reservation has no central point, so you must visit the landlords' websites to know when the reservation starts. It is advisable to book early in the spring or, at the latest, in April or May. Most bookings are made online, but you can also reserve over the phone.
The reservation of tables is free, but vouchers for drinks and food must be paid in advance. You can buy tokens for a beer and half a chicken per person. Reservations can only be made for a whole table, which typically accommodates eight to ten people. Table tokens cost around 350 euros, and even more in some tents.
This year, there is an exception called "Wiesnpaket." It allows individuals to secure a fixed place in a tent of their choice starting at 79 euros. The package includes:
- Food and beer stamps.
- One of three city tours through Munich.
- The official Oktoberfest mug with the Wiesn motive.