I spent hours combing over descriptions of Oktoberfest tents before going, and it still didn’t prepare me for visiting the incredible beer festival.
If you’re a non-beer drinker and think this three-week-long homage to the hoppy beverage isn’t for you, think again!
My absolute disdain for beer (blasphemy to Müncheners) meant I was reluctant to go to Oktoberfest (my boyfriend had to convince me). Then, I started researching Oktoberfest tents.
As I scoured the internet and dug for the details, I found myself getting unbelievably excited to dance and celebrate in the cozy, festive beer tents.
Don’t go to the Wiesn underprepared! These Oktoberfest tips will tell you everything you need to know as a first-time visitor.
I couldn’t resist but task myself with visiting every Oktoberfest tent when I got to Munich. Somehow, I managed to (mostly) pull it off. As a result, I’m ranking each tent from best to worst and sharing must-have rules and tips so you can find the best Oktoberfest tent for you.
Trying to figure out what to wear to Oktoberfest? Check out my guide to Oktoberfest outfits.
Oktoberfest Admission Fee
Admission to the main Oktoberfest fairgrounds (known as Thesersienwiese) is completely free—ignore scammy tour operators trying to insist you buy skip-the-line passes or stating that the cost of admission is included in your tour.
You don’t need tickets to visit Oktoberfest. Just arrive at one of the main gates, go through bag check at security, and you’re set!
The exception, of course, is the Oide Wiesn, Oktoberfest’s reservations, and the new Wiesnpaket package.
The Oide Wiesn, the historic part of Oktoberfest, charges an admission fee of €4 per person over the age of 15. After 9 pm, admission is free.
Oktoberfest recently introduced a new Wiesnpaket package that can be purchased for a single individual—perfect for solo travelers at Oktoberfest! For €79, visitors can reserve an individual seat in a tent of their choice for lunch or during the evening, receive food and drink vouchers for the tent, and take one of three guided tours: the Oktoberfest tour, Old Town tour, or Münchner Kindl tour with an official Munich city guide. Visitors will also walk away with the official Oktoberfest stein.
This is a fantastic alternative to reservations for couples and solo travelers visiting Oktoberfest who want a more relaxed experience than walking into tents on their own. More details on how to book can be found here.
Oktoberfest Tent Table Reservation Fee
If you choose to make a reservation at one of the Oktoberfest tents, you will have to put down a fixed amount of money per person as a food and drink voucher. This isn’t a true admission fee—it’s used to guarantee the reservation so tents don’t take a loss.
Your reservation fee will be used as a credit for beer and food. Large tents are able to charge the equivalent of two beers and half a chicken per person. Small tents are allowed to charge €50 per person during weekdays before 2 pm and €75 at all other times, including weekends.
On average, a table reservation at Oktoberfest costs €350 but can be higher based on the tent being reserved.
If you notice a small difference between the value of your voucher and what you paid, it’s likely because tents are allowed to charge a processing fee of up to €1.50.
Any unused voucher credit is redeemable at the restaurants in Munich for each beer tent—your money won’t go to waste.
Best Time to Go to Oktoberfest Tents in Munich
The best time to go to Oktoberfest in Munich is on weekdays in the morning if you want to avoid crowds. You’ll have the best chance of getting into the beer tents without a reservation.
If you think that going in the morning means you’ll miss the party, think again—even by noon, people are already standing on the benches!
By mid-late afternoon, the Wiesn is in full swing. If you’re visiting Oktoberfest alone or with just one other person, you’ll likely still be able to tent-hop on weekdays. By early evening, don’t expect to find seats inside. Even if the beer tents haven’t reached capacity, you’ll likely be in standing-room-only territory, especially at popular tents.
If you’re with a larger group, make sure you get into a beer tent by early afternoon to secure your spot.
Avoid visiting Oktoberfest on the weekend and in the afternoon on special days like Family Day. Occasionally, German Unity Day extends the festival—that holiday also causes massive crowds to flood the festival grounds.
If you choose to visit Oktoberfest on the weekend, remember that each weekend has a slightly different focus. The first weekend opens the festival with the tapping of the first keg by Munich’s mayor. The second weekend is known as “Italian weekend” and is particularly busy.
Oktoberfest’s official website has a helpful guide breaking out Wiesn crowds by day and time here.
Oktoberfest Tent Reservations: Do You Need One?
If you’re visiting Oktoberfest alone or just with one or two other people, you probably don’t need an Oktoberfest reservation, especially if you’re visiting on a weekday. Just make sure to get to the festival early to stake out your spot.
Generally speaking, Oktoberfest reservations are typically not necessary, but if you’re in a group of foreign tourists who have traveled miles to experience the festival, not having a reservation and being turned away at beer tents might be a major disappointment.
Here’s the catch: Oktoberfest table reservations can only be made for eight or ten people.
Previously, if you didn’t have enough people to fill a full table, you’d need to absorb the additional cost or squeeze into a table where you could. The Wiesnpaket offer listed above changes that.
You will need an Oktoberfest beer tent reservation if you’re visiting the festival with a group during peak hours, like weekend nights. On weekends and by the afternoon on weekdays, tents reach capacity extremely quickly, and a lack of reservation might mean that you won’t be able to get into any of the large tents at all.
Tents are Oktoberfest are required to save 25-35% of their seating as non-reservable tables, and also leave 15% of their seating reserved for Munich locals.
How to Get an Oktoberfest Tent Reservation
Getting an Oktoberfest tent reservation is a game of strategy and luck. You’ll need to be on top of it for a chance to get the table you want.
Reservations for Oktoberfest beer tents typically open in the spring. Tents do not open reservations on a single day—instead, each tent picks its own date to open its reservation system.
Most tents open their reservations between March and May. Some reservations open as early as December, and others as late as the end of June.
The most accurate information on reservation opening dates can be found on each tent’s website, as it can vary by year. The list below provides a rough idea of Oktoberfest reservation release dates:
- Armbrustschützen-Festzelt: Mid-March
- Augustiner-Festhalle: Due to the popularity of this tent, leftover reservations are typically opened last-minute in September
- Festzelt Tradition: Early April
- Fischer-Vroni: End of May
- Hacker-Festzelt: Mid-June
- Herzkasperlzelt: Early March
- Hofbräu-Festzelt: Mid-March
- Käfer Wiesn-Schänke: Early April
- Kufflers Weinzelt: Mid-February
- Löwenbräu-Festzelt: Mid-March
- Marstall Festzelt: Mid-May
- Ochsenbraterei: Early May
- Paulaner Festzelt (Winzerer Fähnd): End of April
- Pschorr-Bräurosl: Mid-May
- Schottenhamel-Festhalle: December
- Schützen-Festzelt: Early February
- Schützenlisl: Mid-February
Reservations are good for at least three hours and are available in day and night shifts for lunch or dinner.
Oktoberfest tents use a grandfather policy for reservations—tables, especially at covetable times in the evening and on weekends, are first offered to those who had reservations the previous year before being released to the public at many tents.
On the weekend, you’re much more likely to get a table reservation for lunch than dinner, though even lunch tables can be tricky to get at large Oktoberfest tents due to grandfathering. Lunch on a weekday is your best shot at getting a table reservation.
Even if you’re shooting for a lunch reservation, you’ll still need to be quick in submitting your table request. I recommend setting a calendar reminder to stay on top of it.
Most Oktoberfest reservation requests can be submitted on the tent’s website, however, some still require booking via phone call.
If you’re not able to get a table, don’t worry. Many tents release leftover reservations or last-minute tables shortly before the festival starts.
How to Get Into Oktoberfest Tents in Munich Without a Reservation
You absolutely do not need a beer tent reservation to go to Oktoberfest if you’re with just a few people, but you will need to play it smart in order to get into the tents—showing up on a weekend at 5 pm will just put you face-to-face with a bouncer!
If you’re trying to get into Oktoberfest tents without a reservation, keep the following in mind:
- Go on weekdays when tents are slower to reach capacity
- Go in the morning, before noon, to be able to tent-hop
- Settle into your tent for the night by 5 pm on weekdays at the latest, or you’ll have a tough time getting into the major large tents
- Dress well and wear traditional Bavarian Oktoberfest outfits—we were told by Munich locals at Marstall that we wouldn’t have been able to get in if we weren’t wearing put-together dirndl and lederhosen looks. You’ll notice more people wearing tracht in tents than walking around festival grounds
- Keep your group small (no more than four people) for the best chance of being able to squeeze into a table
- Download the official Oktoberfest app, which has been known to display seat status in the past
- Eat a meal: Many Oktoberfest tents reserve special seating for those ordering food, which you can get into even when the main section of the tent is so packed that you can’t find a single sliver of bench to dance on
Keep in mind that Oktoberfest is a community-first event. You’ll be seated at tables with other festivalgoers, so make friends! People at the festival are amazingly friendly, and everyone just wants to have a good time.
Talking to other groups at the festival might also help you get into a tent. Sometimes, groups will make table reservations without the full amount of people to fill the table. If a group of six had to make a reservation for eight to meet the table minimum, they may be open to two more people joining them!
Want to make sure you’re dressed in your Oktoberfest best like the locals? Click to discover where to buy Oktoberfest clothing in Munich and online.
Oktoberfest Tent Hours
Big Oktoberfest tents are open for beer serving from 10 am to 10:30 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 10:30 pm on weekends and holidays. The exception to this is opening day, when big tents open at 9 am, but plates and non-alcoholic beverages aren’t served until 10 am.
Large tents end their music at 10:30 pm, while small tents end both music and beer serving at 11 pm daily. All tents close at 11:30 pm except for the wine tents, Käfer Wiesn-Schänke and Kufflers Weinzelt, who are allowed to serve beer until 12:30 am and close at 1 am.
The Oide Wiesn, the historic part of Oktoberfest, is open daily from 10 am to 11:30 pm, cutting off music and beer serving at 10:30 pm like large tents in the main part of the festival.
Oktoberfest Tent Rules
Oktoberfest doesn’t have many rules, but it takes the ones it has very seriously. We saw unruly attendees getting taken down by a swarm of security within seconds. Be mindful of the below Oktoberfest tent rules.
You Can’t Sell or Trade Your Reservation
Under no circumstances are you allowed to sell your Oktoberfest reservation. If you’re caught doing this, your reservation will likely be canceled, and you’ll lose your deposit.
No Dancing on the Tables
Dancing on the benches is allowed, if not encouraged, at Oktoberfest, but dancing on the tables is strictly prohibited. You wouldn’t want to anyway—some of those tables are taller than you think and get slippery with spilled beer!
You Can’t Take the Glassware
Think you can save on Oktoberfest souvenirs by swiping your Maß (glass beer mug, like a stein) from a tent? Think again. Stealing glassware from Oktoberfest tents is not allowed.
Security will confiscate it, and you could be charged with theft. Oktoberfest security has been known to confiscate more than 100,000 beer mugs throughout the festival from people attempting to steal them.
Don’t Bring a Backpack or Large Bag
Backpacks and large bags are banned at Oktoberfest. Your bag needs to be at or under 20 cm x 15 cm x 10 cm (approximately 8 in x 6 in x 4 in) and can only have a maximum carrying capacity of three liters. Leave that tote bag at home—you won’t want to be lugging it along when you’re buzzed and dancing on the benches anyway.
A small crossbody bag is always a safe choice—I took one similar to this, and it was the perfect size for my phone, card case, and other small essentials.
If you choose to bring a backpack or large bag to Oktoberfest, paid luggage storage is available outside of Theresienwiese.
Avoid Taking Prohibited Items at Oktoberfest
You can bring outside beverages into the fairgrounds, however, they can’t be in a glass bottle. Glass bottles are not allowed at Oktoberfest.
Dangerous items, like aerosol spray cans, harmful chemicals, liquids that stain, and anything that can be used as a weapon, are never allowed at Oktoberfest. The festival defines weapon-like objects as anything that could stab, slice, or cut.
Strollers Hours Are Limited
Strollers (buggies, prams) are allowed at Oktoberfest until 6 pm, except for on Saturdays. After 6 pm, on Saturdays, and on public holidays, strollers are banned at Oktoberfest.
Large Oktoberfest Tents
Large Oktoberfest beer tents typically have indoor seating within the tent and a small beer garden outside with additional seating. Many large tents also have balconies overlooking the festival.
I always recommend sitting inside the tent for the full experience. If you want to get a whiff of fresh air, visit a tent with a balcony like the Ochsenbraterei tent, which has a balcony wrapping around the upper floor of the tent. The Schützen-Festzelt tent is also a great option for a tent with a balcony. It’s commonly regarded as the most beautiful balcony at the Wiesn!
Large tents are probably the type of tent you’re thinking of when you picture Oktoberfest. They have high ceilings, festive decorations, live music, tons of dancing, and rows of tables that seem to go on for days.
Each large tent has its own distinct identity and attracts different types of crowds because of it. Learn more about those below in my breakout of the best and worst Oktoberfest tents.
All of the large Oktoberfest tents are listed below:
- Festzelt Tradition
- Käfer Wiesn-Schänke
- Kufflers Weinzelt
- Marstall Festzelt
- Paulaner Festzelt (Winzerer Fähnd)
Small Oktoberfest Tents
Small Oktoberfest tents are a much more intimate way to experience the festival. They feel more like a cozy, family-run restaurant than the large, partylike atmosphere of the large tents.
The lowkey small tents of Oktoberfest have capacities ranging from 60 to 800 people, most being in the 300 to 400-person range. This is a stark contrast to the large tents that accommodate thousands, some of which have capacities of over 9,000 people!
Small Oktoberfest tents are a perfect option for those who feel overwhelmed by large crowds and loud music. Some, like Café Theres’, make for a nice place to rest and enjoy a coffee between rounds of dancing and drinking.
The small tents can also be a good option for non-beer drinkers. Bodo’s Cafézelt and Café Kaiserschmarrn both serve cocktails, while several others serve wine.
Below are all of the small tents at Oktoberfest:
- Bodo’s Cafézelt
- Café Kaiserschmarrn (Rischart Tent)
- Café Theres’
- Feisingers Kas- und Weinstubn
- Glöckle Wirt
- Goldener Hahn
- Heimer Enten- und Hühnerbraterei
- Heinz Wurst- und Braterei
- Hochreiters Haxnbraterei
- Münchner Knödelei
- Münchner Stubn
- Hühnerbraterei Poschner
- Schiebl’s Kaffeehaferl
- Vinzenzmurr Metzger Stubn
- Wiesn Guglhubf
- Wirsthaus im Schichtl
- Zur Bratwurst
The Oide Wiesn
The Oide Wiesn is historic Oktoberfest. This area showcases what Oktoberfest used to be like, and includes tents and stalls that are more traditional in nature.
Within the Oide Wiesn, there are three large tents: Festzelt Tradition, Herzkasperlzelt, and Schützenlisl. Of these, my favorite by far was Festzelt Tradition, where traditional Bavarian dancers perform.
In addition to its large beer tents, the Oide Wiesn also has a museum tent that showcases special exhibitions and the history of Oktoberfest.
Aside from tents, the Oide Wiesn is home to Munich’s Marionettentheater where guests can watch free puppet shows. The historic grounds also offer traditional rides for just €1.
I also highly recommend stopping by the Rahmschmankerl stall in the Oide Wiesn for a flat German roll topped with creamy cheese and chives. Rahmschmankerl (sometimes called flammbrot) is everything you could want in drunk food, and absolutely delicious.
Keep in mind that the Oide Wiesn shares its grounds with the Bavarian Central Agricultural Festival, and as a result, doesn’t take place once every four years.
Do not skip the Oide Wiesn. It is well worth the €4 entrance fee. Having a drink at Festzelt Tradition to watch the performances is a must!
Best and Worst Oktoberfest Beer Tents: Every Large Oktoberfest Tent Ranked
I was determined to catch a glimpse of every major Oktoberfest tent when I visited last year, and for the most part, I succeeded!
The only tent I wasn’t able to make it to was the Käfer Wiesn-Schänke tent, which is smaller than the other large Oktoberfest tents, and tricky to get into if you don’t have a reservation.
My favorite tents are the Ochsenbraterei, Augustiner Festalle, Marstall Feszelt, and Festzelt Tradition—they’re really must-go tents to me, but then again, the best part of Oktoberfest is that because each tent does have such a different vibe, everyone’s favorites are wildly different.
There’s really no “best” tent at Oktoberfest—yes, some tents are better than others, but most tents have something that can be appreciated about them. Focus on trying to find the best Oktoberfest tent for you.
Listed below are all of the large Oktoberfest tents, ranked from top to bottom:
1. Ochsenbraterei (The Oxen Tent)
Beer served at Ochsenbraterei: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Ochsenbraterei tent capacity: 5,900 indoors, 1,646 outdoors
If Ochsenbraterei served non-beer drinks, it just might be my favorite tent at Oktoberfest. In the spirit of Oktoberfest, I did try to put down a radler here.
You’ll know you’ve arrived at Ochsenbraterei. The tent has an iconic ox rotating on a spit decorating the tent (yes, it actually rotates). The ox and the tent’s name pay homage to the oxen specialties the tent is known for.
The roast ox is what the tent is best known for, served with organic potato salad and a strong red wine sauce, but the tent surprisingly offers several options for vegetarians as well, such as Allgäu cheese noodles.
My boyfriend confirmed that the roast ox definitely lives up to the hype, while I opted for the käsespätzle (cheese spätzle), a cheese dish made with egg noodles. It’s basically the equivalent of German mac and cheese.
Aside from food, Ochsenbraterei’s sweeping decorations make the tent feel grandiose and festive. The tent draws in tons of locals, and as a result, doesn’t feel pretentious but also doesn’t feel like a sloppy kegger eminent of a frat house at a large party school (Hofbräu, I’m looking at you).
During the day, music tends to lean toward traditional brass music, but at night, the tent offers a good mix between recognizable favorites and popular Wiesn music classics.
Overall, the tent is the perfect balance between being a great party and staying a little more refined. A visit to Ochsenbraterei is a must, and I highly recommend stopping in on a night when you want to eat a real meal.
2. Marstall Festzelt
Beer served at Marstall Festzelt: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Marstall Festzelt tent capacity: 3,200 seated plus 230 standing indoors, 882 outdoors
Controversially, my favorite Oktoberfest tent is Marstall Festzelt (only slightly edging out Ochsenbrauerei). The tent is easily recognizable from the outside, thanks to its distinct heart-shaped windows.
I don’t like beer. Like, I really, really don’t like beer (much to the dismay of my boyfriend, who’s a beer connoisseur). Part of my love for Marstall stems from the fact that the tent offers wine and serves it out of a Maß as if it was beer, so non-beer drinkers can still partake in the drinking culture of the festival.
Marstall is a great combination of interesting decorations and a fun party atmosphere. It offers options for wine, beer, and gastronomic food. The crowd tends to be more refined and a little less rowdy, but will still be on the benches by early afternoon.
The tent is more expensive and somewhat more pretentious than others so I’d skip food here, but drinks were still reasonable, especially for the sheer quantity.
Go early and on a weekday if you want a chance at a table at Marstall Festzelt. The tent fills up quickly and is often at capacity by late afternoon, even on weekdays.
Marstall is also my favorite place for Oktoberfest souvenirs. The tent has a gift window selling items in Marstall Festzelt’s Oktoberfest print of the year.
Although Marstall Festzelt isn’t the best tent for a party at Oktoberfest, and I don’t necessarily think it’s a good fit for everyone, my boyfriend and I both really enjoyed our time here and agreed it was one of our favorites—visiting was a great way to start the day.
3. Augustiner Festhalle
Beer served at Augustiner Festhalle: Augustiner Bräu Wagner KG
Augustiner Festhalle tent capacity: 6,000 indoors, 2,500 outdoors
Augustiner Festhalle is undeniably a local’s tent. The tent’s chilled-out atmosphere lends way to it attracting families and Munich residents who aren’t in the mood to deal with that messy, rowdy crowd common at tents that tend to attract international tourists.
The flagship Augustiner tent is one of the most traditional large tents outside of the Oide Wiesn, still serving beer straight out of the hirsche (wooden barrels). This means their beer is milder with improved taste and less carbon dioxide.
For these reasons, we loved it.
The Augustiner Festhalle tent feels down-to-earth and way less touristy than tents for more internationally-recognized breweries in Munich. The tent’s warm, green glow feels calming in a place that’s well, not.
Music is led by Reinhard Hagitte, and played by the oldest Wiesn band at the festival. It’s less conducive to dancing, but we visited in the morning, so we really didn’t mind.
Make Augustiner Festhalle the first tent you settle into for the day. You’ll get all of the true Oktoberfest experience in a more local way that’s nowhere near as overwhelming as some of the other tents.
Plus, Augustiner Festhalle is so incredibly popular with Munich residents that it’s rare for reservations to open up to the general public—the tent only offers leftovers its regulars didn’t snatch last minute, not opening reservations broadly to the public at all. You’ll need to go early to have a chance at a seat here.
4. Festzelt Tradition
Beer served at Festzelt Tradition: Augustiner Bräu Wagner KG in the tent, Franziskaner Brauerei in the wheat beer garden. Surprisingly, this tent also serves wine.
Festzelt Tradition tent capacity: 5,000 indoors, 3,050 outdoors
Stepping into Festzelt Tradition feels like stepping back in time. The less-colorful tent almost felt like stepping into a beautiful barn dance from centuries ago, thanks to the rustic chic decor and large, raised stage featuring traditional Bavarian folk dancers and whipping boys.
Beer is served out of traditional ceramic steins instead of glass Maß and is poured straight from wooden beer barrels.
I thought that Festzelt Tradition’s cultural appeal would make it a tourist tent, but actually, this tent tends to attract more local crowds, especially those with their family or kids.
Visiting Festzelt Tradition is a must-do at Oktoberfest to really get a feel for the festival’s authentic culture. Just don’t visit first thing in the day—visit as a nice break to sit back and relax from the parties happening in the main part of Theresienwiese.
Costume association performances only happen in this tent twice a day—once at 2 pm, and again at 6 pm. We visited for the 6 pm performance, which was perfectly timed with when we were starting to feel like we needed a break.
Beer served at Schottenhamel-Festhalle: Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Schottenhamel-Festhalle tent capacity: 6,288 indoors, 2,742 outdoors
O’zapft is! The Schottenhamel-Festhalle tent is best known for being the Oktoberfest tent where the first keg is tapped by Munich’s mayor, officially opening the nearly three-week-long festival.
Schottenhamel is a tent that’s rich in Oktoberfest history. The tent was where the first official Oktoberfest keg tapping took place in 1950. Back in the summer of 1872, the Schottenhamel family invented the Oktoberfest beer, bringing Märzen to the festival that year after the lager and summer beer that had previously been used at Oktoberfest ran out early.
Ironically, despite being where the time-honored tapping of the first keg takes place, Schottenhamel feels like more of a balance between tradition and modernity than some of the other large tents and a very good one at that.
Instead of using long picnic tables, the Schottenhamel tent uses square tables inside that feel even more conducive to conversation, and even have netting underneath to keep your belongings safe from beer spillage (a real luxury at the Wiesn).
The tent tends to attract young Münchners who are ready to party and have a good time (again with the irony, the youngest Oktoberfest crowd parties in the oldest tent).
Every time we passed through this tent (and it was several), Schottenhamel had the best vibe and party atmosphere. Not belligerent or rude, but not necessarily pretentious or refined, either. Music was always on-point.
If you’re looking for a really good party, I highly recommend choosing Schottenhamel-Festhalle over tents owned by more international breweries like Löwenbräu and Hofbräu.
Fun fact: Albert Einstein worked at Schottenhamel as an auxiliary electrician, screwing dozens of lightbulbs into the tent.
Beer served at Hacker-Festzelt: Hacker-Pschorr Bräu GmbH
Hacker-Festzelt tent capacity: 6,838 indoors, 2,540 outdoors
Known as the “heavens of Bavaria,” the Hacker-Pschorr tent is easily one of the most instantly recognizable and unique tents at Oktoberfest.
The tent is best known for its light blue interior, painted with scenes of everyday life in modern Munich and decorated with fluffy white clouds on the ceiling.
Contributing to the tent’s heavenly appearance are star-shaped lights, that provide a warm glow at night.
On the final Sunday of the festival, the Hacker tent puts on a grand final to the Wiesn. Sparklers fill the dreamy interior while musical accompaniment designed to set the mood echoes through the vast tent.
The Hacker tent is incredibly popular with both tourists and young Munich locals alike and is often crowded by the early afternoon. Expect to be in standing-room-only territory if visiting in the afternoon or evening without a reservation.
Despite its celestial appearance, the Hacker-Festzelt tent is where one of Oktoberfest’s best parties happens each night. The band, playing both German and English hits, encourages the young crowd to get on the benches and dance!
I noticed this crowd was a little bit sloppier than others, but it wasn’t bad by any means. Due to the young crowd and big party energy, we also noticed security intervening on more than one occasion here.
Solo female travelers should note that men at this tent, and at other popular party tents, can be a little more aggressive than at others. Someone tried convincing me to leave my boyfriend and join him instead not once, but twice, and right in front of my boyfriend!
A stop by Hacker is well worth it to see the tent’s appearance and experience a true Oktoberfest party. Just make sure to go at night when the stars are lit up—it totally changes the tent’s vibe!
7. Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke
Beer served at Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke: Paulaner Brewery Group GmbH & Co. KGaA
Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke tent capacity: 1,500 indoors, 2,022 outdoors
A favorite of celebrities and Munich’s glitterati, Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke feels more like a mountainside lodge than it does an Oktoberfest beer tent, as it was designed to be a Bavarian log house. It’s the smallest large tent by far, and thus the most exclusive.
You’ll need a reservation to dine inside at Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke. If you can’t score one of the tent’s covetable reservations, you can try your hand at walking into the tent’s beer garden, where Käfer’s accommodates guests without reservations for meals.
Going early won’t just help you get a table at this exclusive tent, but will also help you save a little money. The tent offers an affordable lunch special for €24.50—not bad at all when you consider the quantity of food served! Munich is not a city that will short you on portion size.
Prices are a little higher here than at other tents, but justified by the tent’s gourmet food and options for beer, schnapps, and wine—you’ll commonly see sparkling wine on the tables at Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke.
Käfer’s Wiesn-Schänke is popular with locals looking for a nice meal in a more restaurant-like atmosphere than a rowdy party. That’s not to say that the tent isn’t lively—there’s plenty of live music to be heard and dancing to be found.
Locals know that one of the best Oktoberfest souvenirs can be found in the Käfer tent: the Käfer Wiesn-Haferl. These decorated coffee mugs change each year and are so covetable that some trade and collect them.
Beer served at Schützen-Festzelt: Löwenbräu
Schützen-Festzelt tent capacity: 4,923 seated plus 120 standing indoors, 1,235 outdoors
Schützen-Festzelt’s festive bold colors and cozy, alpine atmosphere help this distant tent stand out amongst the crowds. This tent’s calling card is being the “Shooter’s Tent,” as back in the day, marksmen would compete in Schützen-Festzelt.
One of the oldest tents at Oktoberfest, you’ll find more enbibed visitors looking for a good time than you will marksmen these days, though the tent still has a shooting range where the Bavarian Sports Shooting Association will arrange shooting demonstrations (because alcohol and shooting are such a natural pair).
Schützen-Festzelt is a favorite with Munich locals and flies under the radar with tourists, partially due to it being so far away from everything else at the festival.
It’s a slower tent to get going and a little more refined than some due to its local crowd, but it still brings a bustling party in the evenings.
The tent has been known to attract major celebrities and politicians due to its unique appeal and food. Schützenfestzelt is one of the only places at Oktoberfest where you can find traditional Franciscan-style suckling pig in malt beer, served alongside potato dumplings and bacon coleslaw.
Non-beer drinkers can enjoy wine and champagne at Schützenfest. This is a top tent option for non-beer drinkers who want a more traditional festival experience than Marstall or Käfer’s.
Beer served at Löwenbräu-Festzelt: Löwenbräu
Löwenbräu-Festzelt tent capacity: 5,700 indoors, 2,800 outdoors
Löwenbräu-Festzelt sets expectations before you even step into the tent. The tent for the internationally popular brewery is marked by a four-and-a-half-meter lion that roars “Löööwenbräu” every few minutes (it made me jump the first time I heard it!).
The bright yellow tent is filled with a diverse crowd of international tourists from around the world and a few Munich locals.
Due to the international crowd, this tent turns up the party much earlier than some of the other tents at the festival. You’ll hear tons of English pop and rock classics, and of course, the staple Wiesn hits—I still can’t get the picture of French tourists absolutely screaming the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline” out of my head, it was such a fun moment!
Skip Löwenbräu during the day. Löwenbräu’s internationally-recognized music for party-seeking tourists pushes it up higher on this list but, honestly, doesn’t have a ton of unique appeal otherwise. If you’re looking for more unique Oktoberfest tents, I’d pay more attention to others higher on this list.
The Löwenbräu-Festzelt tent is incredibly popular with Italians—if you’re visiting during the second weekend of the festival, Italian Weekend, you’ll need to be in the doors immediately to ensure your spot.
10. Kufflers Weinzelt
Beer served at Kufflers Weinzelt: Paulaner wheat beer (only until 9 pm)
Kufflers Weinzelt tent capacity: 1,920 indoors, 580 outdoors
Known as the wine tent, Kufflers Weinzelt is an upscale, elegant experience for Oktoberfest visitors looking to stay out of the mad parties.
The tent stays relaxed much longer than other large tents during the day. The party only really starts to heat up when the other large tents stop serving at 10:30—like Käfer’s, Kufflers is allowed to serve wine and sparkling wine like champagne and prosecco until 12:30 am.
I sat down for a glass of wine at this tent mid-afternoon. The hanging florals were some of the most beautiful I’d seen at any tent, and the crowd tended to be older. The tent is known to frequently attract local celebrities in Munich.
Kufflers only serves half-liters of Paulaner wheat beer and stops serving beer at 9 pm, hence the lack of drunk debauchery here. The real appeal to the tent is its selection of over 15 different wines.
Despite its sophistication, pricing for wine at the tent is actually relatively reasonable as far as non-beer drinks go at the Wiesn, plus, it’s rare to find such a lengthy selection of wine at Oktoberfest.
Kufflers Weinzelt was a nice, quiet mid-day break. It’s not a tent I’d spend a lot of time at during the day but is a great late-night option at Oktoberfest for those looking to keep the party going.
Beer served at Bräurosl: Hacker-Pschorr Bräu GmbH
Bräurosl tent capacity: 6,490 indoors, 1,760 outdoors (560 in the loggia, 1,200 in the beer garden)
With floral hop ribbons and traditional maypoles, Bräurosl feels like a lovely homage to traditional Munich folk culture, but in reality, is one of the most progressive tents at the Wiesn.
Bräurosl is a favorite among LGBTQ festivalgoers. The tent is known for hosting “Gay Sunday” on the first Sunday at the festival, an effort started by the Munich Lion’s Club, a gay club in the city.
The tent offers a daily rotating lunch menu, which could highlight anything from beef tartare on Monday to Kalbsfiaß bacha (roasted calf feet) on Thursday. This is Oktoberfest, so on any day, guests can snack on delicacies straight out of the sausage fryer like Rostbratwürstl.
Vegetarians might also find Bräurosl particularly interesting as the tent offers plates past a simple käsespätzle. The tent has been known to offer newer creations like quinoa patties in the past.
My impression of Bräurosl when visiting was that the tent tended towards a fun, young crowd that didn’t take itself too seriously. A purely good time and nothing too wild.
12. Fischer Vroni
Beer served at Fischer-Vroni: Augustiner Bräu Wagner KG
Fischer-Vroni tent capacity: 3,162 indoors, 700 outdoors
Fischer-Vroni is Oktoberfest’s flagship spot for fish delicacies, and it takes its role very seriously (though the vibe of this tent is very unserious).
The tent drills into its fishy roots with a large fishing boat as its stage. The main appeal of this tent is its signature Steckerlfisch, roasted fish on a stick. The dish could be made of mackerel, whitefish, trout, or char, and is also what gives the Fischer-Vroni its very erm, distinct smell.
The tent’s smell, as a matter of fact, is one of the reasons that this kitschy tent isn’t higher up on the list. If you’re sensitive to fish smells but still want a taste of Fischer-Vroni’s kitchen, don’t worry. Like many of the large Oktoberfest tents, the tent has a walk-up window for ordering takeaway food (we went this route).
Like Augustiner Festhalle, Fischer-Vroni’s beer is poured straight out of traditional wooden barrels—no metal kegs to be found here!
Like Bräurosl, Fischer-Vroni is an LGBTQ hotspot at the festival. On the second Monday of the Wiesn, Fischer-Vroni hosts “Pink Monday,” when LGBTQ individuals gather to enjoy the festival. Make reservations for Pink Monday in advance—it’s often regarded as one of the best parties at the Wiesn and you’ll be hard-pressed to find an open seat without one.
Playing up the fun and in the spirit of not taking itself seriously, on the final evening of the Wiesn, Fischer-Vroni waitstaff swaps clothing when serving the last beer. Men dress in dirndls, while women dress in lederhosen.
13. Volkssängerzelt Schützenlisl
Beer served at Schützenlisl: Augustiner and Hacker Pschorr wheat beer
Schützenlisl tent capacity: 1396 indoors, 400 outdoors
It pains me a little that Schützenlisl is so far down on this list because this tiny tent in the Oide Wiesn is so charming! That speaks to just how wonderful and fun all of the Oktoberfest tents are.
Schützenlisl has stayed on my mind post-Wiesn for its pretty wood carvings decorating the tent’s ceiling.
The tent serves Augustiner beer from wooden barrels in proper stone steins, like Festzelt Tradition. The tent is popular with local families, offering a children’s menu and special deals for Family Day.
The tame tent feels like more of a Bavarian restaurant than it does a raucous fete like other Oktoberfest tents, making it a great option if you’re visiting Oktoberfest with kids. You can eat festival food favorites, listen to traditional folk and brass band music, and of course, drink beer without the risk of your children being spilled on or tousled by drunk crowds.
14. Paulaner Festzelt (Winzerer Fähndl)
Beer served at Paulaner Festzelt: Paulaner Brauerei Gruppe GmbH & Co. KGaA
Paulaner Festzelt tent capacity: 6,385 inside, 1,980 outdoors
If you’re feeling the need for speed, stop by Paulaner Festzelt (also known as Winzerer Fähndl). The bright yellow tent boasts a beer pump system that can pour up to 15 beers a minute, spilling into beer mugs at three degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit).
This tent is known for having a great party in the evenings but stays relatively family-friendly during the day. Decorations aren’t quite as impressive as other tents, but still keep with the Wiesn spirit.
Above all, this tent gets packed with locals. You’ll need to go early in the day to secure your spot for the evening.
15. Hofbräu Festzelt
Beer served at Hofbräu Festzelt: Hofbräu Munich
Hofbräu Festzelt tent capacity: 6,018 seated plus 1,000 standing indoors, 3,022 outdoors
Hofbräu’s flagship tent is synonymous with sloppy, drunken debauchery and obnoxious tourists (the type that shows up in chintzy, inappropriate Oktoberfest costumes found at a Halloween store).
It’s a shame because the tent itself is lovely, decorated by pastel floral ribbons and floral chandeliers made of hops. I’d go so far as to say that the Hofbräu tent is one of the prettiest at the festival.
You’ll immediately notice walking into Hofbräu Festzelt that the crowd is mostly international tourists—locals tend to avoid this tent at all costs, and it isn’t just for the subpar beer. This tent is a sloppy drunk more than it is a festive drunk.
My recommendation? Go for a quick glance early on a weekday before the evening crowd settles in. You’ll get to see the tent in all its glory without needing to stay too long and can spend your evening in more enjoyable tents.
Beer served at Herzkasperl-Festzelt: Hacker-Pschorr Bräu
Herzkasperl-Festzelt tent capacity: 1,748 indoors, 1,100 outdoors
Tucked away in the Oide Wiesn, Herzkasperl is a bare-bones tent that tends to attract an older, local crowd.
When we visited, the tent was relatively empty even though it was already past 6 pm.
Like the other tents in the Oide Wiesn, beer is served in traditional stone steins.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this tent—it’s straightforward and very relaxed—there’s just nothing that unique or particularly exceptional about it.
Beer served at Armbrustschützen-Festhalle: Paulaner Brewery Group
Armbrustschützen-Festhalle: 5,820 indoors, 1,600 outdoors
In a nod to the annual crossbow competition hosted at this tent, Armbrustschützen is decorated like a hunting lodge. Taxidermied animal heats grace the walls, while animal motifs hang from the ceiling.
The hunting-themed tent isn’t the coziest—the sterile white and green strips illuminated by harsh fluorescent light just gave the tent an off-feeling.
Appropriately, rifle clubs tend to be the regulars here. As I can’t say I’m a hunting enthusiast, this tent wasn’t my favorite.
Oktoberfest Tents: FAQ
The best tents to book for Oktoberfest are Ochsenbraterei, Marstall Festzelt, and Augustiner Festhalle, for different reasons. Ochsenbraterei offers some of the best food at Oktoberfest and throws a fun party without any sloppiness. Marstall Festzelt has interesting decorations, offers non-beer drinks, and is perfect for luxury lovers. Augustiner Festhalle gives visitors a traditional, local experience with large tent excitement.
When you get into an Oktoberfest tent, you’ll sit down at empty seats and order through the table’s server. You’ll pay your server when you order your food—there are no running tabs here.
At large tables, tents with tablecloths typically indicate that they’re for people dining or are reserved. Some tents might only allow guests on their upper level if they’re dining or have a reserved table.
You don’t need tickets or a reservation to visit Oktoberfest—if you’re a small group, visit on a weekday, and you’ll have no problem walking in.
The Oktoberfest tent with the best beer is any tent serving Augustiner-Bräu. Locals tend to agree that Augustiner is the best of the local breweries in Munich.
Oktoberfest tents are cash only. There at ATMs at Theresienwiese, but they’re really expensive. Visit a bank outside of the festival to stock up on cash before going. There are several banks in Munich’s Old Town with much better rates.
Large bags and backpacks, glass bottles, weapons, dangerous substances, and strollers, except during certain hours and weekends, are not allowed at Oktoberfest. Also not allowed at Oktoberfest are dancing on the tables, stealing glassware from tents, and attempting to sell or trade your table reservation.
Even if it’s cold in Munich during Oktoberfest, tents will really heat up by the evening. Dress in layers to stay comfortable during the day. A thick cardigan is perfect for this during more temperate years. In colder years, a light jacket might be needed.
Dressing up in quality traditional outfits, going early on Weekdays, and keeping your group small will help you get into Oktoberfest tents without a reservation. Visiting a tent to eat lunch or dinner might also help you secure a spot.
Non-beer drinkers can still enjoy the festivities of the Wiesn—several Oktoberfest tents serve non-beer drinks like wine and Schnapps. Armbrustschützen-Festzelt, Festzelt Tradition, Fischer-Vroni, Käfer Wiesnschänke, Kufflers Weinzelt, Marstall Festzelt, and Schützenfestzelt all offer wine.
Oktoberfest has 17 large tents and 21 small tents.
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