2020 Best Oktoberfest Beer Tents:
There are over 30 beer tents peppering the Oktoberfest grounds, but it’s really only the 154 mega sized tents plus the after party which you need to know about. These 15 main tents are massive with seating from 3,000-10,000 people plus outdoor beer gardens holding thousands more. Oktoberfest table reservations sell out up to 6-12 months in advance, but each tent is required to keep some seats open on a first-come-first-served basis. Because these unreserved seats fill up fast each day, it is important to know what are the best tents to focus on.
General Beer Tent Hours:
Weekdays: 10am-11:30pm (Tents full by 2-3pm; Last call 10:30pm)
Saturday & Sunday: 9am-11:30pm (Lines form by 5-6am; Last call 10:30pm) Käfer Wiesn-Schänke & Weinzelt open until 1am with last call at 12:15am.
Reservations Times: Typically there are Lunch, Afternoon, and Evening slots available. Time slots vary, more info including getting in without a reservation HERE.
Nightly After Party: Although the famous Hippodrom Wiesn After Party has been canceled, Lowenbrau still has their Oktoberfest After Party (More Info).
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Getting Seat/Table Reservations:
There over 600,000 visitors a day on average to Oktoberfest, but only 120,000 seats (80,000 inside the main tents) so you need to plan way ahead. If you are looking to get seat reservations at a specific tent, we have the tips for doing so under each tent’s reservation information below.
Table reservations book up 6-12 months ahead of time, but each Oktoberfest tent is required to keep a percentage of their tables open to the public on a first-come-first-served basis. In order to get one of these unreserved open spots, you’ll need to get in line really early, by 5-6am on Weekends or by Noon to 2pm on Weekdays. You need a seat to get served and once a tent is full they close the doors until people leave. If you don’t plan ahead you will be limited to the small tents or the beer gardens and beer halls far away from the Oktoberfest grounds.
Our Top Oktoberfest Tent Rankings:
1. Hofbräu Tent (Festzelt):
About The Hofbräu Tent: As the child of Munich’s historic Hofbräu Haus (meaning Royal Brew House), this is the wildest and most fun Oktoberfest tent. With nearly 10,000 seats, the Hofbräu Tent is so large that they sell over 750,000 liters of beer during Oktoberfest. While admittedly some visitors here drink too much, the average level of energy and enthusiasm at the Hofbräu Tent any day of the week is unmatched.
Because it is so popular, the Hofbräu Tent attracts the largest percentage of international visitors at Oktoberfest. As a whole, Oktoberfest has only about 15% international visitors, but the Hofbräu Tent can be as high as 30% international visitors some days. From the British to Americans, Italians to Australians, and of course the Germans, everyone here just wants to have a good time. You will sing the John Denver song “Country Roads” many times at the Hofbräu tent as music is the universal language.
While a few locals will say that the Hofbrau Tent is only for “stupid tourists”, in reality locals book all of the evening and weekend reservations spots up to a year in advance. The Horbrau Tent even has huge sections dedicated to the local-only reservations called Münchner Reservierung in German. With all of the locals together with people from the rest of Bavaria, Germany, and Austria, a vast majority of the visitors here have German as their first language. While Hofbräu is internationally pronounced Hof-brow, you may hear local Bavarians pronounce it more like Hoof-Bry.
The decor inside the Hofbrau Tent is often overlooked, but it’s very pretty. There is a lot of natural light and the ceiling is full of large leafy greens rings. The rings are made out 16 tons of hops which is one of the main ingredients in Bavarian beer. In the middle of the ceiling hangs the beer angel Aloisius (Aloe-zee-ohs). Legend has it that Alois Hingerl was a postman who died and was sent back to Munich as an angel to give Bavaria an important message, but he went straight to the Hofbrau Haus for fun instead. In 1911, this famous story was brought to life in a humorous satire by Bavarian poet Ludwig Thoma. As the day goes on, a many visitors toss their bras and underwear up to get caught on the Aloisius statue.
The Beer Angel is just one of the great stories to come of Munich’s historic Hofbräu which was first established back in 1589. While they have only had a major tent at Oktoberfest since 1955, Luwig I whose wedding kicked off modern Oktoberfest, is also the one who opened the Royal Brew House (Hofbräuhaus) to the public in 1829. With 100s of years of beer hall experience, Hofbräu sure knows how to serve up great food, drinks, music, and fun. Hofbrau is also one of only a few tents where you can also buy wine instead of just beer.
Although the Hofbrau tent is very authentic, with the extra international visitors it is the tent with the least amount of people wearing traditional Oktoberfest clothing. While still a lot, only around 70% of people will be dressed traditionally in Hofbrau, but the rest of the tents are more in the 90-100% range. We highly suggest properly dressing up to put your experience over the top. Check out our guide on How To Dress For Oktoberfest.
Standing Room Only Area: At the rest of the tents you need a seat to get served, but Hofbräu has a central area with a standing room only zone (Stehbereich) that can serve up to 1000 guests. On the Weekday afternoons, you can walk right in and get a beer and it isn’t completely full until the mid-afternoon, but once you’re in you can stay as long as you want. On the Weekends you need to be here by about 6am if you want to get a standing room or unreserved table spot before the tent is full. This is the best way to get into a tent on a weekend without a reservation.
Total Capacity: 9,992 (6,018 inside plus 1000 standing room and 3022 outside)
Table Reservations: If you have a customer number from the previous year you can start on January 1st. Other reservation requests can be submitted on March 1st, but the reservations are likely to be full by then and locals are given preference for spot on both evenings and weekends. Unreserved Seats: In addition to the 1000 standing room spots, they also keep a minimum of 2000 unreserved seats open daily for first-come-first-served seating. The open seats will completely fill up between Noon-2pm on Weekdays and on Weekends you must be in line by 6am before the tent opens to get these seats or you will end up waiting up to half the day to get in. Online: HERE. Phone: +49 (0) 89/4489670. Fax: +49 (0) 89/4483587. Email: [email protected] & [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Hofbrauhaus Tent Website: HERE.
2. Hacker-Pschorr Tent (Festzelt):
About The Hacker-Pschorr Tent: The massive tent run by the Hacker-Pschorr Brewery is not only the favorite large tent for locals, but is also one of the most fun for international visitors. This festive tent first opened in 1907 and is sponsored by famous Hacker-Pschorr Brewery (pronouced: Ha-cup Shure with a slightly rolled “r”) which has roots in Munich back to the year 1417. If the crowds of 16 to 24-year-olds at Hofbrau annoy you, but you still want to party, you should consider Hacker (Hakka). This tent is by no means an “old person” tent as it is very lively, but the ages are a little more spread out.
The Hacker Tent is well known for its wonderful beer, music, and its magical painted ceiling. The colorful ceiling and wall murals in the Hacker-Pschorr Tent depict old-world Munich under a dreamy blue sky with puffy white clouds. This amazing ceiling was designed by the Oscar-winning set designer Rolf Zehetbauer and parts of the roof can even be opened up depending on the weather. Just one glance at the interior and you’ll understand Hacker’s famed banner touting the signature slogan that it is the Himmel der Bayern or Heaven of Bavaria.
Because of the beautiful backdrop, German television networks and professional photographers often choose the interior of Hacker as their Oktoberfest backdrop. Filming typically takes place on the second level VIP balcony. The paintings may start the mood in the tent, but it is the music that really livens up the atmosphere at the Hacker-Pschorr Tent. Brass oompah bands do covers of traditional tunes and modern hits on a revolving stage through dinner time, and then a live rock ’n roll band takes the covers to an even higher level into the night.
We love how the stage for the band is centrally located and it actually slowly rotates during the day. The decorates of the stage are also a nice touch as they depict Munich’s barrell makers, known as Coopers, wearing their signature red jackets. These Coopers mirror the ones on the Glockenspiel of Munich’s New Town Hall which are dancing to celebrate the end of the Plague of 1517 which folklore says was spread to the people of Munich by the Wurmeck Dragon.
Final Night: The single best experience at Oktoberfest happens in the Hacker Tent at the close of the last night. The entire crowd of 6900 light sparklers as the tent lights go dim to the sound of the song Sierra Madre. Most Oktoberfest tents end festival with the sparklers and some other tents also play Sierra Madre, but it is the most magical inside the heavenly Hacker Festzelt.
Total Capacity: 9,300 (6800 inside plus 2500 outside).
Table Reservations: Reservations for Weekday evenings and all day on the Weekends are usually renewed a full year in advance. Weekday Lunch reservations run from Noon-5:45pm and can be booked starting April 1st. Reservations on the English site sometimes say full while the German version allows it so check both. Unreserved Seats: They keep 1700 unreserved seats open on Weekdays and 4000 on Weekends for first-come-first-served seating. The open seats will completely fill up between 1-3pm on Weekdays and on Weekends you must be in line by 6am long before the tent opens to get any of these seats. Online: HERE. Phone: +49 (0) 81/70 7303. Fax: +49 (0) 89/2318-1244. Time Slot Chart: HERE. Hacker Tent Website: HERE.
3. Shooters’ Tent (Schützen Feszelt):
About The Schützen Tent: The Schützen (shoot-zen) is one of the best beer tents at Oktoberfest because of its unique combination of authenticity and energy. This tent was established in 1926, is located just off the main drag at the feet Lady Bavaria Statue (since 1961), and they serve Lowenbrau Beer which is the brewery that sponsors Oktoberfest’s nearly nightly afterparty. The name Schützen, meaning Shooters, comes from the tradition of shooting competitions that once took place at Oktoberfest starting in 1896.
The inside of the Schützen tent is adorned with tons of red, green, and yellow garland, but it is really the music that everyone comes for.
Because of the excellent music, Schützen is the place where world-renowned celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Usain Bolt come to get their Weisn on. While most visitors to this tent are German-speaking, the entire crowd really gets into every song whether it is a German hit or an American classic. Schützen does such a good job on the music front, that it is easy to stay entertained and in youthful spirits. Many of the videos on our Best Oktoberfest Songs page were shot here.
Food-wise, Schützen has the best pork options on their menu which is great since Munich is known for its pig dishes. Their Pork Knuckle is probably the most popular menu item, but there is a very wide range to choose from including vegetarian.
Part of the great mood at Schützen is that this Oktoberfest tent is one of the only places you can get hard booze and wine instead of just beer. The Wildever Bar in the front corner of the tent has tons of drink options. As you walk around, make sure to check out the large beer maid mural above the 2nd-floor balcony. It is the Schützen Beer Company logo which was designed in 1878 by an artist who had long been inspired by a local beer maid and decided to model the logo after her.
If you can’t get inside the Schützen at Oktoberfest, check out their outdoor beer garden which is one of the two most fun outdoor gardens at the Wiesn grounds. As a little known secret, you can typically sit in the VIP balcony any day until 5:30pm when the reservations time-slots start. Stopping by this tent is a great opportunity to swing by the 60-foot-tall (20 meters) Lady Bavaria Statue which you can climb. We will touch on the statue at the bottom of this page.
Wildever Bar: A special surprise in is the Schützen Tent is the Wildever Bar which sells booze, schnapps, red wine, white wine, and champagne! They even sell Vodka-Red Bulls which is unheard of at other Oktoberfest beer tents. The mixed drinks and wines can be expensive, but they usually have white wine on special for around 9 Euros for a half liter mug which is about 17 ounces. That’s a pretty big glass of wine!
Total Capacity: 6,500 (5100 inside plus 1400 outside).
Table Reservations: Reservation requests can be submitted starting February 1st by mail email or fax or starting March 1st. They take reservations in groups of 8 & 10 people. Open Seats: They also keep 1500 unreserved seats open on Weekdays and 3000 on Weekends for first come first serve seating. Online: HERE. Fax & Phone: +49 (0) 89/2318-1244. Email: [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Schützen Tent Website: HERE.
4. Käfer’s Oktoberfest Tavern (Wiesnschänke):
About Käfer’s Tavern: The very romantic Käfer’s Tavern is one of the places on our must-visit list when we bring friends to Oktoberfest. Opened in 1971, this is one of the coolest tents as it is designed as an old weathered tavern and farmhouse, and not really a tent. Käfer’s Tavern is one of the favorites among locals is often the most lively Oktoberfest tent during the day with people dancing not because they are drunk but because they are so full of joy.
The segmented layout and cabin atmosphere at the Käfer Oktoberfest Tavern is amazing. There are two cozy floors filled with rusitc booths, a live band in the center of each level, and makeshift dance floors in the walkways. This booth set up allows for bookings of 6-12 people instead of the normal 8-10 person requirements as in most of the tents. The design also enhances the feeling of Bavarian friendship during your visit known as Gemütlichkeit (Ga-mute-lic-kite).
As much as we love the traditional Bavarian food at other tents, especially the sandwiches at the Oxen Tent, the food at Kafer’s Wine Tavern is hands down the best from top to bottom we have had. They have huge gourmet platters of meat, cheese, radishes, and soft bread which look like works of art. Kafer’s Tavern also has unique items like roast duck to go along with their hearty meals and Alpine chalet atmosphere.
Because Kafer’s Oktoberfest Tavern has less indoor seating than other tents, they try to keep it really exclusive so for the most part you have to know someone or have the proper local surname to get in unless you arrive very early. If you arrive late, your only options will be a couple of hidden two-person romantic tables below the stairs (which we’ve sat in) or the large outdoor beer garden below a Maypole. The outdoor lighting is stunning in the evening and overall this vast beer garden is the best at Oktoberfest.
Reservations here are a little more expensive since the tent is smaller, but it turns into a full-on rock and roll show with great live music at night. They have a complete band on each floor with concert lighting and they LOVE American classic rock. Along with festive German hits, expect to hear Bruce Springsteen, Queen, and anything from the 1980s all night. We love that Kafer’s Tavern stays open late which also helps make it one of the best beer tents at Oktoberfest. The outside beer garden last call 12:15am and inside is 12:30am, but the tent stays open till 1am which is hours after the other large tents.
Total Capacity: 3,264 (1164 inside plus 2100 in an outdoor covered area and 1900 the outdoor beer garden).
Table Reservations: Can book starting on April 1st; Prices and times posted in March. Online: HERE. Fax: +49 (0) 89/4168 880. Email: [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Kafer’s Tent Website: HERE.
5. Kuffler’s Wine Tent (Weinzelt):
About The Wine Tent: A wine tent at Oktoberfest? Yes, and it’s awesome, especially after dinner time when it gets rocking. Although Oktoberfest is best known as a beer festival, there is much more to the celebrations and there has always been a wine tent under various names at Oktoberfest since the modern event started in 1810. They serve 25 different sparkling wines (sekt) and champagne as are sponsored by Nymphenburger Sekt which is one of the most famous wineries in Bavaria. In addition to the wine, this tent does also sell Paulaner Weissbier (wheat beer) and they have excellent food platters.
We love the Wine Tent as it is classy and has an entirely unique feel as it is a wooden structure meant to feel like the great hall of a royal hunting lodge instead of a festival tent. With only 2,500 total seats, the Wine Tent is the small of the main tents at Oktoberfest which gives it a very cozy feel. The atmosphere is enhanced by intimate seating the is segmented into booth than long communal styles like most other tents. During the day it can be a little slow in the Wine Tent but as gets closer to the dinner time it turns into a very high energy place.
In addition to its wine and atmosphere, the Wine Tent is equally famous for its excellent live band in the evenings. Their band is so good that it makes the evening reservations slots one of the most sought after at Oktoberfest. Because of the sturdy benches in the booths, you can expect that almost everyone in the Wine Tent will be dancing on top of their seats once the evening band starts to play.
Wine here will set you back around 15€ a glass to 40-80€ a bottle, champagne from 139€ per 750 ml bottle, and they have a huge 15-liter Deutz Brut for an eye-popping 4,400€. The only beer sold here is Paulaner Weissbier, or wheat beer, for 7.80€ per half-liter (Halbe) glass but it’s only served until 9pm when the sale of beer is done for the evening.
Total Capacity: 2,500 (1920 inside plus 580 outside).
Table Reservations: Can reserve in groups of 8 in addition to groups of 10 and vouchers are good until 10pm. Can submit requests prior to March 1st when they are processed. Online: HERE. Fax: +49 (0) 89/290705-17. Email: [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Wine Tent Website: HERE.
6. Schottenhamel Tent:
About The Schottenhamel Tent: Serving Spaten beer the second largest and the oldest running tent at Oktoberfest going back to 1867 when it was founded by Michael Schottenhamel. Back then, less than 50 farmers could squeeze into the “little wooden barn” behind the king’s royal box and now the tent plus outside seating holds 10,000. This tent is popular with Munich’s under 21 crowds.
On the first day of Oktoberfest at the stroke of 12 noon the Mayor of Munich (Bürgermeister), wallops the very first keg of Oktoberfest beer here with a wooden mallet. When the strike successful opens the keg, the mayor proclaims It’s tapped! (O’zapft is!). At that moment, twelve cannons ring out across the grounds signaling the official start of Oktoberfest letting the other tents know that beer can be served.
Note: Behind the Schottenhamel tent is the command center for police, medical personnel (first aid), and Lost & Found.
Capacity: 9,028 (6288 inside plus 2740 outside).
Reservations: To be in the Main Hall you must purchase of vouchers for 2 liters of beer and ½ a roast chicken per person, For stalls and gallery reservations there is an additional requirement for the purchase of a Stall Platter (Boxenbrettl) or, alternatively, the selection of a menu. Whatever your total is for those items you get in a voucher for that amount you can use on anything on the menu. Can send requests starting in November before Oktoberfest the following year. Fax: 089/5446-9319; Online: HERE Email: [email protected] Schottenhamel Tent Website: HERE.
7. Brewer’s Rosi Tent (Bräurosl):
About The Bräurosl Tent: Serves Hacker-Pschorr beer, since 1901 and run by the same Heide family since 1936 who are very good with keeping up with traditions. When Bräurosl became a major tent in 1913 it had room for 12,000 which is the most ever for a tent at Oktoberfest. Today, the Bräurosl has remained a favorite among locals and is easy to find with its two 60-foot-tall (20 meters) May Poles near its entrance.
The tent goes by the name Bräurosl (Brewer’s Rosi) after the original Pschorr Brewery owner’s daughter, Rosi Pschorr. Rosi, was considered very beautiful in her day and was said to bring the tent to life with her amazing yodeling. Today there is still a yodeler in the tent is who goes by Bräurosl in Rosi’s honor. Yodels happen mutiple times a day for about 15 minutes during each performance (roughly Mon-Fri 3:30pm & 7:30pm, Sat/Sun 1:30pm & 5:30pm).
To enter the upper balcony you will need to be a paid member of the Munich Lions Club. The 1st Sunday of Oktoberfest has been dubbed Gay Sunday as 1000s of gay and lesbian visitors come from around the world to celebrate and party. At closing time on the last day they have sparklers, but play Robbie Williams’ song Angels and shoot off a confetti gun.
Total Capacity: 8,400 (6200 inside plus 2200 outside).
Table Reservations: Can start sending requests in January and they will confirm in May, but final prices/billing doesn’t come out until June. You may do reservations on Monday-Friday for Noon-4:30pm; reservations for Weekday evenings and ALL day on Weekends are continually renewed a year ahead of time by locals. Online: HERE. Fax: +49 (0) 89//8955-6356. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]. Time Slot Chart: HERE. Bräurosl Tent Website: HERE.
8. Oxen Tent (Ochsenbraterei):
About The Oxen Tent: Serving Spaten beer, the Oxen Tent sets the tone right from the start with a huge rotating ox statue rotating as it cooks above the entrance. Butcher Johann Rössler opened a Mechanical Ox Rotisserie at Oktoberfest in 1881 which grew into a large party tent which now serves over 90 oxen each year. Known as a great party spot for locals, the iconic interior with filled with blue & white garlands and bunting hanging from large green wreaths. The Oxen Tent also tends to have to most flexibility for getting reservations out of the major tents at the Oktoberfest grounds and they are very famous for their excellent food.
By far what makes the Oxen Tent one of top ten best beer tents at Oktoberfest is the amazing food. Even if we don’t have time to grab a beer at the Oxen Tent, we always stop by at least for a quite oxen meat sandwhich. A slice of juicy ox roast doused in red wine sauce and a side of potato salad is there signature dish but they also serves chicken. They are also famous for their 20€ prime rib dish considered the best meal at Oktoberfest. The Oxen Tent is the workplace of Anita Schwarz, the women’s world record holder for most beer steins carried at 19 for 40 meters with no spills, 5 each hand and 9 on top which weighed 90lbs.
If the crowds are too big to get in into the Oxen Tent but you still want to sample the food, you can actually go to the secret side door on the Northside of the tent and get an ox sandwich for carry out without getting a seat. While you wait for your sandwich you will get a great view of the ox of the day roasting in the kitchen. The name and weight of each of the seven oxen cooked daily is mounted inside the tent so you’ll know exactly “who” you’re eatting.
Total Capacity: 7,400 (5900 inside plus 1500 outside).
Table Reservations: Can reserve in groups of 8 or 10 people. Minimum purchase is 2 liters of beer and 1 meal per person which runs around 35€. Can submit requests prior to March 1st when they are processed. Online: HERE. Phone : +49 (0) 89/383873-12. Fax: +49 (0) 89/383873-40. Email: [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Oxen Tent Website: HERE.
9. Marquee Tradition (Oide Wiesn):
About The Marquee Tradition: If you want to feel a throwback of old school Oktoberfest then you will likely want to visit the Marquee Tradition Tent inside the Vintage Oktoberfest (Oide Wiesn) area of the Wiesn. This area was set up on the grounds in 2010 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the modern Oktoberfest but was so popular it stayed and has grown into a must visit.
The general theme is to bring you back to the nostalgic times of the Oktoberfest beer tents before the days of electricity. The vintage rides here are hand-powered and the tents have lots of great traditional entertainment including brass bands, whip snappers, and slap dancers. There are actually 2 big tents inside the historic area which includes Festzelt Tradition (website, 5000 inside seats, 3000 outside) and Herzkasperl Festzelt (1500 inside, 1500 outside). There are also a few different outdoor drink and food stands inside the Old Wiesn.
While there is a fee for adults to get into this area, kids are free and all of the rides are only 1 euros a piece. The cover fee leads to more families visiting this area of the grounds and helps to keep the crowds in check. Because of this, the Tradition Tent is one of the best places for foreigners to be able to get Oktoberfest reservations as they allow for evening and weekends bookings. Best of all, the Tradition Tent keeps their reservation window open each year into August when most tents are done by late Spring or early Summer.
Throughout the day the Marquee Tradition will have whip masters called Goaslschnalzer stand on the tables to perform by turning their snapping sheep herding whip sounds into music. There are also a lot of traditional folk dance groups that perform on the main stage during the day through the evening.
Vintage Oktoberfest Cost: Euro 3, (free admission for children up to 14 years). Can re-enter on the same day, discounted fares. Vintage Oktoberfest Website: Here.
Tradition Tent Capacity: 8,000 (5000 inside plus 3000 outside); neighboring Herzkasperl Festzelt also has spots for 1,500 people both inside and outside.
Table Reservations: While the hold back a contingent for Munich residents, this tents allows non-locals to book tables for both evenings and weekends which is a huge plus, plus their booking window goes until August. Online Reservations: HERE. Tradition Festival Tent Website: Here.
Closed For 2020 Oktoberfest: Every 4 years the Tradition Tent is closed during Oktoberfest as the Southern end of the grounds are turned into an huge Agicultural Festival. This popular tent will return again in 2021.
10. Augustiner Tent:
About The Augustiner Tent: This old-school themed tent if famous for serving its house Augustiner beer which comes from Munich’s oldest brewery founded by Augustinian monks in 1328. This brewery is known as having the best tasting light (Helles) beer in Munich. The Augustiner is also one of only two tents who still serve their beer from wooden kegs from coopers (barrel makers). You can still watch the Keg Master (kegmeister) and his brawny helpers at work. Other tents appear to use wooden kegs but it’s really a facade covering a large multi-liter metal vat.
The Augustiner Beer Tent is a quite a bit darking inside than the rest on the Oktobefest thanks to a vintage feeling green canopoy that adds to the ambiance. The vibe inside the tent is accented by some great mood lighting as well which almost feels like you are visiting before the age of electricity. Because of the great atomospher the Augustiner Beer Tent is a favorite among locals Oktoberfest goers.
The Augustiner Beer Garden on the Northside of the train station is also one of the best places to visit in Munich and the one where you get more locals than tourists. Shaded by chestnut trees, we love going there to help give us a break from the crowded Oktoberfest grounds when we are in town for a few days. Brewery website here, restaurant website here.
Total Capacity: 8,500 (6000 inside plus 2,500 outside).
Table Reservations: Reservations for Weekday evenings and all day on the Weekends are usually renewed a full year in advance. Lunch reservations for the Weekdays run 11:30am-4:30pm and can be booked from starting a year in advance. Online: HERE. Phone: +49 (0) 89/231832-66. Fax: +49 (0) 89/26053-79. Email: [email protected], media: [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Augustiner Tent Website: HERE.
11. The Silly Emperor Cafe (Café Kaiserschmarrn):
About Café Kaiserschmarrn: Known as the “Dessert Tent”, Café Kaiserschmarrn is the only one of the 22 small tents that litter the Oktoberfest grounds to make our top overall beer tents list. This playful tent is themed to be part gingerbread house, part sugar castle, and is one of the most unique places to visit during The Wiesn. The cafe tent is run by the famous Rischart Confectionery so this small tent specializes in freshly baked pastries, gourmet sweets, and amazing drinks. Many people come to Café Kaiserschmarrn just for the sparkling Prosecco and tangy drinks, but we love their wonderful breakfast platter the most.
While the name Kaiserschmarrn means “Silly Emperor” or “Emperor’s Mess” in English, it is a traditional scrambled pancake dessert from Austria/Bavaria. They are very fluffy and often have rum soaked raisens inside you you dip them in jelly. The Silly Emperor nickname is said to be after Emperor Franz Joseph I (House Habsburg) who loved this dessert. This is quite a fitting theme for a theme for the tent as it is run but the playful Rischart which is one of the best confectionery shops in Munich.
Overall the crowd at Café Kaiserschmarrn is a little older than some of the other tents, but their energy is still great. The energy is helped by the fact that everyone here is in a great mood from the delicious food and drinks. Also adding to the fun is their centrally located walk-up bar and the unique catwalk that the live musicians stroll while playing music. Music here starts around Noon as breakfast is getting over.
The Café Kaiserschmarrn is also very big on tradition starting with their own tapping of the Prosecco at Noon of Oktoberfest’s opening day. Every day at 2pm they also reveal a huge wedding cake to honor the 1810 wedding between Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese which started the modern Oktoberfest. The 7-layer Prinzregententorte or Prince Regent Cake, is covered in sparklers and topped with figurines of the former King of Bavaria and his bride. After a ceremonial cake cutting, the pieces are given out for free to the tent guest. Each day they also play the famous Flyer Song (Fliegerlied) at 9:30pm which the entire crowd joins in on. To learn more about this song, see our guide on the Top Songs For Oktoberfest.
Total Capacity: Only 400.
Table Reservations: While small, this is an tent amazing place to book reservations at if you are a late planner or foreigner since they take reservations through August and allow for non-local bookings on evenings and weekends. Online Reservations: HERE. Tent Website: HERE.
12. Paulaner Tent (Winzerer Fähndl):
About The Paulaner Tent: As the name implies, this tent serves Paulaner beer and is one of two tents the brewery has at Oktoberfest. An easy to find 100-foot-tall tower capped by a 20-foot revolving glass of beer marks the front entrance. Winzerer Fähndl means “Winzerers (Bavarian surname) Flag” flies high over the tent making it easy to find. They have a huge outdoor beer garden on the South side which gets great sun. You can escape some of the tourists here, the beer is great, and the tent is extremely popular with locals in their 20s, but one of the least fun of the main beer tents at Oktoberfest. While you can still have the time of your life here, there really isn’t much unique about it outside of being able to try their great beer. Remember that of the 15 large tents, there only serve 5 total brands of local beer, so because of that you may want to visit to check drinking a Paulaner off your list.
Capacity: 10,900 (8450 inside plus 2450 outside).
13. Fish Tent (Fischer Vroni):
About The Fischer Tent: The Fish Tent serves the best beer in Munich, Augustiner, and is one of two Oktoberfest tents to use traditional wooden kegs from coopers (barrel makers) instead of metal kegs. Near the beer area, you can watch the Keg Master (kegmeister) and his brawny helpers at work on their classic wooden beer kegs. Other tents at Oktoberfest appear to use wooden kegs but they really just use a facade covering a large multi-liter vat.
The Fish Tent is most famous for its smoked fish called Steckerlfisch, meaning skewered fish or fish-on-a-stick. The main two types of fish are mackerel (Makrele) and mountain trout (Saibling) which can be seen slowly cooking over an open pit of hot coals outside the tent’s south entrance. You can buy a whole fish to take with your from the outdoor smoking area as the ultimate takeout food and even more carry away options from the stall on the corner of the tent. This outdoor food sales area is great as you can sample the fish even if the tent is too full to go inside.
The coolest part of the Fish Tent is a giant ship in the middle of the gallery where the band plays which really ties into the overall fish theme. The fish company behind the tent was established in 1914 by Karl Winter. After the first tent burned down in WW2 Mr. Winter kept a snack wagon going with his famous smoked fish and by the late 1900s the company had a full-fledged tent going again. Today the Fish Tent is one of the slightly quieter tents at Oktoberfest which can be refreshing, plus the food is great.
Capacity: 3,395 (2695 inside plus 700 outside).
Reservations: Reservation times are Noon-4pm & 6-10 and you have to pay for at least 8 people, they go on sale almost a year ahead of time and all of the weekend time slots as well as weekday evening are usually full by January before Oktoberfest. By Phone: +49 (0) 89 661042. By Email: [email protected] & [email protected] In Person At Office: staffed Wed and Fri mornings 9:00-Noon. Fish Tent Website: HERE.
14. Royal Horse Stables (Marstall):
About The Marstall Tent: The name Marstall means the Horse Stables of the Prince which is fitting since the first modern Oktoberfest in 1810 was to celebrate the marriage of a Bavarian Prince. Horse racing was also a huge part of Munich’s history from the Scarlet Horse Race (Scharlachrennen) near Karlsplatz from 1448-1786, to the Riding School & Stables (Marshall) at the Royal Residenz from 1580-1945, and the royal wedding that started the modern Oktoberfest which concluded with a horse race here on Theresa’s Meadow in 1810.
Keeping the horse traditional alive, the Marstall Tent has been at Oktoberfest since 1982. It was as a small tent before upgrading as a large one to take over for the famous horse themed Hippodrome in 2014 which was later retired. The Marstall Tent is considered one of the classier tents, but can still be easier to get into since there is a standing room area just like at Hofbrau. It is a very fun tent, but because the Hippodrome was one of the top three best beer tents at Oktoberfest in Munich which brought in German celebrities, the Marstall has had some big shoes to fill.
We love how the visitors here are dressed in a little more elegant Oktoberfest clothing and enjoy searching for all of the hidden horse inspired details in the decorations. The central horse carousel where the band plays looks especially cool when it is lit up at night. If you love the theme of this Oktoberfest beer tent you may want to consider visiting Nymphenburg Palace in Munich to see their collection of elaborate royal horse carriages from the 1700-1800s.
Capacity: 4,200 (3200 inside plus 800 outside, and 200 standing room only).
Reservations Online: HERE, must be done by the early Spring and are processed in June. Only one reservation shift can be reserved (midday or afternoon or evening)! If you live outside of Germany and get a reservation you will pick up your tickets 30 minutes prior to your time at the tent. Lowenbrau Tent Website: HERE.
15. Lion’s Brew Tent (Löwenbräu):
About The Löwenbräu Tent: Serves Löwenbräu beer, 37-meter-high (121 ft) tower crowned trademark lion beer-drinking lion that belches and roars every few minutes above the tent’s main entrance. Italians love it, covers with blue-and-white colors of the Bavarian flag, rocked by the house band “Heldensteiner” who play beneath a roof fitted with more than 16,000 lights. Brewery website here. Many servers are even 3rd generation.
Total Capacity: 8,500 (5800 inside plus 2,700 outside).
Table Reservations: Reservations for Weekday evenings and all day on the Weekends are usually renewed a full year in advance. Lunch reservations for Weekdays run from Noon-4:30pm and can be booked starting April 1st. Open Seats: Löwenbräu keeps 2,600 first-come-first-serve seats open on the weekends, but you have to get there really early. Online: HERE. Fax: +49 (0) 89/4705848. Email: [email protected] & [email protected] Time Slot Chart: HERE. Lowenbrau Tent Website: HERE.
16. Crossbow Shooters Tent (Armbrustschützenzelt):
About The Armbrust Schützen Tent: Serves Paulaner Beer and the name Armbrust Schützenzelt means ‘Tent of the Crossbow Shooters.’ Since 1895, the Bavarian crossbow shooting guild has held court here in this hunting-themed tent adorned by wild boar heads and deer antlers. The tent’s farmhouse-style facade features the guild’s heraldic double-headed eagle and murals of crossbowmen. Throughout the day they will have whip masters called Goaslschnalzer stand on the table to perform by turning their snapping whip sounds into music. It isn’t as big of a party as the other tents but it also doesn’t compare to the family friendly-ness or authenticity of the Traditions Tent so we are usually left with a feeling of blah after visiting. The Crossbow Tent is fun, but the elements about this tent that are fun are done even better at other tents.
Capacity: 7,430 (5830 inside plus 1600 outside).
Reservation: Are booked in groups of 10 which is 1 table, prices, and availability announced each June which is late for more tents, Peter Inselkammer is the manager. By Fax: 089/2370-3705. By Mail: Attn: Booking Office, Sparkassenstraße 12, D 80331 München. Crossbow Tent Website: HERE.
Oktoberfest After Party:
17. Löwenbräukeller After Party (Stiglmaierplatz):
About The Oktoberfest After Party: In 2016 the circus-themed Hippodrom after-party retired making the one at the historic Löwenbräukeller Beer Hall the only place to get your late-night Oktoberfest party on. The experience is a little more clubby with DJ and German dance music but manages to blend to Oktoberfest feel and even many traditional songs into the mix. Expect the crowd will mainly be in their 20s and most people will be wearing traditional Oktoberfest outfits and not clubbing clothes. Here is our guide on How To Dress For Oktoberfest In Munich. The party starts around dinner and goes into the early morning with most people arriving after 11pm when the Oktoberfest tents start to close.
Location: The Löwenbräukeller Beer Hall after party 1 mile away from the main Oktoberfest grounds to NE of the train station on Stiglmaierplatz. It will take you about 25-30 minutes on foot or just 10 minutes by either subway or taxi to get there from Wiesn. which is a little more club like.
Admission: General admission tickets are only 15€ (10€ if arriving after 10pm), but are standing room only with no set seats and longer walkup lines for service. Seat Reservations: You can book single ticket for seat reservation at the after party for 7:30pm up to tables of 6 or 10 for 34€ a person which also a server for food and a beer. VIP Tickets: VIP tickets start at 214€ for a group of 4 which includes seat reservations starting at 10pm, a bottle of booze, and a table service with a beer maid. It is a lot better to get the VIP tickets if you have 4 people to split the cost. You can also get a VIP Table for 6-10 people for 149€ a person which has a lot of perks. Hours: 7:30pm-Early morning; 6:30pm open on Friday & Saturday; Closed Sundays. Lowenbrau After Party Website: HERE. Tickets: HERE.
Other Sights Near The Oktoberfest Grounds:
18. Carnival Games Area:
About The Carnival Games Area: What most first-time visitor to Oktoberfest don’t realize is that the grouds have much more than the beer tents as the festival better resembles a huge American state fair. The Eastern half and Southern end of the Oktoberfest grounds are filled with carnival games, massive amusement rides, drink stalls, and food stands.
In total there are 130 rides and our favorite is the Teufelsrad (Devil’s Wheel) which was built in 1908. Participants sit in the middle of a spinning wheel in an attempt to be the last one standing while it continually speeds up and hazards are introduced. This interactive experience is divided up between ages levels making it fun for the whole family.
The most iconic rides in the carnival area are the large roller coaster and mega-sized swings. The thrill-inducing coaster as 5 large loops and is modeled after the Olympic Rings as the city of Munich held the games in 1972.
19. Lady Bavaria Statue:
About The Bavaria Statue & Hall of Fame: Standing at 60-feet-tall (20 meters) on a 23 foot pedestal, this iconic bronze statuec was cast from 1944-1950. Around the back of the statue, you can climb up a spiral staircase into her head for a view of the Oktoberfest grounds. The collosal statue holds a victory wreath and is next to a lion which is the Wittelsbach royal family symbol. Behind the Lady of Bavaria Statue is the Hall of Fame which is filled with busts of famous Bavarians.
The steps in front of the statute are also worked in as part of the Oktoberfest celebrations. On the first Sunday, the Riflemen Parade ends here and they ceremonilally shoot off their power guns into the sky. Also at 11am on the 2nd Sunday, there is an outdoor Brass band concert in front of the Lady of Bavaria Statue. Bands representing all the major tents come to perform with over 300 musicians to ask the Heavens for good weather.
Climbing Cost: 3.50€.
20. Oktoberfest Bombing Memorial:
About The Oktoberfest Bombing Memorial: Sitting in front of the main Northern entrance to the Oktoberfest is a pillar memorial in honor of the victims of the 1980 terror bombing that took place on the grounds. While the grounds are very safe, this pipebomb attack was the deadliest in Germany since WW2 killing 13 (including the perpetrator) and wounding 211 others. You can find the pillar protected by a metal half-circle ring and often surrounded by fresh flowers.
21. Augustiner Keller Beer Hall & Garden:
About The Augustiner Keller: The famous Hofbrau Haus and popular Chinese Tower Beer Garden are both amazing, but the Augustiner Keller is the best hidden gem out of Munich’s beer gardens. We find it weird that most tourists overlook the Augustiner Keller even though it has been open since 1812 and is located near the main train station. With seating for 5000 guests, the beautiful beer garden is shaded by over 100 large Chestnut Trees which really adds to the atmosphere.
Maybe the coolest thing is that Ausustiner is a self-service beer garden which is very different for foreign visitors. Whenever you hear the bartender ring the bell, you’ll know that a new barrel has been opened and it’s time to fill up. Like other self-service beer gardens, you are able to bring in your own snacks in addition t having the option of ordering fresh food there. There are also some regular tables with a waitress if you prefer to have someone else serve you. If you can try to get a seat on one of the 3 elevated terraces to a unique view over the beer garden.
Beer Garden Hours: 11:30am-Midnight. Restaurant Hours: 10am-1am. Indoor Bar Hours: 4pm-1am.
22. Endless Stairway Statue:
About The Endless Stairway Statue: A great modern statue in the courtyard of the KPMG Headquarters. There is an open air entrance on the West side.
Schnitzeljagd (scavenger hunt)
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