These 4 paths will lead you to your Oktoberfest reservation.
Only a couple of decades ago, people wouldn’t even consider getting reservations for Oktoberfest tents. As the importance of the Oktoberfest tents has grown significantly starting in the 80s, reservations have become one of the most discussed topics. On the one hand, they release you from the sometimes cumbersome search for free seats; on the other hand, they guarantee admission to your tent on a Friday night or Saturday, when tents may close to avoid overcrowding. And all that in general for free – only some vouchers for beer and food have to be bought beforehand. By the way, apart from reservations, you don't need to buy vouchers at all – you just pay cash in the tent for what you consume.
So, let’s better reserve for a Saturday? If it only was that easy… Actually valuable reservations – for evenings and weekends – are usually not publicly available as they are exclusively offered to returning guests. On weekends, even lunchtime reservations are often not available to new customers. As it's not equally hopeless for all tents, we collected our experience from the past year about the odds of getting valuable reservations for each Oktoberfest tent.
Foreigners like to overestimate the importance of reservations. Therefore, we want to make it absolutely clear that you don’t need reservations to visit the Oktoberfest and its tents. Except for two, all the big tents are obliged to offer significant reservation free areas. Also, there are no tickets.
How can I reserve for Oktoberfest tents?
To acquire a valuable evening or weekend reservation, those are in our opinion the best options you have:
When valuable reservation slots become available, you need to be fast. Therefore, subscribe to our free reservation alarm to learn about them as quickly as possible.
We offer the only overview over available and valuable Oktoberfest reservations.
A small portion of seats is being reserved only 24 hours in advance.
In the largest Oktoberfest group on Facebook, lots of spare seats are given away on short notice every year.
When can I reserve for the Oktoberfest 2024?
Not to miss any start of reservations, we list all dates when tent hosts start to accept reservation requests in the following table as soon as they are published. Most tents only accept requests for weekday daytime shifts. You'll find the links to the individual reservation forms on each tent page. You have to know that there is no central reservation platform. All tent hosts handle their reservations themselves.
|⬤ December 19
|⬤ February 1st, 10 am
|Winzerer Fähnd (Paulaner-Festzelt)
General Reservations Regulations
After some tent operators abused the former reservation rules, the city of Munich has luckily redone its regulations in 2023, leading to the following rules:
- This big tents are allowed to charge a minimum consumption of two beers and half a chicken per person to guarantee the reservation. In the boxes and on the galleries, they can add a €15 voucher.
- Käfer Wiesnschänke and Weinzelt are entitled to a minimum consumption of €50 per person for reservations beginning before 2 pm; after 2 pm and on weekends even €95.
- The small tents can charge a minimum consumption of €50 per person for reservations starting before 2 pm and €75 after that and on weekends.
- It's forbidden to ask any to preorder menus before confirming a reservation or asking to buy any additional services.
- The vouchers you buy to guarantee the minimum consumption can still be used after Oktoberfest in the hosts' restaurants until the end of the year.
- Reservation fees are only allowed up to €1.50 per person. Other additional charges are prohibited.
- Reservations have to be for at least 3 hours.
Different from many other volksfests, the city of Munich obliges the tents to have large unreserved sections. As most Oktoberfest visitors don't have reserved seats, we collected some tips on finding free seats.
In detail, the tents have to obey the following rules:
- 25 % of all indoor seats in the large tents are generally unreserved.
- On Saturdays, Sundays, and the holiday, 35 % have to be unreserved before 3 p.m. even 50% of all seats.
- 15% of the otherwise reservation-free seats may be additionally reserved for people living in Munich if no minimum consumption is required.
- 10% of the unreserved sections may be reserved 24 hours in advance as last-minute-reservations.
- Reserved and unreserved sections in the tents are to be indicated by signs.
- Only Käfer, Weinzelt and the small tents are exempted from these rules.
- The tables in the beer gardens can't be reserved.
With only a few exceptions, you can only reserve whole tables for typically ten, sometimes eight persons. Reselling reservations is prohibited.
How can I pay for my reservation?
Paying for the vouchers you have to buy with a reservation is done via bank transfer, which is the predominant way to settle a bill in Germany. Your bank will usually be able to do the transfer using the IBAN of the recipient for you.
However, banks are known for charging outrageous fees for international wire transfers. Therefore, it's advisable to check whether an alternative service is a more affordable option. We made good experiences with Wise in the past. If you decide to use Wise using this link, we'll get a commission.