We answer the most frequent questions on Oktoberfest reservations.
Where can you reserve tables?
Short answer: at the tents’ hosts.
In general, you can only reserve tables with the hosts of each tent separately. This is why we absolutely disadvise to buy reservations even “tickets” from resellers. You can read more about why buying Oktoberfest tickets is a bad idea in a separate article. You can find all links to the official reservation forms on each page of the Oktoberfest tents.
Additionally, we are the only website offering you a list of all the currently available reservations. In order to learn about new slots becoming available, please don’t forget to subscribe to our free reservation alarm. In addition, you will find plenty of spare seats on short notice in our Facebook reservation exchange.
Are reservations for the Oktoberfest mandatory?
Short answer: No.
You don’t need tickets nor reservations to visit the Oktoberfest and its tents. The vast majority of Oktoberfest goers don’t have any reservation at all as the large tents are obliged to offer large unreserved sections. However, a reservation can, of course, come in handy when you’re arriving at busy times, especially with larger groups. Therefore, we advise to take a look at our crowd calendar and choose less crowded days and times.
On Friday evenings and Saturdays, you can expect tents to close to avoid overcrowding. If this is the case, a reservation guarantees you admission to your tent. To avoid failing to enter a tent, on Saturdays, people queue up well before the grounds open at 9 am. Therefore, avoid Saturday if you can.
Is bothering with reservation worth it?
Are table reservations worth it?
Short answer: for most visitors not.
From Sunday through Thursday, finding empty seats is not an insurmountable obstacle. Additionally, most reservations that are available for newbies are weekday lunch-time reservations, beginning between ten and noon and ending in the afternoon.
Getting to your reserved table on a weekday before noon, you’ll probably realize that you could have gotten your seats in the unreserved section as well, which is preferable as this would allow you to decide yourself when you want to leave. Hence, we think that most visitors don’t benefit from those reservations.
Evening reservations that allow you to avoid having to look for empty seats are rarely ever offered publicly. When that happens, you’ll learn it with our free reservation alarm. For Friday nights and Saturdays, reservations are highly valuable. You can expect the crowd levels to be so high that tents will close to avoid overcrowding. In that case, a reservation guarantees admission to your tent.
No matter what you do, please do never buy tickets from scalpers.
May I stay in the tent after my reservation ends?
Short answer: in general yes.
Usually, you’ll be asked to leave your table at the end of your reservation slot, but you may stay in the tent. However, we can’t guarantee you that. Every year, we hear about people being forcefully pushed out of certain tents like cattle. Sometimes, boxes are being completely separated from the rest of the tents so that patrons have no other choice but to leave the tent. Marstall even evacuates the whole tent during the reservation change. The same is true for the Käfer Wiesnschänke as it doesn’t offer any unreserved space.
However, staying inside a tent may only be an issue during times when the tent is closed to avoid overcrowding, which is usually only true on Fridays and Saturdays. To be safe, leave your seats early on those days.
How much is a reservation?
Short answer: At most €1.50 per person.
Until a couple of years ago, reservations for the Oktoberfest tents should be for free, only some vouchers for beer and food have to be purchased in advance to guarantee a minimum consumption and reduce no-shows.
Since 2023, the tents are allowed to charge a fee of up to €1.50 per person. Some additionally refuse to hand you your coupons in person for free, but oblige you to pay around €15 for shipping (domestically).
Typically, you need to buy two beer and one chicken coupon per seat, which makes a little more than €45, depending on whether they are sold including the service fee or not. If the fee is not included in the coupon, you're required to add a little more than a Euro per voucher when you pay in the tent. This only the service fee – not a tip.
Can I bring additional people?
Short answer: Typically, yes.
Six slim people can certainly sit on a bench that is only meant for five. Only eating then becomes a challenge. But it's usually possible for someone to stand next to the table on the aisle, so that you have eleven people joining instead of ten (or nine instead of eight at shorter tables). Since someone is always in the toilet, it might not even be an issue at all.
However, this only works as long as the tent can be entered without a wristband. In case of a Saturday night reservation, you have to expect tents to be closed to avoid an overcrowding situation, which means only band holders will be allowed in. Thus, the eleventh or even twelfth friend will have to stay outside.