Learn when to go in order to avoid overcrowding.
First-time visitors, who sally out to enjoy the high culture of the Bavarian art of celebrating life on a Saturday afternoon, often don’t have a premonition of the obstacles that may await them on the fairgrounds. Weekdays at lunchtime, on the other hand, offer a way more relaxed experience and allow you to see and do more, while you’re there. On a Saturday at 9 am, you should better wear your running shoes, though, as you can see in the video. We also wrote an article dedicated to the entry procedure on Saturday mornings.
To make the choice of the best days to visit easier, see our list of hints below.
- In the last years, beer tents would not close anymore only minutes after their opening on Saturday mornings. However, you still have to expect tents to be closed for overcrowding on Saturday afternoon. Even gardens may close during the afternoon.
- If you need to go on a Saturday, pick the first one. At least in the beer gardens, you should be able to find a seat.
- The streets are usually never overcrowded. On Sundays with perfect weather, you may experience congestions, though. While the tents are the busiest in the evenings, the streets are not.
- The waiting times at the rides are even at busy times only a couple of minutes. There are only a few low-capacity exceptions like.
- From Sundays through Thursdays, the large tents are at most closed during the reservation change in the late afternoon. Otherwise, you shouldn’t experience problems accessing them.
- The most relaxed days to visit the beer tents are Sundays, especially in the evening. Only the Bäurosl can be expected to be at maximum capacity the whole day due to thousands of gays celebrating themselves there.
- At lunchtime on weekdays, the following tents are the busiest: Augustinerzelt, Hackerzelt, Ochsenbraterei, and Schützenzelt.
- Provided that the weather is equally good, the second week is in general busier than the first one.
- The atmosphere is more relaxed on days with beer garden weather, as opposed to rainy days when the crowds cluster in the tents.
- Keep in mind that October 3rd is a holiday in Germany.
- On weekdays, it's in general also easier to find affordable hotel rooms.
Beer Tent Crowd Forecast 2023
In contrast to the official Oktoberfest barometer by the city of Munich, we try to forecast the crowd levels in the beer tents and not on the streets, as only the first can be expected to be at capacity. During dark red times, you can expect tents to be closed for overcrowding. This overview is also available as a PDF file. To hopefully make the search for free seats a little more successful, we also put together some tips on finding free seats.
In 2022, we've seen smaller crowds than usual. We've also seen less pressure on the tents and lively beer gardens on the few days with good weather. It's hard to say if the days of tents regularly closing for overcrowing are over or if they'll return in 2023.