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Oktoberfest 2013

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Mitcham, Australia
posts: 130
reviews: 58
Oktoberfest 2013

I am planning ahead and looking to be in the Munich area in 2013 (or maybe 2014) to spend a few days at Oktoberfest.

(a) The small group of people I expect to be with will be about 60, give or take a year or two. Are most of the Oktoberfest activities geared towards younger people or is there lots to interest (drinking beer?) people in the 50 and over age group?

(b) What is the closest railway station to the Oktoberfest venue? Ideally, I would like to stay out of town and "commute" by local train. A smaller family run hotel would appeal. Any suggestions of suitable towns within an hour of Munich (by local train)? How far ahead should one aim to book accommodation?

(c) I notice Oktoberfest is held over about 10 days. How long should one aim to spend there? I was thinking of two or three days?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Paul in Australia (born 1950)

210 replies to this topic
Munich, Germany
posts: 1,284
reviews: 2
1. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

It's a good thing you're planning ahead. If it is 2013, you could reserve a table at the Oktoberfest, as well as your hotel rooms, right after Oktoberfest 2012 is over. That's when the pros reserve their tables (companies that go there with their guests).

Towns within an hour of Munich - Freising, Dachau, Pfaffenhofen/Ilm, even Augsburg and Tegernsee would qualify. Tegernsee is beautiful, and there's a train once an hour until late at night, however, it does take an hour to get there. Oh, or maybe Starnberg - I don't know about hotel prices there, though. It's where all the rich people live.

See http://www.bahn.de for train connections.

You can walk from the central station (Hauptbahnhof) to "Theresienwiese" where the Oktoberfest is, but it takes about 20 minutes and is not a particularly nice walk. Better take the subway; it's two stops from the central station.

I think two or three days is reasonable.

There are some rides that are not as wild and would be suitable for your group - I'm thinking of the "Krinoline". And there is a tent where you can have coffee and cake. ... Something else that might be interesting is the "Oide Wiesn", which is supposed to be more like the original Oktoberfest. They have these rides that are not quite as wild, and they try to be more traditional. There is no date for 2013 yet, so check back on this website: oide-wiesn.de/progrmm--infos-oide-wiesn/inde…

The "Oide Wiesn" is right next to the actual Oktoberfest, so it's separate.

Portland, Oregon USA
posts: 2,336
2. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

A) All ages attend the Oktoberfest. It is part beer festival and part carnival. There is even a "family day" with carnival ride discounts for children. There are many people over the age of 50 or 60 in attendance, you'd not feel out of place.

B) The Hauptbahnhof (main rail station) is an easy walk from the festival site. The idea to "commute" is shared by many people who wish to avoid the hotel's gouging in Munich. Go to the German hotel website www.hotel.de and punch in some random dates and use "Munich" for your city search. Hotels in the outlying areas will pop up. Look at towns located on the S-bahn (commuter rail lines) routes, like Herrsching, Tutzing or Starnberg. Then, try some Oktoberfest dates to see what pops up in terms of availability and price.

If I found a decent place for a reasonable rate, I'd book it as soon as possible. I always use a rail pass when I visit Germany. The fast ICE trains mean I can stay far enough away from Munich that the hotel prices are not inflated. I used to stay in Augsburg, 30 minutes from Munich, but over the last few years, even the hoteliers there have started gouging visitors. Now, I stay in Nuremberg which is one hour away by the fastest trains. What I save in hotel costs more than pays for the daily cost of the rail pass.

C) The Oktoberfest ends on the first Sunday of October each year and runs for 2 weeks. So count back or just Google "Oktoberfest 2012" for the dates. For a first-timer, 2 visits on 2 days should be enough to satisfy.

Mitcham, Australia
posts: 130
reviews: 58
3. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

Thanks Petra and Teleport

Dates for 2013 are shown at:


21 September-6 October.

Paul in Australia

posts: 8,263
reviews: 33
4. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

Best if you aim for Monday-Wednesday. These are the "quietest" days - not really quiet but more likely to find somewhere to sit. Don't aim for a weekend. These days it would have been a wasted journey. It is quite normal to share tables with other people. You just go in a tent and look for some space anywhere and ask to join ables. Bear in mind that some areas of tents are reserved areas.

At weekends, especially Saturdays, people queue up at 7am at each tents entrance to get in and get a table.

The Oktoberfest is getting worse every year. I've been going for 20years now. Myself and the wife often used to go to the Wies'n on a Saturday (if nice weather) and never had a problem walking into a tent and finding a spot (everybody shares). Normally only an issue if the weather is bad as everybody goes into the tents and then the tents are locked shut due to overfilling. Last year despite blistering sunshine ALL the tents were locked by 1pm.

There are 14 drinking establishments - but ~ 10 main larger Brewery tents.


examples of sizes

The Schutzenzelt only seats ~ 4500

Löwenbräu 5,700

Hacker ~ 6900

Hofbräu ~ 6900


Reservations are only made directly tot he Tent owners and these reservations generally open in March.

You can only reserve entire tables. Tables generally seat 10 (there are sometimes other sizes but they are in the minority). You do NOT have to have 10 people to book a table. You just pay for 10 peoples worth of Beer and chickens. This is how ALL the tents book their tables (except for the Hippodrome)

You always pay for 2 Beers + 1chicken multiplied by the table size (normally 10). Normally ~ €300

Think about the unscrupulous people out there who offer individual seats at $300 a time

Bear in mind my Wife ON HER OWN books 5 whole tables at the Löwenbräu every year. Löwenbräu don't care how many people we are they just want her to pay the 5 x 10(peoples worth).

The tables are infact more comfy with 8 people on them.

You will NOT get a reservation for Friday night or the Weekend. They are DEAD MANS SHOES. My friend has had 6 Tables at the Armbrust for the last Saturday for 12 years now.The problem for any new customers is that the Tent's owners take care of their regular customers first. Every year they send out letters to their "Stammkunden" like my wife and friend asking them if they would like to rebook. Once they have taken care of all these customers any remaining tables are then made available for general sale. You can often only apply by fax then basically it is a lottery. You sit and wait.


If you are looking at staying outside of Munich then you can take advantage of a transport ticket called the Bayern Ticket.

You can buy this group ticket for up to 5 people (€22 for 1 person up to €38 for 5 people).

Gives you unlimited use of ALL Regional public transport in Bavaria. Includes ALL Regional trains,Regional buses and ALL city transport (e.g. in Munich or Augsburg). Valid from 9am weekdays (midnight weekends) until 3am the following morning.

The faster IC, ICE, EC and Railjet are excluded. To be honest on some routes there are very few or no IC services etc

Regional trains also include BOB trains that service Bad Tölz and Tegernsee

Consider that Augsburg is only ~ 45mins from Munich on Regional trains and there are a couple every hour.

Bad Tölz ~ 50mins - train every hour

Consider that Munich-Salzburg Regional trains (2hrs) are included (run every hour) you can also use the tickets for other things

Garmisch 1h30 (every hour)

For general info bahn.de/i/…laender-ticket.shtml and click on Bayern.

NOTE: Ignore the pricing as it changes from tomorrow. Here is the blurb in German -the pricing is show "per Personen"


To see Regional services use http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml and tick the box "Local Transport" - just ignore the individual single ticket prices.

Mitcham, Australia
posts: 130
reviews: 58
5. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

Thanks for the wonderful replies; most appreciated.

Paul in Australia

Traralgon, Australia
posts: 1
6. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

Thank you to everyone who replied to paul as my husband and I also are looking at going next year and the websites and information are a fantastic resource. Thank you

Yorba Linda, CA
posts: 1
7. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

Wow, what a great resource for information. We are also planning on going in 2013, and this information has been most helpful.



posts: 3
reviews: 2
8. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

This is great info as we are planning to go in 2013 also. We stayed in Tutzing 13 years ago and it was a great set up with a short train ride into the city.

Sitka, Alaska...
posts: 12
reviews: 4
9. Re: Oktoberfest 2013

I have started doing research for three of us to do about the same thing. I think Starnberg might be more expensive, but would be a shorter distance. I keep looking at Bad Tolz. It's 50 min/1hr, but has many things to offer when you are in town. I do see the cost of staying in Munich to more expensive, but I just hope after everything, we end up going every day into munich, and maybe should have just stayed there. I do want to see Bavaria and Munich. I wonder where the happy meduim ground is?

If anyone has stayed 25 minutes out and had a good deal? I would like to be closer to Munich, becasue of the things to do.

Need Help?

Sitka, Alaska...
posts: 12
reviews: 4
10. Re: Oktoberfest 2013


I'm glad that you posted this. I have two other friends that would like to travel to Munich/Bavaria during this time as well. We plan on traveling to Munich a week to 5 days before opening day of 2013. I think it makes more sense to stay outside of town and travel into Munich when wanting to. I know that we want to attend "Opening Day" and Sunday, "Parade Day', but we also would like to see Bavaria.

I have started to read blogs, travel tips, etc. Many say that South of Munich is amazing and it puts you in the ALPS. Any tips would help.

It will be amazing trip!

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