The beer tents at Oktoberfest fill up quickly, and it is a good idea to reserve a table if you want a seat, a beer, and a great Oktoberfest experience. Here's when and how to reserve a table in an Oktoberfest beer tent, step-by-step.
Difficulty: Medium (It just takes a bit of planning)
- Pick the Oktoberfest beer tent that you would like to visit. Each has its own personality and procedures. Also note that some provide special events like "Gay Sunday". Here is an overview of some of the Best Oktoberfest Beer Tents, including contact information.
- In order to make reservations, contact "your" tent directly. Visit the website of your beer tent and find out how early they accept reservations (some beer tents accept reservations as early as November or December the proceeding year!).
- Check the details of the reservations procedure on the tent's website. Beer tents require a minimum of 10 people for one table and can be only be done in multiples of 10. The reservation will be free, but you have to purchase food and drink coupons (usually for chicken and two Mass of beer) in advance. These prepaid coupons are usually between 30 and 80 Euro per person depending on the beer tent, what is included and time of day. It you have less than 10 people, you'll have to pay for the entire table but you’ll get the money back in food and drink vouchers. Again, the website of your Oktoberfest tent will have all the information you need.
- Make your reservation as early as possible. The website of your beer tent will tell you how to reserve - either by email, phone, fax (yes - still) or letter. You have to include how many people will attend and the day and time of your visit.
- Wait. The beer tent will contact you about your reservation and this can take a few days to a few months until you hear from them. Most answers arrive by March. The beer tent will either confirm or decline your reservation. If they decline, some tents will offer you an alternative time or day or will put you on a waiting list.
- Your beer tent will either send you your prepaid food and beer vouchers or will let you know when and where to pick them up.
- At Oktoberfest, make sure to be on time, otherwise the beer tent might let your reservation go.
- Relax and enjoy your Oktoberfest! Don't do anything I wouldn't do (again).
Tips for getting A Table Reserved at Oktoberfest
- Weekends are notoriously very crowded and it is difficult to get a reservation. It is easier to get a reservation earlier in the day (afternoon except evening) or during the week. Try for the noon till 16:00 block. You can also chose more than one date to increase your chances.The Oktoberfest barometer is a helpful tool to find historically low attendance days.
Remember that you need to be on time or you forfeit your reservation, so make sure to be at least 15 minutes early.
Think we missed your window to reserve? You might still be able to reserve a table during weekdays in the afternoon even in June or July. Be flexible and sign-up on the waiting list.
- For a reservation, beer tents require a minimum of 10 people, but of course you can go in smaller groups. Just be prepared to allow other people to sit at your table and have a lot of food and beer vouchers to use.
- No reservation? Don't worry. The city of Munich requires Oktoberfest tents to keep one third of the seats in the central aisle unreserved during weekdays and all of them on weekends. Plus, here are tips on how you can still get into the beer tents at Oktoberfest. (Short answer: Be ready to arrive when they open and leave when the reservations come in around 16:00).
- If you really can't get a seat, consider going to one of Germany's many other boisterous folk festivals.