If you want to get a table at Munich’s Oktoberfest, the world’s greatest beer festival, you’d better act fast since the 2012 season begins on Saturday, September 22. It’s best to make reservations early in the year since the demand is high are available spots are gone rather quickly, but it is also worth a try to see if any seats are available.
Entering the Oktoberfest grounds (Wiesn) as the locals call it is free of charge and so is entering a tent and there are other activities to enjoy outside of the tents, but without a seat in one of the tents, you can’t order beer which would be a pity.
Here are some details on how to reserve a table and what to expect.
Contact the beer tent directly
Choose a few large tents or small tents you’d like to visit. Each tent has its own unique atmosphere so don’t limit yourself to one tent. You will need to contact one of the 34 Oktoberfest tents and not the Oktoberfest or Munich tourism site to reserve a table.
There are companies that reserve table for you but, don’t waste your money paying for that service when you can easily do it yourself.
Complete the Oktoberfest tent details form
Determine how many people will join your party. The minimum number for Oktoberfest reservations is 10 persons (one table). You cannot reserve a table for a few friends, so just reserve for 10 people even if your party is small. If this is not an option, you’ll need to take a chance and enter a tent and hope you will find seats.
There are morning and evening time slot table reservations so, choose a few of the open slots since peak periods such as evening, weekend, and bank holiday availabilities fill up quickly. Keep in mind many reservations are given to big spenders such as local businesses and corporations, so don’t be disappointed if your desired tent is full. Try checking the smaller tents which are often overlooked by international visitors.
Many tents require that you purchase food and beer vouchers, so you’ll need to determine that as well. This would mean if you have 10 people in your party, you’d need to order for example, 10 beers and 10 half chicken vouchers. If you want to eat or drink more, you can just order more once you are in the tent.
There a thousands of inquires from all over the world searching for Oktoberfest table reservations. During this wait period you can choose the best Dirndl or Lederhosen to wear. The traditional Bavarian clothing called Tracht will get you in the mood for Oktoberfest and looks festive.
Use time wisely and search for accommodations
There are a vast number of hotels in and around Munich and of course they fill up quickly as well. If you won’t be staying in Munich, you should also determine how to get to Munich. I recommend the train and not driving as the Autobahn gets busy and is often at a standstill during Oktoberfest.
Wait for your beer tent confirmation
Along with your confirmation, the tent will send your food and beer vouchers if you’ve ordered them or tell you where to pick them up. Many tents only accept bank transfers and most tents do not accept credit cards. Therefore, you’ll need to have cash on hand. You can always visit an ATM machine before you go to the Wiesn.
Show up on time
On the day of your reservation, arrive at your tent about 10 minutes early. If you show up late your table might be given away to someone that does not have a reservation.
Relax and order a Stein
Now it’s time to enjoy Oktoberfest, so go ahead and order a Mass (liter of beer), some great German food, and enjoy the music as well as the Oktoberfest atmosphere.
You’ll hand the waitress your beer and/or food vouchers and she’ll return with your order. Some beer vouchers include a tip, but I recommend leaving an additional tip.
Well done! You now know how to reserve a table at Munich’s Oktoberfest.
Have an enjoyable 2012 Oktoberfest or have fun planning for Oktoberfest 2013 in Munich which begins on Saturday, September 21, 2013 and ends Sunday, October 6, 2013.