Useful hints and tips for travelers in Germany
The number of seats at Oktoberfest Festhalles exceeds 100,000 units between Saturday and Sunday evening, not even Berlin’s Tempelhof IKEA have so many tables and chairs all together. Nonetheless, in the busiest evenings it can still happen not to find a seat, and as you can drink only sitting at the table at Oktoberfest, this means no table no beer!
The tables are distributed across 14 large Festhalle, historic pavilions managed directly by the breweries and almost as large as football fields, but there are also dozens of “smaller tents” dedicated from time to time to special dishes, cities and regions, traditional themes, music…
The first Oktoberfest Festhalles date back to the late 1800s and some are still located in their original place. The major pavilions are huge buildings made of brick, wood and canvas; they have grown in height and surface over the years, and are decorated and furnished each according to their own tradition.
Entrance to the Festhalle is free, but you pay to reserve tables inside. You can book your table online and on some nights, such as that of the opening day, you can spend even € 1000 to arrive and take your seat immediately. But be careful, because many sites offer false reservations, and in this case the anger would be twofold: first, because you would have lost your money and secondly because you will end up standing in the queue with nothing to drink! For this reason, it is advisable to book your table on the official Oktoberfest site.
Ready to learn everything about Oktoberfest 14 Festhalles? Here is a mini-guide of all the tents in alphabetical order.
Many visitors believe that Augustiner Bräu is the best beer served at the table by the kindest waitresses of all at Oktoberfest, but this could be a subjective judgment. One of the objective peculiarities of Augustiner – Festhalle is that beer is tapped from wooden barrels rather than steel tanks, as it happens in all the other tents.
For more info you can send an email to [email protected] or call +49-89-23 18 32 66
Armbrustschützenzelt tent is located in the same place since 1895 and with its nearly 8,000 seats it’s the largest of Oktoberfest Festhalles. It also houses a 30-meters covered area, where German crossbow championships are traditionally held. At Armbrustschützen – Festhalle you can sit and enjoy mugs of Paulaner, German beer famous all over the world.
For more info you can call +49-89-23 70 37 05
This Festhalle was opened in 1914 by the first fish wholesalers in Munich and this origin strongly characterizes it. In fact, in addition to classic dishes of chicken and pork, here you can enjoy excellent seafood specialties, including the typical Bavarian mackerel. Also, here you can drink classic Augustiner beer.
For more info send an email to [email protected]
At Hacker Pschorr you can drink the homonymous Hackerbraeu beer,of course, and this is one of the newer pavilions, as well as one of the largest and more technological of the entire Oktoberfest. In addition to the classic venison and chicken dishes, here you can also enjoy numerous vegetarian dishes, which thing is not always possible in other Festhalles. Hackerbräu – Festhalle is also famous because it boasts the best sound system throughout the Fair and for this reason it’s a favorite with young people.
For more information call +49-89-081 70 73 03
This tent is the first you come across when you enter Oktberfest, it is located just outside the main entrance and cannot really go unnoticed for its bright yellow and red colors. It was inaugurated by Carl Gabriel in 1902 and until 1980 was the site of an international riding school, hence its name. The food it serves is among the finest at Oktoberfest and you can pair it with classic Spaten – Franziskaner -Bräu.
For more info please send an email to [email protected] or call +49-89-50 07 75 53
Hofbrau is Munich’s leading brewer and their Festhalle is one of the most popular at Oktoberfest, and second in terms of size and number of seats. In fact there are 10,000 seats in the 16 days of the beer festival, with nearly 400 employees serving over half a million liters of beer, as well as 80,000 servings of chicken, 6,000 of shin and 8,500 sausages. All of Munich citizens, but even more tourists, strive to have a seat at this temple of beer. Hofbräu – Festzelt is also one of the rare exceptions within the traditional rules of Oktoberfest: here, even those standing can order a beer.
For more information please send an email to [email protected] or call +49-89-448 96 70
Rustic, but cozy, Käfer’s Wiesnschänke Festhalle resembles a characteristic Bavarian farm. Käfer’s Wiesnschänke distinguishes from all other Festhalles because it’s built entirely of wood and is one of the smallest tents at the beer festival. In 1971, the year of its inauguration, it could only accommodate 40 people and a few hundred in the garden, nowadays the seats are 3000 and 1600 respectively. It has small living rooms and lounge areas, entirely covered with wood, and because of its peculiarities, it’s highly coveted by celebrities.
For more information please call +49-89-416 88 80
At the entrance, a four meter tall lion roars “Löööwenbräu” every minute and its 37-meter tower is visible from any point of the Oktoberfest area. Among the most frequent visitors of Löwenbräu tent there are TSV 1860 Munich players and fans who, being sponsored by this Bavarian brewery ever since, are traditionally called Löwen, that is, “Lions”. Since 1979 this Festhalle hosts the Festwirt Ludwig Hagn, where guests and artists from both Munich and around the world are traditionally introduced to the public.
For more information please call +49-89-47-05-848
Its name literally means “at the center of the Ox” and opposite the entrance there is a big wheel that turns a huge spit on which a whole ox is being roasted. After six hours of cooking, the beef is transferred to a specially equipped area and then served in portions to hungry visitors. Some 90 oxen are selected each year by the chef and served at Spatenbräu Festhalle. This tradition continued for 130 years and began with the butcher Johann Rössler who had the idea to use oxen even to turn the wheel of the spit.
For more information please call +49-89-47-05-848
Since 1950, a giant mug of beer dominates on the tower of Paulaner tent, Munich’s legendary brewery. In the early years of Oktoberfest, only beer was served at this festhalle, and people brought cheese, pretzel, sausages, and traditional chicken from home. Nowadays, the tent is furnished with great care and is renowned as one of the few to allow a certain intimacy, so much so that it’s especially appreciated by celebrities and Bayern Munich team players. Moreover, the peculiar shape of Paulaner Festhalle makes shows and events visible from all tables. Among the advantages of this Festhalle an innovative beer dispensing system. A single large underground tank conveys beer directly into the single tap stations through some 240 mt of pipes with a diameter of 10 cm. This is done to save time and effort to move the barrels and the traditional tanks back and forth.
For more information please call +49-89-62 17 19 10
This Festhalle owes its name to the “beautiful” Rosi Pschorr , daughter of the owner of the homonymous brewery. At this 6,000-seat Festhalle every night you can enjoy traditional Bavarian music played by famous regional groups: Jodlerin, Vocal Arts, Spitzbuam, and Ludwig Thoma. Oktobefest Gay traditionally takes place right here on the first Sunday of the Fair.
For more information please call +49-89-89 55 63 56
Schottenhammel is the oldest and most traditional Festhalle at Oktoberfest, the place where the city’s mayor taps the first mug of beer. And until his voice exclaims loudly and distinctly “O’zapft is” no other mug of beer can be tapped. It was in 1867 that Michael Schottenhammel, hence the name of the Festhalle, chose this area to celebrate with his new spouse drinking beer. At the end of the 1800s, this Festhalle was nothing more than a shed which could accommodate only 50 people. Nowadays, there are thousands of people who choose to sit at their tables and spend pleasant evenings with friends.
For more information send an email to [email protected] or call +49-89-54 46 93 19
In 1926, the first Schützen-Festhalle, which literally means ” protection tent” was nothing more than a shooting range with 110 seats where shooting competitions took place. Originally, beer and food were not served within this tent, so visitors had to drink and eat at the neighboring festhalles, but only until 1960. In 2004, after covering the entire garden with a transparent shed, the tent turned into a large indoor stadium, where every evening rock and pop concerts take place, very popular with young people. If you decide to book a table at Schützen-Festhalle, don’t miss out on their millet beer, as well as their pancakes with raisins, rum and plums, and crispy pig plates.
For more information please call us at +49-89-23 18 12 24
The name literally means “the tent of wine” because even during the biggest beer festival of all, connoisseurs can enjoy the finest wines, sparkling wines and champagne at this Festhalle. The menu of Weinzelt differs from all the others because here you can taste specialties from the best restaurants in town , classic Bavarian food, but also Asian cuisine and lake fish specialties. With its 1,900 indoor seats and 500 outdoors, this is one of the smallest tents and therefore is attended by an audience in search of privacy and confidentiality . Despite this, music and fun are assured every evening until one o’clock at night, unlike any other venue, where everything stops at midnight.
For more information please send an email to [email protected] or call +49-89-29 07 05 17
Photo by AbhijeetRane
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