So you want to go to Oktoberfest but are realizing how expensive it’s going to be in 2023? You’ve come to the right place. This post has all the tips and resources to help get you to Munich’s Oktoberfest for cheap!
Oktoberfest in Munich is one of those quintessential travel experiences for anyone who enjoys a beer or ten. It is such a fun festival, attracting partiers from around the globe, who all descend upon Munich each year for the big event.
Although Munich’s Oktoberfest was canceled for two years, it successfully returned last year with a huge turnout! Oktoberfest will, of course, be back again in 2023! In fact, the official dates for Oktoberfest 2023 in Munich are:
- September 16 to October 3, 2023.
With an influx of visitors expected to return to Munich in 2023, Oktoberfest costs are already rising. Accommodation prices are going up as occupancy rates in Munich increase. Beer prices are expected to go up too, now nearly €15 per liter. So it’s more important than ever to know how to save your beer money and budget for Oktoberfest 2023!
Every year in Munich, the huge demand for Oktoberfest accommodation, beer, transportation, pretzels, and traditional Bavarian outfits all helps to significantly drive up Oktoberfest prices. These travel costs add up, making it a very expensive celebration to attend. Oktoberfest expenses can easily exceed €1,000 for a few days of beer drinking in Munich.
But Oktoberfest doesn’t have to be costly if you plan carefully. There are plenty of ways to cut costs and still fully enjoy Oktoberfest, for those who are trying to stretch their travel budget. For example, we even have a tip to show you how to get unlimited free beer during Oktoberfest (for real)!
Yet our core advice for an Oktoberfest on a budget is to go ahead and spend on essential Oktoberfest expenses while cutting in places where it makes sense financially.
For instance, we strongly advocate spending on the Oktoberfest beer itself. Sure, those beers may seem pricey in Munich’s beer halls. But each delicious sip of those huge liters of beer within this amazing atmosphere is worth every euro. This is why you travel to Oktoberfest. Drink up, make new friends, and sing along to the Oompah band!
Instead of being cheap at Oktoberfest with your beer consumption, you’ll make a much larger dent in your Oktoberfest budget by implementing some big adjustments to what you wear, how you travel to Munich, and where to find cheap Oktoberfest accommodation. Those are the best areas you can really cut back on Oktoberfest costs. Finding an inexpensive place to stay during Oktoberfest can save hundreds of dollars to spend on beers instead!
If you’re trying to do Oktoberfest on a budget in 2023, you can save a lot of money simply by securing reservations as early as possible, even booking a year or more in advance. One of the easiest ways to save is to secure your Oktoberfest reservations as early as possible.
If you haven’t made your reservations yet – don’t worry, it’s still possible to snag last-minute Oktoberfest reservations in 2023. Just don’t delay any further! Book your accommodation now to secure the lowest rate places for Oktoberfest 2023. The best prices have already been reserved but as of summer 2023, there are still some reasonable places you can book and we’ll show you where!
If you’re considering going to the big beer festival, these Oktoberfest Munich Tips & Travel Guide will show you exactly where to score cheap Oktoberfest reservations to get the best value on accommodation, where to get free beer, how to dress for Oktoberfest on the cheap, free things to do at Oktoberfest 2023, and so much more!
Sample Oktoberfest 2023 Budget
During a typical three days at Oktoberfest, those on a mid-range budget can easily spend €1,500+ per person, plus transportation costs to get to Munich. We don’t recommend that.
Applying the following Oktoberfest budget travel tips, you could instead be guzzling beer during Munich’s biggest bash all for just a bit more than €100 per day, including your accommodation.
How Much Does Oktoberfest Cost?
Oktoberfest itself is free to attend.
Oktoberfest ticket price: €0. There is no entrance fee to get into Munich’s Oktoberfest. But there are many other Oktoberfest expenses incurred, such as buying beers and food, plus travel expenses and accommodation costs.
So how much does it cost to go to Oktoberfest? That depends on your budget.
It’s possible to get by on a shoestring budget of about €100 per person per day in Munich during Oktoberfest if really scrimping. A more realistic mid-range budget would be €400-600 per person per day to share a hotel, drink many beers, eat casual sit-down meals, and buy traditional outfits. That’s all in addition to transportation costs traveling to Munich, of course.
The table below outlines two different examples showing how much Oktoberfest can cost, staying in Munich for 3 nights in 2023. The budget-friendly Oktoberfest example is on the left and what Oktoberfest could cost if you’re not careful, is on the right. Note: accommodation prices reflect double occupancy.
Obviously, we recommend the cheap Oktoberfest budget on the left side, showing how you can easily have a great time during three days of Oktoberfest on a budget of €460, compared to over €1,700 per person for a typical low/mid-range Oktoberfest 3-day budget. That’s a savings of about €2,500 for a couple! (For conversion sake, that saves a couple $2,670 USD, £2,215 GBP, or $3,860 AUD.)
You can see from this sample Munich Oktoberfest budget just how easily Oktoberfest costs can exceed €1,500. Now let’s get into all the strategies to make a cheap Oktoberfest possible in 2023.
Is Oktoberfest Worth it?
But whether you spend €500 or €1,500+, is Oktoberfest worth the cost?
That’s a matter of opinion. But based upon the many smiles and laughs we see throughout Oktoberfest, we’d estimate that most festival-goers find Oktoberfest to be well worth it. From a personal perspective, we firmly believe that Oktoberfest is well worth the costs involved to attend this wildly fun party.
That said, there are many Oktoberfest expenses that we’d argue are not worth it. For example, we’d argue that last-minute accommodation, expensive souvenirs, and pricy packaged tours are not worth it. Yet we’d completely vouch that Oktoberfest beer, food, and fun are totally worth it! But the less you can spend on those expenses can help to boost the overall value. So hopefully, the following cost-saving tips will help to make Oktoberfest worth it for you!
Tips for Drinking at Oktoberfest on a Budget
Each of the beer halls at Oktoberfest is completely free to enter. There are no entrance fees, so don’t be scammed if you see something online advertising a ticket to get in. Just show up to Oktoberfest. Go to a beer hall. Find a seat. Buy a beer!
You will definitely want to buy some Oktoberfest beers, of course. For Oktoberfest 2023, expect to pay the beer server about €14+ for each beer. Although this is pricey for beer, understand you’re paying these prices partly for the awesome Oktoberfest atmosphere.
Also, that €14 price gets you a huge beer! You may be accustomed to drinking pints of beer. But Oktoberfest beers are served in those signature liter glasses called a “Maß” (pronounced: “mass”). Each of these liter glasses contains more than two pints of beer!
So consider that you’re getting two pints of delicious Bavarian-brewed beer in arguably the most fun drinking setting in the world for a mere €14 or so. When you look at it that way, Oktoberfest beers are actually great value.
This is what you traveled all the way to Munich for. Don’t worry too much about your Oktoberfest budget when it comes to the price of beer. Just drink up and have a blast!
And with most Oktoberfest beers clocking in around 6% alcohol, it only takes a few of those big liters of beers to get you singing and dancing along to the traditional Bavarian tunes being played.
That said, there are a few things you can be aware of to help minimize your beer costs at Oktoberfest 2023.
Oktoberfest Beer Prices 2023
How much does a beer cost at Oktoberfest in Munich?
In 2023, liters of Oktoberfest beer will cost €13.50-€14.50 (plus tip) throughout the main fest halls in Munich.
Beer prices at Oktoberfest do vary, depending on which beer tent you drink in. Yet with a price difference coming down to €1 per beer, we recommend not letting beer prices sway where you go to get your liters of beer. This small difference in Oktoberfest beer prices won’t play a major role in your overall Oktoberfest budget.
Where to find the cheapest liter of beer at Oktoberfest 2023?
The least expensive of the main Oktoberfest beer halls for Oktoberfest in 2023 is Augustiner-Festhalle, with €13.50 liters. Drinking your liters at the Augustiner Festhall can save you a euro per beer in comparison to most other Oktoberfest beer tents, selling their beer at €14.50 per liter.
At 6.3% abv, Augustiner’s Oktoberfest beer provides the best bang for your buck. So we fully recommend drinking at Augustiner-Festhalle for those heading to Oktoberfest on a budget in 2023.
The Augustiner-Festhalle is a fun tent too, that has live music, reasonable food, and more. Augustiner is the only Munich brewery that pours its beer from traditional stags (wooden beer barrels) during Oktoberfest. This is a fun tradition to experience, all while paying a euro less per liter than comparable tents.
The Augustiner Fest Hall also has the least expensive pork sausages and least expensive pork sausages (€9.95) and the least expensive pork knuckle meals (€19.50) of all the Oktoberfest beer halls. So consider pairing those meals with their cheaper beers. This Augustiner tent also has weekday lunch specials to further stretch your Oktoberfest budget (but we’ll get into that in more detail in the Eating at Oktoberfest on a Budget section of this article). Just know that the Augustiner is a great beer hall to help stretch your budget.
Since Augustiner has the cheapest beer of the main beer tents and is a beautiful festhall, the Augustiner-Festhalle is popular and does tend to fill to capacity quickly. So if you want to drink here, be sure to get to the Augustiner tent early.
Tip to get a seat: Consider going to the Augustiner tent (or other popular beer tents) on a daytime session during a weekday. Going early will increase your odds of getting a seat at what is the cheapest main beer hall in Oktoberfest!
Meanwhile, the other large Oktoberfest beer tents set their beer prices up to nearly a euro more than Augustiner-Festhalle. For perspective, here’s the breakdown of beer prices for the 13 large Oktoberfest beer tents in 2023:
- €13.50 – Augustiner-Festhalle
- €13.70 – Fischer-Vroni
- €14.30 – Bräurosl,
- €14.40 – Hacker-Festzelt, Armbrustschützenzelt,
- €14.50 – Hofbräu-Festzelt, Käfer Wiesnschänke, Löwenbräu-Festzelt, Marstall, Ochsenbraterei, Paulaner-Festzelt, Schottenhamel-Festhalle, Schützen-Festzelt
Still, there’s one tent where you can get a liter of beer within the Oktoberfest fairgrounds for even less. The cheapest liter of beer at Oktoberfest 2023 is priced at €12.60. But these cheap Oktoberfest beers aren’t found in the main beer halls. Instead, you’ll find those €12.60 liters at one of the small tents.
Consider Small Tents for the Cheapest Oktoberfest Beer
There are small tents at Oktoberfest, many of which have lower beer prices than the big main tents. In fact, for the 2023 Oktoberfest, there are five small tents serving liters for less than €15.
At the Familienplatzl, a small tent meant for families with children, you can find liters for €12.60 – a wonderful price for parents to enjoy!
Yet for those not heading to Oktoberfest as a family, the next cheapest liter of beer is found at the Museumszelt (Museum Tent), with liters of Spaten for €13.20 in 2023. But do be aware the museum tent is part of the Oide Wiesn, which charges a modest admission of a few euros to enter.
That small admission into the Oide Wiesn can be worth it, as it not only grants you access to Oktoberfest’s cheapest beer. The entry fee also gets you access to the cheapest ride prices in Oktoberfest – €1 rides! Additionally, the museum tent has interesting historical memorabilia and free children’s events. Note that it does close up early, with no beer sales after 9:30 pm.
But again, it’s really not worth planning your Oktoberfest drinking by the prices at each tent. Just go to whatever beer halls you want to go to. Perhaps more importantly, go wherever you can find an open seat!
Keep Change Handy for Tipping at Oktoberfest
Should you tip at Oktoberfest in Munich?
Yes! Tipping at Oktoberfest is technically not required, but it is customary. You should indeed tip the beer servers who are schlepping those heavy steins by the handful through an insanely crowded beer hall. Don’t be cheap with this at Oktoberfest.
A €1 tip per liter is a good rule of thumb. Yet consider tipping more if the server is very attentive, fun, and/or you want to build rapport with them to help ensure good service throughout a prolonged drinking session. With Oktoberfest beer prices generally around €13.50-€14.50 in 2023, it might be convenient to round up to €15 or so per beer, allowing the server to keep the change. A euro or two extra per liter is always appreciated.
That said, bring small denominations of euros so that you can tip accordingly. Servers may not always have change ready, which could force you into an awkward situation of over-tipping or under-tipping.
Drink for Cheap (or free) Before You Go to Oktoberfest 2023
If you’re a seasoned drinker, you’ll want to kick back at least two or three liters while at Oktoberfest, and possibly much more. Being that these beers contain roughly 6% alcohol content, you’ll likely be fairly buzzed after downing a few. So there’s no reason to show up to the Theresienwiese already plastered.
Yet if you have a high tolerance and you’re looking for ways to stretch your Oktoberfest budget, perhaps consider kicking back a few brews before or on the way to the big event.
Beers from convenience stores and supermarkets are cheap in Munich. You can find half-liter beers for less than €1. Additionally, it’s perfectly acceptable to drink in public with an open container in Munich, as long as you’re behaving. So if you want to warm up for the big event, go ahead and have a few pre-fest beers to get you started. They’ll be a fraction of the €15 you’ll be spending on liters once you’re inside Oktoberfest.
In fact, you’ll see plenty of local German guys and broke college students sitting in the grass on the outskirts of Oktoberfest doing just that: drinking cheap cans of beer before heading inside the fairgrounds. This is the “poor man’s Oktoberfest,” which is fine to do for a beer if you must. But you need to get inside those tents and pony up the funds for a few liters to truly experience Munich’s Oktoberfest.
A better way to knock down a few brews before Oktoberfest is if you take our cheap Oktoberfest accommodation recommendation. Staying at our #1 recommended accommodation, you’ll have unlimited free beer to get your party started if you follow our instructions for this special Oktoberfest deal (much more detail about that in the Where to Stay section). So if you stay there and get this insane unlimited free beer deal, go ahead and drink up a bit beforehand. Then pace yourself while at the Oktoberfest beer halls.
Half-Liter Beers Are Half the Cost
If you are inside one of Oktoberfest’s main beer halls, don’t even think about ordering a half-liter. You order full liters only in the main beer halls. Nothing else is acceptable nor is served in the main Oktoberfest beer tents.
But there are more places to drink at Oktoberfest than only inside the main beer halls. You can find beer gardens and tables that are set up outside of the halls, which sometimes aren’t very busy at all. When all the main beer tents get filled to capacity these less popular beer gardens can come as a relief to have a free table to sit at.
It can be perfectly suitable here to get a half-liter of beer at some of these outdoor tables. They’re called “Halben Liters.” If you happen to stumble across one of the places serving hefeweizen (wheat beer), those are traditionally served in half-liter hefeweizen glasses anyways. So there’s absolutely no shame there to order a “halben liter” of hefeweizen. If you’re unsure, check the menu card on the table and see if halben liters are listed.
Did you know that hefeweizen is traditionally drunk in Bavaria as a breakfast beer? It is! So if you get to the beer tents very early, you could also consider starting your drinking session with a halben liter of hefeweizen.
These half-liters should cost around €7-€8 at Oktoberfest 2023. They’re about half the cost of a liter. So ounce per ounce, there is no savings.
Yet there are occasions when the option of a half-liter does make sense to save some money instead of buying a full liter. For example, perhaps you’re just tired of walking around trying to find a seat in a main beer hall. Then you find some open seats at an outside table, but don’t want to commit to a full liter of beer. The half-liter option can be a nice way to take a beer break and help stretch your Oktoberfest budget.
Tips for Eating at Oktoberfest on a Budget in 2023
It definitely is worth it to eat at Oktoberfest, as there is lots of great traditional German food to devour. It’s also important to go to Oktoberfest with a solid base in your belly. You certainly don’t want to be downing liter after liter of Oktoberfest beer on an empty stomach. Thankfully, there are some great ways to eat at Oktoberfest on a budget:
- Buy delicious German food for less at the stands throughout the fairgrounds, outside the tents
- Consider bringing food from the booths (and elsewhere) to eat in the beer halls
- If dining inside a tent, order the sausages or half chicken for the best value
- Consider splitting a meal to save more
- Order the weekday lunch specials for bargain Oktoberfest meal deals
Expect to pay about €15-€20 (or more) for a decent meal while sitting in an Oktoberfest beer hall. It can be a nice splurge to accompany your liter of beer. But just know that there are more affordable eating options for those attending Oktoberfest on a budget.
Eat for Cheap at the Many Booths throughout the Oktoberfest Fairgrounds
You can find a huge variety of local Bavarian food options throughout the Oktoberfest fairgrounds, outside the fest halls. At these wooden food stalls, you can order sandwiches, snacks, sausages, baked goods, cheese, meats, pretzels, and more all within the €5 price range.
Our personal recommendation for a cheap, filling, and delicious meal that is a great accompaniment to beer is a schnitzelbrötchen, or schnitzel sandwich. For the uninitiated, schnitzel sandwiches are deep-fried pork cutlets in between fresh-baked German bread. It is pretty much the perfect inexpensive yet hearty fare to chow down on after a few liters of Oktoberfest beer.
But you can also consider one of the many other cheap eats at Oktoberfest stalls, such as a sausage sandwich or my favorite late-night guilty pleasure, currywurst.
You also simply can’t bypass getting a giant brez’n (pretzel). But where you get them can help to sustain your Oktoberfest budget. Large pretzels sold in the beer halls are typically priced around €7-€8 or so, although we’ve seen them priced at €10+. Don’t buy expensive pretzels.
Those same pretzels can be found priced around €3-€5 right outside the beer hall doors. So at Oktoberfest 2023, be sure to get your pretzels outside the beer halls, not inside. You’ll stand to save about €5 for each delicious pretzel.
Bring Food Into the Beer Tents
Food in Oktoberfest’s beer halls tends to be expensive and is often overpriced. Thankfully, it is completely acceptable to bring food with you into Oktoberfest beer halls. So feel free to pack an inexpensive snack. Or buy cheaper eats from the booths all around Oktoberfest, and then bring that into a beer tent to eat once you’re seated.
You must buy beer when seated at a table in Oktoberfest beer tents. But you’re not required to buy and food. So feel free to bring some cheaper eats with you into the tent to help stretch your Oktoberfest budget.
That said, it can also be worth the slight splurge to order meals when inside the beer tents. So in the next few sections, we’ll show options for doing so economically.
Inexpensive Meals to Order when Dining in a Beer Hall
At least once during Oktoberfest, you should consider ordering a traditional Oktoberfest meal while sitting in a beer hall. Not only is it convenient, but it’s a nice experience. For a little more than the price of a liter of beer, you can get a delicious German meal while at an Oktoberfest beer tent. Go for it!
So what should you order? To stay within a budget, we suggest ordering sausages or the roast chicken.
Pork sausages can be a good bet for a cheap meal. A plate of two sausages and sauerkraut is usually priced around €10, and a few euros more to include a side like a potato salad.
Better yet, go for a Wiesn-Hendl. That’s a half roast chicken, typically grilled with parsley and butter. These chickens are one of the most popular traditional meal options at Oktoberfest in Munich. Thankfully, Wiesn-Hendl can be among the more economical options too!
The half roast chickens typically cost around €13-€15 at Oktoberfest. Check whether the Wiesn-Hendl includes sides. Some tents include sides while others may charge a modest €4-€6 to add traditional sides such as cucumber salad or potato salad. Typically, you can get a Wiesn-Hendl with a side for less than €20 at most Oktoberfest tents.
A half chicken and some hearty sides can be a lot of food for one person! So for a budget-friendly Oktoberfest move, you can consider splitting this huge chicken meal with a friend. That way you’ll leave room in your stomach for more beer and extra cash in your wallet to buy that next beer.
Menus at Oktoberfest are vast, with many options to choose from. So when you sit down at a table, take some time to peruse the menu to discover what food items are good value at the beer hall you’re dining at.
To give some pulse on the prices you can expect, here are some sample Oktoberfest food prices of popular menu items from last year:
Here is a full description of some of the most popular Oktoberfest meals to order on a budget:
- Weißwurst (White Sausage): This traditional Bavarian sausage that’s never eaten after lunchtime and is not available later in the afternoon and evening. Usually priced less than €10 at Oktoberfest, it can make for a good economical snack or lunch. These are traditionally eaten with a pretzel and served with sweet mustard. Average cost: €8.
- Schweinswürstl (Pork Sausage): These Munich pork sausages typically come with sauerkraut included and can be ordered anytime. Average cost: €13.
- Wiesn Hendl (Roasted Chicken): A half of a whole roasted chicken, typically cooked with butter and parsley. Average cost: €14 (add €4-€6 for a side of potato salad).
- Schweinsbraten (Roasted Pork): Bavarian slow-roasted pork that’s often served with gravy and potato dumplings. Average cost: €20 (including side).
- Schweinshaxe (Pork Knuckle): Also known as a ham hock, pork knuckle is a popular dish at Oktoberfest and is often served with potatoes or potato dumplings. Average cost: €22 (including side).
- Grilled duck: Crispy roast duck is a splurge at Oktoberfest and not recommended for those on a budget. Chicken is a more economical poultry option. Average cost: €32, sides not included.
Eat Lunch at the Beer Tents and Get the Daily Lunch Deals
There are a number of benefits you get by attending Oktoberfest during the week and during the day. For one, Oktoberfest is less crowded on weekdays so it can be easier to get a seat in popular beer halls. Hotel prices tend to be cheaper during the week too. Yet another benefit are the weekday lunch specials!
Most of the beer halls have fantastic meal bargains that are only available during lunch hours on weekdays. So a budget-friendly strategy to enjoy a nice meal in the beer halls is to take advantage of these daily lunch specials. These lunch deals are only available during set daytime hours, Monday-Friday, while a few tents only offer the lunch deals Monday-Thursday.
The exact lunch special on offer will vary by the beer hall, of course. And these daily specials will change from day to day. These daily lunch specials are usually printed on the menu. So you just have to know to look for these Oktoberfest lunch deals. Occasionally, lunch specials will sell out, particularly later in the afternoon. So it’s best to arrive early to snag one of these Oktoberfest lunch deals.
After scouring all the Oktoberfest menus each year, we’ve found the best daily lunch deals are at Hofbrau-Festzelt. Last year, Hofbrau’s daily lunch specials were priced at only €9.90 a plate!
Here are the meals Hofbrau offered each weekday, all priced less than €10:
- Monday: Braised roast veal with mushroom sauce and spinach spaetzle (egg noodle pasta)
- Tuesday: Meatballs with gravy served with potatoes and pea mash
- Wednesday: Crispy rolled roast pork on a skewer, with potato and cucumber salad
- Thursday: Braised venison ragout in a creamy juniper sauce with pretzel dumplings and lingonberries
- Friday: Turkey cordon bleu, filled with cheese and ham, served with cranberries and potato and cucumber salad
(Stay tuned, as we’ll update these specials for 2023 once released.)
But Hofbrau’s lunch deals, listed above, are just one example of the daily specials you can find at Oktoberfest. Based upon last year’s lunch offers and prices, here is a more robust list of where and when to find Oktoberfest lunch specials:
- Augustiner-Festhalle: Mon-Fri, 11:30-3:00, €13.50
- Fischer-Vroni: Mon-Fri, 11:00-2:00, €14.90
- Hacker-Festzelt: Mon-Fri, 11:30-2:00, €12.50
- Hofbrau-Festzelt: Mon-Fri, 11:00-3:00, €9.90 *best value*
- Kafer Wiensnschanke: Mon-Fri, 12:00-2:30, €26.80
- Lowenbrau-Festzelt: Mon-Fri, Open-3:00, €13.20-€16.00
- Marstall-Festzelt: Mon-Fri, Open-5:00, €13.90-€18.50
- Ochsenbraterei: Mon-Fri, Open-6:00, €12.50
- Schottenhamel-Festhalle: Mon-Thurs, 11:00-3:00, €13.80-€14.90
- Schutzenzelt: Mon-Thurs, 11:00-3:00, €15.50
- Weinzelt: Mon-Fri, Open-3:30, €11.90-€15.90
- Festzelt Tradition: Mon-Fri, 11:00-’til sold out, €12.50-€14.30
- Schutzenlisl: Mon-Fri, €14.50
Souvenirs at Oktoberfest on a Budget
There are several souvenirs to consider buying at Oktoberfest, so you may want to budget for that. Why not grab a few keepsakes to remember this once-in-a-lifetime party?
A good yet cheap Oktoberfest souvenir recommendation is to buy a traditional liter Maß stein. You can find them throughout the festival, selling for about €10 per liter stein. Don’t even think about stealing a stein from a beer hall, as you’ll get a hefty fine in addition to an unpleasant run-in with security who is specifically watching for this.
Also, if you’re buying a few of these steins and you’re flying out of Munich, be sure to take note of your baggage weight allowance. Those steins are heavy and may cause you to pay an overweight baggage fee if you haven’t accounted for the added weight.
Instead, consider small knick-knacks and mementos that can fit in your pocket. There are plenty of little souvenirs, such as pins and plushes, to consider. Sure, they may be cheap, both in price and quality. But if an inexpensive trinket makes you happy and will bring back fun memories of Oktoberfest once you’re back home, then go for it.
It’s wise to consider shopping for any souvenirs before entering the beer halls. Once you’ve had a few liters, you could be compelled to make drunken souvenir purchases that you end up regretting when waking up the next day.
What shouldn’t you buy at Oktoberfest? It’s our opinion to not bother with the novelty felt hats you’ll see being sold everywhere. Those hats can be fun. But you’ll be spending your Oktoberfest funds to look like a tourist, as those hats are not traditional.
And definitely do not buy a cuckoo clock at Oktoberfest. That would be a horrible drunken purchase! Authentic cuckoo clocks will set you back hundreds (even thousands) of euros. Such fine craftsmanship is the last thing you’ll want to be carrying around millions of drunk people. You can find cheaper clocks being sold at Oktoberfest, but those are all made in China. So beware. You’ll be the cuckoo if you buy one of these clocks during Oktoberfest!
Tips on How to Dress for Oktoberfest on a Budget
Buying a nice complete set of authentic lederhosen or dirndl can cost well into the €200 price range. Wearing the traditional outfit can be a lot of fun and something you should certainly consider splurging on. But if you’re really trying to do Oktoberfest on a budget, then forgoing the lederhosen and dirndl can also be a great way to cut costs. Here are some suggestions on what you can wear and how you can find authentic, yet cheap, Oktoberfest outfits.
Don’t Buy Cheap Costumes for Oktoberfest in Munich
You can buy cheap costume-type dirndl and lederhosen online, but we recommend against it. No one wears that. If you do, you’ll likely receive some funny looks at Oktoberfest 2023. It may be okay for your Halloween costume back home, but not at Oktoberfest in Munich. Just don’t.
You either have to spend on the real authentic dirndl and lederhosen or come to terms with not wearing any at all. And that’s okay too. You can still be festive!
How to Dress for Oktoberfest Without Dirndl and Lederhosen
If you don’t want to splurge on an authentic outfit that you’ll probably only wear once in your life, just know that it can be perfectly acceptable not to wear the traditional German dirndl or lederhosen at Oktoberfest. Still, there are ways you can, and should, spruce up your style to help get into the Oktoberfest spirit.
What Guys Can Wear If Not Splurging on Lederhosen
For the fellas, wear a blue-checkered shirt. These are called trachten shirts. You’ll fit right in with the signature Bavarian colors of blue & white. Yet, unlike lederhosen, these blue-checkered shirts are something you can wear again for any occasion.
Amazon has nice trachten shirts for cheap, depending on where you’re searching from. Check sizes and availability for this blue checkered shirt.
For the Ladies Who Aren’t Buying Dirndl
Girls, consider giving yourself a Bavarian hairstyle and tossing a light blue bow in your hair. While it’s fun to wear the dirndl if you can afford it, that extra €100 you’re saving will buy you a lot of liters during Oktoberfest. But if you do forgo the dirndl, just be sure to still show you have Oktoberfest spirit. Bavarian-style braids can be fun if you have long hair.
Yet if you’re single and want to find a nice German guy to gift you a Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread heart necklace), then you’ll need to splurge for the authentic dirndl! The suggestions below offer a few ways to get good yet cheap Oktoberfest outfits.
Rent Dirndl and Lederhosen for Oktoberfest
There are companies in Munich who provide daily rentals of both dirndls for women and complete lederhosen outfits for men. These Oktoberfest outfit rentals cost €40-€50 per day for high-quality authentic clothing. This may be an okay solution to avoid spending on an expensive get-up, but these rentals have their drawbacks too.
You do have to go through the hassle of picking up and then returning the clothing, which is not at the same location as Oktoberfest. You’ll also need to be extra careful while you’re drunk not to spill things like beer or mustard on your rental outfit. Otherwise, you may be forced to buy it. Also, know that these outfits get reserved well in advance. So your particular size may be sold out on the dates you’re looking to attend Oktoberfest 2023.
Despite this forethought, you may find Oktoberfest clothing rentals to be a good alternative to spending on dirndl or lederhosen. If so, Bavarian Outfitters is a reputable organization in Munich that offers this clothing rental service.
Where to Buy Inexpensive Dirndl and Lederhosen for Oktoberfest
While walking around Munich during Oktoberfest, the least expensive we ever see any decent dirndl (for girls) is in the low €100+ range. A good lederhosen outfit (for guys) will cost even more. Sorry lads!
Most of the department stores around Munich do sell a wide variety of different authentic Oktoberfest clothing options but most are not cheap at all, both in terms of quality and cost.
Instead of buying this clothing new, we recommend considering secondhand dirndl or lederhosen. Try checking on eBay before Oktoberfest 2023 in an attempt to find a used outfit at cost savings.
If you stay with Stoke Travel (see: Cheap Oktoberfest Accommodation section of this article), they’re selling dirndl for €70 and complete lederhosen sets for €90 during Oktoberfest 2023. It’s actually the least expensive dirndl and lederhosen we saw anywhere around Munich!
How to Find Cheap Accommodation for Oktoberfest in Munich 2023
This is the easiest part of an Oktoberfest budget to cut costs. If you’re looking for cheap places to stay during Oktoberfest 2023, here’s what you have to work with:
- All-inclusive glamping or camping including meals & free beer (*our pick 👍)
- Apartment rentals
- Hotel (expensive)
If you have money to burn (or hotel points), then you’ll be most comfortable in a hotel room at Oktoberfest. But there are far more budget-friendly Oktoberfest options to crash in after a full day of drinking. Securing cheap Oktoberfest accommodation is one of the biggest and easiest ways to save on overall expenses.
When looking for a cheap place to stay at Oktoberfest, we found Stoke Travel to be the best option for its cost. That is exactly what we’ve used ourselves and we can now highly recommend this “experience.” For as little as €65 per night, it not only gives you a place to crash, but it is also a festival within the festival that can include …all the free beer you can drink if you follow our instructions (no joke!)
More on how to get that free beer in a minute, but let’s take a closer look at each of these cheap Oktoberfest accommodation options (and expensive ones too). We’ll start with the most budget-friendly and work our way up.
Self-Camping at Oktoberfest
There are campgrounds within Munich where you can pitch your own tent. Rates are about €40 per night during Oktoberfest dates in 2023. This can be a cheap place to stay at Oktoberfest if you already have your own camping gear, you have a car to drive, and/or you happen to live in or around Germany.
If that doesn’t apply to you, the expenses involved with self-camping may end up costing even more than other accommodation options in Munich. If you have to buy camping gear, then this option certainly isn’t worth bothering with at all.
But even with your own gear, you’ll have to consider the costs involved in transporting it all. If you are flying into Munich on a budget airline, you’ll likely end up spending hundreds of euros in baggage fees alone, just to get your tent and sleeping bag to the campground.
Then you’ll have to deal with securing a site among the city’s campgrounds that get swarmed during Oktoberfest dates. It ultimately can end up being more trouble than the savings are worth, depending on your circumstance.
All-Inclusive Oktoberfest Glamping & Camping (with Unlimited Free Beer)
Stoke Travel does an all-inclusive camping package that we experienced first-hand at Oktoberfest. It was such a blast and we now recommend it as the best option for value at Oktoberfest!
Stoke Travel sets you up with everything you need at this “festival within a festival.” Their all-inclusive packages only cost €80 per night, or €65/night if staying midweek. This includes not just a place to crash – you get so much value! These Oktoberfest packages include parties with live bands and DJs, hot breakfasts/brunch with mimosas each morning, and all the camping gear that is completely set up for you.
And if you’re not the camping type, they now have super comfy glamping-type (comfort plus) options. That’ll cost extra, but it’s still far less than a hotel or even a hostel. So consider it!
Whether you choose the regular or comfort option, you’ll be staying right in the middle of one big awesome party that even includes unlimited free beer, wine, and sangria bar (enter ROAMING at checkout to unlock access) during your entire stay if you book using the link and info below.
Here are all the details…
Stoke Travel Oktoberfest Reviews
When we were searching for affordable Oktoberfest accommodation, Stoke Travel seemed like a good option, but we couldn’t find many reviews. So here’s a brief Stoke Travel Oktoberfest review from our experience, which was a really fun time, and we can now totally recommend it. Just know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand.
It is camping after all. So don’t expect the Ritz. But we found camping with Stoke Travel to be comfortable, crazy good value, and great fun. Tents, sleeping bags, and air mattresses are all provided and set up for you. Just show up and grab a complimentary welcome beer and a pretzel. Then a Stoke staff member will escort you to your tent.
The camping equipment Stoke uses is mostly of good quality. From our experience, sleeping bags were very clean (like new) and warm. Their tents completely kept the rain out during the one night we got rained on. Some of the air mattresses were a bit leaky. But they had plenty. So when we found that one of our air mattresses wasn’t holding its air, we were easily able to exchange it for a good air mattress that didn’t leak.
We found their camping setup to be comfortable for us. But they also now have a cool comfort plus option that is more luxurious, like glamping. The comfort plus option uses big tents you can stand up in and high-quality mattresses, plus a bunch of extra amenities.
The campground Stoke uses in Munich is a nice setting, with lots of trees. It doesn’t even feel like you’re in the city, even though it’s just a short ride from the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. In fact, the campground is still within Munich’s Inner District. Onsite are clean bathrooms, wifi near the front, and food & drink options. There are even vending machines that will make you hot fries (which is all too convenient after a late night) and there’s a beer vending machine too! Stoke has a charging station for phones and other small electronics, which allowed us to keep our batteries powered up for when we went out to Oktoberfest.
A full hot breakfast/brunch each morning is actually included in the price too! The camp food was surprisingly good and filling. Sometimes the breakfast lines got long, but there was never any wait to get a free beer. Never. Priorities!
Oh, so you want to know about the free beer?
💡 Big Tip: How to Get Unlimited FREE BEER during Oktoberfest 🍺
Stoke Travel offers a package that includes unlimited beer & sangria from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm every single day of Oktoberfest. Before paying €15 for each liter at the actual Oktoberfest, Stoke gives you the ability to drink as much as you want at their “festival within a festival” which takes place daily at the campgrounds.
It really is unlimited beer. We never had to wait to get a beer and they kept it flowing all day long. Just give your cup to the friendly beertender, drink, and repeat. Stoke uses decent German beer too.
The unlimited beer, wine, and sangria is normally an extra cost of €15 per day. That’s a bargain in itself! But we contacted Stoke Travel to see if they would offer our readers any discounts. They actually decided to give you the unlimited beer, wine & sangria package for free!
To get the free beer included, just use this link and enter ROAMING during the checkout process and you’ll have unlimited beer to drink at the Stoke Travel campsite throughout all of Oktoberfest.
Let’s break that down: For the price of about four beers at Oktoberfest, you get hooked up with unlimited beer, plus a place to stay, plus breakfast, and a massive party. It’s such an incredible deal!
⚠️ Book now – before sold out! At last check, they’re about 45% full with the weekend dates nearing capacity. During the past few years, Stoke has sold out completely on many days and certain packages.
What is Stoketoberfest? A Festival Within a Festival
Doing the all-inclusive camping with Stoke Travel is so much more than just a cheap place to stay at Oktoberfest. There are thousands of people who camp with Stoke to have fun at the festival they throw at camp each day. They called it Stoketoberfest. At the campground, there’s a big stage with a DJ and other live performances, and it doesn’t take long in the morning to get everybody dancing. The MCs and all the Stoke crew keep the party vibes going strong all day long.
Yet, thankfully, it’s all quieted down by around 11:00 at night, enabling us to get a night of good sleep to get ready and start the party all over again the next day.
What makes for a great experience here is the 65 different nationalities who all came together at this campground in Munich to get fueled up on the free beer before and after going to Oktoberfest. It’s a beautiful thing. And with enough beer and such an international crowd of fun-loving people, you can only imagine the hilarious conversations and situations that play out. It’s such a blast!
Arguably, the most fun was the infamous wheel of misfortune. What is this you ask? You’ll have to go to Stoketoberfest and give it a spin to find out! Expect lots of laughs, beer, and possibly some nakedness!
It’s really difficult to even attempt to describe what it’s like to stay with Stoke for Oktoberfest. So take a look at their video, which helps to convey the fun and craziness you’re ensured to experience if you go.
The Best Oktoberfest Value in Munich?
Stoke really does provide an all-inclusive experience. The only other thing you’ll need to spend money on at the Stoke campgrounds is the hot showers which run an extra €1 per shower. Those who need wifi can spend €2 for 10 hours of usage. Virtually all other expenses are accounted for within the €65 (weekdays) or €80 (weekends) per night price.
The inclusion of your breakfasts and the Stoketoberfest party with unlimited free beer (by entering ROAMING at checkout) makes the modest price point what we think is the best value for Oktoberfest in all of Munich. If you’re looking for cheap accommodation at Oktoberfest 2023, this is it.
Overall our Stoke Travel Oktoberfest review is definitely a good one! You can certainly find much nicer places to stay in Munich during Oktoberfest. But Stoke, by far, the best value. And we’d say it’s the most fun too!
While at Oktoberfest, we were explaining to some German guys there how much fun we were having back at the Stoke campgrounds. They were staying at a hotel and were considering leaving their room to join the party back at the Stoke Travel campgrounds. We kept in touch with them after Oktoberfest and they messaged us to let us know they stayed with Stoke Travel the next year and had the best time ever.
And for added value staying with Stoke, if you’re going to stay in Munich for at least four nights anyways, then be sure to book the Ultimate Oktoberfest Adventure option. Not only will you save €40 on accommodation, they also throw in freebies like a free boozy bike tour of Munich. (Of course, there’s still the unlimited free beer too, when entering ROAMING during the check-out process.)
How to Maximize Your Time & Money if Staying at Stoke All-Inclusive Camping
Getting from the campgrounds to Oktoberfest using public transportation is easy. Since the Stoke campground is located within the Inner District, the cheapest public transit ticket will cover you from the campgrounds to Oktoberfest. Team up and get a group (5 people) transit ticket to get to Oktoberfest and back, which works out to €3.40 per person each day. There are Stoke Travel “guides” that can show you how to do this and help you make your way to the Oktoberfest grounds. Yet you don’t need any directions. Just follow a drunken guy in lederhosen. He knows.
To maximize your value and time, we’d recommend eating a good breakfast at camp and starting your day of beer-drinking there. Beers will be free for you at camp and they start flowing early at the Stoke campgrounds, so go ahead and take advantage of that before you’re paying €15 per beer at Oktoberfest.
But don’t linger at the Stoke campground for too long. The actual Oktoberfest is what you came to Munich for, so go start making your way over there for a day session when seats are easier to come by and lunch specials are on offer. Then after your fill of liters in the Oktoberfest beer halls, come back to the campsite to party more, take advantage of those unlimited free beers, and take a spin at the wheel of misfortune.
Check out Stoke’s Oktoberfest page – Stoke Travel Oktoberfest Packages – for full details and to check if they still have availability.
And don’t forget to get yourself hooked up with the unlimited free beer by entering ROAMING at checkout.
Again, they do tend to fill up, so be sure to make your reservations in advance. Check up-to-date Stoke Travel camping and glamping availability here.
Hostels During Oktoberfest Can Be Costly
Hostels are a logical choice to find cheap Oktoberfest accommodation. But you may be deceived. If you book super early, you may be able to find hostel beds starting at around €100 per night for a bed in a mixed dorm. But even if you’re lucky enough to find one, you have to consider the fact that you’ll be sharing a room with 10 drunken strangers. Just pray that the big guy in the top bunk doesn’t get sick.
You’ll find other hostels price gouging even further, charging €150+ per night for a bunk bed in a shared room. We’ve even seen hostels charging over €300 per night just for a bed in a shared dorm. This is ridiculous! Don’t do it. This is not worth it. There are far more reasonably-priced budget accommodation options for Oktoberfest.
But if you’re a solo traveler who wants to sleep indoors and can book early at a reasonable rate, a hostel bed could be worth the splurge.
At last check (July 2023), the best price we could find on a dorm bed in a decently-rated hostel (7.5+) within Munich’s inner district, during Oktoberfest 2023 dates is €101/night for a bed in an 8-bed mixed dorm. Plug in your dates for up-to-date pricing and availability:
- Wombat’s City Hostel Munich Werksviertel – €134/bed
- MEININGER Munich Olympiapark – €121/bed
- MEININGER Munich City Center –
- Jaeger’s Munich –
- Wombat’s City Hostel Munich Hauptbahnhof – €180
If you’re looking for a private room in a hostel in Munich during Oktoberfest, rates start closer to €250+ per night, per person based on two people. So that comes out to about €1,500 for a couple to stay three nights in Munich during Oktoberfest. At that price, you can find hotel rooms that are less expensive. In our opinion, it’s not worth it to stay in a hostel for Oktoberfest with all of the price gouging going on.
Ultimately, we suggest looking at other options that offer better value. Also, beware that many camping copycats are now listed on hostelworld (with bad reviews or no reviews). If you’re going to do the camping thing, be sure to book directly through Stoke so you don’t get scammed with a poor experience.
Apartment Rentals and Airbnb at Oktoberfest
If you book early enough, you may be able to find a decent Airbnb room during Oktoberfest. It’ll be a step up above camping, but you’ll likely have to start splashing the cash for anything decent. In the last update to this article (July 2023), the average price for a bedroom in central Munich was €300 per night, while private apartments were averaging €700 per night.
Of course, those are the average prices before all the obligatory fees likely add in another €100-€200 to the total cost of your stay. So on average, a 3-night stay in Munich’s city center during an Oktoberfest weekend would likely run well upwards of €2,000+ in total.
The only way this could ultimately prove to be somewhat of a decent value is if you have a large group of people and are able to find a place that fits your crew, so you can share the cost. Otherwise, short-term rentals are not a good option for budget travelers at Oktoberfest.
Also, understand that those prices are averages, so you will find some crash pads that are lower (and higher) than this. But be careful. All the best places are the first to be booked up, leaving some questionable, unverified, and extremely overpriced rooms left.
We’ve regularly found many hosts even being bold enough to list their spare rooms for over €400 per night, waiting to cash in on last-minute Oktoberfest bookings. And that’s just for a room, not the entire apartment. Some rooms look like nice places to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest, but ouch, spending €1,000+ is way too much for crashing in someone’s spare bedroom for a few days!
If using Airbnb, be sure to check for three things:
- a track record of good reviews,
- a good location relative to public transportation in which you can easily get to Oktoberfest, and
- read the complete description if there is one.
Some of the cheaper apartments are not within walking distance of a metro or bus route, which can become very problematic. So be sure to factor expensive taxi fares into your budget. And rooms without any reviews or a lack of description can be a total gamble, even if they look pretty in the pictures.
But if you are going to splurge on an Airbnb during Oktoberfest, be sure to read the fine print to know exactly what you’re getting into. We were considering using Airbnb for Oktoberfest and found a nice looking inexpensive room to stay in a great location, very close to Oktoberfest. But after reading the listing closely, we noticed it was just a room with a hard, oddly-shaped couch. You were required to bring your own sleeping bag, blankets, and pillows. At that point, for our euro, we found Stoke’s all-inclusive camping to be a far better option.
Finding Cheap Oktoberfest Hotels in Munich
Hotels can be a nice splurge to consider. But they certainly are not a cheap place to stay at Oktoberfest. Yet there are some ways you can attempt to cut costs, but you’ll still have to pay a premium.
If you want to book a cheap hotel for Oktoberfest in Munich, the best strategy is to redeem hotel points that you may have accumulated from prior stays at popular hotel chains or by using a credit card linked to a hotel group. Hotels obviously hike up their prices during Oktoberfest, but some hotel loyalty programs have no blackout dates or point increases during special events. So if you’ve built loyalty with any hotel group, Oktoberfest may be an opportune time to finally redeem those points for a free room!
If you have no hotel loyalty points, be prepared to spend a lot on a hotel.
Consider these strategies to help lessen the financial hit of a hotel during Oktoberfest:
- Book super early (one year in advance, if possible)
- Book a hotel on the outskirts of town (although ensure there are public transit options)
- Avoid the first week of Oktoberfest
- Avoid weekends, book Mon-Thursday
You’ll need to book a room early and stay further away to find any reasonable rates, around €300 / night. Booking one year in advance is best. But at the very least, you should lock in a reservation before summer starts.
Waiting until summer, it’s more realistic to see nightly rates in Munich soaring well beyond €500 during Oktoberfest weekends, for places that have any availability left.
Again, be sure to check that there are public transport options from the hotel to Oktoberfest. Also, the further out you stay, the more your public transit ticket will cost, so build that into your Oktoberfest budget too.
Hotels during the first week of Oktoberfest tend to sell out more quickly, so consider going during one of the later weeks. Also, try to book during the weekdays if possible. You not only might find lower rates, but you’ll also have a less crowded experience at Oktoberfest.
But no matter what, a hotel in Munich during Oktoberfest 2023 is going to cost you a lot. You can take an up-to-date look at all the inflated room rates using the hotelscombined.com widget below, which searches all of the top booking sites (Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, etc.) to find the lowest rates among whatever hotels may still have available rooms left in Munich.
Local Transportation to Get to Oktoberfest Grounds
Oktoberfest is located at the Theresienwiese, the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. Most accommodation within walking distance of Theresienwiese is crazy expensive, so you’ll likely need to figure out how to get to Oktoberfest on your own. Your options are:
- Public Transit (recommended)
Using Public Transportation to Get to Oktoberfest on a Budget
Munich’s public transit is the most affordable transport option in Munich. The rapid rail system, tramways, and buses remain running frequently and on time during Oktoberfest. In fact, they are even more frequent during the busy Oktoberfest time period! It’s a convenient and easy option that we strongly recommend as a cost-effective transportation option to get around Munich during Oktoberfest.
But if hitting the rails in Munich, there are some money-saving tips to be aware of regarding what type of ticket is best to buy.
Munich’s public transport system works on the honor system. You buy a ticket, get on, and validate the ticket. Ticket-checkers do come by to ensure you’re not stealing a free ride, but it’s not a frequent practice. Still, we wouldn’t recommend risking a hefty fine if you were to get caught on Munich’s public transport without a ticket.
Single tickets for one zone within Munich are priced at €3.70 in 2023. So that would be €7.40 to get to Oktoberfest and back if you’re accommodation is located within the Inner District. If you’re only going to and from Oktoberfest and nowhere else, then single tickets could make sense.
But most visitors during Munich’s Oktoberfest make side trips to Munich’s city center, the English Garden, a bierhall, or elsewhere throughout this awesome city. All those single trips could easily add up to €15-€20+ per person per day, potentially costing a couple nearly €100 during a 3-day trip to Munich.
Instead, visitors can purchase discounted all-day passes, group passes (covering up to 5 people), and multi-day tourist cards that are good for all of Munich’s public transportation systems (U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams, and busses) in addition to discounts on area attractions.
Each of these tickets can be easily purchased at the ticket kiosks located at each station. You should just be informed in advance of which ticket to buy. There are dozens of different tickets and passes to consider, based on your group size (solo or multiple people) and the number of days you’re using Munich’s transit.
For more information on these different public transport passes in Munich you can visit: the official Munich Traffic & Tariff Department website, which provides all the fare and route information you’ll need to get around the city. Munich transportation ticket prices during Oktoberfest 2023 are:
- Single-day ticket – €8.80 each day within Munich (Zone M, 1-2 zones)
- Group day ticket – €17.00 each day within Munich (Zone M, 1-2 zones)
Since a group day ticket covers up to five people, sharing this cost among a group of five brings the per-person cost to only €3.40 each day for unlimited transit. Even two people can save, as it drops the cost to €8.50 pp. So unless you’re rolling solo, a group ticket is definitely the way to go.
The prices mentioned above are for the Inner District (Zone M). If you are staying on the outskirts of Munich, you’ll need to purchase a ticket that includes zones further out. So to save time and save money, it’s best to try and stay within the Inner District when considering cheap accommodation in Munich for Oktoberfest. Here is Munich’s transit zone map with the Inner District in white. Plan accordingly.
Yet of even more value than the aforementioned transit passes is Munich’s City Tour Cards. When buying in advance, it is the same price as the transit passes and also includes the same transit benefits of unlimited rides using Munich’s public transit network. But The City Tour Card further includes loads of discounts on museums, attractions, theatres, concerts, shops, cafes, and restaurants all around Munich.
It’s nice not having to queue up at the kiosks at the train stations to buy your ticket, which is confusing to navigate the automated system to find the exact ticket you’re trying to purchase. Instead, we suggest buying the Munich City Tour Card on GetYourGuide and picking up the card once you arrive in Munich.
Consider Taking Uber in Munich during Oktoberfest
Munich does have Uber, which might be cheaper than a traditional taxi, but it won’t be as economical as using public transport. For example, an 11-kilometer UberX ride in Munich is estimated to be about €25 for what should be a 20-minute trip, without traffic. That’s €50 roundtrip, which is not particularly cheap.
Beware: You also have to take into consideration that Munich’s roadways will likely be congested with traffic as you near the Oktoberfest grounds, which will add to the cost estimate and will take longer to get a ride. You must also consider Uber’s practice of surge pricing, which inflates rates during popular events such as Oktoberfest, based on the inevitable increased demand. See the Uber Munich site to get fare estimates, but know that those estimates will not account for heavy surge pricing.
If you do use Uber during Oktoberfest 2023 and you notice that surge pricing is 2x or higher, it will likely be less expensive to take a taxi. That is, if you can find one.
Using a Taxi to Get to Oktoberfest
Taking a taxi in Munich is not a budget-friendly Oktoberfest means of transportation. Use it as a last resort to get to Oktoberfest. Expect to pay nearly twice as much as an Uber during non-surge-pricing times. And a taxi during Oktoberfest will cost way more than a ticket to use public transit. But if you’re unable to use public transportation for some reason and if Uber has a heavy surge pricing (2x or more), then a taxi’s standard rates will be less.
In 2023, there are fixed rates for taxis in Munich, based on kilometers traveled:
- Within 5 kilometers: €20
- Within 10 kilometers: €34
- Within 45 kilometers: €115
If your trip exceeds the distance, the fare will switch to the general tariff, which will be even higher. Given the frequent, efficient, convenient, and cost-effective public transportation options throughout Munich, budget-conscious travelers need not consider taxis and Ubers during Oktoberfest.
Budget-Friendly Sightseeing While in Munich During Oktoberfest
If you’re in Munich for a few days, you should take at least one day away from Oktoberfest to walk around and sightsee throughout this wonderful city. Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do in Munich on a budget.
Free Things to Do in Munich During Oktoberfest
You don’t need to spend lots of money to do activities while in Munich. The city boasts a number of worthwhile free things to do, even during Oktoberfest! A few of our favorite free Munich activities are:
- Attend an Oktoberfest parade (free)
- Climb the tower of St Paul’s church for sweeping views of Oktoberfest (donation recommended)
- Take the free walking tour (tips suggested)
- Sightsee in the city centre and watch the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in action (free)
- Find the devil’s footprint in the Frauenkirche Cathedral (free)
- Stroll through the vast Englischer Garten (park) and watch surfers on the Eisbach River (free)
There are two parades to attend during Oktoberfest 2023. And they’re both free! To see the parades, you’ll need to be at Oktoberfest during opening weekend. So if in Munich during this time, be sure to attend!
- Oktoberfest Opening Day Parade: Owners of the beer tents make their grand entrance on horse-drawn carriages. When: September 16th, 2023, 11:00 am. Route: Josephspitalstraße to the Theresienwiese. Cost: free.
- Trachten- und Schützenzug (Costume & Riflemen Parade): This is the biggest parade of Oktoberfest. Lasting about 2 hours, it includes 9,000 participants, 40 floats, and many marching bands. When: September 17th, 2023, 10:00 am. Route: Maxmonument to the Theresienwiese. Cost: free. More info: here.
One of the best views of Oktoberfest can be found at the tower of Munich’s St Paul’s Church (Paulskirche). It’s located on the northern fringes of the Oktoberfest fairgrounds (right here) and has a tower that is only open to visitors during Munich’s Oktoberfest and Springfest. So if in Munich during Oktoberfest, you have a unique opportunity to climb the 250 steps of the church’s tower to get a birdseye view of Oktoberfest in all its glory.
Another great view of Oktoberfest can be taking the Oktoberfest Ferris Wheel. It’s a €10 ticket to ride this Ferris Wheel. So you can save €10 by climbing the tower instead. The tower at St Paul’s Church and the Oktoberfest Ferris Wheel are both a height of 50 meters (~164 feet). And while the Ferris Wheel charges €10 per person, St Paul’s church is free to enter, although donations are recommended.
If you don’t do anything else in Munich, we highly recommend taking the free walking tour of the city. These tip-based tours will take you around all the main sights in the historic city center as you nurture your hangover with interesting facts about Munich. Meet at the Marienplatz, Munich’s central square, in front of the large column (located here in the city centre) at 10:45. More info here: Munich Free Walking Tour.
There are tons of free sights and attractions in Munich’s city centre. Be sure to check out the famous Rathaus-Glockenspiel, which is located in the Marienplatz. During the Oktoberfest time period, the Glockenspiel starts at 11:00 am, Noon, and 5:00 pm. So plan your visit accordingly!
While you’re there, go just a few blocks around the corner to Frauenkirche Cathedral where you can see the devil’s footprint inside the grand cathedral. The walking tour goes to both, but you can also go to these sites on your own.
We also recommend a visit to Englischer Garten, a vast park in the city center. Here you can visit one of Munich’s most famous beer gardens for lunch or a beer. The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) can be a great alternative place to go and have a beer on days when the Oktoberfest grounds are packed. With the Chinese Tower beer garden containing 7,000 seats, you may actually have an easy time finding a table to sit at (unlike Oktoberfest).
If it’s a sunny day in Englischer Garten, you’ll also see the oddly intriguing sight of a bunch of old naked men strutting around the park grounds or sunning themselves. Another highlight to do within the park is watching the many people surfing on the stationary wave in the Eisbach River.
And no beer-centric trip to Munich is complete without an obligatory visit to the famed Hofbrauhaus. So be sure to drop in for a liter.
Inexpensive Tours in Munich During Oktoberfest
From tours of Munich to day trips out into the Alps countryside, there are some great excursions you can take during your stay in Munich while breaking up all the Oktoberfest fun. Taking such day trips during Oktoberfest dates is also a great idea to do on Saturday to avoid the heavier weekend crowds that will be swarming Oktoberfest. It’s a nice way to balance out a beer-filled trip by adding a bit of Bavarian culture and history into the mix. After all, when you’ve come all the way to Munich, you’ve got to consider further venturing into the Alps to see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle!
Many of the tours are quite costly, of course. So we suggest forgoing the expensive 1-hour segway tour to instead pedal your way across Munich on a 3-hour bike tour. That’ll help you work off some of those beer calories, will be way more fun, and way cheaper too!
We’ve hand-picked these well-priced tours and day trips that you can reserve before you get to Munich. And you should book such tours in advance, as they tend to book up full during the busy Oktoberfest dates:
- Munich 3-Hour Bike Tour – This is a great option to cover much more ground in Munich than the walking tour. Take to two wheels and pedal your way across town and through Munich’s parks and beer gardens. You can book this 3-hour bike tour for only €32 on GetYourGuide.
- Bavarian Beer and Food Evening Tour – What better time and place to learn all about Bavarian beer and food (€59). This highly-rated tour provides private access to the Oktoberfest museum, followed by generous amounts of beer and German food, to learn all about the local traditions, all while enjoying the beer. No wonder it gets such great reviews! See the latest reviews and check availability on Viator.
- Neuschwanstein Castle – Take a ride into the Alps to see the famed castle that became the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty. This is arguably the best day trip you can take from Munich. Many tours go out to this scenic site, yet we found the most affordable option to be this €69 tour on GetYourGuide, which currently boasts over 1,000 excellent reviews!
Transportation to Oktoberfest on a Budget
To have some money left to spend on beer, you’ll need to find an affordable way to get to Oktoberfest 2023. Luckily if you’re already in Europe, there are plenty of cheap ways to get to Oktoberfest. If you’re coming from another continent, don’t worry, you may still be able to score a cheap flight to Oktoberfest too.
Getting from Elsewhere in Europe & UK to Oktoberfest on a Budget
Your main transportation options to get to Munich Oktoberfest 2023 include:
- Bus, 🚌
- train, 🚆
- or flight. ✈️
Bus Travel to Oktoberfest is Usually the Cheapest Way to Munich
You can arrive from virtually anywhere in Europe and get to Munich during Oktoberfest cheaply by coach. You can find bus tickets from many European destinations to Munich as low as €15-€50 each way. We find the bus network connecting Europe to be a great travel bargain and an underrated way to buzz around the continent.
While smaller regional bus lines exist, the main bus options in 2023 that go to Munich are:
Again, secure your bus reservations to Munich early for Oktoberfest 2023. Buses will sell out.
Train Travel to Oktoberfest Can Get Costly
Train travel to Oktoberfest can get pricey. You can find reasonable regional rail rates from nearby Austria and within Germany. But if coming to Munich from further afield, you’ll be much better off using a bus if trying to get to Oktoberfest on a budget. If considering train travel to Munich, use the Bahn website to find timetables.
For more complicated routes, consult the Munich page from the Man in Seat 61.
You can also try searching rome2rio which will give you some good ideas and estimates across planes, trains, and automobiles.
For Cheap Flights to Munich for Oktoberfest: Book Super Early
Book far enough in advance and you may be able to snag a seat on a budget airline into Munich within €100 each way. If you search early enough, you can actually find sub-€100 tickets from Paris and other cities within Germany to Munich.
A handful of other European locations also have sub-€200 tickets each way. But you’ll only find those low fares to Oktoberfest if you search very early. Realistically, you can expect to pay at least €400+ for roundtrip tickets to Munich during Oktoberfest time.
Check Skyscanner to seek out cheap airfares.
How to Get from the US to Oktoberfest on a Budget
The USD to Euro exchange rate is doing well for Americans in 2023. This economic sleight of hand will help to make a 2023 Oktoberfest trip even more affordable for those with USD! Even though Oktoberfest prices are up, the exchange rate is down, compared to a few years ago. So those with dollars will be able to exchange them for more euros in 2023.
You just need to find a cheap flight from the US to Munich for Oktoberfest. This will likely be the biggest expense to your entire Oktoberfest budget. Flights from the US to Munich can be very expensive, particularly during Oktoberfest. Search for a roundtrip ticket from anywhere in the US to Munich during Oktoberfest and you may find prices well upwards of $2,000 – yikes!
Thankfully, there are ways to save and score a cheap flight toward Munich. It is very possible to find flights from the US to Munich for under $400, each way.
You can find surprisingly cheap flights from the US to Munich during Oktoberfest if you get creative and spend the time to search them out. Here are our top tips to score a low fare from the US to Munich during Oktoberfest:
- book far enough in advance (*most important!),
- be flexible with your departure/arrival cities,
- use low-cost airlines,
- try searching for one-way flights to fly different airlines for outbound and return flights,
- be flexible with your travel dates,
- consider outbound flights departing Wednesdays and Sundays for lower rates,
- consider flying a few days before Oktoberfest begins or returning days after it ends,
- consider flying to a nearby European city (with low fares), then transferring to Munich by bus or train.
Flight prices change constantly and it would be a nearly impossible task to keep track of all the different prices and routes to Munich. While $400 (and under) fares do currently exist at the time of this update – they will rise and likely sell out getting closer to Oktoberfest 2023 dates. Book ASAP! Flight prices to Munich will only go up at this point, not down.
Cheapest Flight Routes US to Munich Oktoberfest
For 2023, we’ve been seeing the cheapest airfares to Munich on TAP, a Portuguese airline, with short layovers in Lisbon. Flights from O’Hare (Chicago), Dulles (DC), MIA (Miami), and Newark (New York City) are a few airports where you can find flights on TAP to Munich for around $400 per person, each way.
If you really want to save some cash, have some extra time, and are willing to go through some extra hassle, then you can often find similarly cheap flights from the US to Dublin, London, Paris, Amsterdam, and other cities within Germany. Fly to one of those cities and then use one of the methods discussed above to get to Munich. Doing this will add time to your trip but you stand to save hundreds of dollars and will get an opportunity to explore another city before or after your Oktoberfest trip.
Dublin can often be among the cheapest point of entry from the US. So consider having a few pints of Guinness as a prelude to the big beer event in Munich. Or consider a flight to Frankfurt or Berlin, which have relatively close (4-5 hours) and easy connections to Munich, within Germany.
We’ve found some of the best airfare prices to Munich during Oktoberfest on Skyscanner.com. Get creative with your searches and score an Oktoberfest flight deal!
Oktoberfest on a Budget Recap
We hope this article helps plan your epic yet cheap Oktoberfest trip. Maybe we’ll see you at Oktoberfest 2023! 😉 If this post was helpful or if you have your own Oktoberfest budget tips, let us know in the comments. Or if you have any questions, give us a shout!
Whatever method you use to get to Oktoberfest and wherever you stay, be sure to go and experience this awesome centuries-old Bavarian tradition! Don’t let your budget hold you back. If you can figure out how to get to Europe on the cheap and scrounge up four hundred euros for beer/food/accommodation, you’ll be in great shape to have an incredible three-day bender at Oktoberfest on a budget. Prost!
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