How to Make Oktoberfest Table Reservations for Free: A Local’s Step by Step Guide

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When it comes to getting table reservations at Oktoberfest, the amount of misinformation out there is hilariously unhelpful.

The truth is, most articles will try to sell you on expensive packaged tours, or otherwise skimp out on important details like when and HOW you actually make these reservations for yourself.

So, frustrated and tipsy (the name of my autobiography, really), I busted out my Google translate and pawed through a cesspool of broken links, redirects and confusing German reservation systems, all to bring you this step by step, no BS guide to securing table reservations at Oktoberfest (whether you’re a local or a tourist).

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Here’s the thing: reservations for every tent open at different times of the year, and they all have their own unique system of putting in requests, from sleek online reservation systems to…. fax-only. (No joke)

So, are you hoping to snag a reservation for this year’s Oktoberfest? Not all the tents have opened up for bookings yet, but some have, so get to it! Hopefully this guide will help you get the Oktoberfest table reservation of your dreams.

Below, I’ve broken down the individual reservation system step by step for 16 of Oktoberfest’s biggest tents. Enjoy! Or feel free to click here and watch a video version.

First: How to Get Oktoberfest Reservations (Guaranteed!)

Okay, so this entire article is dedicated to snagging an Oktoberfest reservation on your own, but even with my overbearing tips, securing a reso takes a lot of patience and luck.

If you want a 100% guaranteed reservation to ensure your dream vacay is as you always dreamt, the only way is through paying up! 

There are several third party companies now that sell tours and packages which include a reserved table.

The pros here are numerous – you have a table guaranteed, you don’t need to worry about all the info below, and your only job is to show up and get drunk! The con? These packages can be very very expensive.

If you don’t mind the tradeoff, here are some options to look into:

This tour which includes breakfast, a historical tour, lunch and UNLIMITED beer + a reserved table

This experience which is the cheapest option I found and seems to include a short tour around the Oktoberfest grounds along with guaranteed seats

This tour which is actually pretty reasonably priced (compared to others), and includes a 1.5 hour walking tour, 2 beers + a chicken, a Ferris Wheel ride, gingerbread hearts and a guaranteed seat in one of the most popular Oktoberfest tents

This tour which is one of the cheapest ones I found, and also includes a Munich city tour + 2 beers and a chicken in addition to a guaranteed seat

This simple package which just includes your reserved seat, 2 beers and a chicken – perfect if you don’t want any kind of extra tour and you just want to drink

Lastly, this very expensive (and rare) evening reservation, which includes food/drink vouchers for 10 people. Please contact them in advance as the availability calendar is glitchy and shows more weekend dates than they should (i.e. ones past the Oktoberfest dates)

Next: Do you need Oktoberfest Tent Reservations?

The short answer? No, not really.

Unless you’re a big group of people and you want to make sure you get a full table together, then I wouldn’t be too stressed over getting a reservation.

It’s still 100% possible to have an awesome time since the tents are all free to enter and they save a portion of the tables for walk-ins anyway.

If you’re smart, arrive early and plan to visit during off-peak periods like weekdays, then you’ll have no trouble finding a table to slot in, even without a reservation. 

I explain a bit more in this Oktoberfest “tickets” guide.

But hey, having a reservation at Oktoberfest certainly doesn’t hurt, and it can help you do the trip on a budget (through dodging 3rd party reservation sellers).

So, I’m hoping this guide de-mystifies that process a little! It’s surprisingly simple if you know where to look and when to start booking.

With that said, let’s get to the reservation process.

Oktoberfest tent
See those happy people drinking? That could be you!

Oktoberfest Table Reservation: Ground Rules and Must-Knows

If you’re completely new to the process of booking tables for Oktoberfest, here are some basic ground rules for you:

Oktoberfest reservations are made at individual tents

There is no centralized place where you can book tables for Oktoberfest. Frustratingly, every tent has a different process of their own.

I cover 16 of the largest tents in this post, but there are a lot of tiny ones too with their own reservation process.

Honestly, if it’s your first time at Oktoberfest, you’ll want to be at one of these bigger tents anyway for the full experience 😉

Oktoberfest reservations can (usually) only be made for a full table

For the most part, there’s no such thing as making an Oktoberfest reservation for 1 or 2 people.

When you commit to reservation at Oktoberfest, you’re committing to booking out the entire table which seats 8-10.

That said, what you’re REALLY committing to is paying for enough food/drink to feed 8-10 people.

That’s because to hold your reservation, you need to pay a minimum consumption amount beforehand which is then given to you in the form of vouchers to spend throughout Oktoberfest.

If you are a party of 4 but are happy to pay for 10 people’s worth of vouchers, then you can, in theory, still reserve a table.

NOTE: Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke offers reservations for smaller groups, but only for lunch. This is a really nice “tent” but it doesn’t offer the traditional Oktoberfest tent atmosphere – it’s more like a cozy little ski chalet where you can enjoy gourmet food… so it’s nice, but if you want the classic ‘dancing on benches’ Oktoberfest experience, you should book elsewhere.

Reservations can be costly to make

I mentioned this above, but just to be clear: while it doesn’t cost anything to reserve a table at Oktoberfest, you DO need to pay a minimum consumption per person upfront (or once they invoice you, usually sometime from June onwards).

For a full table, this adds of up to hundreds of euros.

While you’ll get all this money back in the form of vouchers which you can spend on food, drink, etc. it’s still a pretty big upfront payment to make, especially if you’re going to be chasing money from friends who are at your table.

So just a heads up, you WILL be spending a few hundred bucks to secure your spot.

But in the meantime, feel free to browse this article full of amazing Oktoberfest foods you can blow your vouchers on 😉

PRO TIP: Use only the German versions of Oktoberfest tent websites

While researching for this article, I’ve noticed (rather consistently) that most of the tent’s official websites have outdated information and broken links when you browse the English versions.

For many of the tents where reservations are already open on the German language part of the site, forms aren’t even available or bring up a “404 error” on the English sites.

So, keep that in mind when browsing – the German versions of the sites are the ones you want to be on to get the most up-to-date info.


Live in Munich? You’re eligible for special “locals-only” reservations

Last but not least, if you’re currently living in Munich, that makes you eligible for a special class of tables that they call the München-Kontingent tables.

Several tents offer them and you’ll find the specific details on which tents do in their respective sections below.

BUT in previous years, many of the big tents offered them, including the ever-so-exclusive Augustiner Festhalle.

Long story short, these are special tables reserved for people who live in Munich. Generally, they’re special tables available during peak times like weekends that you can reserve for a small fee (10 or 20 euros for the entire table, depending on the tent).

Tables are assigned on a first come, first serve basis and based on previous years, they are usually reserved by going in-person to the tent’s respective offices.

The best part? You don’t need to pay for vouchers upfront – just the reservation fee.

NOTE: These tables are usually not released until May-June, so hang tight. Again, details are added for these tables below if they’ve been made publicly available, and I’ll be regularly updating this list as I learn more.

Whipping men at Oktoberfest
Soon you can see the whipping boys up close and personal

Oktoberfest Reservation System: Tent by Tent

Alrighty, let’s get to the good stuff.

As I mentioned earlier, every tent at Oktoberfest has its own separate system set up for reservations, which means every tent starts taking reservations at different times of the year and has a different system in place.

Here are the reservation systems step by step for 16 of the biggest tents at Oktoberfest. There are a lot of smaller tents too that handle reservations differently, but then this article would be ten million words long.

Anyways, in alphabetical order, here’s how you make Oktoberfest table reservations for each tent, along with important info like WHEN reservations open and how reservations are made. You can read a full breakdown of the different tents/their vibes in this post.

1. Armbrustschützenzelt

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Online form here

How to get reservations at the Armbrustschützenzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

While historically, the Armbrustschützenzelt relied on a more old-school reservation system involving forms, faxes, and phone calls, they’ve now upgraded to an online system where you can easily find free slots, book directly on their website, and even pay upfront right away!

I know this sounds standard, but trust me when I say this type of digital convenience is rare in the world of Oktoberfest reservations.

To make your reservations, simply go to their Reservation page here and click on the date you’d like to make a booking.

Then, you choose the time slot you want. Assuming you are ready to lock that table in now by booking and paying online, choose the button on the right column that says “Booking” for your time slot.

Enter how many spots you would like. It seems at this tent now, you no longer need to book a full table like you used to (for day time slots, anyway!)

Enter all your info and payment details, then you’re done!

Armbrustschützen-Festhalle at Oktoberfest
This tent is big into taxidermy, FYI

2. Augustiner-Festhalle

How to get reservations at the Augustiner-Festhalle Oktoberfest tent: 

… You can’t.

No I’m not joking – you actually can’t.

This is definitely one of the most popular tents among locals at Oktoberfest, and they’ve announced that they have so many repeat reservations (i.e. people who reserve every year) that they aren’t able to accept any new customers.

You can keep an eye on their official website here in case anything changes, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

3. Festzelt Tradition

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Online form only, or in-person at the Ratskeller Restaurant on certain dates

Special notes: This tent is located in the “Oide Wiesn” part of Oktoberfest which has a 3 euro admission fee, but your reservation package will come with entry bracelets. Bracelets and tickets are sent by mail in August after payment is received.

How to get reservations at the Festzelt Tradition Oktoberfest tent: 

Reservations for the Festzelt Tradition can only be made either through their online form (accessible here) or in-person at the Ratskeller restaurant in Munich’s Marienplatz on certain dates… usually weekends in the late summer, but dates haven’t yet been announced.

Oide Wiesn at Oktoberfest
One of the prettiest tents at Oktoberfest!

4. Fischer Vroni

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Online form here

How to get reservations at the Fischer Vroni Oktoberfest tent: 

Reservations can be made on their website’s special Reservations page here.

You choose your desired date, time, seating area, and number of people…

You then make your meal selection (actual menu not available until May), then you enter all your contact information and submit your request.

5. Hacker Festzelt

Reservations open: Soon

Reservations made by: Online form only (according to their official website)

How to get reservations at the Hacker Festzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

As of April 30, 2022 Reservation details have not yet been announced on the official Hacker Festzelt website, but the Reservation page currently states “We have to wait for the regulations from the city, the authorities and the group. Inquiries that we receive in advance cannot be processed or considered.” Given that the city’s approval for the event has just been confirmed, we can expect reservations to open very soon for this tent.

Based on the FAQ page though, here’s what we do know: reservation requests will not be taken for any weekend or evening tables, only select dates for lunch.

If we assume this year’s process is the same previous years, requests are only processed via their online form and through their reservation page which is updated frequently once they open up for “new inquiries”.

That means that people who have had reservations in the past (“repeat customers”) get first dibs.

It’s a little complicated though: you make your reservation request, then you get an email within a few days to confirm it, BUT the reservation isn’t binding until you actually pay for your vouchers, which takes place in July.

Apparently, you are sent a voucher order form in mid-June, where you need to request a bill for the vouchers, and must pay within 14 days, otherwise you lose the reservation.

Last year, if you didn’t pay up by July 23, you forfeited your reservation, SO remember, even if you get through the online reservation system, your reservation isn’t confirmed until you actually pay for your vouchers.

Hacker Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest
Reservations open in March for this super popular tent!

6. Herzkaspertzelt

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Online form here

Special notes: This is a very small tent and it’s located in the “Oide Wiesn” part of Oktoberfest which has a 3 euro admission fee, but your reservation package will come with entry bracelets. Bracelets and tickets are ONLY available via mail, and will be sent to you after you’d paid your invoice.

How to get reservations at the Herzkaspertzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

The reservation portal is currently open here, with an online form to fill out with all your details:

Herzkaspertzelt tent at Oktoberfest
A peek inside the tiny Herzkaspertzelt

7. Hofbräu Festzelt

Reservations open: Open

Reservations made by: Online Form here

How to get reservations at the Hofbräu Oktoberfest tent: 

NOTE: This process is taken directly from the tent’s official website here.

STEP ONE: Go to the tent’s reservation page here and look for any dates or time slots that display “Free”. Click on any desired date that says “Free”.

And fill out the form with your information:

STEP TWO: Wait for either a reservation confirmation or a ‘rejection’ via email, which takes up to 6 weeks.

STEP THREE: If you have received a confirmation, congratulations! You’re in! Attached in the email you’ll find a “Reply” form that must be sent by mail or by fax (089/448 35 87) within 14 days. You apparently won’t receive any further confirmation automatically until…

STEP FOUR: Wait for your invoice which will be sent in June. You must pay within 14 days of receiving the invoice. Apparently you can also pay in-person with cash or EC card, and vouchers can be mailed within Germany if you’ve paid in July or August.

STEP FIVE: Pick up your vouchers after your payment has been received. Up until early September, you can get them from their city ​​office (Hofbräukeller, Innere Wiener Str. 19, 81667 Munich) OR otherwise, you can pick up your vouchers in the tent office when you actually arrive at Oktoberfest.

8. Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke

Reservations open: Open

Reservations made by: Online reservation form here

How to get reservations at Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke Oktoberfest tent: 

This is by far one of the most exclusive tents at Oktoberfest, and is known for being the “celeb” hang-out – a cozy, intimate tent with gourmet food options. It’s so exclusive in fact that reservations aren’t even allowed in the evenings and weekends.

BUT, if you want to get a taste of the Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke tent, the process is simple.

Basically you go on the online form here and select three time slots that you’re interested in, how many of the above dates you’d like to book (1, 2 or 3) and finally, your contact info.

The Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke reservation system

9. Kufflers Weinzelt

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Online reservation form here

How to get reservations at the Kufflers Weinzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

The reservation process for Oktoberfest’s cozy wine tent appears to already beopen for 2022 and is surprisingly simple.

All you need to do is visit the GERMAN version of the Reservation page here, enter your contact information and then choose the time slot of your desired reservation, along with the number of people you’re reserving for.

This by no means secures your reservation though – you’ll need to wait for an official confirmation, but it’s a straight-forward, electronic process!

The prices you see correspond to the amount of vouchers you’re required to purchase, so for example, it’s small amount (10 euros) if you’re popping in for lunch on a Monday, but it’s way more if you’re booking for a Sunday evening until closing time (80 euros).

NOTE: Assuming you are a new customer, make sure you press the “Reservierung ohne Kundennummer – Neukunde” menu which is for new customers with no prior reservations made at this tent.

10. Löwenbräu-Festhalle

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Email to [email protected]

How to get reservations at the Löwenbräu-Festhalle Oktoberfest tent: 

While no reservations can be made in the evenings or weekends at Löwenbräu-Festhalle, their process for weekday afternoon table reservations is relatively straightforward.

According to their official website, reservations for Monday – Thursday lunch slots (12-4:30pm) can be made by emailing [email protected] starting in mid-April.

11. Marstall Festzelt

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: By online form only, available here

How to get reservations at the Marstall Festzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

OPTION A: Reservation request via online form

Requests can be made ONLY through the online form on their website (or in person if you live in Munich and qualify for their “München-Kontingent” tables, but more on this later).

According to their site, this is how the process works:

STEP ONE: Starting mid-April, you can submit your reservation request through their official online form here which shows the dates they have available.

STEP TWO: You have to wait to hear back – processing can take up to ten weeks. If they have space for you, you’ll get an offer via email which you can accept through a special activation code. The confirmation and payment request will come to you via email by the end of May at the latest.

STEP THREE: Once you receive it, you must then pay your invoice amount via bank transfer.

STEP FOUR: If you live in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, your reservation package will be mailed to you at the beginning of August. Otherwise, you can pick up your vouchers, etc. on the day of the reservation at the office in the tent.

OPTION B: ‘München-Kontingent’ Booking (for locals only) 

If you live in Munich, you may be eligible for what they call their “München-Kontingent” tables reserved solely for Munich residents.

For Marstall Festzelt, reservations for these special tables must be made in person at their office (Lindberghstraße 4, 80939) from July onwards (exact date TBA).

Reservations are taken until all the spots are claimed. For this, you must pay in cash or debit card and you pay a processing fee of 20 euros.

To save time, you can download the reservation form in advance on their official website.

Marstall Festzelt at Oktoberfest
Look at how pretty the tent is though!

12. Ochsenbraterei

Reservations open: Soon

Reservations made by: (In previous years) by email to [email protected]

How to get reservations at the Ochsenbraterei Oktoberfest tent: 

NOTE: This information is based on previous years, but we will update this section as soon as they release the 2022 process.

OPTION A: Email reservation

STEP ONE: When they open reservations, send a reservation request via email to [email protected] with your complete contact info, alongside your preferred date, other possible dates, number of people, time and your name/address

STEP TWO: Wait until June, at which point you’ll get an email back regarding whether or not your reservation request has been accepted.

STEP THREE: If your request has been accepted, you must fill out the attached order form for vouchers and send it back via email or fax. Remember, vouchers must be paid for by the beginning of September or you forfeit your reservation.

STEP FOUR: Wait for your vouchers to be mailed to your address in July, or you can pick them up at their city office from end of August to early September OR pick them up in-person once Oktoberfest begins.

OPTION B: ‘München-Kontingent’ Booking (for Locals Only)

If you live in Munich and have a Munich address on your ID card, then you’re eligible to book a special “München-Kontingent ” table which is reserved for locals. Here’s how that process works for the Ochsenbraterei:

STEP ONE: Wait for München-Kontingent bookings to open by the end of May and then send an email to [email protected] with your Munich address, contact person (in this case, also your pick-up person) alongside your email address to confirm the reservation.

STEP TWO: If your booking is successful, then you must go in person to their office at the end of August/early September (exact dates TBA) and pay a ten euro processing fee in CASH to secure your reservation.

OPTION C: Try to nab a “spontaneous booking” a day or two in advance

A little known secret is the Ochsenbraterei actually has special tables they release a day or two before the actual dates that you can book instantly online. They call these their “Spontan-Kontingent” and you can find them through the “Spontan-Kontingent” tab on the GERMAN version of the Reservation page here. This is probably the best way to secure a last-minute table.

An inside peek at the Ochsenbraterei at Oktoberfest
An inside peek at the Ochsenbraterei

13.  Paulaner Festzelt

Reservations open: May 2022

Reservations made by: Through their online reservation system here

How to get reservations at the Paulaner Festzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

The details are spotty so far on how to get a table reservation for the Paulaner Festzelt, BUT we do know that all requests will be handled through their online reservation system which opens up in May 2022. For now, keep an eye on the website in case any additional details pop up, but this is all we can see on the website so far:

14. Pschorr-Bräurosl

Reservations open: Open

Reservations made by: By email to [email protected]osl.de

How to get reservations at the Pschorr-Bräurosl Oktoberfest tent: 

At the moment, this tent is only taking lunch time reservation requests for Monday – Friday, due to all evening and weekend slots being fully booked. Here is how to make a reservation with them:

STEP ONE: Send your reservation request via email to [email protected]

STEP TWO: Wait to hear back. If successful, you should get a confirmation booking code which you can use to enter a special section of their website here where you enter your details. After filling out the online form, you should receive a confirmation that your reservation has been received.

STEP THREE: Wait for an invoice from them, which you must pay within 10 working days to secure your reservation. Your reservation will NOT be binding until you pay your invoice.

STEP FOUR: Your wristbands and vouchers will be sent to you via mail, or you can collect them in person at the Donisl on Marienplatz in Munich.

Pschorr-Bräurosl tent at Oktoberfest
The Pschorr-Bräurosl tent

15. Schottenhammel

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Their online reservation system here

How to get reservations at the Schottenhammel Oktoberfest tent: 

For what it’s worth, this is by far the easiest, least stressful system of making Oktoberfest table reservations, so if you want something stress-free, go for this one. As of writing (April 2022), there are still only a few lunch tables left so make your booking ASAP. The best part here is you get immediate confirmation, so no waiting game.

STEP ONE: Head over to their online reservation system here

STEP TWO: Select your desired date and then look for green tables which are available. Click on the table you want to reserve.

STEP THREE: Select your meal option. If you’re not sure how much you’re going to eat, just go for the minimum (usually 1-2 1 Maß and a half chicken depending on the timeslot you book for). Final 2022 prices won’t be confirmed until June, but they give you an estimation of prices based on 2019.

STEP FOUR: Enter your contact information.

STEP FIVE: Happy dance and wait for your confirmation! You’ll be invoiced in June once prices are solidified. Be sure to pay as soon as you receive the invoice so that your reservation can be 100% confirmed.

Schottenhammel tent Oktoberfest
This can be you!

16. Schützen-Festzelt

Reservations open: Now

Reservations made by: Through their online reservation system here

How to get reservations at the Schützen-Festzelt Oktoberfest tent: 

STEP ONE: Head over to their online reservation system here and select your desired date, time slot, number of tables, etc.

STEP TWO: Choose your desired food options.

STEP THREE: Enter your personal information and submit your request.

STEP FOUR: Wait patiently for an email confirmation, and then (if successful) watch out for your invoice coming in June. Pay it ASAP to secure your reservation.

Any other questions about Oktoberfest reservations?

I hope you enjoyed that step by step guide to scoring a table reservation at Oktoberfest! Good luck and have an awesome time at Oktoberfest!


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10 thoughts on “How to Make Oktoberfest Table Reservations for Free: A Local’s Step by Step Guide”

  1. Oktoberfest has been on my bucketlist for so long. It seems a little complicated/intimidating but this guide is so helpful. So many useful tips and suggestions. Thank you!!

    Reply
  2. Great detail, Christina! And amazing how every tent is different. Thanks for doing some homework for me as the next time I get travel clients who want to go to Oktoberfest, I’ll have your post! 😉

    Reply
  3. How complicated! Once the teens are at University we shall be heading to Munich so thank you for this!

    Reply
  4. I run a company specialising in tours to the Oktoberfest and have been over 275 times into the Oktoberfest itself over 20 years and even I did not know some of this information. Thanks for the post, will be bookmarking your blog from here on in!

    Reply
    • Hi Peter, of course! Just updated everything 🙂 Needed to wait until 2020 for most of the info to be released but I hope you find the updated version helpful!

      Reply

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