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ABOVE: Oktoberfest's "tents" are huge prefabricated structures that accommodate thousands of beer drinkers.

Planning your trip to Oktoberfest

When to come. Oktoberfest takes place from late September until early October. In 2013, the dates are September 21 until October 6. In 2014, the dates are September 20 through October 5.

  • Tip: Visit on a weekday (the earlier in the day, the better) to avoid the most crowded times. On weekends, it may be impossible to get into a beer tent without a reservation.

When to book. The earlier, the better. Hotel rooms are in short supply during Oktoberfest, but don't let that stop you from coming: You can easily take a train into the Munich Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) if you're unable to book a flight or a hotel room.

How to reach the Wiesn. Don't even think about driving, because the Munich police will keep you from getting anywhere near the grounds. Instead, walk from the city center or use one of the many forms of public transportation available in Munich: U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus, tram, or taxi. Another possibility, if you're coming from outside Munich, is to book an excursion through a local travel agency.

Next page: Oktoberfest Web links

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Need a car in Europe?

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting for visits of 21+ days. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

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