Oktoberfest bathrooms… something we are all literally going to use at some point at Oktoberfest, yet something there’s not a whole lot of information about. Is that because it’s gross to talk about bathrooms? Maybe. Is it because no one besides me is out here taking notes on all the nuances of Oktoberfest? Probably.
Or is it because it’s just a bathroom and, like, nobody cares? No, that’s absolutely not it; everyone wants to know what the Oktoberfest bathroom situation is like. There’s gonna be 7 million people here! WHERE DO THEY ALL GO WHEN THEY GOTS TO GO?
So, I’m here to teach you about Oktoberfest bathrooms. (We all pee and poop, you guys; it’s time to get over it.) Where to go, how to find the bathrooms, what to expect, some helpful tips, your most-asked Oktoberfest restroom questions, and so much more. This post has everything you’ve been dying to know (and some stuff you’ll probably wish I hadn’t told you). So, pull up a seat and let’s get down to business.
FYI: You’ve reached Oktoberfest central here at MWL. Check out my Oktoberfest page for all my super helpful Oktoberfest posts and guides.
Oktoberfest bathrooms are better than you think
Before we get started on all the nitty-gritty pee-pee particulars, the first thing I want to let you know is that the bathrooms at Oktoberfest are real bathrooms. This isn’t like the 3-day emo-fest you attended on the outskirts of Chicago (lol I’m trolling myself); there aren’t rows and rows of disgusting port-a-potties here.
At Oktoberfest, you’ll find real bathrooms with stalls with doors that close (and lock) and actual porcelain toilets that flush. They have lighting and running water and real sinks with soap. They have actual floors and even hooks to hang your stuff on. So even though this is a massive “festival,” go ahead and flush that “festival toilet” image right out of your mind.
For when you’d really just prefer to go back to your hotel to do your business, this post has some super close suggestions: Where to Stay for Oktoberfest: Best Munich Hotel Options + Expert Tips
Where are the bathrooms at Oktoberfest?
The short answer to the question of “Where are the bathrooms at Oktoberfest?” is: here, there, everywhere. Really, there are enough, and you’ll never be too far away from one. But as for the detailed answer…
Oktoberfest bathrooms inside the tents
All of the big beer tents have restrooms inside the tent itself. The person who told you you have to leave the tent to go out to the bathrooms on the street is either drunk or an idiot, but probably both.
All of the big beer tents have their own bathrooms. They’re typically located in the far back corner, on the opposite end of the tent from the main entrance. In some tents, you’ll find them over on the side, but mostly they’re in or near the back.
In some tents, the men’s and women’s restrooms are in opposite corners of the building; in other tents they’re side-by-side. But the thing to remember here: the beer tents’ bathrooms are located inside the tents. I repeat, you do not need to leave the tent to do your business.
Oktoberfest bathrooms outside the tents
That being said, you don’t have to be in a beer tent to take a tinkle. There are plenty of restrooms out on the main Oktoberfest streets as well. You’ll find these on the side streets that run between the tents on the right side (if you’re coming from the main entrance), and behind the tents that are on the left side. Keep reading so you’ll know how to find one in a hurry.
There are restrooms just inside the main entrance as well as most of the side entrances, over near the Bavaria statue, behind the Ferris wheel on the way to the back exit, inside the Oide Wiesn, and even outside the festival, across the street from the main entrance.
How to find the bathrooms at Oktoberfest
This isn’t rocket science, y’all… but judging by how much Oktoberfest bathroom misinformation is out there, I do feel the need to set things straight.
Inside the beer tents
To find the bathrooms inside the Oktoberfest beer tents, look for large signs that say WC, Toiletten, Damen or Herren, or that have the internationally recognizable men/women restroom icon.
Which one to use?
Which restroom you use when you get here will be up to you, but you will have to make a choice, so here’s what you need to know:
- Damen – German word for Ladies
- Herren – German word for Men
Take your pick; choose wisely; you do you. If you want an easy way to remember this, just do like I do (as a woman looking for the women’s room)—ask yourself “What would DAME Judy Dench do?” Every. Time.
You should also know that Eingang is Entrance and Ausgang is Exit.
Outside the beer tents
In order to find a restroom when you’re out on the main Oktoberfest street (the one with the beer tents), look for the giant naked babies sitting on the little soup crocks and follow their arrows. No, I’m not drunk right now; this is 100% legit information.
Sitting on what I can only assume are small crocks of French onion soup are some hideous naked babies holding bows, about to shoot arrows. If you can get past these super disturbing doo-doo statues, you’ll see their arrows are actually pointing the way to the nearest Oktoberfest bathrooms.
You can see this symbol other places around Munich too, and it always means the same thing: This way to “pee” soup!
I’ve asked tons of sources the meaning behind this and no one knows the answer. Last year I asked the woman at the Oktoberfest information booth and even she was like “LOL WTF RIGHT?” She tried to explain but admited she really didn’t have an answer for me. Mostly, it’s because… something cheeky. (No pun intended.)
So, regardless of why it is the way it is, at least you know the what for. Find the cupid babies and you’ll find the bathrooms at Oktoberfest.
Also check out: 25 more things you probably didn’t know about Oktoberfest
What are the women’s Oktoberfest bathrooms like?
The women’s bathrooms at Oktoberfest differ by tent, but the same general concepts are there. Some have tons of stalls (Hofbräu), some have far fewer (Herzkasperl), but they all have:
- Individual stalls with doors that lock
- Porcelain toilets that flush – i.e., regular toilets
- Regular sinks with clean running water
- Soap dispensers and paper towels or air dryers
- Hooks inside the stalls to hang your purses, sweaters, whatever
- Tiny little trash cans
- A bathroom attendant
Clean and stocked
They’re all kept clean, free of trash, and stocked up on soap and paper towels… with the exception of the Hofbräu tent which sometimes drops the ball. I also want to mention that I’ve never been in a bathroom stall at Oktoberfest that didn’t have toilet paper. Prost to that!
A line during busy times
On busy nights, you can expect to wait in a line, but the crew of bathroom attendants is pretty good about keeping the line moving. They literally stand at intervals and scream for the next person when a stall opens up and usher you inside. It’s a whole operation.
Sometimes there’s a man
Sometimes the bathroom attendant in the women’s room is a man. Yes, it’s jarring, but you’ve gotta go and really it’s just about choosing your battles here.
Sometimes there’s a mirror
Some women’s rooms have mirrors and some don’t. I kinda like being able to glance at myself to know if anything weird has happened with my hair or my face (lol), but I’m also glad the bathroom sink area isn’t congested with drunk women reapplying their makeup or attempting to re-braid their hair as if it’s going to make a difference when they get back out there. So, just trust that you’re still beautiful and that nothing weird has happened to your face.
What are the men’s Oktoberfest bathrooms like?
I’m going to preface this section by saying I’ve never personally been in the men’s bathroom at Oktoberfest, not even accidentally as it would turn out. So, the information in this section is based on what my male friends have told me about the Oktoberfest bathrooms.
From my diligent research, what I can tell you about the men’s room is that:
- The ones in the beer tents are generally cleaner than others
- They all have long troughs that you pee in
- All of them have some stalls too because, you know
- Some have a bathroom attendant and some don’t
- Some have murals of women judging your manhood, as seen in the photo above of the urinal trough inside the Marstall tent, courtesy of one of my Instagram friends
- Some are completely flooded with water in an attempt to wash the pee away
I wish I had some more detailed information to share here but, I’m only willing to go so far in my work duties. I’m sure you understand. So, sorry I don’t have any photos of the men’s restrooms at Oktoberfest. Actually, that’s not true. I have plenty of them but none I took myself and none I would dare share on this blog. (This is what happens when you work with a bunch of men who think it’s hilarious to share the disgusting things they see in the men’s bathrooms at Oktoberfest.)
So, what I can confidently deduce from the many absurd Oktoberfest bathroom photos I’ve seen over the years, is that the men’s restrooms aren’t nearly as clean and orderly as the women’s. (Oh, the things I have seen, the stories I could tell.)
Update: Here’s a photo I’ve found of the men’s room at the Armbrustschützenzelt on a website called urinal.net. (There’s an audience for literally everything.) Apparently, the pee receptacles at the Armbrust tent have made the “Top 1,000 urinals.” So there’s something you didn’t know a minute ago.
Fun Fact: Sitzpinkler is a German word used to describe a man who sits down to pee.
The festival is not your restroom
To all the men attending Oktoberfest this year, a PSA. This ENTIRE FESTIVAL is not your restroom. Please, for the love of lager, do NOT just pee wherever you damn well please. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It’s gross, so gross.
I don’t care how bad you have to go, how long the bathroom line is, how far away the bathroom is, how drunk you are, how lazy you are, how much you whine about it, or how many other people are doing it. Go pee in the bathroom like the rest of the relatively civilized people.
People have to walk here. People have to work here. Some people are pushing their babies in strollers here. Some people have to use their hands to wheel their way through here. And some people even end up sitting here. Most people have to pack their shoes back up in their suitcases to take them home. (This is why I always recommend a dedicated shoe bag when you pack for Oktoberfest.)
And, whatever you do, DO NOT pee into a beer stein at your table inside the beer tent. I don’t know what kind of morons this guy is friends with (below), but this is absolutely not how things work here. This is not “commonplace” nor is it “expected.” Nor would the servers ever accept you doing this and even assist in this behavior. Someone was clearly screwing with this guy and he took it as the truth. (And please never take the advice of someone who repeatedly refers to the servers as “beer wenches.” What are you, a medieval peasant?)
Are there children’s bathrooms?
Again, full disclosure, I don’t have kids myself nor would I ever bring one to Oktoberfest, and I don’t exactly know what a “children’s toilet” is, so I’m just going to relay the information I have on this topic.
Yes, there are bathrooms for children all over Oktoberfest. You can find them at:
- The Familienplatzl (a special area for families)
- Over by the Ferris wheel
- By the children’s carousels
- Inside the Poschner’s tent (one of the small tents)
- And inside the Marstall tent as well
Where to change a diaper at Oktoberfest
I’m specifically referring to changing a baby’s diaper here and not… whatever the guy above has going on. (Reminder to read: What NOT to do at Oktoberfest: 20 embarrassing mistakes to avoid this year)
You can find diaper changing stations in the bathrooms inside the beer tents and at the Theresienwiese Service Center in the Festleitung building (the large black building behind the Schottenhamel tent, shown below).
I haven’t seen this mentioned explicitly, but I’d imagine they’d also be in the restrooms at the Familienplatzl and in the same bathrooms as the children’s toilets near the Ferris wheel and carousels. (What you need to know about bringing a diaper bag to Oktoberfest is here.)
Accessible Oktoberfest bathrooms
The powers-that-be pride themselves on hosting what they call a “barrier-free Oktoberfest.” In addition to fully accessible rides, designated reserved seating areas inside the beer tents, free wheelchair rental, and much more, yes, there are several accessible bathrooms at Oktoberfest.
The restrooms inside the beer tents and near the rides and vendor stalls have wheelchair-accessible stalls. Additionally, there are also six more accessible toilet areas:
- At the Teresienwiese Service Center in the Festleitung building (the black building behind the Schottenhamel tent)
- Inside the Oide Wiesn, behind the marionette theater, in the direction of Ausgang 5
- Just inside Entrance P8 (Eingang P8) – Enter from the street “Esperantoplatz” and turn left once inside the entrance. The accessible toilets are just past the standard restrooms.
- Immediately inside the main entrance, turn right in front of the Marstall tent
- Behind the Pschorr-Bräurosl tent
- Just opposite the Oide Wiesn Ausgang 2, around the back of the Festzelt Tradition
- And down the street that’s to the left of the Münchner Knödelei, on the way to the handicap parking area is a “Toilet for all” (“Toilette für Alle”)
All of the accessible bathrooms at Oktoberfest accept the Euro Key. The Euro Key is a literal key available to eligible people with disabilities that can open about 12,000 locks throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. For more info on the Euro Key, visit this page.
Oktoberfest bathrooms + tipping
One question that’s often asked about going to the bathroom at Oktoberfest is: Do you have to pay? Or Do you have to tip? The answer to that, technically, is no. The bathrooms at Oktoberfest are free to use. But the real-life answer is OH HELL YES YOU DO!
Oktoberfest bathroom attendants
The vast majority of Oktoberfest bathrooms have bathroom attendants. And these aren’t like the lame bathroom attendants at the club that merely hand you a paper towel or squirt soap into your hand. (Both the soap and the towel dispensers can do this themselves now btw.) At Oktoberfest, these people are your best friend.
Oktoberfest bathroom attendants keep the bathrooms clean and tidy, keep the sink areas stocked with soap and paper towels, and keep the stalls stocked with toilet paper. I repeat: I have never used a bathroom at Oktoberfest that didn’t have toilet paper. Can I get an AMEN!
Not only that, they keep the lines moving as quickly as possible. They stand between the stalls and call for the next person when someone has left. They usher you into the nearest empty stall. And they do all this from dawn until way past dusk for 16+ straight days, for 7 million drunk people, and almost no one shows them any appreciation.
All they ask from you (besides maybe keeping your pees and poos where they’re supposed to be) is a coin here and there. Even though tipping in the bathroom at Oktoberfest is technically optional, I personally consider it a required fee of attending Oktoberfest (and you should too).
Tip the bathroom attendants at Oktoberfest
On the sink counter of every bathroom at Oktoberfest you’ll find a shallow dish or tray where you can drop a tip. Every time you go to the bathroom, leaving €0.50 or €1 is more than appreciated. (Yes, every time.) I always make sure to have a pocket full of change so I can pee as often as I please guilt-free.
So while tipping the bathroom attendants at Oktoberfest isn’t mandatory, please try to show some appreciation to the men and women who literally clean up after you in the bathroom and make sure you’re in and out of here as fast as possible. Without them, it would just be complete commode chaos! Total toilet trouble! Men’s room mayhem! Water closet confusion! You get my drift.
Oktoberfest bathroom tips
You already know the basics of using a public restroom (lord please tell me you do), so I’m going to skip right to what you need to know for using the bathroom at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
- Always bring a tip for the attendants. (See above.)
- Always head to the bathroom at the very first tingle that tells you it’s time since you may have to wait in line for a bit if it’s busy.
- Don’t bring your beer to the bathroom with you; that’s just gross. And if you do for some reason, whatever you do, don’t bring it back to the table with you.
- You can refill your water bottle from the sinks in the beer tent bathrooms. The water is cold, clean, and potable. (And if you hear a local talking about filling their water bottle up with “toilet water,” this is what they mean. I love my German friends who speak English just for my sake so much.)
- Always make sure the back of your dirndl isn’t tucked into your underwear before you leave the stall. This is my greatest fear in life so now I’m making it yours.
- If you leave your table to use the restroom on the busiest nights, be prepared to lose your seat.
Also read: How to Dress for Oktoberfest: Complete and Honest Oktoberfest Clothing Guide
Oktoberfest bathroom tips from my readers
When polled on Instagram, here are a few unique tips my readers gave me for the bathrooms at Oktoberfest:
- For men: Start to unbutton your lederhosen on your way to the bathroom so you’ll be ready to go when you get there. [From someone who has had too many close calls.]
- For men: Don’t button the inside button on your lederhosen, just the outside flap. The inside button is too hard to undo, especially in a hurry. [I’ve heard this from MANY people.]
- For men: Sometimes the trough line in the men’s room is a moving “assembly-line” situation. Join the queue, pee your way down the trough, and just keep it moving until you reach the end. [From a friend who learned about German efficiency in a super weird way.]
- For women: The female lederhosen are cute and all, but in order to use the bathroom you’ll have to take off your straps too. And when you do, make damn sure to not let them fall into the toilet or onto the floor. [From someone who decided they were too much trouble and decided to just stick with dirndls. It’s me. I’m ‘someone.’]
- For inside the beer tents: Orient yourself before going into the bathroom as you often come out in a different area. [From someone who lost their friend for an hour because he didn’t know where he was after coming out of the bathroom.]
Oktoberfest bathroom FAQs
Now I’m going to briefly answer a few of the most frequently asked Oktoberfest bathroom questions (according to Google) that I haven’t already covered. Enjoy!
Where do people pee at Oktoberfest? Well, even though some people pee wherever the hell they want (we don’t like those people), the real answer to this is IN THE BATHROOMS. Bathrooms inside the beer tents, bathrooms out on the streets, bathrooms.
Can you go to the bathroom and come back to your seat? Well, absolutely you can. The issue is whether or not your seat will be empty when you get back to it. If it’s a crazy packed Saturday night, there’s a good chance you won’t even physically make it back to your same table anyway. Other times, as long as someone in your group is holding your spot for you, you can certainly return to your same seat. When it’s busy though, don’t be surprised if someone has taken your seat while you’re gone.
Are there any squat toilets at Oktoberfest? Not to my knowledge, no.
What about bidets? No, there are no bidets at Oktoberfest. At least, not that I’ve ever seen or heard of.
The Dutch toilet
What’s up with these toilets at Oktoberfest? (See image above) This is known as a “Dutch toilet” and they can be found in some of the beer tents at Oktoberfest. (I saw this one at the Armbrustschützenzelt.) Dutch toilets have a little “shelf” where your stuff goes to hang out before you flush.
The purpose of the “inspection shelf” (as it’s called) is literally so you can inspect your poo before you flush it, since you can tell a lot about your health through your poo, apparently. For this reason, they’re quite popular in places like nursing homes.
Additionally, they keep you from getting splashed on and, without the echoing “plop,” they help prevent everyone around you from knowing what kinda business you’re dropping in there. Look, I’m just the messenger here.
This style of toilet is pretty unique to the Netherlands, so I was kind of surprised to see it at Oktoberfest (even though this design was apparently invented by the Germans). It’s not common and you may not even see one at all, but when you do, now you’ll know this is what’s up with that.
I have a question of my own… what is this metal thing on top of the toilet paper dispenser? It’s attached to it and it looks like it has a purpose but I asked around and nobody knows. What do you think it’s for? Let me know in the comments, PLEASE!
More info for your Oktoberfest trip
- Hotels: Check out my post all about the best Oktoberfest hotels here or just head straight to Booking.com to see the currently available options.
- Rental cars: Check out the best rental car deals in Munich here.
- Travel planning: Pick up a Germany guidebook and this must-have Germany customs and culture guide.
- Tours & activities: Check out the great Munich tour options here on Viator and Get Your Guide.
- More Oktoberfest: You can find all my Oktoberfest blog posts here.
Like this post? Have more questions about the bathrooms at Oktoberfest? Let me know in the comments below. Have a great time at the Wiesn!
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