Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting the Most out of Oktoberfest

The original Oktoberfest held in Munich each year in September and October isn’t just the biggest beer festival in the world but the world’s largest fair, with an estimated 5 million people visiting each year. Any true beer fan will make the pilgrimage at least once in their life to visit the original festival that spawned smaller imitations around the world, but you’ll need to have a good gameplan to get the most out of Oktoberfest. Don’t leave it to chance like a spin of the reel at slots and instead follow some of the simple tips below:

Rise and Shine: If you want to get a seat at a table in one of the 14 huge tents at Oktoberfest, you’ll need to pre-book your ticket and get there early at around 8 or 9 AM. Show up any later than that and you’ll be facing a huge queue, which just delays all the beery fun awaiting you. Once you’ve got a seat on a bench, guard it with your life; all those late arrivals will be looking to nab an empty spot the minute someone gets up.

Pick Your Tent Well: Each of the tents has a different theme and serves different food and beer (and keep in mind that all of the beer is locally brewed so no Arrogant Bastard Ale available), so do some research online first. The huge queues make tent-hopping pretty difficult so you likely will need to pick one tent and party there. If you think you already have too much of the booze, then try your luck by going to the other great places on Germany like the Casino Royale München but before you do that make sure that you read these guides so that you won't easily waste your money.

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Even experienced beer drinkers are overwhelmed by Oktoberfest, as not only is the beer much stronger (usually around 6% alcohol by volume) but it’s easy to get caught up in the singing and drinking fun. Pace yourself with the beer and be sure you take advantage of the food on hand throughout the day, as part of the charm of Oktoberfest is eating local delicacies like pig knuckles and any of the tons of varieties of sausages served.

Don’t Be Shy: Oktoberfest isn’t for introverts and the real fun is in hanging out and partying with thousands and thousands of other people. Sure, the beer is great but you can get the same local brews in any pub in Munich, so if you’re a shy, quiet type just there for the beer you’ll need to check your shyness at the door to really enjoy Oktoberfest.

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