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Top 5 Tips for Visiting Oktoberfest – And Surviving.

Oktoberfest 2013 is coming up in Munich, and around the world. We want to share our top 5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013, and surviving it.

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Oktoberfest Celebrations

This weekend is a big deal for lovers of beer. We wanted to share our top 5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013, and how to make the most of your time from our own experiences last year.

5 Tips for Visiting Oktoberfest 2013

5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013

Tips for Visiting Oktoberfest 2013

Top 5 Tips for Visiting Oktoberfest 2013

These are our top 5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013!

When to Go

We went for the last 4 days of Oktoberfest (Thursday – Sunday). We had grand plans to go visit the tents at least 3 of the days.

Unfortunately we only managed to find an unreserved table on the Thursday, before getting kicked off a reserved table on the Friday at 4pm.

Having no table means no service. A good rule so the beer tents don’t get overrun, but it does mean you need a seat.

A few brave souls tried to go on the Saturday morning. They gave up after arriving at 9am and joining a queue of over 400 people trying to get into one of the tents. Nightmare.

Bonus tip: Go once during the day, from around 10am/11am. Then also try to get in one night after 7pm (or stay all day). They are two completely different atmospheres with a family affair during the day, before the party really gets going during the night.

5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2012

Tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013 – Get there early for a seat

Finding Accommodation

If you are reading this now and looking for accommodation… well, good luck. It is probably too late. However, there may be last minute accommodation so check out the campgrounds here.

Bonus tip: Print out your address so when you stumble out of the Oktoberfest grounds you can pass them to the taxi driver or people around you so that you make it home safely.

Spending

Oktoberfest is not cheap. We budgeted $50 a day each but ended up well over that.

Each stein costs $10 (with a tip). While you only drink a few that does add up quickly. Especially when you hang out with the locals and offer to buy them all a drink!

Unfortunately, there really isn’t any way you can save money. You don’t want to pre-drink as you will be drunk enough as it is. Just pace yourself and stick to a budget.

Bonus tip: Take a limited amount of cash with you, and no cards. This way you won’t overspend.

5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest

Tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013 – Dress Appropriately

Getting into Character

We made the mistake of trying to fit in by buying a pair of cheap lederhosens on eBay.

Don’t do it.

They looked exactly like they cost. Cheap. Either fork out for a proper pair of real leather Lederhosens ($100+). Or just wear jeans and a shirt.

Girls are able to just wear a nice long dress (below the knee) and a shirt. A few ribbons in the hair and you will be set.

Bonus tip: Don’t get caught staring down the girls tops. They look nice, but may not appreciate your over eager stares.

Drinking (and Eating) at Oktoberfest 2013

Beer is generally delicious. Oktoberfest beer is ridiculously delicious. And twice as strong as the beer women carrying them!

Take it slow. There is no need to chug the beers as if you are at your local tavern down the road. Sit back, relax and follow the locals example. They are quite happy to chat, sing and share the odd toast.

No one wants to see you throwing up in the garden outside. Nor do your friends want to have to leave early just to look after your sorry ass.

Luckily the delicious beer is equaled by scrumptious food. Don’t expect miniature portions of dainty food. Just expect meat. And lots of it. For example, when you buy a half chicken that’s what you get. No salad, no potatoes, no sides whatsoever. Elegance simplified.

Bonus tip: For every stein you drink, grab something to eat. Pretzels are cheap and perfect at soaking up booze.

Take it easy and we hope you enjoy Oktoberfest 2013 as much as we did.

Prost!

5 tips for visiting Oktoberfest

Tips for visiting Oktoberfest 2013 – Take it slow!

If you ever planning a trip to Germany we found the collection of Germany vacation rentals on Live Like a German very helpful. Book you Visit Oktoberfest 2013 with Busabout now:

We originally posted a few similar travel tips on TravelDudes, but they really needed updating for this year.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Laurence

    September 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    I’ve never been to Oktoberfest, and oddly, it doesn’t really appeal. I love my beer and all, but I’m not sure sitting in a tent drinking from enormous glasses is my sort of thing. I prefer a chilled bottle on a quiet beach or hillside somewhere. Could just be me 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      September 18, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      It is ridiculously chilled out though. Well if you don’t go in the tents with the Aussies and Kiwi’s haha. We stayed with the locals and loved it. Very fun.

  2. Tash

    September 18, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    A ha ha ha – so sensible! Could you really recall these tips after 5 steins!
    It’s kind of a one in a life time experience for travellers – so pace yourself and don’t make a dick of yourself are very good tips.
    I don’t recall having any trouble getting a non-reserved table when we went (a few years ago now) – my tip would be to keep trying different tents until you find one. Even the quieter tents sell beer and you are mixing with the locals – in fact it’s a more authentic experience, cos you are not surrounded by the tour groups of drunk idiots….much, much better!

  3. Jess | GlobetrotterGirls

    September 18, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Great tips – couldn’t agree more with these. Eat pretzels, yes yes yes! Also – bring cash so you can’t spend more, that is again really true.
    Get ready to drink at 9am!

    • Cole Burmester

      September 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Great extra tips thanks Jess 🙂 We couldn’t start drinking at 9am so settled for a moderate 10.30am haha.

  4. Jade - Ouroyster.com

    September 19, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    good tips – i have never felt inclined to go to Octoberfest, but this post might have changed my mind – I think I would prefer the more laid back day time atmosphere though

    • Cole Burmester

      September 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Oktoberfest is one of those experiences you just have to try I think. Not sure that I would go back every year though!

  5. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    September 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Never been to an Oktoberfest celebration but, perhaps, we were just waiting for these tips.

    Another bit of Oktoberfest randomness: Oktoberfest was created in Munich in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavaria’s Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Theresa.

  6. aliana

    September 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Finding last minute accommodation is impossible as well. For this reason, advanced booking is not only recommended, but it is practically mandatory if you wish to stay a few days in Munich

    • Cole Burmester

      September 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Accommodation is so expensive for those 2 weeks. We were lucky we found an apartment for 8 of us when we went. But we also booked it 4 months in advance haha.

  7. Pingback: Best Travel Blog Posts, September 15-21 - Travel Freak

  8. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    September 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Wow, this sounds like a beer marathon!

  9. Stephen Schreck

    October 15, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    I am going next year and can’t wait!Do you know how to reserve tables? Great post

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      You have to go over to the official Oktoberfest website to reserve tables. Sign up there and I guess they will send you an email about it!

  10. Jeremy (TheTravelApprentice)

    October 15, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    Nice, looks like we went to the same tent… I can’t remember the name, I was there in 2007, got a table at 10:30am and stayed all night. I drank 4 of those Maß beers and stood, danced on the benches nearly the entire night… epic party in there for sure… very good times and the people at our table were really fun too.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 15, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Good effort starting at 10.30am and staying out all night! When I tried that I was home in bed by 6pm haha. I had at least 2 more steins than you though 😉

  11. isaacoomber

    November 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Thank you for posting and sharing these tips with us.Thanks for such an interesting article here.

  12. johnnysupertramp

    August 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Haha, great post!
    I especially emphasize the stick to your budget recommendation if you have further travel plans.
    Definitely Oktoberfest is a once in a lifetime experience for foreign visitors. Not my piece of cake but to be honest I never met a traveler who was there and agreed with me 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      August 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      You really only need 2 days there because you do get over it quickly! Especially when you are a cheap ass like me haha.

  13. Pingback: German castles & medieval towns between Munich & Frankfurt

  14. Toby

    April 2, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    Hi Cole,

    I am currently planning to stay in Munich for the first two nights of Oktoberfest which is expected to be extremely crowded.

    Do you recommend me to stay in munich for another day to avoid the crowds?
    Or will the first two days be enough to have a good experience of Oktoberfest?

    Thanks.

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Europe

5 European Cities to Visit in the Dead of Winter

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As one of the most polarizing seasons, winter could be termed as both a blessing and a curse by those who like making the most out of nature.

After all, while it brings about the opportunity to build snowmen and to ski on magnificent ice slopes, it also brings a chill to the bone and a desire to never get away from the fireplace.

Don’t forget about the hot chocolate either.

That is why, when it comes to vacationing in winter, it gets quite difficult to choose from a location – especially when the destination is as diverse in climate as Europe. Do you select a place that’s sunny and warm? Or somewhere that lets you enjoy the ice and cold in the best ways possible?

To make that decision easier for you, here are 5 European cities that you could visit in the dead of winter, with the assurance that you would come out of the vacation phase with a smile on your face.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that is synonymous with sunshine, warmth, and some of the world’s most breathtaking architecture.

The temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. While the sunshine remains present amidst the rainy days. This means that you can enjoy the best effects of winter without having to endure the worst of them.

If you happen to be a fan of football, then these effects can be increased by several times. This beautiful city is home to one of the greatest football clubs of all time and with Barcelona FC in contention for a championship virtually every year, odds are you’ll be walking out with a smile on your face after watching a win. Not a bad way to take a break from the beach!

Athens, Greece

While you wouldn’t be able to go to Mount Olympus’ mythical version in this day and age, you can still experience Greece’s magnificence through the beautiful city of Athens.

Like Barcelona, Athens also sees rare drops in temperature while being consistent around 45 degrees throughout the heaviest months in winter. With the architecture that you can experience under the sun, this weather can actually be ideal for an exploratory walk.

And if you are a fan of Greek food, then checking out local restaurants for authentic dishes would only add to the overall experience of your trip.

Venice, Italy

Since Italy is full of some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world, it would be quite debatable to say that Venice is the crown jewel of the country in terms of structural beauty.

But it is.

From the way that the city has been designed to the manner that the buildings have been developed, Venice remains a breathtaking sight for anyone who visits it.

That remains true even in the months of winter, where the does drop to around 30 degrees, but still provides the tourists and inhabitants with a way to enjoy the magnificent sights under the sun.

Zugspitze, Germany

Germany is considered to be one of the coldest countries in Europe, but it is a good thing for those who enjoy a bit of snow during their travels.

And for those who do, there are perhaps not many places that are as marvelous as Zugspitze in terms of a memorable winter experience.

With snow covered mountains and a temperature that dances around -14 degrees in winter, you can enjoy an array of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding to your heart’s desire. If you are one to enjoy snow and everything good there is about the season of winter, then Zugspitze is the place to go.

Marseilles, France

While Paris gets quite cold in winter without the weather enhancing any effects of life within the city, Marseille seems to be quite the opposite. The city is as lively in the winter as it is during its busiest days in summer, with plenty to do in adjacent areas.

You may visit the many architectural sites and tourist attractions in Marseilles itself, but you can add to that experience when you choose to visit the Christmas markets in Aix en Provence or Avignon.

With that, the many warm and steamy French soups and bouillon based dishes that you can enjoy in Marseilles only add to the trip. This means that by the time you are done with your visit to Marseilles, you are bound to be fed well, have some goods in your shopping bags, and some memorable pictures in your phone to boot.

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Europe

Even the Most Expensive Cities Have Cheaper Alternatives: Paris

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According to the results of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Worldwide Cost of Living” survey, Singapore, Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong, and Oslo are the most expensive places to live – and visit – this year. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit them, though – actually if your budget allows it, you should cross them off your bucket list as soon as you can. But this doesn’t mean you have to break all your piggy banks and sell your soul only to spend a weekend in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Unless you’re adamant that it’s “Paris or bust”, there are alternatives to this crowded and top-dollar destination you might want to consider – and start saving for your dream trip nonetheless.

Lyon

Lyon has a history of almost two millennia, and it shows: the remains of the Roman settlement Lugdunum, built at the confluence of the rivers Saône and Rhône, are showing to this day. Lyon might not be a capital city – it doesn’t have the size or the population – but its role in the everyday life of France was always important, both as a trade and a cultural hub.

The city has many gorgeous sights to see, like the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Tour Métallique (a tall TV tower that replicates the top of the Eiffel Tower), among others, covering every age from the birth of the city to its modern times. Plus, it has museums, parks, gardens, and a street art group that has been designated the cultural ambassador for the city. Not to mention its cuisine, the unique and popular Lyonnaise cuisine that has become a worldwide sensation.

Lille

A relatively small city in the north of France, Lille is another charming alternative to a crowded and overpriced Paris. It features many distinct architectural styles, most of them with a clear Flemish influence. Among its landmarks, you find its Cathedral (Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille), its Citadel, its palaces, and gardens. Lille is also the place with the biggest flea market in Europe – Braderie de Lille takes place on the first Sunday of September, with millions of attendees and over 10,000 sellers gathering in the streets of the city. It’s a charming, agreeable, and colorful city that will offer its visitors a beautiful experience.

Strasbourg

Last but not least, let us mention a city with a double significance – on one hand, it’s the official seat of the European Parliament, on the other, it’s a wonderful place to visit and a great alternative to an overcrowded Paris.

Strasbourg is a place where French and German architecture mingle in a unique way, with an Old Town filled with timber-framed houses surrounding typical French landmarks and churches. It also has many notable parks, some with historic significance, and almost too many museums for its small size. Plus, it’s a distinctively multicultural city where visitors will find it easy to fit in.

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Europe

Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin

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Its that time of year again. It is the holidays and vacation, mirth and much merriment is upon us. Those of us who are lucky are able to take a few days to a few weeks off for vacation and can enjoy it abroad or do a staycation. A trip abroad is probably preferred, there’s so much to see and do, it would a pity to while the days away in your own hometown.

Get a move on, grab your bags, get a ticket and jump on a plane to Europe. When you get there, rest for a bit and begin your road trip. Nothing beats traveling on the road and taking all the sights that nature has to offer while stopping by at different locations.

Remember, a road trip can be very feasible and pleasant if it is done right. Make sure to have your car inspected, checked and ready to go for a long distance road trip.

You’ll want to make sure that you have your oil checked and your tires as well. Proper tires from suppliers such as Kwik Fit will get you squared away and ready to hit the road.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Grossglockner

One of the top places that you’ll want to go is in Austria. There’s this little spot called Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, this spot is one that is talked about by road trip aficionados of all kinds.

The Grossglockner is the opposite of what it sounds like, it’s not gross at all, it’s quite pleasant actually.  The path will take you through different sights ranging from mountain tops to rivers, to rock formations and more. What’s fun about this place is that you will also be able to have different changes in the road itself, it is not just one straight path but one that is filled with turns and changes to keep you from getting bored.

Italy and the Amalfi Coast

Italy is a place that won’t disappoint, it has food, culture, and history to keep you company. Italy also has beautiful sights all over too. One of the best places to drive through would be the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast has everything you could possibly want, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful fishing villages. The place is not only beautiful in nature but in culture as well. One can check out the Cathedrals, Villa Rufolo, engage in some boat tours for a quick respite from their road trip and also view the Sirenuse from afar.

Portugal – The Estoril Coast

Drive from Italy, pass by countries such as France, Spain and reach the destination of Portugal. You will find the climate and the overall setting over here to be appealing.  On your way to this beautiful place, make sure to check out popular spots such as Lisbon and other prominent locations such as Sintra. The Estoril Coast was home to the nobility of ages past and even to those that we see as nobility today, celebrities, wealthy people and tourists with a couple of euros or dollars to their name stop by this place and immerse themselves in the manmade and natural attractions that this place has to offer.

Don’t Hesitate, Time Stands Still For No One

Time is slipping, check out budget and look into which part of Europe you want to stick to. Make the decision and take the trip, it will be a great refreshment and you will be glad you were able to have the experience. Take a few snapshots and indulge in the experience of #RoadtripsofEurope

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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