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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. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    September 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Wow, this sounds like a beer marathon!

  8. 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!

  9. 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 😉

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Europe

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Check out our guide for the first timer in Amsterdam visiting a coffeeshop.

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How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Before getting started I just want to clarify that we are not drug users. We don’t condone using illegal drugs. And we are not telling you to go and smoke weed in Amsterdam. BUT, our goal of this travel blog is to help advise, educate and provide travel tips for ALL situations. So if you are headed to Amsterdam then we hope our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam will help you out.

And check out this smoker friendly accommodation for your next trip.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam Coffeeshop

When you tell people that you are visiting Amsterdam then they immediately think of one thing and one thing only. Weed. Dope. Herb. Buds. Spliff. Whacky Tobbacky. Pot. Marijuana. Cannabis. 

Call it what you will but just know that the biggest name for it is “ILLEGAL”.

Yes it is actually illegal to smoke weed in Amsterdam. But for now the Netherlands government do tolerate smoking in designated “coffeeshops”. This is slowly changing as the Government tries to moderate the tourism drug trade and in 2013 there will be new laws which we won’t go in to now as they are continuously changing.

In the meantime if you obey the rules, are not a moron and use our guide to smoking weed in Amsterdam then you are going to be fine.

Smoke weed in Amsterdam

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t smoke weed in Amsterdam in public such as on the streets. There are over 300 designated coffee shops where you are tolerated to smoke weed. These places are regulated and everything is done in the open.

Don’t get confused and try to smoke in a koffiehuis (coffee house) which sells coffee and light meals or a café that is a casual restaurant and/or bar.

The coffeeshops are super easy to spot with marijuana leaves in the windows and Bob Marley paintings on the doors. Not to mention the smell wafting through the cold breeze. There will also be the usual tourists that have stupidly over-indulged and are glassy eyed.

We visited one of the five Bulldog coffeeshops when we were in Amsterdam and had no complaints. We even enjoyed a delicious hot chocolate while we were there!

Bulldog Coffeeshop in Amsterdam

Buying weed in Amsterdam

As long as you are over 18 then you will be allowed to buy up to 5 grams of weed in the regulated coffeeshops. Plus you have the added security knowing that your marijuana is not going to be laced with anything else if you are attempting to buy it off someone on the street. And who knows, they might be setting you up to get busted.

We were (and are) total amateurs and had no idea what to do once we actually stepped foot in the coffeeshop. But quickly sussed it out. There will generally be a “dealer bar” with full menu’s and everything for you to choose. So if you are an expert you will probably know what to order! Prices will of course vary by quantity (grams, bags, individual joints) and quality.

For a beginner ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy like we were. Ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type has. They will know then that you are a newbie and will guide you. Just know that they are very accustomed to tourists who don’t know exactly how to go about the whole process.

What we found out is that it is actually perfectly fine for you to visit other coffeeshops and smoke weed that you have already purchased somewhere else. However, it is considered rude not to at least buy a hot chocolate or coffee if you do this. Coffeeshops do also have some of the best coffee in Amsterdam.

How to smoke weed in Amsterdam

Don’t be an idiot

Number 1 rule: Don’t smoke too much weed in Amsterdam! Even if you are a pot loving hippie from a commune you are probably going to find the marijuana really strong in Amsterdam. Just take it slow.

If you are enjoying a drink as well then again take it easy with the booze. All the coffeshops won’t sell you beer as well as cannabis.

EAT! Don’t go drinking and smoking on an empty stomach as cannabis lowers your blood sugar level and this can turn a fun day into a disaster if you haven’t eaten recently. Check out our Amsterdam Food Guide for some quick eating tips here.

A final word of warning, please watch out for the spacecake! Eating cannabis will knock you on your ass and is much stronger than when smoked.

Finally, enjoy yourselves and for goodness sake obey the rules, laws and customs while you are smoking weed in Amsterdam.

If you have an addiction to drugs then reach out and seek some help.

Check out these Weed Products for your next travel adventure.

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Europe

Four Jandals Visits an Amsterdam Peep Show

Have you ever wanted to visit an Amsterdam peep show? We had the chance to go and embraced it with open arms. Check out our experience here

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Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

An Amsterdam peep show is a must, just like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Okay slightly different. But you have got to go!

And if you have ever wanted to visit Amsterdam then more than likely you are going to be interested in checking out a peep show in the red light district. It might be worthwhile checking out this Amsterdam’s Red Light District – The ultimate guide.

Amsterdam Moulin Rouge Red Light District

There is something about the red light district that draws the punters and tourists alike in. Maybe it is the bright red neon lights that illuminate the darkened alleyways that pull them in like moths to a flame. Or the bars and coffee shops that let a certain smell waft lazily across the glistening canals.

Or maybe it is just the fact that sex really does sell.

When we visited Amsterdam with a couple of friends we actually spent what I now consider an embarrassingly long time in that same area. The fact is that we seriously could not get enough.

Not like that of course!

We just couldn’t believe that everyone is so open and carefree about what is for all intents and purposes, window shopping for sex. The number of guys knocking on windows and being ushered behind the curtains of every room were staggering.

However, we were not enticed ourselves to fork over $50 euros but were intrigued enough to want to check out an Amsterdam peep show. I just want to clarify here that it was actually Adela that was the most keen. I just didn’t want to let her down so went along with it…

Amsterdam Red Light District

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shaynekaye/4792525797

Visiting the Amsterdam peep show

Much to our surprise, there is only one Amsterdam peep show left in the whole city back in 2012!

The very originally named “Sex Palace” is situated on the banks of one of the main canals in the heart of the red light district on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street. Walking under the neon flashing lights into the entrance way your senses are assaulted by sights, sounds and disturbingly smell.

All around the walls are posters and screens showing ladies in various states of undress and positions. A white board lists the movies that you can rent out for your viewing pleasure in one of the many private booths. But we were only there for one thing:

The circular structure sitting slightly to the left of the entrance with a dozen small doors along it’s walls. 

Each of those small doors lead into equally small rooms no larger than a traditional UK phone box. A small covered viewing window blocks your view forward.

The money box clinging to the wall to operate the viewing window only accepts coins. But don’t worry if you only have notes as they handily have a large coin machine dishing out $2 euro coins for ease of watching.

Once you close the door and chuck in your money, the viewing window pops open for 2 minutes and allows you to view the large, slowly-rotating stage on which a scantily-dressed woman displays herself. With her flexibility she could have represented any country in the upcoming Olympics!

Amsterdam peep show Sex Palace

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmangum/2301545978

I was cracking up laughing the entire time I was in there because you can actually just make out the rest of the “audience” in the opposite booths. I even got a little wave and smile as the girl slowly revolved past my window.

The Amsterdam peep show was a little bit creepy. But even though we were there late on a Saturday night the booths were doing a roaring trade. Obviously nearly everyone else, from the hens parties to the couples, were there for the same reason as us. To check out one or two rounds before heading back into the night giggling like school girls at a sleepover at what we had just done.

The shifty eyed single men on the other hand skulked away to their respective viewing windows again and again with pockets full of coins.

If you ever get the chance then we actually do highly recommend taking the plunge and visiting an Amsterdam peep show. Just make sure that you are always respectful of the women in the shows and the ones on the streets!

Have you ever been to an Amsterdam Peep Show or Sex show? Tell us about your experience below.

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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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