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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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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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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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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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