First and foremost I would like to thank Menorca Chaturveri from Europe Diaries for the spectacular photos I’m using here for this post, which are obviously the super awesome that do not contain myself. Be sure to check out her blog for tons of great stuff!
Oktoberfest in Germany has been on my bucket list since moving to Europe and luckily this past weekend I was lucky enough to attend. For those of you who are sheltered, Oktoberfest is a massive beer fest in Germany. One of my biggest concerns about the event was that we would get the most genuine experience. There is also the issue where I get extremely anxious in large crowds. After weighing the choices of Oktoberfest and Volksfest, we opted for the Volksfest in Stuttgart. It’s the world’s second-largest beer festival and is held over a 16 day period at the end of September and very early October. The biggest surprise was how family-friendly it was! For readers in the US, it was like a massive state fair but with more chocolate covered fruit in lieu of fried things and people dressed in adorable Lederhosen and Dirndls rather than denim and wife-beaters (I kid!). It’s bursting with bright colors, music, and beautiful people all welcoming autumn and finding an awesome excuse to eat, drink, and be merry!
Some Do’s and Do Not’s for the festival:
-Do Bring Cash AND Change: You will need cash for almost all of the attractions and food. Very, very, very, very few places will take credit cards so hit the ATM before you try and purchase things. Most items/events are priced very fairly so it probably won’t break the bank to have an unforgettable experience. Be sure to bring change because many bathrooms in Germany charge you to pee! Luckily most of the ones in the tents were operated on a tip system. There was a long line to use it so get in line before it becomes a dire emergency.
-Don’t Miss Out On The Tents: I could go on for hours about how cool the tents were. Tents are where you go to drink tons of beer and dance on tables to live bands surrounded by hundreds of people dressed up, who are just as drunk and excited as you are. When you get there, the workers are bustling around carrying massive planks of chicken, handfulls of huge beers, or are busy making pretzels. Everyone was very friendly and the atmosphere was lively and folky.
-Do Buy Tent Tickets Ahead of Time: Tables seem to sell out pretty quickly, so try and book your table well in advance. Tickets include almost one free huge beer (you have to pay 40 euro cents extra, which was pretty inconvenient) and a delicious plate of chicken! Additional huge beers cost 9 Euro each. Dislike beer? Fret naught! They have a delicious concoction called Shandy that is fruity and refreshing!
-Don’t Bring Fragile Items: This includes things that you wouldn’t want beer all over. If you are going to bring them anyways, I’d recommend bringing a plastic bag to place it in when said items are not in use. The tables and floor inside the tent ended up being completely covered in spilled beer from all the dancing and ‘Cheers’ that occurred.
-Do Something That Scares You: There are so many epic rides to do!! If you leave without doing at least one, you have messed up! My favorite was the 50-meter tall chain seated merry go round. I got a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside and could even see the mountains in the distance! Be wary of smiling so big that you get bugs in your teeth… that actually happened to me!
-Don’t Wear Uncomfortable Shoes: You will be on your feet for the entire day, so wear comfortable shoes. There were tons of women in heels, and though they looked stylish, they also looked like they were in a lot of pain.
-Do Get Into Character: Sure, Lederhosen/Dirndls look silly but get some. I felt that when the outfit was donned, the fun really started. Plus, when you own it you already have an automatic one-of-a-kind Halloween costume for later in October. You’ll start finding every excuse you can to wear it. I’m even considering wearing mine for my distant future wedding!
As always, feel free to share photos or comments about your trip to Oktoberfest in the comment section below!