Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to: Prepare for Oktoberfest in Munich

[Note: I have never been to Oktoberfest before, and this is how I’m personally preparing. I’ll update next week to let you know how it went ☺]

Step 1: Stop spelling it Octoberfest

And then wonder why it’s always red underlined. While that logically makes sense, it’s wrong. (This rule especially applies when you don't learn how to properly spell it before you spend 20 minutes designing a blog post picture.)

Step 2: Learn about why you and 6 million other people are about to drink themselves silly in Bavaria

In 1810, homeboy Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria wanted the people of Munich to share in his marriage to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. All citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the royal event. Horse races in front of the royal Family marked the close of the event and the decision to repeat the horse races in future year gave rise to the tradition of Oktoberfest. A good time and a lot of beer were had by all that first year.

The horse races were eventually abandoned but many of the original characteristics of Oktoberfest have been retained. (Also see: BEER!) It’s now the largest and most popular festival in the world attended by over 6 million people a year that drink 7 million liters in the 16 days the festival is held.

Step 3: Book accommodations and transportation 6 months to a year in advance

Use airbnb.com, hostelbookers, and booking.com to find a place to stay. It will be expensive, but it’s the name of the game. I, of course, didn’t know I would be living in Germany 6 months to a year ago. Lucky for me, Kelly who is living in Croatia and her friends already planned a trip and had room for Dan and I. We plan on driving but the Bahn is a great way to find a train ticket.

Step 4: Get a Lederhosen and/or Dirndl

It’s not cheeky to dress up; it’s tradition! So find a shop locally or check out Amazon. There are a ton of options that are reasonably priced.

Step 5: Begin a consistent arm workout

Steins of beer can weigh up to 5 pounds, and if you’re as ambitious as I am, you'll have 2 at a time. So get fit or drink fast.

Step 6: Learn to Polka

Just kidding. Ain’t nobody got time for dat. Maybe just a good imitation will do. Check this out:

Step 7: Do Your Research

Oktoberfest tents are like lunch tables in high school. Which one do you want to be seen at? Each of them has a different theme and culture so find out what’s important to you. HERE’S a helpful site to understand each tent.

[You can also rent a table for you and friends if you’d like. It is expensive, but guarantees you a place to sit. They were sold out by the time we tried to reserve one. I actually prefer not to have a reservation. That way, you don’t feel tied to one tent and can go exploring. But perhaps agree on a meeting place before everyone gets Oktoberfest drunk.]

Step 8: Stop being a lush and plan to explore the rest of the city

It’s a new city after all, and Munich has more to offer than mass consumption of booze. Sandeman’s puts on two free daily walking tours around the whole city. It’s the third largest city in Germany and is consistently ranked top of the charts for migration and expatriate livability- go see why!

Step 9: Have a good f*cking time

Not everyone has the opportunity to go to Oktoberfest IN Munich, so make the best of it because this is probably the raddest party you’ll ever go to.

Those are my tips, ya’ll. Check out my update next week to see if I was adequately prepared!

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