Any festival that involves sanctioned drinking, suckling pig, and rounds of yodeling is our kind of party! There’s a true art to the debauchery at Oktoberfest and the travelers of Trippy.com are experts on everything from the best beer tents to where to buy your lederhosen.
1. Festhalle Schottenhamel
Photo: Abhijeet Rane/Flickr
The granddaddy or in this case, Opa of Oktoberfest tents, this is the oldest tent in the festival and opened its doors the same year Karl Marx published Das Kapital. No less than the mayor of Munich comes here to tap the first barrel of beer consumed at the festival, shouting a hearty “O’zapft is!” or “It’s tapped!” as he does.
Photo: Digital cat/Flickr
Known as the “Heaven of the Bavarians,” this tent’s heavenly backdrop is painted by the Oscar-winning art director of the film Cabaret and looks like a dream come true. If you’re a music lover, be sure to check out the tent’s house band, Cagey Strings.
Photo: Gotz A. Primke/Flickr
How can you resist a tent with its own yodeler? Not us, which is why it’s included on our list. Trippy member Katherina Boden concurs that music is one of the main draws of this Munich favorite, noting that “Bräurosl is liked by the older generation, which can be fun as well because they play these really traditional German songs in there and you might be lucky getting in on a Saturday afternoon without reservation (as I was once).”
4. Café Kaiserschmarrn
This might not be the biggest or the oldest tent in the festival, but it’s certainly the cutest. Resembling a Bavarian Disneyland, this tent is actually run by a bakery (so no surprise, you can get some amazing pastries here).
Photo: Christian Kadluba/Flickr
Not only does it have a reputation for being one of the more low-key tents in the festival, but it also has a reputation for being one of the best. Locals know it as the best place to get a taste of spanferkel in malzbiersauce, or suckling pig in beer.
6. Try a cider tavern in Sachsenhausen; Frankfurt, Germany
The Ebbelwei Express. Photo: shankar s./Flickr
When the close quarters of the beer tents become a little too much, take a day trip to Frankfurt and visit the cider taverns in the Sachsenhausen section of town. The local cider, often known as ebbelwoi or apfelwein, is made from apples and brewed according to old recipes, both known and private. And if you’ve had a little too much to drink, take an hour to tour the town on the Ebbelwei Express bus. Whatever you do, don’t go back to Munich without trying grüne soße, or green sauce, a slimy dish that looks like something an alien would eat but is one of the tastiest things you’ll ever try.
7. Buy your Bavarian outfit in Bavaria
Photo: digital cat/flickr
Trippy member Ross Weber has this advice for how to dress for how to dress for Oktoberfest: “Definitely buy Lederhosen if you’re a guy, and Dirndl if you’re a girl. If you don’t have a traditional costume it is OK, but you will be in the 5% without a ‘costume’. Don’t buy it in the states. Wait until you get to Munich and spend the $100+ for a decent outfit (dresses are less expensive).”
8. Have a beer at the Chinesischer Turm
Photo: digital cat/flickr
Who would have thought that one of the best places to celebrate Oktoberfest would be a Chinese tower in an English garden? This lovely pagoda-like tower, known as Chinesischer Turm, was originally built in the 1700s but destroyed during World War II and rebuilt shortly after. On a side note: in addition to the tower, this park also has a man-made surfing spot open to experienced surfers in the warmer months.
9. Take a day trip to Salzburg, Austria
Fortress Hohensalzburg (Photo: Heribert Pohl/Flickr)
If you’re going over specifically for Oktoberfest but want to see more of Europe while you’re there, Trippy member Ryan Weiss says you can still keep your buzz going at the Salzburg beer halls: “Everyone raves about Augustiner Bräu. And don’t get me wrong, you’ll have a blast at this beer hall, but the best beer you’re going to have is at the top of the Fortress Hohensalzburg. I’d do both. The last time I was at Augustinerbräu I ended up meeting some really cool people and we left the beer hall and went to the castle together for a beer.”
10. Sleep cheap at The Tent
If all this eating and drinking in tents makes you want to sleep in one, make a reservation at The Tent, a non-profit hostel/camp ground just 20 minutes away from the festivities. During Oktoberfest, beds go for about 25 euros or, if you really want to rough it, you can rent floor space for 15 euros. If you happen to have your own tent you can pitch it for a few euros less—just make sure to make a reservation in advance and bring extra blankets as the weather can get pretty dicey that time of year.
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