This year Oktoberfest begins September 21 and runs through October 7.
Colorful blue and white Bavarian flags wave throughout the city as thousands of visitors from all over the world gather to eat pretzels, veal sausages and roasted half chickens while quaffing nearly 15 million pints of beer to wash it all down.
Oktoberfest traditionally opens with the words “O’zapt is!” which means “It’s tapped!” That’s the signal for 14 massive beer tents with seating ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 to fill with singing, swaying, stein-raising revelers who celebrate from morning til closing at 10:30 p.m.
The 16-day festival always begins on a Saturday and concludes on the first Sunday of October. Festivities get underway with thousands of participants parading through the streets of
Oktoberfest began in 1810 with the betrothal of Princess Theresa to Crown Prince Ludwig, and it has been wildly popular throughout the world ever since. Admission is free, which is a good thing, because a liter stein of beer will cost you between $10 and $13. One important tip, don’t get in the way of the frauleins who carry up to a dozen steins at a time. They have the right of way, and they are serious about making their deliveries.
Hofbrau has the largest, and most popular, venue for tourists with seating for 10,000 people. Dating to the year 1589, when it was opened by William V, Duke of Bavaria, Hofbrauhaus is one of
Another famous brewery is Lowenbrau which is believed to have been founded in 1383. Lowenbrau means “lion’s brew” and is today owned by Anheuser Busch.
Though you may not be able to find them, and probably wouldn’t know them anyway, if you want to look for German celebrities and politicians they are usually found at the Kaferzelt.
When dealing with another culture, there are several “rules of the road” which can make Oktoberfest even more enjoyable. Though travelers will hear plenty of English due to the international nature of the festival, using a few basic German words adds to the flavor of the experience.
“Servus” is used to say “good day” and “goodbye” to friends in
One word that is a must is “prost” which means “cheers.” You will hear it and say it often. Another expression sure to win plenty of new friends is “I mog di!” or “I like you!” If all else fails, just use hand signals and smile, with a heavy emphasis on the smile.
If you don’t like crowds Oktoberfest is not the place for you, but if you immerse yourself in the spirit of the festival it is a joyous experience you will never forget. Just because the beer tents close early doesn’t mean the party stops. The Wiesnzeit at Stiglmaierplatz hosts the “Almdudier After-Oktoberfest Party” nightly beginning at 10 p.m.
Taxis are readily available and plentiful, but it is mandatory to wait in line at designated taxi stops. Taxis can be called, however, at +49 89 21610.
Visitors quickly learn that Oktoberfest is no place to be shy. Perhaps the most important tip for guys to know is where a girl wears her apron bow. If it is own the right, that means she is spoken for, but when the bow is on the left, she is available. Which means a lesson in knowing your right from your left can have major advantages in
If you are heading to
If you cannot make it to
Oktoberfest is “trick or treat” German style.
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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world.
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
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