18 Reasons You NEED To Do Oktoberfest!
Okay – so you’ve heard about Oktoberfest. Maybe you’ve seen pictures, or read about it, or know friends who’ve gone.
But let me tell you: NOTHING you’ve seen, read, or heard comes close to experiencing it for yourself! It is an EPIC travel experience, even for epic travelers. I’ve never seen a party like this, or one simply as MASSIVE. Been to Coachella? Vegas? New York City? In terms of sheer FUN: it doesn’t even compare.
My friends and I went to Oktoberfest in September 2015. But today, right now – Oktoberfest 2016 is only TWO MONTHS AWAY!!! You still have time to book and plan for what will be one of the best parties of your entire life. (We booked our reservations about two months out using Airbnb to find some very reasonable accommodations – so it is NOT too late!)
But, if you still need a reason to go to Oktoberfest – let me give you a few. Let’s take a trip to Munich – a city that turns itself upside down every September to host one of the most unforgettable celebrations of BEERand LIFE that you will ever experience. Here are 18 reasons why Oktoberfest NEEDS to get on your bucket list:
- It is an INSANE bonding experience. Whether you know the people you’re traveling with super well, or whether you just met them yesterday – it doesn’t matter. Oktoberfest has a way of making complete strangers feel like intimates within a matter of minutes. And I think it is one of the BEST places to travel as a group – though I love solo travel, this is definitely NOT the place to do it! Go as a group, and prepare to know each other A LOT better by the end of 48 hours. Or even 24.
- You get to drink at the world-famous Hofbrauhaus. For beer drinkers, this is probably the most legendary beer house in all of the world. And if you visit during Oktoberfest, you get to see it at the peak of its fun and madness. Walking up to its doors, we could feel the walls reverberating with life and people stomping their feet; when we entered, we were greeted with boisterous music and faces of people from all over the world. Visiting the Hofbrauhaus is not to be missed – and even during Oktoberfest, a group of eight of us found a large, picnic-type table within five minutes, so don’t let the crowds daunt you!
You will make new friends SUPER quickly. My friend Zsa Zsa and I decided to veer off from our group at about 10PM in Munich. They were going to a Bavarian strip club, and we decided we’d rather go out and explore – see where the night would take us. Within about ten minutes, we found ourselves in the following situation…
ALL of your pictures will turn out blurry. But it will be SO worth it.
You get to wear really cool costumes. Yes – all the girls wear those cute little dirndls (you know, breast-baring, Milk Maid-type, very feminine dresses) while most of the men are knocking about in suspenders and lederhosen. How fun is that?! But, you also have the freedom to explore different kinds of costumes, and explore different sides of your personality – like my friend Frenchy Fly, who is exploring what it feels like to have some real awesome cleavage.
You get to act like a kid and ride magic carpets.
You get to say “PROST” like, a million times. And mean it every time. “Prost” is German for “Cheers.” It is also a bar in Portland, Oregon on the corner of Mississippi Avenue, for you intrepid Oregonians. Somehow, every time you say it – it just gets more and more fun. And the more people you say it with, the more fun it gets.
Even if you don’t like beer – you will still LOVE Oktoberfest. Personally, I can’t stand beer. I don’t like the taste, I feel bloated after I drink it, and all it does is make me want to belch (which I also detest). At Oktoberfest?! No matter! By the end of the day, I began to LOVE beer! It was a temporary love – but still. And for non-beer drinkers, they will add lemonade to your beer to make it more palatable and a little sweeter. Win-win.
You get to walk down cute little cobblestone streets! (We don’t have this kind of shit in America. It makes us really, really happy).
You will end up kissing random strangers. Or friends. Or both. At Oktoberfest it becomes abundantly clear that alcohol has been responsible for approximately 99.9% of all random hook-ups in the world (that is not a scientific fact – rather, a mere discerning observation). Embrace it. Go with it. As long as your friends can’t tease you too badly the next day for your (potential) moments of indiscretion.
You get to witness one of the most MASSIVE parties on the planet earth. There is just nothing else like Oktoberfest. You simply cannot prepare yourself for how BIG and bawdy this party truly is. Even if you are German (which I am, partly) – you will be shocked (and secretly pleased) at just how thoroughly these fuckers can party. Their everyday, no-nonsense demeanor disguises some of the heartiest partiers I’ve every seen ANYWHERE in the world. So sit back and enjoy it. Take it all in.
You get to dance on wooden table tops and sing your little lungs out. You will join groups, start your own, wander off, get lost from your friends, find new ones, and just generally, have the time of your life. Simply standing atop a table dancing, with about 6,000 other people, singing “Sweet Home Alabama” as loud as humanly possible, turns out is one of the most exhilarating experiences you may ever have. Live it up.
If you don’t like one tent – don’t worry: there are plenty more to choose from. We started our day in one tent, spent the mid-afternoon in a pretty mellow one, and then ended the day in what ended up being the most raucous, be-all-end-all tents of all – and if you ask me to remember any of their names – I simply cannot do it. Point is: you choose your own adventure at Oktoberfest. If you haven’t yet found what you’re looking for – trust me: it’s out there.
You have the chance to perform random acts of kindness for your fellow humans. As we were sitting on the deck of one of the tents, my friend Mike noticed a guy in a pink shirt who, it looked like from afar, had passed out on the lawn. Maybe he was just taking a little nap – who knows. But Mike got concerned, thinking that maybe this guy had lost his friends. Being the affably guy he is, Mike went over to the lawn and struck up a conversation with this guy (after he woke up), thinking he looked like he needed a friend right about then. Oktoberfest is just one of the many events and places around the world where you will feel that other people are genuinely looking out for you – both friends and strangers alike.
You will end up with pictures on your phone that you just cannot explain. And you will like it.
You will inevitably get in arguments with your friends: about getting lost, about being a kissing bandit, about which tent to go to, about being an idiot – whatever. You name it, you will fight about it. Excessive amounts of alcohol and big groups of people tend to have this effect. But don’t worry – you will most likely laugh about it the next day, and your friendship will get even stronger because its survived a little rough patch. OR, you will realize that your friend is such an idiot that you never party with them again. But either way – you’ve learned something.
You will experience the whole gamut of human emotion in one day – which is why you will always remember Oktoberfest. One minute, you will be shyly sipping your beer – the next, you will be the wild animal on top of the bar. All of a sudden, you will be panicked because you have lost all of your friends! Then, moments (or hours) later, when you find them, you will experience elation and relief like nothing you have never known. At the end of the night, you will get SO pissed at your friend for losing the keys to your apartment – but, five minutes later, you will be prost-ing and hugging each other like the old friends that you are, because both of you have completely forgotten about the keys. Rarely in one day are we given the gift of experiencing so many emotions. It’s overwhelming, and magnificent, and lonely, and irritating, and joyous: and it’s ALL part of the experience. And it’s why you will remember Oktoberfest so well, long after it is over.
Finally, and most to the point, and simply: you will have the best time ever.