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oktoberfest

OKTOBERFEST

When? 18 September–4 October 2010
Where? Munich, Germany
What? Oktoberfest is a centuries-old tent-crawl with more beer, more Bavarians and more brass bands than you can shake a bratwurst at.

Style Brew ha ha
Setting
Bavarian beer tents

Event highlight? There may be a gazillion types of beer here, but we get at least as excited about the strange and wonderful food on offer: try brathendl (roast chicken), bratwurst and sauerkraut, steckerlfisch (fish on a stick), potato soup and roast ox.

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IN THE KNOW

Head count More than six million visitors stagger around the city for Oktoberfest every year.

Packing tips Get into the mood with some lederhosen or a bodice-busting dirndl dress. For those with more retiring sartorial tastes, take heart in the fact that most visitors come dressed quite casually. Remember to pack good walking shoes, though, as there are miles of roads inside the Oktoberfest compound and no means of transportation.

Bar chat It’s believed that the Münchner Kindl, the hooded figure on the city’s coat of arms, was the inspiration for the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.

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DOs & DON’Ts

Take cash. Many of the tents don’t accept credit cards.
Make reservations and/or buy vouchers before you attend. Places in the big tents get booked up fast, and it can be difficult to get in without a reservation, especially on weekends.
Get a seat: you can’t buy a beer without somewhere to sit.
Don’t try to liberate your beer mug as a souvenir: the police do spot checks and there’s a hefty fine for pilfering.

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NEED TO KNOW

Getting there Münich is easy to reach by air or train, and the festival site is well served by public transport from the city centre. It’s probably easier to take a taxi though – ring Taxizentrale on +49 (0)89 21610.

Child-friendly Oktoberfest Every Tuesday is family day, with discounts, less of a beer focus, and kid-friendly activities such as riding on merry-go-rounds and face painting, and there’s also a Familien-Platzl where families and youngsters can relax. All tents must be child-free by 8pm.

Parking Driving isn’t exactly a good match with a beer festival, and there are no parking facilities in the area. Taxis and buses are a much better plan.

Anna Hotel for Oktoberfest, Munich, GermanySLEEP
The Hotel Cortiina in the old town is a pared-down haven, while the Anna Hotel is a slick, minimal place that will provide welcome respite from the hectic festival site. This Munich boutique hotel is just off Karlsplatz, positioned between the train station and the Karlstor, which marks the entrance to the historical part of the city. Contemporary rooms and teak floors combined with white walls and black granite create a warmly lit background for cherry-picked, expertly arranged pieces of furniture. In the sixth-floor suite, designed (like the rest of the hotel) by Donghia, walls are replaced by panoramic windows reaching from floor to ceiling, affording penthouse-style gravitas.

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FOOD & DRINK
There are a variety of tents offering German delicacies – try the grilled chicken, pork sausages and pork
knuckles on offer, as well as breze, a delicious local pretzel-style bread. The Schützenfest tent (+49 (0)89 2318 1224) has traditional suckling pig served with beer sauce and coleslaw; the A-list-friendly Käfers Wies’n-schänke tent is the place for roast duck (+49 (0)89 41683 56). The wine tent, Weinzelt (+49 (0)89 2907 0517), also offers a diverse menu, with Thai delicacies and fresh oysters. For traditional Bavarian fare, book a table at the Vinzenz Murr Wiesn Stüberl (+49 (0)89 780430).

Go to www.mrandmrsmith.com for more destination details and to book hotels in Munich, or ring 0845 034 0701.

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