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Oktoberfest 2009 - 5 Day

1 Oct 2009 T to the Izzo said

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To sum it up, awesome- don't hesitate- just book it. But if you want to know the good the bad and the ugly, read on.

Good: Oktoberfest. Tops best experiences of my life. Despite what I tell my children someday, I will always love Oktoberfest more than them. There's no way to describe it. I asked some people I hung-out with on the tour how they would explain it to their friends back home and we all agreed it's just words until you experience it.

You're in these massive tents/beer halls w/thousands of people from around the world. Everyone is there to party and be best friends with strangers for a few hours. There's an amusement park built for the fest on the fest-grounds that is more like Disney than a county fair. The food is incredible. And Oktobefest beer? Well, it's proof that God or someone up there likes us.

Bad: The Contiki shuttles start start too late towards the festival. They begin at 9 AM but the beer halls start letting people in at 8 and start serving between 9 and 10. "Who starts drinking at 9AM!?," you ask. Oktoberfest people, that's who.

On the weekends, if you get there at 9 AM you could be waiting 4-5 hours before you get seated and stop letting people in at noon. On Sunday, we walked in at 8 AM to one of the most popular tents (HB Tent) with a thousand other people and got seated quickly- but we had to wake-up @ 7 AM, walk a mile to the subway/underground and pay 2.30 euro to do it. Worth it indeed, but Contiki should start running the busses early.

Good: The campground is safe. The tents you share with one other person are big enough. The campgrounds have a convenience shop that sells everything you may need/forgot at home. Reasonably priced food all night. Good security run by a group they dubbed "Hells Angels." Good air-mattresses. Cold at night, bring a sleeping bag and some sweatshirts. Good breakfast in the morning.

Ugly: *More about the campsite: You need to pay to shower; 1 euro for 4 minutes of hot-water. You need to buy toilet paper, .50 euro p/roll. This is an awesome tour, but it's hardly middle-class let alone luxury. I've only camped twice in my life, it's not something I do, but I enjoyed every second of this and never wished for four-walls and a bed. Everyone else on the tour seemed cool with it too.

Bad: The bus ride from London to Munich! 14-hours on a bus? 2.5 hours on a ferry to France? And you have to do this coming to and going from Munich. It takes away 2 days you could spend drinking and eating pretzels and schnitzel...

Good: But alas, people who go on Contiki tours are just cooler than people who don't. Therefore, the people you meet on the bus are cool people. You share in the crap experience but what it arrives to is worth it. I plan on booking this for next year and will just deal w/the bus ride rather than fly into Munich because I met alot of the people I chilled with on the bus. I may fly home from Munich though.

Good: Coming from NYC, I anticipated lots of fights due to alcohol- but the crowd was celebratory, New Years Eve energy on steroids and there were no fights. The only thing that broke out were German drinking songs every 2 minutes and everyone standing on their benches.

I'm 25. Male. Traveled solo. This is my third Contiki and highly recommend Oktoberfest. The good trumps the bad in ways that make the bad seem insignificant. The 5-day was enough, but I may go for the 7 in 2010. Hit me up if you have any questions.
  • 8 Oct 2009 LorneB said

    LorneB

    Definately something I would be interested in.

  • 20 Mar 2010 Laurennnn said

    Laurennnn

    i was considering doing this tour but i would be doing it by myself. were there many solo female travellers

  • 25 Mar 2010 T to the Izzo said

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    Yeah there were definitely female solo travelers- this was definitely the party animals trip though. Not going to lie. People who were on this thing were not hesitant to throw down and have a good time.

  • 15 Jul 2011 Tahly said

    Tahly

    Awesome review!!

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