1) Raise a stein at Oktoberfest
As Europe’s greatest consumer of beer, Germany is the obvious choice for host of the world’s biggest beer festival. Taking place annually, Oktoberfest is held in Munich in the Bavarian region of Germany, where you’ll find traditional architecture, garb and food. This year, don your lederhosen and dirndls and set out with Contiki to spend a week at the festival, singing, dancing and raising steins of the country’s best brews at massive beer halls. When you need to take a break, head out to the amusement park or market stalls to do some shopping. It’s the country’s biggest celebration, and it’s a party not to be missed. And if you don’t drink beer, just do what I do – order a stein of Riesling. #justkidding #notreally
2) Go to a footie match
Going hand-in-hand with their love of beer is the Germans' love of football. Man, do they love it. For a true European sports experience, take in a FC Bayern Munchen game in Munich, the country’s most successful team with 22 national titles and 15 cups. With 20.7 million supporters around the world, the team has sell-out games, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by thousands of loud and happy fans, downing their beers and soaking it up with pretzels and sausages. Beer, food and footie – an authentic German experience!
3) See the country on two wheels
Germany is big on biking, so why not check out the country on two wheels? Contiki's trips that stop in Munich include a 3-hour guided bike ride around the city, stopping to hear about all the historic landmarks along the way. In Berlin, explore the Berlin Wall on the bike trail that runs alongside. With over 70,000 kilometres of bike routes throughout the country, it's one of the best ways to get around cities quickly and to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the countryside and the Alps. Plus, you'll be sweating out all the steins of beer and pretzels you've gobbled up since arriving!
4) Spend a day at Grunewald
In a busy region like Berlin, it's always nice to get away from the hustle and bustle without having to trek outside the city borders. Grunewald is a 7400 acre green space (yep, that big) that is perfect for grabbing some pals and some yummy German fare and having a picnic in the lush landscape. Spend the afternoons exploring the forest on bike or horseback, and on days when the sun's beating down, take a dip in one of the freshwater lakes. By the time the sun sets, you'll be nice and relaxed for a night of dancing at one of Berlin's epic nightclubs!
5) Get your history fill at the Berlin Wall
Germany is a country rich with history and there are plenty of museums and monuments throughout the major cities for you to visit. Nothing holds more significance of internal strife, however, than that of the fallen Berlin Wall. A symbol of separatism between the east and west, the wall was torn down by the government in 1989 after an uprising of citizens opposed the division that had been erected in the dead of night in post-war Germany. As one of the most significant celebrations the country has seen, visitors to Berlin can still check out the wall and visit The Mauermuseum for more history and to learn about Checkpoint Charlie.
Written by Lauren McPhillips