Munich, Germany

Mmmmm Bier… When Oktoberfest takes over the Theresienwiese each September – October, Munich gets just a wee bit crazy. But as one of the world’s most liveable cities, there’s much more to do than just drink enormous steins of beer (although that’s one of our favourite parts).

Population: People – around 1.4 million (6 million during Oktoberfest); beer – infinite amounts

Language: German

Nationalities: Bavarian beer-lovers

Surf report: Eisbach (Isar), a small man-made river, is a popular spot to ride a coupl’a waves (we’re not joking, people do this).

Cookie-cutter must sees: feeling serious? Here’s the serious sights:

Oktoberfest – Ein Prosit!! A 16-day Volksfest (read: beer party) of free-flowing steins, giant pretzels and “atmospheric” German music. If you’ve got a fetish for traditional German dress, you’ll be pleased by the seas of inebriated babes in dirndls and lederhosen. If they don’t get you wet, the bier will.

Deutsches Museum – Visit the world’s largest technological museum if you want to track humankind’s journey from stone tools to the atomic bomb (we like your old stuff better than your new stuff, humankind).

Englischer Garten (English Garden) – 900 acres of green grass, pretty ponds and plenty of potential for good times. You can even sunbathe nude in the designated areas.

Alte Pinakothek – If your time in Munich has left you feeling like a Bavarian-bier-soaked trashbag, regain your cultural capital at this museum housing the works of the European masters. Halo, Rembrandt.

BMW Welt – Even if you don’t like cars, you’ll probably like this extravagant BMW museum. Sneak into the kids’ area to design your own vehicle, loiter around in the hope of witnessing motorbike stunts on the stairs, or try to pick up a cashed-up German while they pick up their car.

The alternative cool shit: feeling avant-garde? Here’s the Stoke choices:

Augustiner Brewery – Skip Hofbrauhaus and head to the brewery favoured by locals. It’s the oldest brewery in Munich, and is definitely worth a look if you want to get blind.

Holareidulijö – If you’re heading to Okkie Fest on a budget, this second-hand traditional clothing store is the place where you can find preloved dirndls and lederhosen. Say the name in a high-pitched musical voice, and you’ll realise it’s the phonetic spelling of a yodel.
Alter Peter Church – Because you need to repent. Also, it offers the best views of Munich from the top.
Müller’sche Volksbad – This isn’t a swimming pool, it’s a bathing temple. Submerge yourself in its glorious art nouveau architecture. There’s even a Roman steam bath and a multi-coloured Finnish sauna. Don’t make the faux pas of trying to enter the sauna clothed though – the Germans take this as an insult. It’s bits out or get out.
Crux – Couldn’t get into Berghain? That’s okay, you can still get sweaty and yell requests at the DJ at Crux. Check out their Mixcloud here.

Under no circumstances does Stoke recommend… nudge nudge, wink wink (at Oktoberfest)

Drinking your entire body-weight in bier
Blacking out in one of the fun houses
Walking around with an empty stein and finding half empty or leftover drips and drabs of beers to refill Getting spun upside down on the wheel after just chugging a beer then dropping and giving someone twenty (push ups). Spew-tactular.

No seriously, Stoke does not recommend:

Trying to steal a stein glass from Oktoberfest. Your tourist head will attract a bag-check and a fine.

Standing on a table in the beer hall unless you are willing to skull 1Litre of beer with the entire crowd watching.

Wearing your apron bow (gals) tied in the middle or on the left if you are taken. Left signifies single to be cajoled and slur-spit-hit-on. Middle means virgin you dirty rotten liar. Guys, be sure to wear some silky undershorts or you’ll have a chaffed bratwurst.

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