Food & Drink | September 25, 2015 9:00 am

One Week Notice: Oktoberfest

Because beer is happiest here

By The Editors

Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Las Vegas on New Year’s. These are but pale imitations of the original party to end all parties: Bavaria’s Oktoberfest. Plenty of cities worldwide stage their own, but none can match Munich for scale: one-liter glasses of beer, all-night revelry, literal sausage fests and ladies in dirndls.


Two suggestions: Looking for quite possibly the top five-star brand in the world? Then enjoy the fact that Mandarin Oriental Munich has everything you’d expect, plus a prime location in Old Town, a Turkish steam bath and free Mercedes-Benz bikes to borrow. If you’d prefer a homegrown hotel option, we recommend the Louis, with a lighter, brighter take on Bavaria — best appreciated from the blond-wood bar. The 70-square-meter Louis Room is a bargain at around $310, with two balconies and views of Munich’s historic quarter.


Drink as much as possible. Talk to women in dirndls and bustiers, find seats in a huge tent, sample beer from the city’s breweries (here’s a list), eat sausage, see the Rolls Royce Exhibition at the BMW Museum, maybe take a tour of the city — and continue to drink as much as possible.


For an utterly different going-out experience (read: all the untz you can shake two left feet at), consider Berlin: Europe’s art-making capital by any fair measure. Disclaimer: it’s six hours by train. (You can get to Venice faster.) If you don’t want to dedicate a half-day to travel — or just want somewhere pretty to recuperate — dedicate a couple days to Salzburg, an easy-going Alpine town with tons of Mozart-centric history. Hiking the Austrian Alps is just as satisfying as doing it among their Swiss counterparts, and everything (lodging, food, transport, wiener schnitzel) is considerably cheaper.