An ode to beer: Oktoberfest in Germany

Chilled golden beer flows at Oktoberfest
Image courtesy: ©Nikada/Getty Images

RAISE YOUR GLASS AT THE 184TH OKTOBERFEST

“Prost!” (the German word for “Cheers”) is the buzzword in Munich as beer lovers from all over the world congregate at the world’s largest folk festival, which began with the official tapping of the first beer barrel on 16 September 2017. Spread over 16-17 days, Oktoberfest is a celebration of Germany’s finest brews and traditions, packed with array of culinary delights, fun rides and performances, and even a costume parade. If you haven’t experienced the Oktoberfest yet, it’s definitely one to add to the bucket list.

 

Panoramic view of scenic mountain scenery with Lake Konigssee with famous Sankt Bartholomae pilgrimage church in golden evening light in fall, national park Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria, Germany.
Panoramic view of Lake Konigssee set against snow-capped mountains
Image courtesy: ©canadastock/Shutterstock

LAKE KÖNIGSSEE IN BAVARIA

Flanked by the Berchtesgaden Alps and bathed in the golden glow of a setting sun, Lake Königssee is a stunning sight to behold. Located in the state of Bavaria, this crystal clear alpine lake is one of the deepest and most pristine lakes in Germany. The towering rock walls around the lake provide the perfect conditions for startlingly clear echoes. Whether it is a hike through the surrounding parklands or a boat tour of the lake or a visit to the Sankt Bartholomae pilgrimage church, this picturesque setting is sure to create a magical and unforgettable memory.

Nationalpark Hainich: Ancient Beech Forests, Treetop walk.
Nationalpark Hainich: Ancient Beech Forests, Treetop walk.
Image courtesy: © Biehl, Rüdiger

THE WOODED WONDERLANDS OF GERMANY

Fantasy and history, romance and myth – they all come together in the ancient beech forests of Germany. Over 4,000 hectares of untouched wooded landscape spread across different parts of the country provide the perfect setting for a vigorous and view-studded hike or a relaxing picnic among tall trees and scenic lakes. Tinted with the hues of the season, from the rich yellows and reds of autumn to the snowy whites of winter, these towering forests are straight out of painted masterpiece. Jasmund National Park, Müritz National Park, Grumsin Forest, Hainich National Park and Kellerwald-Edersee National Park are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and striking examples of nature in its magnificent and untamed glory.

Grilled sausages and sauerkraut
Grilled sausages and sauerkraut
Image courtesy: ©AS Food studio/Shutterstock

SAMPLE THE BEST OF THE WURST IN GERMANY

Eat your way through Nuremberg, Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin—a meat-lovers’ paradise awaits you wherever you go. The ‘wurst’ or sausage features prominently in traditional German cuisine. The sheer variety of sausages here coupled with a wide range of preparation methods creates a mouth-watering experience for your taste buds. From the smokiness of the frankfurter to the juiciness of the bratwurst, there is a flavour fest in every bite! The world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich annually celebrates this delicacy along with its favourite companion—freshly brewed beer.

Original Bavarian salted soft pretzels in a basket with beer from Germany
Original Bavarian salted soft pretzels in a basket with beer from Germany
Image courtesy: ©demarcomedia/Shutterstock

TASTE THE FLAVOURS OF GERMANY

Discover the gastronomic delights of Germany on a culinary trail that includes bratwurst, beer, breads and much more. At the heart of Bavarian baking is the pretzel —its origin stories are as full of twists as its own shape! According to one legend, a baker awaiting execution was told his life would be spared if he created a form of bread through which sunlight could pass three times; and thus the pretzel was born. The perfect accompaniment to this tasty treat is a refreshing chilled beer, which is brewed to perfection in Germany. Over 1,300 breweries in the country produce a mind-boggling array of around 5,000 different beers to choose from. Summertime is ideal for stopping at a Bavarian beer garden – truly an oasis for the thirsty traveller.

Hamlyn: Open-air re-enactment of the Pied Piper story
Image courtesy: ©Hamlyn

STEP INTO A MAGICAL FAIRYTALE IN HAMELIN

Hamelin, an enchanting stop on the fairy tale route, is straight out of the pages of a storybook. Don’t miss the Pied Piper’s house with its eye-catching façade rising up against azure skies. This historic building gets its name owing to an inscription on the side reminding us of the popular children’s tale. Today, a restaurant here serves Hamelin specialties inspired by the fable. This town truly brings a legend to life. It’s like stepping into the world of the Pied Piper – you can almost hear the alluring tunes of the magic pipe.

Hofgeismar: Dornröschenschloss Sababurg, the ''Sleeping Beauty'' castle of Brothers Grimm fame
Image courtesy: © Koseck

LIVE THE FAIRY TALE AT SLEEPING BEAUTY’S CASTLE

Germany, the land of myths and fairy tales, is where imagination comes to life. The fairy tale route traces the footsteps of the legendary storytellers—the Brothers Grimm—transporting you into a fantasy world of medieval towns, storybook castles, and enchanted forests. Revisit one of your favourite childhood fables at the 14th century Sababurg Castle, where Sleeping Beauty was awakened from her 100-year slumber. Nestled amid the forested slopes of the Reinhardswald, the castle is just one of the many jewels from Germany’s treasure chest of legends and sagas.

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