Posts Tagged With: Ryanair

Paris for Tourists: 10 Things to Do and See in Paris, France

IMG_3336

Many of my international friends will be visiting Paris and have asked for my personal recommendations of things to do and see in short amount of time while in the city of love.

Here are the following recommendations that I would suggest for people to make time to visit and experience; most of which are free, or in this case, the price of a 1,70 euro metro ticket. If you will be using the metro during the time you are in Paris to get around (instead of walking), I would advise travellers to save money by purchasing 10 pack of tickets for 12.70€ (trust me, this is the best way to save about 5,00€)

IMG_33561) The Eiffel Tower

Personally, the Eiffel Tower is one of my favourite places (and probably the most visited place in Paris) along with establishing itself as the most symbolic and global icon of Paris. Standing at 320 metres tall, the Eiffel Tower is absolutely stunning to witness in person; a night or during the day. After taking a vast amount of photos in front the tower, I highly recommend climbing IMG_3509the horrendous amount of stairs to the very top. Climbing the Eiffel Tower was on my bucket list, and for those who are able to do so, I recommend it. Also, it’s cheaper to climb at a ticket price of 3,50€ compared to the higher price (and lengthy wait) of taking the escalator.

2) Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile)

One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France IMG_3501in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. While the Arc de Triomphe is one of those historical monuments that is a MUST SEE, you can walk along the Champs-Elysées, which is filled with ritzy stores like Mercedes-Benz and Louis Vuitton. The street is absolutely beautiful at night, especially around Christmas, with all the lights lit up for the season. Take the metro to Charles de Gaulle étoile.

3) Jardin des Tuileries

Located between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, Jardin des Tuileries is one of the most visited gardens in Paris; this is for many reasons, but one reason is that it is absolutely alluring. Take a walk through the gardens either on your way to the Eiffel Tower or after you visited La musée de Louvre.

IMG_3717

4) The Musée du Louvre

There are two museums that I strongly recommend visiting and the Musée du Louvre is one of them. Not only is Louvre a historic monument, it is also one of the world’s largest museums. You could literally spend a whole day in there; it’s that large. Not only do the contain interesting and unique exhibitions, but it also holds one of the most famous paintings: The Mona Lisa. Beware of pick-pocketers, and the massive amount of people surrounding specific paintings, especially the miniature-sized painting of Mona. Also, if you are a EU student (this excludes exchange students from outside the EU) then you get free admission. Just bring your passport and student card.

5) Musée d’Orsay

My second recommendation for museums (if you’re interested in going to them) would be the Musée d’Orsay. This museum is located opposite of the Musée du Louvre just over the Seine River. This museum is cheaper than Musée du Louvre, but a lot smaller, and more specific with the art that is showcased. At the time that I went, they had an amazing exhibition on Impressionism and Fashion, and was well worth seeing. Check the website to see upcoming exhibitions at the time that you plan to visit. Again, admission is free if you are an EU student.

IMG_35276) Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

Take the metro to Anvers (near funiculaire de montmartre) to see the beautiful Basilica Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre.

There are lots of souvenir shops in this area as you walk towards the hill where the basilica resides. You will have to walk the many steps to get to the top, but it’s worth it once I see the view of Paris from the top of the stairs. The view of Paris is the main reason to come here, but also, the Basilica is incredibly IMG_3567well-designed and beautiful. Beware of men trying to stop you and asking you to hold out your hands. They will begin to make a bracelet from you and will ask you to make two payments for the bracelet; one to them, and one to their boss. Sketchy.

7) Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris

No there is no hunchback that lives in the Notre Dame (as Disney has made us believe), however, the Cathédrale is absolutely awe-inspiring and massive; IMG_3518a must-see for all tourists. The architecture and style of the structure is phenomenal, inside and out. It is free to visit, although highly suggested that you make a contribution through a purchase of a tea-lite candle that you can light and place among the many that are in memory of individuals or general blessings.
8) Père Lachaise Cemetery

If you a fan of literature or have a love for famous writers, poets, philosophers, artists or other historical individuals, then look no farther and visit the grave sites of many famous individuals at Père Lachaise Cemetery. It is the largest cemetery I have ever seen and walked through, and is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris. From Eugène Delacroix to Oscar Wilde, Père Lachaise Cemetery contains many graves of famous and historical individuals, and is non-touristy place to visit.

IMG_37709) Angelina’s (Cafe)

To save on meals and general food while in Paris, avoid the costly restaurants and cafe’s, and look to buy food from markets or food stores. However, on the last day in Paris, I wanted to splurge a little and wanted to experience a really nice French cafe. I was recommended by a friend to visit Angelina’s cafe on Rue de Rivoli, and after a visit there, I must say, it was an overall great experience. The food was great (and fancy) and the hot chocolate was to die for. If you’re a fan of chocolate (like pure liquid chocolate), then look no farther than the chocolatest hot chocolate you will ever have. Although the price of Angelina’s famous ‘African’ hot chocolate could give you a heart attack (with all the rich chocolatiness, it just might), the price was worth trying it and relaxing in an exquisite furnished and classy french atmosphere.

IMG_3792

10) The Love Bridge of Paris

Walking along the Seine River, you will find various bridges flourishing with multi-coloured & multi-purpose “love” locks detailing a couple, a friendship, or relationships. for 3 euros, you can buy a lock from a man who makes his income of the purchase of the locks, and write down your name, and that of a lover. By writing your names and anniversary date, you can lock the love lock on the bridge, throw away the key into the river, and have the lock symbolize each others’ enduring
passion for one another. It’s quite romantic, in a way.

~

TO AND FROM PARIS (AIRPORT & METRO INFO)

If you are traveling to the Charles De Gaulle airport (Easyjet), take the metro (RER A) into Paris at a ticket price of 9,25€. If you are traveling to the Paris Beauvais Tille Airport (Ryanair), there is a shuttle bus that will take you to Neuilly-Porte Maillot (metro stop) and from there you will need to find the metro and take it into the city of Paris for usual metro ticket price fo 1,70€

In this case, it’s more expensive flying with Ryanair at the added price of 16,70€,
compared with Easyjet (9,25€)

IMG_3540Check out my Youtube videos on Paris: http://www.youtube.com/user/BorderlineForFools

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanthomaswoods

Any comments or questions, please leave a message above! If you have any other suggestions of places you highly recommend in Paris, then leave a comment below!

Advertisements
Categories: Autumn, Blog, Easyjet, Fall, Flights, France, Paris, Ryanair, Seasons, Survival Guide, Travel Sights, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Next Stop: Paris, France

IMG_3287

On the third night that Joey was in Leeds, we were sitting in my room, and I went over my bucket list. When I reached the bottom of the list (#33), I turned to Joey and I said: “Wanna go somewhere? Like fly to a different city?” and he said, “Let’s do it”.

I pulled out a world map on my Ipad and randomly picked a spot… it was the Atlantic Ocean. And so, since I didn’t feel like swimming in late November, I randomly picked another spot. PARIS IT WAS! WE booked our tickets, accommodations and other means of transportation 36 hours before our flight from Liverpool departed. I’d call that a spontaneous trip (crosses #33 off bucket list).

Journée 1

We arrived at the Charles de Gaulle airport after flying with Easyjet from Liverpool. We arrived around 8:30pm. We took the metro (RER A) from the airport straight to our accommodations. Again, I strongly recommend travellers who are looking for cheap places to sleep to check out Airbnb.com! Joey and I stayed with this lovely Parisian couple who were renting out there futon for a really cheap price (compared to the rest of Paris). They provided us a map of Paris, showed us all the touristy places, and their  own personal recommendations. They lived in a very old-styled Parisian flat that had a key that was similar to the key in Hugo. Because it was so late at night, Joey and I crashed the first night in Paris.

Journée 2

Bonjour mon ami(e)! Ca va? Je suis tres bon!

Joey and I woke up to the restless streets of Paris around 8am and decided to begin our day with a trip to le Supermarche (the supermarket). We bought some food for breakfast as well as snacks and drinks for the day trip to the busiest parts of Paris. The only noteworthy thing that happened at the store was when Joey paid for his food. He gave the cashier a 10 pound note, instead of 10 euro note. He got so confused when she stared at him blankly, and returned his money with a “non”. Confused on the situation, I told Joey he gave her a British note, and that the currency is Euros here. It was his first blonde moment of the trip (among many, sadly). I couldn’t help but laugh and make fun of him for the rest of the trip.
I’m cruel like that.

Instead of taking the metro into the city, we decided to walk the entire way there (2 hours), and take a few detours along the way, including a stop at Starbucks. STARBUCKS IS SO EXPENSIVE IN PARIS. It’s probably the only spot with the most expensive drinks. Beware.

       IMG_3241      IMG_3251
       IMG_3257      IMG_3259
Jardin des Tuileries
was the first place we visited. It’s an enclosed garden and holds the Musee de Louvre! It was pretty spectacular and was one the way to the Eiffel Tower: the main thing we wanted to see that day. As soon as we saw it through the trees and past the buildings, we got really excited and couldn’t wait to see it upfront!

And BAM! There she was…

IMG_3336

Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time was phenomenal! The whole time we were in Paris was mainly cloudy, but the one hour we were in front of the Eiffel tower, the sky cleared up and the lighting was absolutely beautiful. We were insanely lucky. After taking photos and video in front of the Eiffel Tour, Joey and I decided to climb the Eiffel Tower… it was on my silly bucket list. I pretty much had a heart attack, and Joey died halfway up. You had to pay extra to use the escalator and wait for a good hour to get to the very top of the Eiffel tower, and I just didn’t have the patience (or money) to wait in line… The view was probably the same; amazing.

After seeing the beauty that is the Eiffel Tower, Joey and I wandered around Paris for a few hours before night fell. We came across the Christmas Market and spent most the day walking along the Seine River. We made our way to L’Arc de Triomphe and walked along the shopping strip. Everything was all lite up for Christmas and really put you in the Christmas spirit.

IMG_3422     IMG_3314

IMG_3279     IMG_3324

IMG_3509

Journée 3

We began our morning with a walk through Pere Lachaise Cemetery where there were thousand and thousands of graves and monuments dedicated to very influential, successful and historical individuals… such a great start to the day! The cemetery was very beautiful and extremely old. The paths were all cobble stone, and you could walk for hours, not to mention get lost in the maze of dead bodies.

IMG_3518
IMG_3524 IMG_3522           
IMG_3527
After the cemetery, we took the metro to Funiculaire de Montmartre to see an extremely beautiful basilica as well as an even more beautiful view of Paris. Although it was an amazing place to visit, I had a really bad experience. I was approached by a guy that pretty much grabbed my hand and started making a bracelet, even though I told him i didn’t want one, nor did I have money. He continued to make the bracelet and then asked that I give him a payment. I told him I didn’t have any change, and he said that if I had a bill, he would give me change back. I gave him 5 euros, and gave me no change back. He then asked that I make a second payment to his boss that was watching both of us from afar. I had no other bills on me, and eventually found 2 euro coin… this dumb little bracelet cost me 7 euros… and I now I have it on my desk staring at me… It makes me angry every time I see it. No matter how rude it is, next time someone approaches me trying to sell me something, I will ignore them and walk away from them.
IMG_3540

Next stop on our things to see was Notre Dame! Joey was saddened when I told him that there is no actual hunchback that lives at the Notre Dame.
Near the entrance to the cathedral was an old man waving his hand in the air with about 25 tiny birds following his hand. He was giving people food and showed them how to get the birds to follow your hand. It looked so magical with 25 little birds moving with this old man’s arm waving back and forth.

IMG_3587
IMG_3570
IMG_3607

Inside the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris was spectacular. The architecture, paintings and feel of the cathédrale was absolutely exquisite. We both lit a candle for a our grandmothers and made a donation. To make matters funny, they had lots of signs that said “Silence” and “No flash” said in various languages. What was most humourous was the fact that they had separate large signs in chinese or japanese around the church that said “No Flash” with a picture of a crossed out flashing camera. Clearly they had to emphasize and get a message across to a certain cultural group of people.

IMG_3638We ended our second day in Paris by going to the first museum I wanted to go to while in Paris: Musee D’Orsay. They had an exhibition on impression (one of my favourite types of artwork), and fashion (something Joey would like). It was nice to try out my art history skills after a year of studying the subject in first year of uni. I was a little rusty at first, but eventually could have given a guided tour and take about the works of art, especially impressionism. The last painting that I saw in D’Orsay was Whistler’s Mother. Although it shouldn’t have, it reminded me of the Mr. Bean movie that I used to watch a lot when I was younger. It was so cool seeing the actual painting in person. Not many people have the same opportunities as me, and this makes me thankful of the amazing opportunities that I have been given.

Journée 4

Basically, we slept in and Paris decided to be very rainy. Bad Paris.

IMG_3650

Due to the late start and rainy afternoon, we decided to spend the entire day in the Musee de Louvre. This was a dream on true for me, seeing as how I could spend an entire day in an art museum, especially one that had an amazing Raphael exhibition, and showcases one of the most famous paintings: The Mona Lisa. The Musee de Louvre was also located beside a shopping centre which was all decked out in Christmas spirit.

456636_10152314751780032_1742608021_o  IMG_3680
IMG_3684

OH hai there Mona. It was nice to have met you. Although, I must say, you’re tres petite! (The painting is very small)

Musee de Louvre is now my absolute favourite museum in the world. I absolutely fell in love with it (not the price tho…)
Loved the Raphael exhibition, loved seeing the Mona Lisa, and loved how humongous it was. You could literally spend the entire day in there and still not see everything. We did end up spending the rest of the day there as well as portion of the night. After getting a quick sinner with another Canadian guy that we met at Musee de Louvre (I ALWAYS FIND OTHER CANADIANS; No matter where). After we went our separate ways, Joey and I decided to walk around Paris, at night, in the rain. So romantic…

IMG_3717IMG_3741

Journée 5

Being the last day in Paris (I know, so sad right?), I really want to splurge a little and drink coffee at a really fancy french cafe and read my art history novel. Because I’m classy like that. One of my good friends recommended that I check out Angelina’s Cafe, and so, on our way to the airport, we made a pit stop and enjoyed a delicious (and classy) lunch at Angelina’s.
IMG_3767
IMG_3769  IMG_3777
IMG_3783

Yes, I actually did read my art history novel while chilling in a fancy french cafe with delicious sandwiches and croissants available.

This is the life.
IMG_3790 IMG_3792
On our way to the metro station to catch our plane, walked through the Jardin de Tuileries and crossed the “love lock” bridge. This bridge was literally filled with thousands of love locks! Each lock had two names or initials of the people who locked their love for eternity and threw the key into the Seine River. Afterwards, we said our last good-byes to the Eiffel Tower and travelled to the Ryanair airport which was an hour outside of Paris. It’s much easier to fly with EasyJet if you are planning to come to Paris!

~

In the end, this spontaneous trip to Paris (which wasn’t even that expensive seeing as how we booked 32 hours beforehand) turned out to be an amazing weekend with my best friend joey. We had such an amazing time staying with the lovely Parisian couple and we both fell in love with Paris. It makes my top 3 favourite places in the world.
Can I live here? Pretty please?

Til my next adventure, stay classy folks!

~Ryan

Follow me and my travels on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanthomaswoods

Check out my Youtube videos on Paris: http://www.youtube.com/user/BorderlineForFools

Article: 10 Things to Do and See in Paris, France

Any comments or questions, please leave a message above! If you have any other suggestions of places you highly recommend in Paris, then leave a comment below!

Categories: Autumn, Blog, Easyjet, Edinburgh, England, Fall, Flights, France, Glasgow, Liverpool, Night Life, Paris, Ryanair, Scotland, Seasons, Survival Guide, Travel Sights, Travel Tips, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bucket List Achievement: Take a Spontaneous Trip Anywhere


Well… This was a spontaneous trip! My best friend Joey from Canada (who flew me to England in September for school) decided to come visit me on during his holidays off work. We decided that we wanted to go somewhere spontaneous and where we’ve never been before in Europe. We downloaded a map of Europe on my iPhone, closed my eyes and my figure landed on… Well… you guessed it… Paris!

We booked a flight to Paris two nights before departure on the Tuesday and our return to Scotland for Saturday. 1) That means we have 4 days and 4 nights in Paris! 2) Joey also wanted to see Scotland before he left back to Canada, hence the return in Scotland.

20121129-021031 PM.jpg
We left Leeds after my French class (I know right?) around noon and got a bus to the Liverpool where we would be catching our plane at the John Lennon Airport. Our flight left at 5:45pm England time and landed in Paris 8:15pm France time! This is taking into account that there was a 1 hour time difference . We flew with Easyjet and it was just as cheap and decent as Ryanair. I was content and didn’t have as many advertisements.

 

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle which was the Paris airport (among many) and we had to take the metro from the airport to the center of Paris where we would be staying. We got to our accommodations around 10:30pm and were welcomed with a friendly smile and kind greetings from a lovely Parisian couple who let us rent their living room for us to stay for a cheap price!

20121129-021059 PM.jpg

.

Those who rather save money and stay with locals, as opposed to expensive hotels or somewhat more expensive hostels, check out Airbnb! Great website for saving money on accommodations and getting tips and advice about the city and attractions from local people.

We talked for an hour or so, and the couple told us of all the interesting (as well as touristy) places to go in Paris and even provided a map of how to get to all the places. They were absolutely lovely.

There wasn’t much of a language barrier, and we learned some more French and I’m sure they learned some more English as well! They even said we were there first English-speaking guests, so We were quite honored to be there guest for the 4 nights!

Joey and I unpacked, showered and decided that the next day we would somewhat wing it (since it was a spontaneous trip) and walk around Paris and (hopefully!) come across as many attractions and touristy sites as possible! Then, we slept in our bed, in an old Parisian flat, which had old large keys like from the movie Hugo, and fell asleep to the natural sounds of Paris.

Check out my youtube channel for my Paris videos! http://www.youtube.com/user/BorderlineForFools
Check out my other Paris blogs here: https://cometraveltheworldwithme.wordpress.com/

Categories: Blog, Easyjet, England, Fall, Flights, France, Leeds, Liverpool, Paris, Scotland, Seasons, Travel Sights, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Next Stop: Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

If I can only say one thing; it would be:
EXPERIENCE OKTOBERFEST AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME.”

You can even quote me on that.

If you want to learn how to survive your first Oktoberfest experience in Germany, click here.

So you want to hear about all the crazy things that happen while I was in Munich, Germany for the weekend experiencing Oktoberfest?

Well… where do I begin.

DAY 1

After spending a marvellous couple of days in Edinburgh with my friend Savannah, we left Scotland behind and flew with Ryanair to Germany!
(If you want to know how I survived Ryanair – aka the cheapest airline company ever – click here)

We arrived in the afternoon an hour outside of Munich in a town called Memmingen. Basically, if you’re flying to Munich with Ryanair, you’ll end up here; in the middle of nowhere. We took the airport bus to the train station for 3 euros and took the one-hour train ride into Munich. I’ve come to realize that your only source of long-distance transportation in Germany are trains; don’t count on the cheap bus rides, as there aren’t any buses that will take you to far places. (Check out my blog on how to survive in Germany above).

As we hopped onto the train, all you can hear is the sudden noises of cans cracking open and the strong smell of german beer; not to mention men in lederhosens and women in busting, tight, coloured oktoberfest dresses. This became an enjoyable (yet extremely crowded) ride to Munich; especially with all the drunken singing.

We finally arrived in Munich (also spelt München) to a train station that was packed with people; conscious and unconscious. Oh the joys of Oktoberfest.
After a large amount of time spent trying to find a place with free wi-fi for me to use google maps for directions; we came to a complete dead-end. Night was starting to set and the nearest Starbucks didn’t have wi-fi (or at least maybe it didn’t work). We decided to get food from a grocery store, and then began a nightly search for a place with free wi-fi (My iPhone doesn’t work outside of the UK). Savannah and I ended up getting separated for some time with no way of contacting each other, and as I was about to give up on the search for her, I came across a wi-fi working Starbucks with her in it. Phew!

After getting correct directions to use the subway station (we weren’t sure if we should take the bus, train, subway, or tram once we got to Munich), we hoped on the subway and found our way to our accommodations late within the night. We were drained and didn’t want to leave the house once we finally found our way there. However, we realized that we hadn’t eaten dinner, so our hosts let us borrow their bikes, and we biked to the nearest restaurant to have our first German dinner; it was delicious.

We drove the bikes around the neighbourhood after dinner, and came to realize that we were actually in Germany. And realized that we were going to be at Oktoberfest. It was a very surreal moment as we biked through the neighbourhoods in the outskirts of Munich at night; it became a great evening once we were able to relax and enjoy the moment of where we were, and what we were going to experience this weekend.

DAY 2

Savannah and I decided to sleep in, as opposed to getting up at the crack of dawn for three reasons: 1) We were extremely tired from flying, traveling and all the added stress that came with it 2) We decided that we were going to spend half the day actually exploring the city of Munich and visiting all the tourist places as well as seeing all the must-see sights and 3) The guys that we were staying with all worked at Oktoberfest so we never had to wait in line to get into the beer tents. BAZINGA!!

The guys lent us there bikes again for the day, and told us exactly what we should see, experience and explore with our limited time in Munich. So, we began our journey by biking through Munich: WHO DOES THAT?! We do, and I’m so happy we were given the opportunity to bike through the beautiful city of Munich. If you can do it, then I would recommend it to anyone. It was the perfect way to see the city and all its beauty. The bike ride was about 40 mins (including traffic at the time, as well as the fact that we had limited knowledge to where we were going), but eventually, we reached our destination.

Oh! Did I even mentioned the weather? It was early October and it was 24°C and sunny. YEAH, SUMMER WEATHER (well at least for Canadians). I could not believe how beautiful the weather was, along with how beautiful the city was during the autumn season. I don’t know if I can express how much of an amazing feeling it was to ride freely through the summer weather, yet colourful autumn setting that had fallen upon the city of Munich that beautiful october morning.

We reached our first destination, which was the spectacular and gorgeous building located in what is called: Marienplatz; which is basically the central square in the city centre of Munich. I would recommend that this be your first place to visit if you come to Munich; it’s beautiful.
🙂

 


After seeing the historical buildings around marienplatz,such as city hall, and walk around a little, our next stop on our self-served tour guide was a really interesting farmers market called Viktualienmarkt. There was lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and baked goods available to buy, as well as Oktoberfest-themed foods, beverages and souvenirs!

We ventured back towards Marienplatz and waited in line outside the Saint Peter Church (or SanktPeter or Alter Peter; it has a bunch of names). Basically, you pay 1 euro and you have access to climb to the very top of this church, and the view from the top is UNBELIEVABLE. On a clear day like it was that day, you can actually see The Alps. The view of the city was spectacular. If you don’t believe me, just see for yourself. Hopefully my pictures do it some justice.

 

After the 306 steps up to the top, and 306 back down to the bottom, Savannah and I walked further away from city centre to another city square called Odeonsplatz. It was named after a former concert hall and was now home to a very musical scene. There was a music festival/show going on for local musicians and bands. The buildings surrounding the square were very stunning.

After making a few stops to grab food, visit the Munich apple store, and see a few more buildings, we eventually followed the crowd of drunken lederhosen-wearing people towards Oktoberfest. If you don’t know what Oktoberfest is, it’s basically a 16-day festival during late September to the first week of October, in which the germans celebrate an amazing invention: beer.

With such beautiful summer weather on the second last day of the festival, Oktoberfest was packed! I swear, there were millions of people; sober, half-sober and wasted. It was a glorious sight to have witnessed. With my surprise, there wasn’t just beer tents and beer gardens; there were amusement park rides, games, and so much more! It was literally like a huge amusement park! There were children, babies, elderly people, and just people of all different ages and ethnicity’s. (Not to mention little babies in lederhosen’s, which were the most adorable things ever).

We made it to our first beer tent by about 4:30pm and didn’t have to wait in line because the guys we were staying with worked in the beer gardens. The name of our tent was Bräurosl, where they served HackerPschorr beer; and boy was it good. I’m not the biggest fan of most beers, but this beer was so smooth and tasted so pure; you could almost drink it like it was water, it was that good. Not to mention the fact that the Oktoberfest beer is 2% stronger in alcohol than normal beer percentages and served in 1 litre beer mugs called steins. In addition, 1 litre of beer is equivalent to 3 normal sized cans/bottles of beer. Each beer went for about 9.40 euros, but you usually gave a 10 euro bill as you wanted to tip the people well so that they serve you again. 


In our surrounding table, we met some italians and turkish people, as well as became good friends with some germans! We spent the whole evening with them, talking, drinking and teaching us more about Oktoberfest, Munich and the german language. It was a great evening and I limited myself to only 2 Litres of Oktoberfest beer (2 steins) as I forgot that we would have to bike home in the pitch black through the unfamiliar streets of Munich. That was a journey and a half. We eventually made it home and found the buzzed ride home enjoyable and extremely relaxing; again, it was feeling like a wonderful summer’s night.

 

DAY 3

We woke up at a decent time and found that the beautiful, sunny, warm weather had vanished, and sudden, cold, rainy, october weather had taken its place instead. Savannah and I were not going to let the weather rain down our parade… I mean… festive activities.

 
We took the train into Munich and arrived at Oktoberfest before noon. The crowd wasn’t as packed as yesterday (thanks weather), and seeing as how it was the last day of Oktoberfest, the atmosphere felt more relaxed and mellow. Savannah and I decided to pick up a few souvenirs now, before the beer took control of us and could have potentially forgot about getting some; fair enough.

Afterwards, we decided to venture into our first beer tent of the day, which was called Hofbrau Festzelt. The beer was average, but the tent was much more lively and crowded with so many international people. We met some really nice Italians that didn’t know barely any English, and saw an old german man finish his 10th stein of beer of the day (and it was noon). I had much respect for that old man.
Cheers to the drunken old german man!

 Making our rounds, we came across some really cool Brits, who at first kept calling us Americans, even though you told them numerous times that we were Canadian. One guy said that Canada was apart of America and that he had been teaching geography for 10 years. They were pulling our legs hardcore but Savannah and I were starting to get aggravated because we thought they weren’t joking. They were completely pulling our legs and we came to realize how nice and funny they actually were. They told us that they were all part of a group for one of the guys’ bachelor party. If I ever get married, I want my bachelor party at Oktoberfest; hands down. We also met a South Korean, who pretended he was from South Korea, but was actually from Austria, and a professional chef; he was also very funny and nice. There were just so many genuinely nice people at Oktoberfest & everyone was just there for a good time.


After a good amount of time in the Hofbrau Festzelt beer tent, Savannah wanted to go on the Ferris wheel; I did not. As a waited for Savannah to go on her ride, I sat there and just watched the people; watched how much joy and laughter this one festival brought to everyone. It was a very surreal moment. I was also laughing  consistently over all the drunken people falling, tripping, and making complete fools of themselves; it was a grand ole time!

As the evening began to approach, Savannah and I decided to go back to our favourite tent that we had gone to the very first night. The atmosphere was incredible and the beer was fantastic. We ordered a chicken dinner, which I highly recommend when you go to Oktoberfest. It’s a tad expensive, but completely worth it. It was the juiciest, freshest, and most delicious chicken I have ever had (sorry mom)!

 After a few more litres of beer, a giant pretzel and some crazy table dancing, the night was coming to an end. At the end of the very last night of Oktoberfest, there is something that happens in the tents that is one of the most magical and awe-inspiring moments I have ever witnessed. Basically, they shut off all the lights in the tent, and every person is given a light, and as a trumpet plays this happy and majestic tune, thousands and thousands of people raise there hands with these lights and sway back and forth. It was almost like being at your favourite rock concert, except better, because it was Oktoberfest.


Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without everyone coming together, singing and drinking to the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” Savannah and I spent that whole evening with an amazing german couple who lived in Munich. They were a happy, and loving married couple that were a joy to have around, talk with, and share such a remarkable night with.

If only I could have frozen time and stayed there for a little bit longer; it was an amazing experience and highly believe that everyone should at least experience once in their lifetime.


Sleep deprivation, cuts from broken beer glass and moments of feeling infinite; Oktoberfest was a moment I’ll never forget. Good beer, great friends and an experience to cross off my bucket list! Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

~Ryan

P.s. Also check out Savannah’s blog for her experience & photos of Oktoberfest here.

Categories: Blog, Flights, Germany, Munich, Oktoberfest, Ryanair, Survival Guide, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To Survive Oktoberfest In Germany

Tip #1 – Wear checkered shirts if you want to blend in.
A checkered shirt of any colour! The majority of the men wear them with the traditional lederhosens, and the woman wear checked pattern shirts/dresses at Oktoberfest. Don’t buy any traditional Oktoberfest outfits unless you plan to come back again, regularly, or have the cash to afford them; they’re quite expensive to wear for a weekend.

Tip #2 – If you visit the city centre of Munich, you need to visit Old Peter Church!
You have to pay 1 euro to go up to the very top of the church tower and you can have an entire view of Munich! As well as the Alps on a beautiful day that we were lucky to have! It was so worth the 310 steps we had to climb to get to the top! Magnificent view!


Tip #3 – Most of the streets in Munich end with StraBe and instead of pronouncing B, you actually pronounce the s sounds.
The B is actually a “double s”! This is useful if you are trying to look for a street and ask a local where “HofbrunnstraBe” street by replacing the B sound with a double S sound; they may look at you funny or look confused when you ask them where Hofbrunnstrabe is and not Hofbrunnstrasse (speaks with fake German accent).

Tip #4 – If you get the opportunity to ride bikes through Munich, do it!
Munich is one of the few cities in Germany that have created bicycle paths within the city limits, so you don’t have to worry about getting hit my cars; most of the time! Riding through the city is beautiful and an amazing opportunity to see the city.


Tip #5 – Maybe I have just gotten use to driving on the left side of the road, but I was surprised to see that the vehicles drive on the right side of the road, as they do in North America. I think I just assumed that the rest of Europe drives on the left side of the road; but they don’t. So that’s a good tidbit of information.

Tip #6 –
If you don’t like the taste of beer, then order a drink called a Radler.
Basically, its beer and lemonade mixed together, and it tastes extremely good. Typically, its designated for woman who don’t like the taste of beer, and can tolerate it with the mixture of lemonade. I’m being honest when I say that it tastes good; so don’t NOT go to Oktoberfest because you don’t like beer; they have other options, often tastier ones.

Tip #7 – It’s extremely useful if you know some of the German language seeing as how most things are in German and not English. You would think that a vast amount of things would be in English, but it isn’t.

Tip #8 – If you get lost, or need help find places, ask younger individuals; as opposed to elderly people, even if they look like they can be of help.
Most older people who I came across didn’t know an ounce of English, nor were they nice enough to help English folk out. Avoid old people and ask for help from people your age.


Tip #9 – In terms of Transportation, Ryanair seems to be the cheapest way of flying to Munich, Germany (outskirts, remember), and taking the train into the city centre. My ticket from Edinburgh, Scotland to Munich, germany (including round-trip) was £100 and it was a last-minute trip. *Ryanair is not sponsoring me in any way; this is my personal opinion on saving money. From the airport to the train station, use the website for the Germany train system (http://www.bahn.de/) and take a train into Munich. This seems to be the cheapest way into Munich.

 

In terms of cheap accommodations and without using hostels, or couch-surfing, I would recommend using Airbnb to find a place to stay the night. Great customer service and excellent prices.

Tip #10 – Other places in Munich to visit include: Marienplatz, Alter Peter, Odeonsplatz, Old Town hall, Viktualienmarket and basically exploring the rest of the area around these beautiful locations. However, the highlight of the trip should revolve around Oktoberfest.

P.s. Although it’s called Oktoberfest, the festival actually begins in Late September and ends the first week of October.

~Ryan


Check out my other blogs here:

Next Stop: OKTOBERFEST in Munich, Germany

How I Survived Ryanair

Next Stop: EDINBURGH, Scotland

Categories: Blog, Germany, Munich, Oktoberfest, Survival Guide, Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.