If San Francisco has its Golden Gate Bridge, or Paris its Eiffel Tower, then Munich has its Oktoberfest.

Few cities have an event or object so closely associated with it that the object or event becomes greater than the city, but Oktoberfest comes close.

Beer, sausages, and oompah-pah summarize Oktoberfest for many, but this is only half of the story. Gingerbread and candied almonds or apples, bumper cars and shooting galleries also abound. They are as much an integral part of this 16-day festival of the senses as the beer and bratwursts.

We here at MunichNOW would never talk anyone out of going to a beer tent, any tent (they all have their ‘joie de vie’), but before entering a tent take a few minutes to wander aimlessly amongst the food stands and arcade games.

You just might find the zeitgeist you are looking for. In those areas of quiet, beyond the reach of the stench and cacophony (which has its place – don’t get us wrong!), the tradition and timelessness of ‘The Wiesn’ will reveal itself to you.

Drink responsibly. Have fun. Talk to your neighbors at your table. Be smart.

Where else in the world can 250,000 people from 100 different countries come together and enjoy a festival as they see fit? It’s limited, very limited. PROST!!!