Tag: Germany Travel

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No Reservations? No Problem: How to Get a Table in a Big Tent at Oktoberfest

September 19, 2014 at 12:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

"O'zapft is!"

These are the words—"it is tapped!"—with which the Mayor of Munich will open 2014 Oktoberfest tomorrow, September 20. After that first keg starts flowing some 6 million people will pass under the Willkommen before the festival closes on October 5, all sharing the goal of making memories while singing along to "Ein Prosit" in one of the big beer tents.

Therein lies the problem; those tents, large as they are, are pretty tight and tables are booked by advance reservation. Unfortunately for the first-timer or last-minute visitor to Oktoberfest, the pre-booking process is out of the question and bribes are not standard.

Don't give up! There are definite ways to grab a coveted seat inside a tent, (even Hofbräuhaus!), if you try out our three tips:

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Inside the Amenity Kit: Condor Business Class to Germany

September 16, 2014 at 4:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

We come across some downright awesome airline amenity kits in our travels, and the surprises of each zippered pouch can often make or break comfort on a premium flight. With this in mind, here's to our new series: Inside the Amenity Kit, wherein we unzip, unwrap, and expose the loot inside:

Blue and yellow. A crane-like logo (it's actually a Condor). German flight crew with jaunty neck scarves.

Sounds like Lufthansa, right? In most cases, yes, but here we were somewhere between Toronto - Frankfurt on DE1061, a Condor Boeing 767. The similarities are no coincidence; Condor is a partner of Lufthansa and we were on our way to visit Condor HQ in Frankfurt, Germany,

Their 767-300s are three-class airplanes, with Economy, Premium Economy, and Business Class (formerly “Comfort Class”). Business on Condor now sports flatbed seats, with a multi-course meal and some of the nicest HD in-flight entertainment with which we’d had the pleasure to play.

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Ein Prosit! Lufthansa's Special Oktoberfest Crew Flies Again This Week

Where: Munich, Germany
September 15, 2014 at 9:59 AM | by | Comments (0)

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Oktoberfest season is one of the best seasons! Among the many reasons is the arrival of Lufthansa flight crew dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes.

2014 is the ninth consecutive year for the team of 14 known as the Lufthansa "Trachten Crew," but you'll only find them passing out pretzels and greeting you with a hearty "Grüß Gott" on specific flights into and out of Munich.

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Last-Minute Oktoberfest in Munich is Always a Good Idea

Where: Munich, Germany
September 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Oktoberfest in Munich begins September 20 and ends October 5. Looking at the calendar, that's a scant 10 days until the tapping of the first keg! Despite what you may be thinking, it's still not too late to make the decision to finally "do" Oktoberfest this year.

During the festival, the city's Theresienwiese event grounds (or simply "Wiesn" for short) will be teeming with tens of thousands of revelers daily, traveling from beer tent to champagne tent, to schnapps booth. Champagne tent?! Schnapps booth?! Yes, there are special zones and kiosks for all traditional German alcohols, but beer is the chief interest and, as such, the big-name beer tents fill up early in the day.

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We All Scream for Ice Cream Aboard Air Berlin

Where: Germany
July 30, 2014 at 7:08 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’re roughly in the middle of the summer season, and with the warmer weather comes the need to cool down. Sure air conditioning is great—and kind of a necessity—but some cool treats are also always welcome. That’s especially the case up in the air, as it’s hard to beat a little ice cream at 35,000 feet.

This season—and in seasons past—airberlin is handing out ice cream to travelers heading out on their summer holidays. The premium ice cream comes to the airline and its passengers from Sylt restaurant, Sansibar, and travelers are offered up little 120mL cups—the same serving as those getting a little dessert at the restaurant.

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Take a Ride Down the Runway at Berlin's Forever Delayed Brandenburg Airport

Where: Berlin, Germany
July 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

You might not be able to fly into Berlin's new Brandenburg Airport terminal anytime soon, but if you want, you can take a bus ride down what will some day be its runway.

For those who haven't been following this story, the idea of the tour is a little humorous. This airport project, afterall, started all the way back in 2006 and has been an absolute nightmare for Berlin, with constant delays that have seen construction drag on for almost a decade. And it's not just about simple work delays. Political issues, including bribes, have come up, as well as an ever-curious case of the hiring a fake engineer.

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Berlin to Honor Fall of Wall with 8,000 Balloons, But is It Appropriate?

Where: Berlin, Germany
July 15, 2014 at 9:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

When it comes to historical travel, Germany attracts people from more nations than perhaps any other in the world. Not only did its actions during World War II affect the lives of those in a variety of countries, but the Holocaust is also arguably the most talked-about, war-related tragedy ever, piquing the curiosity of even those who had no connection to the actual events.

Yet, despite this opportunity to turn this world interest in its past into mass tourism and profits, visitors to Germany will see that it has been very good about not exploiting or glorifying its historical sites. In this travel writer’s opinion, there’s a simplicity to the presentation, a very admirable aspect of respect to the approach of preservation. The last thing the country wants is to appear as if it is proud of what took place in the years leading up to World War II.

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Ever Wonder What Frankfurt Airport Would Look Like as a Star Wars Location?

July 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

This was posted to YouTube last week, it swept through reddit three days ago, it landed at Laughing Squid on Monday, and on AdWeek later that day. We're only bringing it to you now and, for that, we apologize.

YouTube user Frank Wunderlich says he was flying back from the United States into Germany's Frankfurt Airport when he discovered that "the biggest german airport plays a key role as an imperial starport in the new episode" of Star Wars. Since most people can't really visualize what that means - even though the new Star Wars movie is kind of a big deal, and people have been sort of talking about the series in general for a while - he went ahead and posted the video we've embedded below.

The video - which he titled "Leaked Star Wars Episode VII Filmset Footage!" - is now inching toward 5 million views on YouTube. Because the Internet is kind of magic that way.

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Unlimited Free WiFi Finds a Home at One of Europe's Busiest Airports

July 7, 2014 at 8:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

From New York City to Atlanta, some of the busiest airports in the world are finally flipping the switch on complimentary WiFi. It's better late than never, and we’re glad airports are finally getting the message. Now that complimentary connections are continuing to expand, its time to welcome's yet another major airport to the club.

Leave your credit card digits in your wallet, as Frankfurt Airport is now offering unlimited free WiFi to passengers 24 hours a day. Previously WiFi was limited to 60 minutes, but now you’re free to continue your time wasting—or work emails—until it's time to board that flight.

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Meet the World's Newest Airport Parking System, 'Robot Ray'

Where: Germany
July 2, 2014 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

The best new thing in airport parking garage technology has now arrived over at Germany's Dusseldorf Airport, and we're totally jealous of the locals who get to use it when leaving their cars behind.

Basically, the system is a robot valet that takes care of parking your car. It even has a cutesy name, Robot Ray. It doesn’t exactly drive your car into an available parking space - it actually lifts it up (think forklift) and carries it over to the appropriate spot.

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This Party in Hamburg Starts at Five in the Morning

June 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

If Berlin is Germany's best party city, then consider Hamburg a miniature version with its nightclub culture, red-light district, and the street-filled fiestas of the Reeperbahn. There's enough to keep you going through the next morning, and on a recent visit, we discovered the perfect place to watch the sunrise - and found something we never expected.

As the clock began to push 5 a.m., this travel writer was led by his friends out of the club, into the daylight. They all kept talking about this fish market, something that, in my 5 a.m. haze, I could not fully understand. Why on earth are you taking me to a fish market when we've been out partying all night? To the waterfront we went, away from the noise and the ridiculousness of the Reeperbahn. Little did I know, it was about to get even more ridiculous.

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Six Tips for Getting into Berlin's Best Nightclubs

May 20, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

Berlin's Berghain nightclub, set in an old power plant

Berlin is known for its hedonistic nightclubs, but along with that reputation comes a no-mercy admittance policy. The bouncers run the show as they do in North America, but they aren't shy about turning you away if they don't like the looks of you in Berlin. The Internet is filled with frustrating tales of people who have waited hours to get in, only to be turned away at the door for no apparent reason.

Local advice in hand, we got into a line at Ritter Butzke at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning, gained entrance at 4 a.m., and didn't leave until 10:30 a.m. As the stories of others (both locals and tourists) will tell you, there's not much you can do to guarantee you get in, but you can certainly help your chances. Below, we dish our advice for passing the eye test at the door:

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