Oktoberfest is fast approaching and while in the past Brits have flocked to Munich for the fun German celebration that combines a beer festival and travelling carnival, this year the town's been knocked off the top spot.
Munich's Oktoberfest was born two centuries ago as a celebration for a royal wedding and has since gained admirers and imitators around the world with its winning formula of tents, music, and plenty of beer. However, it’s no longer the only boozy beer festival to enjoy in the autumn, as Oktoberfest contenders have popped up across the globe.
New research has shown that the original home of the festival – Munich – has been beaten in a list of the world’s best value Oktoberfest. Zurich, in Switzerland, now offers the best overall value for thirsty British travellers according to No1Currency travel money experts.
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At £387.30, a three-day trip to Zurich's Oktoberfest, including flights and lodging, will cost about £90 less than a similar trip to Munich. However, a beer in the Swiss city will set you back a hefty £6.30 – while a 500ml glass in Munich costs just £3.45.
The main saving to be found, according to the experts, is in flights which cost an average of £64 for a return in the next to months to get to Zurich while similar flights to Munich cost £123. Additionally, accommodation for three nights in Zurich reaches an average of £317 while Munich will cost £351.
Of course, Zurich’s Oktoberfest offers steins of beer, live bands and performances, Bavarian food and all the usual trappings of a beer festival. But, the city is also absolutely gorgeous so you can recover with a walk around Lake Zurich, stare out at the view from Uetliberg Mountain and indulge at Switzerland's chocolate heaven, the Lindt Home of Chocolate.
Europe isn’t the only continent to have adopted the Oktoberfest though. The third best value option was found to be in Colombo Sri Lanka – where three nights of accommodation will cost an incredibly cheap £29 and beer is £1.25 a glass.
Brits who want to head to Oktoberfest in Hanoi, Vietnam will also spend just £29 on accommodation and a tiny 84p on beer. Of course, the stinger for these fabulous asian cities is that flights are more expensive at £462 for Sri Lanka and £530 for Vietnam. But, even with the high flight costs, the lower price of a hotel and beer keeps them at the third and fourth best value options for Brits. It will cost an average of £492.25 for a three night trip to Sri Lanka and £559.84 for Vietnam.
Rounding out the rest of the top 10 best value Oktoberfest trips was Kitchener in Canada with an overall cost of £623.50 and beer for £4.21. Plus, Johannesburg in South Africa, Cincinnati in the USA, Yokohama in Japan, Blumenau in Brazil and Cordoba in Argentina.
Simon Phillips, Managing Director at No1 Currency, explained that Oktoberfest "has gone global" and that beer fans could find plenty of spots around the world. However, he issued a warning for Brits: "Wherever you choose to go in search of beer and cheer, remember that while credit cards can travel far, only cash is guaranteed to be accepted everywhere – and won’t leave you at risk of facing extra charges while abroad. Cash is still very much king in many countries, and having local currency in your pocket makes travel simpler – from that first taxi ride to a tip on a night out – not to mention making it easy to keep track of what you’ve spent."
He also urged travellers to buy their foreign currency in advance, to have "the chance to shop around different providers for the best deal" and get the best bang for your buck.
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