Adventure in Bavaria and Austria

Get Your Culture Fix

A Taste of Bavaria

Seek out a beer garden and bring your appetite. German beer is best drunk by the liter—and liters are best hoisted with one paw slipped through the handle. To keep leaves, bugs, and other junk out of your beer, try resting one hand atop the stein between slugs. Some locals bring wooden coasters for this purpose, while certain steins come with handy flip-tops.

While the beer is cheaper than what you'll find in the States, it's also a lot tastier, so expect to dip into your pocket as you fill your belly. Besides your basic Wei_bier (a delicious wheat brew), sample a Radler (a half beer, half lemonade mix), or impress the locals by ordering a Russen. This Bavarian specialty combines lemonade and Wei_bier, whereas the Radler receives a dose of the more conventional Helles (lager) brew.

Once settled with your drink of choice, sing along with the brass band, chow down on good fries, and suck Wei_wurst out of its chewy casing (eat with a knife and fork if you must).

Tyrolean Tradition

Just by strolling the square or trekking the trail, you'll probably pass locals decked out in lederhosen, dirndls, feathered caps, and the like. But for the full cultural effect, you have to attend a Tyrolean party. From yodeling and folk songs to alp horns and singing saws, these events entertain visitors with traditional songs, instruments, and dances. The performers wear their local costumes, and each village has its own special take. Don't miss the Schuhplattler—a high-kicking, shoe-and-lederhosen-slapping mating dance performed in imitation of the wood grouse.

Ah, Schokolade!

If you like chocolate, you'll love the Alpine-milk variety. Milka, easily recognized by its purple wrapper, is a perennial favorite. In the name of fairness, I did my best to sample as many other brands as possible—a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Still, nothing knocked Milka out of the number 1 slot.

Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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