There are places you can visit around the world where drinking is an integral part of the cultural experience. No one is advocating boozing to excess, but sometimes sampling spirits or imbibing brews is how you embrace a regional specialty or celebrate a local festival. It would almost seem rude to abstain. A little responsible reveling can be part of the fun of globetrotting. Consider it doing your part for the good of international relations. Here are 10 party places or festivals around the world where getting tipsy is one of the main attractions.
1. Oktoberfest, Munich
How could you go to this Bavarian beer festival and not quaff some ales? It’s one of the world’s largest festivals and is almost singularly focused on tapping copious kegs and celebrating the almighty brews. It takes place over 16 days from late September to October and draws over 6 million people from across the globe to its tented venues. Sure, there are also rides, games, music and German delicacies to enjoy, but everyone knows it’s all about the beer. In fact, over 6 million liters of the frothy golden liquid is poured each Oktoberfest. Every year many people overestimate their chugging stamina and become what they call Bierleichen (beer corpses) – so try your best to go easy lest you become one of them. The festival has been going strong since 1810 and is an important part of Barvarian culture. Wearing lederhosen or dirndl is optional.
2. Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, Japan
Hakone is a picture-perfect spa town in the shadow of Mount Fuji, but this particular onsen (hotspring resort) has unique way to enjoy a little liquid love. Among their 25 different spa offerings are one steeped in sake and another seeped in wine. Yes, you can literally bathe in the stuff here. Apparently sake and red wine have properties that are good for the skin. Cleopatra herself is said to have had alcohol-infused baths. Either that, or it could just be a fun novelty experience to have an enormous rice wine cask or red wine bottle dripping into your tub. If this doesn’t inspire you to pour a glass and indulge in a little apres-spa drinking, I don’t know what will. Every year there is a festival surrounding Beaujolais Nouveau where you simultaneously sip and soak at this open-air wine spa.