A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
So, 2 consecutive days of festivities are over, hope everyone has prepared for themselves with the best hangover cure 🙂 Leiden has turned back to this usual gloomy, rainy town. (Just kidding, but if you’re up you should look out of the windows to see the drastic weather transformation).
First timers, what was your impression? Well for me, I feel like Europeans really have similar ways to party and to celebrate special occasions. All the activities happening around the city during the Leidens Ontzet, especially the fun fair, resemble what I’ve experienced in Munich two weeks ago a lot! Yes exactly, I went there to enjoy the world-wide famous event Oktoberfest as a short break from writing my thesis.
I was there on a Thursday, so it was not that crazy as everyone had told me and also what I have heard about the Oktoberfest. In short, it is almost a much bigger version of the Leidens Ontzet, except that the beer cups are bigger and more pigs were slaughtered 😛 Of course the whole history and purpose of celebration are different. In Munich, it’s all about beer.
However all the settings with fun attractions, crazy roller coasters and thrilling rides, souvenir shops and food stalls are more or less the same. Oktoberfest is more confined within an enclosed large space and you have different “tents” to get in and enjoy the sumptuous servings of food and drinks.
It was a lot of fun, without any doubt. It’s also very interesting to see German people dressing in traditional costumes of basically farmers and they really embrace that. I didn’t know a lot about Oktoberfest so I was quite surprised when I saw a lot of people wearing identical (and weird) clothes on the train towards Munich central station. Do Leideners wear traditional clothings to the Leidens Ontzet?
I was never fond of traveling to Germany (I don’t know why). but if you plan to go to Germany at some point Oktoberfest is a really great occasion! Be sure to book things wayyyy in advance because you know millions of people from all around the world will be there during those days. Getting to the Oktoberfest location is easy, use the subway to get to station Theresienwiese and just follow the crowds. Make sure you bring a lot of cash, food is expensive and it’s courtesy to tip your server.