St Gallen in Switzerland. Photo: Jessie Gretener
St Gallen in Switzerland. Photo: Jessie Gretener

Enjoying a drink with mates at 16 in Switzerland

WITH a couple of new friends, I went to a festival in St. Gallen, Switzerland that only occurs once a year.

It was such a crazy and fun night, full of all sorts of great experiences.

It really showed how the rules of the country affect the party life of Europeans, so completely and utterly different to Australia.

In Switzerland and other parts of Europe teenagers are given completely different rules. Compared to the drinking age of 18 in Australia, they are allowed to start drinking at 16.

At 16 the drinking law permits beer, wine and access into all clubs and bars.

Once you turn 18 you are then able to buy and drink any type of alcohol.

 At 16 teenagers are also allowed to smoke and with the price of $7 a packet it is rare to find someone that doesn't smoke.

Smoking laws are less strict compared to Australia, giving the streets a completely different atmosphere.

Whilst walking in the street there is always someone smoking in every direction.

That night in St. Gallen was so different to any kind of festival I had ever been to.

Located in the main part of the city, it was lit up with rides and stalls and chaotic with hundreds of partying teenagers.

I got there at 8pm and the streets were already war zone of the drunks, cluttered in smashed glass and rubbish.

Smoke was breathed in more than oxygen and by the next morning my clothes reeked of it.

Thousands of people were sprawled out over the festival, loud, energetic and having a blast.

The rides were way too expensive to go on, which was fine as I didn't really fancy being opposite a drunk on a ride that spun around extremely quickly.

The festival was lined with millions of food stands feeding thousands of people.

Although it was rare to find somewhere selling chips or burgers. It was more common to find Swiss delicacies like Racclete (potatoes covered in a Swiss melted cheese) or bruatwurst (extremely yummy sausage).

Therefore smells of sausage and cheese surrounded the festival, covering up the smell of cigarettes.

The people there were roughly between the age of 15 and 25.

There was a few families and older people to begin with, although by later that night there was none to be seen.

Everyone there was there for a crazy and exciting night, which is exactly what they got.

The night was a great way to meet lots of new people and have a lot of fun.

A festival in Switzerland is definitely a festival worth going to.

Jessie Gretener is a teenage Queensland student who is fulfilling the dream of a lifetime by travelling solo in Europe. She wants to be a travel writer. You can follow more of her post on her Facebook travel page.