To date, this has been of my favorite cities to visit (apologies to anyone who has been around me since I’ve gotten back and has already heard this, possibly more than once). Warm weather, sun, outdoor places to drink, an awesome park, museums and fantastic food and beer. And castles/palaces. It’s pretty hard to beat. The long bank holiday weekend flew by and we enjoyed all of it.
One of the things I found most interesting is that the lederhosen and dirndl aren’t just what drunk tourists at Oktoberfest wear but are traditional outfits worn by Bavarians for celebrations.
What to See
One of the best things we did was take the “free” sandemans guided tour. Free ish because while you don’t pay for a ticket, the guides survive on tips alone so you’re supposed to pay what it’s worth. After a bad experience with one of these tours in Barcelona (despite being told we didn’t have to book ahead when we asked, we got kicked off because there were too many people. Lame)
The palaces are not to be missed. A day trip is necessary to see the most famous, Neushwanstein, but the Residenz in city centre has a lot to offer as well. (Check out my blog post on the palaces of Bavaria)
Home to the Glockenspiel and some cathedrals, this is practically a requirement. And, there are plenty of opportunities for eating, drinking, shopping and people watching.
If you like a good science museum, this one is really interesting and has a lot of hands on activities. Unfortunately, not all exhibits are translated to English, so that was a bit disappointing. Still, we were able to occupy ourselves there for a few hours.
On a hot summer day, this is the place to be. Seriously, it was packed and not just with tourists. You can bring a picnic (or a few beers) and soak up the sun or swim in the fast flowing rivers. There’s a permanent wave created in the river at one end of the park, and surfers bring their boards and actually surf while a large crowd watches. It’s worth checking out, and the park itself had restaurants and beer gardens throughout.
Eating and Drinking
The central market by Marienplatz is filled with delicious options and stalls selling food and drink. Conveniently located near a beer garden where you can bring your own food, which rotates through the main breweries of the city, this makes it an ideal stop for a meal.
Of course, we went to the famed Hofbräuhaus, which is enormous, but efficiently run. The beers are good and though it is filled with tourists, locals do go, some even claim to be part of the “mug club” or have weekly reserved tables with friends that they’ve held for years.
We visited the Augustiner beer garden as well, which is so massive that gators drive around and collect empties. But the beer is good, and you can either bring your own food or eat what they have to offer.
Fun bars are dotted throughout the area and there is no shortage of stag and hen dos. We ate well everywhere for the most part, and you wont go wrong with pretzels and sausage.
The S bahn will take you to and from th airport in reasonable time and the S and U bahns a are good for getting around the city. There is no barrier to get on the train, but you must purchase and validate your ticket to travel or risk a €75 fine. We saw this happen to someone so they really do check.
Have you been to Munich? Is it on your list of places to see?