Munich is one of my favourite cities. I have been on a few occasions and I would go back again in a heartbeat. There’s loads to do, eat and see, which for me is the ideal criteria for a city break.
Munich City Centre
If you think of yourself as a bit of a culture vulture, you will love Munich. Marienplatz is the central square in the city and is beautiful to walk around and look at the architecture or sit with a coffee and look at the people.
Three times a day the Glockenspiel on the Neues Rathaus puts on a show involves figurines twirling and dancing to music for around 12 minutes and is fun to watch.
There are plenty of churches to visit, but my favourite was the Baroque Asam Church, which is just breathtaking to look at as every square inch is filled with gold, marble or murals.
There are also loads of towers you can climb up to get a better view of the city and take selfies, if you are so inclined.
Munich is filled with more museums and art galleries than you could shake a cultured stick at, and I visited the Alte Pinakothek which focuses on “old master” paintings. I enjoyed the art gallery however not being the most cultured sort I tend to suffer art fatigue after about 2 hours and need to leave to frolic in the sunlight. My more cultured companion assured me much more time could have been spent there.
If you get bored of culture, there’s relief in the form of Segway or cycle tours. I opted to go for a ghost tour around the city, but to be honest I wouldn’t recommend it. The crux of the tour is that everywhere in Munich used to be a graveyard and so is appropriately haunted by ghosts – I have just saved to 2 hours and 20 Euros! Other people have had a lot more fun on ghost tours than me, so maybe you just need a good guide; ask around for recommendations before you book.
The English Garden is a huge public park in the centre of Munich, and is a fantastic sanctuary when you are feeling “citied out”. It stretched from the centre of Munich to the outskirts and at 3.7km²; it’s bigger than central park. Although you can walk the length of it, it takes hours, so those in the know opt to cycle through it. There are around 5 beer gardens stretching the length of it, so the cycling can be interspaced with beer and pretzels. There are a few lakes to row on, and even surfers on the Rive Isar who are amazing to watch. If you easily shocked, I should probably warn you now that parts of the park are open to nudists. If you’d rather not see an excess of naked flesh, stick to the centre of the park or the area nearest the city.
Beer and Sausage
As someone who isn’t a big sausage fan, I thought I’d find Munich’s food a bit stodgy, however I soon left converted. Currywurst is available everywhere and consists of a sausage covered in a curry flavoured tomato ketchup. Somehow, a lot more delicious than it sounds and the perfect accompaniment to Munich wheat beers. Beer seems to come in two sizes – big or huge, but I never felt any need to complain. I also food myself addicted to Brezels, big doughy pretzels covered in giant chunks of salt, which once again, went extremely nicely with the beer.
Dirndls and Lederhosen
This traditional Bavarian dress fills the shops in the city centre. If you’re a bit confused it’s dirndls for the ladies and lederhosen for the lads. I presumed this was just for the tourists, but if you visit Munich during Oktoberfest, you will see everyone wearing them, young and old. If you don’t go during Oktoberfest, you will at least see oompa loompa band members donning them in the English Garden or Hofbrauhaus, the traditional German eatery in the town centre.
Have you been to Munich? Got any tips to share?