Munich is one of the biggest cities in Germany, and it has way more to offer than just the annual world famous Oktoberfest festival. This city has a deep history and deserves a spot on every travelers’ bucket list.
Marienplatz is the hub of every visit to Munich. It is considered the city square and holds many churches, street performances, and typical Bavarian food and drink. It would be a mistake to not shell out the Euro or two that it takes to climb the stairs to the top of St. Peter’s Church. St. Michael’s Church is a few blocks from the center and holds the crypt where King Ludwig and other members of the royal family are buried. The Glockenspiel (big clock) also hosts an hourly show, but in my opinion it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to pass on. Hofbrauhaus is a few steps away which leads me to my second point.
Visiting Munich and not going to a biergarten is probably the equivalent of going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower…it is something that just must be done. We have been to a few and we always have a different experience each time, but they are always tons of fun. We thought we were the coolest cats going to Hofbrauhaus for a beer/pretzel until Matt’s coaches/team laughed and called us “typical Americans”…oops. Thank goodness there is time to redeem ourselves.
We haven’t experienced the world famous Christkindlmarkts yet, but we are SO excited to indulge in mulled wine, candied nuts, fresh gingerbread, and take in the smells and sights of Christmas in Europe. The most popular Christkindlmarkts in Germany include Nuremberg, Munich, Berlin, and Cologne. We hope to see some of these when the holiday nears!
4. Englischer Garten
The English Garden is best experienced in the summer. Packing a picnic, sunbathing by the river, and drinking summer shandies was one of my favorite days in Munich thus far. We attempted to rent bikes but to no avail. This park is larger than Hyde Park and Central Park in NYC!
Because of its intense and long history, Germany has some of the best art museums in my opinion. We have been to a couple and loved each one. I would recommend Alte Pinakothek (Old Museum Gallery) and Neue Pinakothek (New Picture Gallery). They are right across from each other and only cost 1 Euro on Sundays.
6. Royal Residenz
Woah…this place is awesome. Smack dab in the middle of the city. We had walked right past the doors to the Munich Royal Palace many times, but we had no idea what was inside. Nearly 3 hours after entering we were amazed at how much we saw. The royal Wittelsbach family lived here in the 1300s. The rooms of the palace are preserved: it is worth a visit if you have more than a couple days in Munich.
If you have even more time in the city, a trip to the German countryside is a great idea. We will be moving to Herrsching on October 1, and it is the cutest little town on Lake Ammersee. Sprinkled with sailboats, ice cream cones, and sparkling water, it is truly a hidden gem not often written about on travel blogs.It takes about 45 minutes on the subway from Munich.
8. Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site
I have always wanted to visit Dachau as weird as that sounds. I was afforded that opportunity a couple days ago, and it was one of the most profound, sobering experiences I have ever had. The barracks, crematoriums, and barbed wire are all still up for people to see. They have done a very nice job with the memorial site as there are lots of information boards, even about specific people who had been there. We spent about 3 hours walking the grounds, but it could’ve taken even longer if we decided to read every single board.
9. Schloss Nymphenburg
We visited the Nymphenburg Castle in the first few weeks we moved to Munich. I’m really glad we did this as the weather was perfect. This is a beautiful summer palace with grounds that could take hours to walk around! If you decide to go, I would spring for the combined ticket as you are allowed to go into all of the homes and museums.
How can one write on Munich and not include Oktoberfest?! I bought my trachten today (and I look ridiculous), but I am so excited to go to my first tent tomorrow!