Just before we begin our itinerary, here are some facts about Munich that could be very useful to your travel plans:
- Germany uses euros as currency and is part of the Schengen zone.
- Munich has a history and identity that is somewhat different than that of northern German cities. You will hear the word Bavaria, often.
- Munich is probably most well known for hosting the largest beer festival in the world: Oktoberfest! Usually it takes place in early October, however for 2018 it will partly take place in September. You can find more info here.
- Munich is definitely one of those cities you could visit at any time of the year and get much out of it! In the summer, however, you will be able to enjoy the city’s beer gardens.
Now, without further ado, let’s begin!
Day 1: Walking Tour & Dinner
Walking tours are usually how I like to start off in a new city. Especially if I am only there for a couple of days. In two and a half hours or so, you get to know some history and culture, and get a general tour of what there is to see. It also helps to get orientated and a chance to get local advice.
I highly recommend Sandemans Free Tours service. I have been using them for the past 4 years and they are excellent!
Our tour began in Marienplatz, in front of the Rathaus and yet another quaint Christmas market! We grabbed a quick currywurst before the tour began. Honestly, it’s just a sausage in a roll, with mustard and some curry powder, but it’s one of those things you have to try! Apparently they are typical of Berlin, but we never got around to trying one there, so I’m glad we tried it here while we had a chance.
Places we Visited during the Free Walking Tour:
- The Feldherrnhalle
- Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass)
- Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady: apparently one of the best views of the city. Unfortunately we were there during a very cloudy day, and in winter the sun sets by 5 pm)
- The National Theater & Opera House
- Marienplatz (Mary’s Square)
- Origins of Oktoberfest
- The Hofbräuhaus (pictured below)
- Mary’s Column
- The Royal Residence
- Church of St. Peter
- The Glockenspiel (which unfortunately we never got to see in full display due to bad timing and our short stay! Do be sure to check out the Glockenspiel on the Rathaus at 11 am or the strike of noon)
And more! I love learning about the history and culture and significance of what might have never stood out in passing, or just looked like another nice building. I think one of the funniest, and possibly most fascinating, thing we learned was just how much history of Munich (Bavaria) was directly linked with beer! The making of it, the consumption of it, ingredients, the market, everything!
This is the top floor of the Hofbrauhaus, down below is the main hall, with benches. It is expected to sit with strangers in a brauhaus, and be social. Here, they are known for their 1 liter beer glasses! We came with an American couple on day two!
Wiesses Brauhaus :
Recommended by our tour guide, we decided to have a good German meal with some good German beer in a brauhaus. It did not disappoint! First off, I want you to know that this is not a traditional restaurant. While you can get a private table, it is still a brauhaus, so you might be placed at a large table and have other people join you. I think it’s a great concept. Now onto the food. Wayne had an amazing pork belly dish, while I had the duck seasonal special. Everything was very delicious, but what blew me away was the beer!
Up until then, I had tried several beers, particularly Belgian and Irish beers. But these beers were MIND blowing!! We both had a wheat-based beer, I think. Wayne got the regular tap 7 and I got the “spring” beer, which is tap 4. Both of them very good.Now this location on Tal street was the original location of the brewery started by a Schneider family, they now have a few other locations, but this one has been making beer since the 70’s. They have won a few international awards, so you know they make good beer!
We rarely get dessert, but somehow we had a little space to split some apfel deep fried in beer batter with ice cream. Also amazing. All in all, it came to 45 euros for 2 wonderful meals, 3 beers and a dessert! Worth every penny.
Day 2: Neuschwanstein Castle & Beer
It was a really tough call between spending the day in Munich to go inside many of the buildings we had learned about, or to go to Neuschwanstein Castle. Because we could much easily see ourselves coming back to Munich than to any area close to the castle, we went for the castle.
As soon as we got on our train, a couple sat next to us, and next thing we know, we’re chatting up a storm with these two great Americans as we make our way to the castle.
There are several helpful and needed tips and knowledge to make the best out of your trip to the Neuschwanstein Castle, but here are two main ones you should know off the hop:
1 – It will be a nearly all-day visit if you are coming from Munich.
2 – You cannot take any pictures inside due to copyright laws.
I will have an entire blogpost dedicated to what a visit to the Neuschwanstein castle looks like, because it can get complicated very quickly.
The views on the way are stunning, as is the area surrounding the castle. Beautiful nature scenes of valleys, fields, forests and mountains. We both fell in love with the German countryside. I would say half of the experience at the castle is the nature around you, so take time while walking up to the castle, and take advantage of the views from the castle itself.
As you can see, it was a beautiful day, with the sun shining brightly! Made the view great, but the picture-taking was tricky, if you know much about photography, iso balance, and trying to avoid high exposure.
Like I said, it is nearly an all-day visit. If we had rushed a bit, we might have made the 3 o’clock train, but had to take the 4 o’clock instead. So we did not get back to Munich city center until about 5:30 pm. Dinner time!
Our new friends had never been to the Weisses Brauhaus, so we took them there for dinner, and tried some other beers. One that stood out was the Eisbock beer. You must try this cooled beer! It a dark beer and bursting with flavour! I want one right now as I type this…
Drink Like Germans
Afterwards, we went to the Hofbrauhaus, since Wayne and I had only gone to the top part, which is not the actual pub. And yes, we each had the one liter original beer. It is was not easy to pose with these heavy glasses! I had to use both hands to lift the glass most of the time. Let me tell you…I never got drunk off beer until I had to finish a 1 liter glass…Granted, I had 2 bottles over at Weisses. The men had 3 each (clearly trying to compete with one another!) and were very happy and silly afterwards.
We leisurely walked back to the metro station, both parties sad that our time in Munich was coming close to an end, with us leaving for Western Germany the next morning, and the Americans leaving for Salzburg in the morning as well. One thing is for sure, we all loved our time in Bavaria!
And that concludes our two days in the city of Munich! We will most definitely be back! I really wanted to go to the English Gardens, which is a very large public park, as well as go inside some of the churches of various styles they have. Until next time, München. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to come for Oktoberfest one year!
Do you prefer the brief version? Or would you like a more detailed itinerary? Let me know in the comments below!
Have you been to Munich or other cities in Germany? How was your experience? If you have any questions about our time here, or other places, don’t hesitate in comment down below or shoot us an email! Check the About Me page for the info.