Monday, 29 August 2016

24 Hours in Munich

Ah Germany, you were just as magical as I expected! I hope you're all prepared for a quite a few posts about my 8-day trip to Germany, because they're coming. First, let's talk about Munich.

I decided to call this post "24 Hours in Munich" although we did spend more like, a day and a half. if you take out the back and forth to our hotel, and the general "where are we going next?" confusion of it all, I think this is quite a good itinerary if you have a day to visit the Bavarian capital.

09:00 Grab some breakfast at the München Hauptbahnhof!
Whether you're getting there by flight or train, there's a good chance that your day will begin at the city's central station. The S1 and S8 S-Bahn trains depart from the airport for the city center every 20 minutes. The journey to the main station at the center of Munich takes approximately 45 minutes. I recommend grabbing a quick breakfast before you start your day, because you'll be doing so much walking!

So. much. walking.
Munich is quite a foot-friendly city, and we only resorted to public transport to get back and from our hotel in the Trudering district.

There are so many places to choose from at the Central Station - from currywurst (yes, the husband decided this would be a suitable breakfast!), to sandwiches, or even crepes!

If you're still got your luggage on you and your hotel isn't central, I'd recommend hiring a locker for the day and packing what's necessary in a day bag. We left our cabin zero bags in one locker for a small €4 fee for the day. We simply brought a smaller backpack for the day, with a water bottle, camera, and bank cards.

10:00 Join a free walking tour!
I am such a convert to the "free" tours you find around cities, as they are one of the best way to discover a city with little time. I say "free" because it's customary to tip your guide at the end of the tour, but you can choose what works for you! I'd recommend tipping at least 5€, but we left our guide 20€ between the two of us because he did an amazing job! I used to really enjoy the hop-on hop-off tours, but although they're not a bad idea for a larger city (it was quite good in Dublin or London, for example!)

We did the "Free Tour of Munich", but if you go on the Sandemans website and hit your city of choice, you'll find that they do other tours as well. We paid in advance for the "Third Reich" tour in Berlin, but it came to 14€ each, only a few more euros than what we spent in Munich for a much longer tour.

Our guide, Jake, was amazing! He's an American expat living in Munich, and he made the tour so interesting, because he would tie in facts about the city with his own personal experience. His retelling of the 2006 World Cup was really interesting, and,  if I'm being completely honest, brought a tear to my eyes. He also gave us quite a few restaurants recommendation and sights to see after the tour!

12:00 Lunch at the Viktualienmarkt
This was a recommendation from our tour guide, and it's such a great place to grab lunch! There's a huge amount of small shops and restaurants, so you can have whatever tickles your fancy. The husband went for a Lebanese wrap, while I found a mini quiche and nice couscous salad in a deli. There's also a huge biergarten where you can sit with your food, and have a local brew. None for me, thank you! I have an aversion to beer, so I stuck to my lemonade.

Don't forget to look at the artisan stands at the market, and perhaps pick up a few souvenirs?

14:00 Relax at the Englischer Garten
The Englischer Garten is a huge park on Munich where you'll come across families, people walking their dogs, and even surfers! Yes, that's right, surfers. There's a few spots near the park where they ride the waves coming from the man-made river The Eisbach. It's a pretty awesome sight to see!

We also tend hunted down the Chinesischer Turm, which I had seen on countless photos in the past. There's a restaurant there to grab some food, and a biergarten, which made it another unofficial "beer break" for the husband.

16:00 Stroll down Neuhauser Straße and Kaufinger Straße

Now it wouldn't be a holiday without a little therapy, would it? Between Marienplatz and Karslplatz, you'll find loads of department stores and budget-friendly stores. If you fancy a little window shopping, then head over to Maximilianstraße. This is where you'll find all of the exclusive stores, such as Chanel or Louis Vuitton. As our tour guide told us, "If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford to shop there!" What a life goal, to stroll into Chanel and just pick up whatever purse tickles your fancy.

19:00 Have a traditional Bavarian meal!
Now, there are plenty of restaurants you can try in Munich. A firm favourite for tourists and locals is the Hofbrauhaus. It's the most tourist-y place you'll ever hear, but you go there for the experience. There's live music, and you can try some traditional German meals. We decided to go somewhere else, as Augustiner Klosterwirt had been recommended to us. We ordered the Bavarian platter for two, and wow!

You guys, there was enough meat on that platter to feed a family of four. Maybe five. There was pork, duck, chicken, potato dumplings, and meatballs. It was such a good meal, and I think we managed to make quite a big dent in the platter (with a lot of effort!) let's just say there was no need for a midnight snack after this meal.

Now on our actual trip, we had an early dinner and actually made it back to our hotel for 19:00 only to... pass out and sleep through the night. But had we had any energy left, we would have probably ended the night in a biergarten, taking in the atmosphere or this beautiful, exciting city.

Have you been to Munich before?
What would recommend a first-timer visit?


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