Munich, synonymous with the Oktoberfest, has much more to offer than that rowdy tradition that stemmed from a wedding ceremony from 1810. Let us discover this wonderful city and see its many wonders.
Getting In: Munich’s airport is a bustling hub with plenty of international flights coming in and out of it. From the airport, best to take the S-Bahn to get to the city center. Alternatively, you can opt to get in to Munich by train. The Hauptbahnhof is in the city center and is walking distance to some hotels. Otherwise, connect to your destination using the S-Bahn, U-Bahn or the trams.
- The S-Bahn and U-Bahn are actually commuter trains. The U-Bahn is a mostly underground train that runs from North to South of the city grid, while the S-Bahn reaches up to the suburbs. If you are going from the airport, best to invest in the Munich City Day Pass, allowing for 1 full day of unlimited rides on the trains, trams & buses.
- If you are planning to ride a train around Bavaria (or even Salzburg, Austria), best to avail of the Bavaria pass. It is a cheaper way to explore the Bavarian region & Munich.
Things to See/Do:
- The Residenz – With over 90 rooms, this is a palace located directly on the city center. The rooms (called the Residenz Museum) & Treasury (has the oldest English crown and several other treasures) is accessible by paid ticket (12EUR), but the ground’s courtyards are free.
- Nymphenburg Palace – Located outside the city center but easily accessible by tram, this lovely palace has a 1 square mile garden, and makes for a good place to chill out and walk around. The gardens are free but if you want to see inside the Palace, you’ll have to pay extra.
- Marienplatz – The main square topped by a statue of the Virgin Mary, the main draw is the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus), famous for its glockenspiel that tells of a Bavarian wedding ceremony (chimes every 11AM & 12 noon).
- St Peter’s Church – Directly opposite Marienplatz, you can climb up the church tower (a lot of steps though) that on a clear day, you can see much of Munich (even the outskirts – for instance, the Allianz Arena and the Olympic Garden).
- English Garden – Bigger than central park in NY and Hyde Park in London, the main draw is the chinese pagoda and the beer garden in the middle of the park (a bit overpriced so be warned).
- Hofbrauhaus – The biggest and oldest beer garden in Munich, with three floors you can choose from, they offer great beer and live music in the evenings. This beer garden can get rowdy during Oktoberfest though!
Munich is a fun city to explore, and get fat in. You have to try their Weisswurst, a traditional sausage made from veal. Of course, you also can’t go wrong with their bratwursts, frankfurters, and currywursts. Do not leave Munich without trying their beers as well – they are one of the best beers I have ever tasted and well worth the money I paid for it.
The best time to go to Munich is within the spring/autumn (but skip Oktoberfest – everything is overpriced and overbooked – your usual 60 EUR hotel room will jump up to 120 EUR, and your food & drinks too!)