A cordial city with an esteemed heritage, simply suave yet very teeming; this is ‘Germany’s largest village‘, Munich! Huge tankards, contemporary designs and Lederhosen, this is a city where historics sit side by side with the modern , yielding the finest combination. Locally known as München, the city bears various quirks, making your days fuller.
Whether it be the Bavarian oompah band, the bustling Marienplatz, the wondrous Bavarians dialect, the unconventional traditions of the Oktoberfest or the beer gardens which happen to be my favourite spots here, you’re sure to uncover so many secrets each day you spend in this bliss of a city.
Having experienced Munich in the spring as well as during Christmas, it’s easy to agree that the city is absolutely involved throughout the year. The buzzing Frühlingsfest (Munich Springfest) or the jolly Christmas markets, I’ve enjoyed both and thus I can say that every season and festival is celebrated here exquisitely. The day trips from Munich are particularly sought after, including the iconic Neuschwanstein castle and the shopping paradise, Heidelberg, remaining my two favourite outings. Humpens, Steinkrugs or Seidl, Munich isn’t Munich without its Biergartens…. Tranquility, hustle & bustle, style and comfort, the ‘lebensart’ (the way of life), is ideal here.
To name a few of my top recommendations in Munich:
1.Beer gardens (Biergartens)
Beer has been part of Munich for centuries and the brewing tradition in this city is like none other. The Bavarian capital houses top-notch breweries pumping out beer to hundreds of beer gardens and beer halls. A trip to Munich must include several outings to beer gardens, even if one does not consume beer. One of my favourite gardens include the Augustiner-Keller, a large beer hall & garden and German restaurant. However, the Augustiner-Bräustuben and Löwenbräukeller are also worth considering.
One of the largest activity parks in the world, Munchen’s very own English Garden is the topmost leisure hotspot. It encompasses a man-made lake, soccer fields, an amphitheater, a carousel, a Greek temple and even a popular surfing wave on the river. Therefore, the park’s large meadows are ideal for picnicking, barbecuing, and sunbathing. This is a place where I enjoyed my Sunday morning with some peace as well as recreation.
One of my personal favourites, Marienplatz is the city’s most famous square. Located in Altstadt, Marienplatz is the best place to be, including attractions such as the “New Town Hall”(dating all the way Middle Ages) and so many boutiques and luxury brands in & around the square such as Tory Burch, Giorgio Armani etc. Marienplatz also connects to Odeonsplatz and Karlplatz, the best streets for high-end shopping, classic cafes and Bavarian restaurants.
The Nymphenburg Palace & Park is a Baroque palace beaming in Munich. It constitutes as one of the most grandeur royal palaces of Europe. Whether it’s visiting the Queen’s magnefic bedroom, or the colossal halls of the palace chapel, Nymphenburg is surely worth a visit. This 299 hector palacial garden offers tourists a brush with hidden sculptures, architectural gems and picturesque lakes, making it a wholesome experience.
The bustling Viktualienmarkt, is Munich’s best farmer’s market, located in the heart of the city’s Altstadt (old town). It’s the absolute place to shop for fresh produce, dairy and Bavarian specialties. Locals, tourists, and the city’s top chefs come here for everything from fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood to pastries, muffins, spices, flowers and freshly squeezed juices. Viktualienmarkt is a feast for all senses.
The BMW Museum, housed next to the BMW head office, exhibits the history of BMW cars, motorcycles, historic vehicles etc. It really is a must visit if you’re in Munich, and especially if you’re a car and vintage lover!
Winter and Christmas in Munich is like a snowy and frosty wonderland… Right from caroling in the markets, to eating hot Wurst and visiting the fairy lighted chapels, Christmas is celebrated in the best, most memorable spirit:
The Christkindlmarkt of Marienplatz is the biggest, most celebrated Christmas Market in Munich. The romantic setting in front of the neo-Gothic town hall on Marienplatz adds to the magic of the lit up stalls adding to the authentic Bavarian charm. Living tradition and handcrafted tiny gifts are found here, in the largest “Manger Market” and Winter Wonderland.
A day’s trip:
There’s so much more to do in Munich during Christmas such as the Christmas Tram, the soothing saunas, the ice skating rink etc. But the one experience I loved the most, was visiting Fussen, Neuschwanstein Castle. After having visited this castle twice, in spring and winter, I have established that it by far is my favourite location in the world.
Neuschwanstein Castle, aka The Fairytale Castle, is located in Bavaria, near the town of Fussen and is known to be one of the most popular places in Europe, overlooking the Hohenschwangau Valley. It’s a 2-3 hour train journey from Munich and is a day trip. Seated idyllically on a mountain, this castle was known to be Walt Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella as well as Sleeping Beauty. Having visited the castle twice, winter is the time it really becomes a living fantasy topped with snow giving the magical charm. Neuschwanstein Castle is definitely one of the most charming castles there is, with many interesting lesser known facts.