I’ve seen Munich from a touristic point of view, where I had only 3 days to see the entire city, as well as having 6 months to explore the ins and outs of the beautiful Bavarian town as a local. The city is quite small compared to other European cities, such as Paris or London, and a lot of the attractions are packed in close together making it a fantastic destination for quick weekend trips. I’d recommend having three days in Munich, the perfect amount to see the best parts of the city.
As the heart of Bavaria, the land of lederhosen and weisswurst, Munich posses tons of culture, of which are easily accessible at the Hofbrauhaus, a bavarian style restaurant. Stop in the Hofbrauhaus to experience typical bavarian music, see locals dressed in traditional clothes, and to enjoy pints of world famous german beer. Inside the Hofbrauhaus, you’ll find pretzels larger than your head, with typical long tables commonly found in beer gardens, making it impossible to not chat with those surrounding you. Stroll through Marianplatz where tons of locals have jobs and spend time admiring their alluring city, with it’s huge town hall and incredible architecture. After taking a few steps from the Marianplatz, you will find yourself at the Viktualienmarkt, a market which runs monday-saturday from 10am-6pm (until 3pm on Saturday). Indulge yourself in the plethora of different fruits, vegetables, pastries, juices, and hand-crafted souvenirs.
Towering over the market is the gigantic St. Peter’s Church, whose interior is so simple and charming that it would be a shame to miss out on bathing in it’s glory. The exterior still has a cannonball lodged in it’s side, a riveting historical fact Bavarians love to share. If you find yourself in the exquisite town around the end of September, don’t miss out on the legendary Oktoberfest, where millions of tourists and locals from all over the world come to enjoy rides and pints of beer in their dirndl and lederhosen.
The hill in the distance of the photo above is made completely of debris from the second world war. This superb area is Olympia Park, which is known for the historical hill and for holding the Olympics back in 1988. When the weather is nice, locals love to lounge in the grass and look out over the lake. Nice paved trails make it effortless to go on long runs or bike rides, with paths leading up to the top of the hill, giving you a splendid view of Munich. Simply take the U3 from Marianplatz towards Moosach to get to this area which is a bit out of city center, but a relaxing contrast to the busy intercity of the town.
Although depressing, I see it vital for any tourist to spend some time visiting Dachau Concentration Camp. You can easily get to the camp from city center in under 40 minutes, thanks to the flawless public transport. On the 3 euro tour, offered in english and german, you are guided through the old cells and eerie rooms where the ovens are located. It is extremely deflating to know what the human race did in the not so distant past, but it is vital that we learn about these negative events so we don’t replicate them in the future.
After you’ve spent a few hours are Dachau, head into the Englischer Garten, where you will feel like you’re in the middle of the Schwarzwald.
This park doesn’t seem anywhere near a city, as it is so quiet and a location where you can hear yourself think. It lives up to it’s title as “The World’s Largest Park” since you could get lost wandering on the never ending paths for days. Rent one of the pedaling boats to get a view from the center of the huge lake or watch other visitors glide across the water while you enjoy a beer at the beer garden which overlooks river and trees. Don’t forget to take a peak of the Chinese Tum, a chinese inspired architecture lying in the heart of Bavaria. Three hours in the perfect amount of time to spend in this peaceful location. It’s a wonderful place to workout or to sip on an iced tea on a warm summer day.
The last stop on your second day should be exploring the area of Nymphenburg Schloss.
With a lake which offers gondola tours, to the winding trails that seem to go on for ages, this is perfect for anyone craving a bit of nature. Locals love to come here in wonderful weather to soak up the sunny days and bathe in the scent of chestnut trees.
Even if you only have three days in Munich, I highly recommend devoting one of your days to visit the Neuschwanstein castle, a day trip from the city. You can take a train or bus to get to the work of art which inspired the Disney castle. Unless you are incredibly eager to see the inside of this certain castle, I wouldn’t recommend that you join the twelve euro tour. Quite frankly it’s a waste of money since you barely get to see any rooms, so I suggest you use your money to see the inside of a different castle. In the village surrounding Neuschwanstein, you will find restaurants serving classic bavarian food, which is largely based on meat and dairy. A two minute walk down the side of the tiny town will bring you to a lake in the middle of the Alps. Soak in the picturesque view which seems to be straight out of a fairytale.
Munich is one of the most cultural cities, with so much history and stigma steaming from each corner. Make sure to add Munich to your next European tour, to make sure you get to see true German culture. Spend your next three day vacation wandering the bavarian streets, you won’t regret it.