Underwhelmed in Munich (but there was beer!)
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
First off, I really hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this, but out of all the European cities I’ve visited, I liked Munich the least. I wanted to like it, so if you’ve been and have any tips for if I visit again, please leave a comment below!
Allison and I used Munich as a four-day home base on our Europe tour, and I do have to say that the location was great for seeing other parts of Bavaria – we did a day trip to Salzburg and a day trip to Nuremberg. We used the Bayern ticket, which covers unlimited rail travel in Bavaria and selected routes into Austria from 9am-3am the next day. You can get a Bayern ticket for groups of 1-5 ranging in price from €25-57.
We arrived in Munich on the sleeper train from Venice which is an experience in itself, although it, unfortunately, meant that we were awake at 5:30 the first morning, so overtiredness could have started us off on bad terms with Munich. We hung out at the McDonald's near our hostel (the terrible American tourists that we are!), taking advantage of the free wifi and waiting until we could drop our bags off at our hostel.
Another downfall was that we were unintentionally there over Easter weekend. This meant that a lot of places were closed, and there were loads of tourists. We had just left Venice, which had also been packed, and we were looking forward to a less crowded Munich, but sadly this was not the case. Definitely not fun for someone who doesn’t do well in crowds!
While we were in Munich, we visited the Deutsches Museum, the BMW museum, several churches – my favorite was St. Peter’s Church, by the Marianplatz; and the Olympic Park, where I made Allison climb to the top of a very tall hill. I’m lucky she is such a good sport! This would have been the perfect place for a picnic if the weather had been a little warmer! Overall though, nothing really wowed me whilst being here – the gray weather could have had something to do with that!
One big perk to the city was the food. I definitely did not get tired of eating endless meals of sausages and potatoes! Here I discovered currywurst, which remains one of my favorite European foods – slices of sausage covered in curry ketchup; so good! Munich was also the place where I learned to like beer, although the beer I have tried everywhere else doesn’t begin to compare. There’s something special about German beer, as I was able to drink a stein of it each night with dinner.
I had two very memorable meals in Munich. The first was with my friend Emma and her family – Emma was on an exchange year in Germany and happened to be visiting Munich with her family at the same time I was there! We all went to dinner at the Hofbrahaus – super touristy, and I know you can find better (and cheaper!) food in other places, but it was SO much fun. I loved being able to catch up with Emma and her family. We had giant pretzels with our beer while we waited for the food, and overall it was such a fun meal. The weird part came when we realized the two men who had been sitting at our table had followed us out of the restaurant, even though they hadn’t finished their meals yet. Very strange, and overall slightly sketchy. We ended up catching a taxi home, and still talk about the encounter to this day – although I didn’t mention it to my parents until months later! Definitely one of the scarier things that has happened to me while traveling, and a good lesson that you can’t be too careful!
Eating our way around Munich!
The second meal was a lunch with Allison in the Biergarten in the English Gardens where we ordered the classic German meal of sausage, potatoes, and beer. Being able to sit outside with a great meal and great company definitely was one of the highlights of Munich. We even got some of the beer steins to take home for souvenirs – if you’ve been to Munich and didn’t come home with a beer stein, did you really go to Munich? The English Gardens themselves are really nice and great for feeling like you’re no longer in the middle of a city. There is even a part in the park where people come to surf! Yes, you read that right, it is possible to surf in Munich!
Overall, I think the real downfall to my visit to Munich was the holiday weekend, which meant lots of tourists and limited things to do. However, there was a bounty of beer, food, and good company, so I guess things could have been worse! Looking forward to visiting again to give the city a second chance.
Have you visited Munich? Any suggestions on how to make my next trip better?