Munich is a city filled with history, culture and a wide variety of places to enjoy local cuisines. It sits in the heart of Bavaria in southern Germany. Whilst there, we went on a walking tour of the city, taking in our surroundings and immersing ourselves in what Munich had to offer.
The tour began at the Munich City Hall or Marienplatz as it is known. Here the Glockenspiel “show” lasts over 10 minutes, much to the delight of the crowds of tourists. Quoting the wise words of our tour guide “once you have seen it you never have to again”. It was hilarious to stand in the crowd as hundreds of people gasped and laughed in a chorus at what was really, a dragged out show that quickly loses its “wow factor” after a few minutes.
Our walking tour then took us past some of the major highlights such as the Frauenkirche, a distinctly recognisable church in the Munich skyline that is also home to the mysterious footprint, allegedly belonging to the Devil himself.
We also went past the Theatine Church and the Feldherrnhalle, a military monument, before taking an afternoon stroll in the grounds of the Residence Palace.
Munich is a city that was heavily bombed in World War Two and due to that many of the city’s historical landmarks have had to be restored and rebuilt. Regardless of its past history, the city today is lively and a fun mix of historical and modern architecture and technology. Munich as a city is also home to one of the worlds largest festivals: Oktoberfest.
We were not in Munich at the right time of year for the festival itself but still took the time to try out some of the local beer halls. We also had a wander into the Hofbrau Haus and were taken aback by just how large the hall is. Regardless of the time of day, the beer hall is always packed with tourists and locals alike looking for a glass (or three) of the local brew.
Englischer Garten is a beautiful open park space in Munich filled with various bridges, grass lawns, and waterfalls. We spent our afternoon wandering around the park, trying to take in the few sun rays of winter sun. We were also on a bit of mission to find the surfers…
Perhaps the strangest thing to find in a park in South Germany are surfers but river surfing is a popular activity here. The surfers, all in full wet suits, took turns riding the waves while a steady crowd watched on. I assume the love of the sport is what gets them in the water because we were there in the middle of winter but that didn’t seem to stop them.
By the evening we were back in the old town for dinner. Let’s just say German table service is fast, efficient, and straight to the point. After managing to find a table free on a friday afternoon in a local beer house we sat down for some traditional German food and beer. The beer and meat plates were well received as was the spectacular dessert of Black Forrest cake, which really shouldn’t be shared!
Munich is a city in lower Germany that is often used as a base for various day trips and tours. It is easy to fill a full day exploring the city as there is a great balance of historical sites and fun outdoor markets and parks. But I think the best way to understand the city is by finding a table at a beer hall, ordering a glass, and people watching.