Getting me through second term at Uni was the fact that very soon I’d be able to explore another European city. Back in December, Amy (my lifelong friend) and I sat down to plan our much needed weekend break. Being open to all options, we stumbled across Munich on our caffeine fuelled Google search.
After falling in love with all the scenic photos of the English Gardens and Marienplatz, we both knew Munich would be the perfect city break for us. And boy did it not disappoint !
In a city offering so much, I’ve complied a mini guide of what we did and what we’d recommend. I hope you enjoy !
Where we stayed:
Being students, we of course conformed with the stereotype and booked to stay in a hostel. Yet the Wombats City Hostel was so much more than we had expected, definitely feeling more like a hotel, and busting all the myths that circulate about hostel life.
Booking to stay in a private room, we had all we needed in a room. As most of our days were spent exploring the city, the only thing we really required was a place to sleep and shower. Yet Wombats provided this and more. The access to the communal kitchen and living space meant that although our room was on the cosy side, we could relax in other parts of the hostel. Plus, the lively bar provided a free drink on arrival – a much appreciated benefit, considering a hectic day of travelling.
Most of the accommodation in Munich appeared to be in a similar location, so wherever you choose to stay the walk to Marienplatz and the centre should only be around 15 minutes. Of course, when you’re distracted by the beauty of a new city, the walk itself never seems to drag.
Things to do:
The heart of the old town, Marienplatz is home to a wealth of buildings all boasting beautiful architecture. Everywhere you look, the more intricate details you see.
The city square is home to the city to the Rathaus-Glockenspeil, the number one tourist attraction in Munich. With daily scheduled shows, the cuckoo clock chimes and re-enacts a Bavarian events from the 16th century. Although charming, the twelve minute performance left us relatively underwhelmed, but we were glad to have seen the performance, and to be stood amongst a crowd of tourists all appreciating Bavarian history.
The Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest urban public parks, being bigger than that of Central Park. Not knowing what to expect, we stumbled into a random entrance and quickly decided we never wanted to leave !
Taking an afternoon snack or two, we sat on one of the many benches and took in the beauty of nature. Filled with open fields, wooded areas, well-kept paths, a river, many cyclists joggers and many more dogs (amazing) we were quite simply in awe.
Following one of the pathways we stumbled to an outdoor beer hall, that offered many a stein of beer, very delicious German food, a brass band and very importantly free public toilets !
So lucky with the glorious weather we ambled up a small hill to the Chinese Tower at the centre of the park. Sunbathing, whilst viewing the whole of the park and a stunning view of Munich, we felt completely at ease. Reluctantly we decided to walk back to the hostel, amazed that such a place could exist within a busy city.
With free time to spend the next day, we decided to stop by the park again. This time we sat amongst locals, who were all out enjoying the sunny weather. Feeling content, surrounded by groups of friends, families and couples, we left the park with knowledge that the park provided more than just a place of beauty, but a community space, where everyone is welcome. I cannot wait to return.
St Peters Tower
In order to gain a view of the whole of Munich, we researched the best viewing platforms. With the majority recommending St Peters Tower, we knew we were heading for a treat, despite the steep 299 steps.
Once at the top (and when we had got our breath back), the view was everything we could have hoped for. Purposefully choosing a clear day, we were surprised how much of the city we could see. Moving around the tower clockwise, a full 360 degree view of the city could be seen, behind very thin wired railings. 3 euros well spent for sure !
This is Munich’s famous farmers market. Hosting an array of all things local produce, we did not know where to start. From beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers to all the cheeses you could imagine, here you could find anything typically German.
Definitely worth a visit to buy some local souvenirs, that is if you’ve any leftover euros.
Art Galleries and Museums
Our trip was blessed with sunshine, so we opted to spend most of our time outside. Yet we did visit one of the many art galleries Munich has to offer.
The Lenbachhaus is the former home of realist artist Franz von Lenbach. Hosting work from Lenbach himself, Kandinsky, Georgia O’Keeffe and many more. The gallery was a nice break from the sunshine and seeing the work of many talented artists was inspirational.