Welcome to Munich! Probably you are wondering what to explore in Munich, just as I was. Well, you will be surprised to discover that Munich has more to offer than what meets the eye. A clock-show, beer gardens, and a surf wave are all surprising places you will see if you follow this self-guided walking tour of the city.
So I arrived by train from Berlin, after I missed my first train (wrote about that funny story and how it how I lost my train in Berlin). I was so relieved to discover that my hostel, Wombat’s City Hostel is 2 minutes from the train station. Phew.
The hostel offers a daily free walking tour if you are up for it. Starts at 10 am. Meeting point is at the reception of the Wombat’s Hostel. But if you miss that, here is your perfect self-guided walking tour to Munich, Germany.
My first stop (as always) was to the nearest vegan restaurant. Luckily for me, the best restaurant in Munich is at a 10 minutes walking distance from the Wombat’s Hostel.
Where do vegans eat in Munich? Max Pett – the lovely vegan restaurant from Munich
Dropped off my stuff, admired my beautiful room (which had its own private balcony) and off I went to get something to eat. No matter what you usually eat, I will assume you are a vegan and I will recommend the famous vegan restaurant from Munich, Max Pett, which is a 10-minutes walk away from the hostel. It was quite busy, and if you are more than 2 people, I suggest calling ahead. Very nice and friendly staff. I was confused at the beginning, as I thought not everything is vegan on the menu, but it is. Bavarian prices, but it’s worth it once. At least.
From here you can decide to explore the city. With a happy belly, you can achieve anything.
First stop is…
A 5-minutes walk from the Wombat’s Hostel is this famous square, where you will find Karlstor, the most famous gate of the old city, which is standing today completely (there are 3 other gates of the city, which still exist). Just looking at the gate, you can get an idea of how the fortification looked like in the medieval ages.
Continue your walk through the gate, on the pedestrian street.
St. Michael’s Church
This Jesuit church, which took 14 years to build, was finished in 1597. It is was built by William V, Duke of Bavaria, but it is truly impressive because it has a barrel-vaulted roof, the vault being the largest in the world apart from that of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, spanning freely more than 20 meters.
Inside the church are the toms of the Wittelsbach dynasty (Wittelsbacher Gruft), starting with the founder of this church, William V, Duke of Bavaria, but people come more to see the tomb of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the crazy Bavarian king, who built the famous Neuschwanstein Castle (who can be visited on a day trip from Munich).
TIP: From the Reception of the Wombat’s Hostel, you can book your tour to the Neuschwanstein Castle (every other day).
Next, is the most touristic place in the entire city.
The most famous place in Munich is this central square. Marienplatz was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in its centre in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation.
In the main building of the square(the city hall) is the famous puppet clock. The Glockenspiel draws millions of tourists each year. It plays a special show of a medieval wedding, and it plays each day at 11 am, 12 pm and 5 pm. The first 2 minutes of the show it’s just the music, but since not a lot of tourists know this, they all start filming and it’s a huge space of people watching it. Beware of pickpockets.
What else to see in the square:
- Wurmeck The Dragon
- Fischbrunnen (Fish’s Fountain)
You know what’s better than this square? Seeing it from above.
Church of St. Peter (Alter Peter)
Another church, yes. But this one is special. The panoramic view of the entire city, which you can see if you climb up its tower it’s worth all the 299 steps. The stairs are steep, but there are places where you can stop to catch your breath. Take your time, arrive early, as it can get crowded, and if you are claustrophobic, it might not be the place for you. It gets narrower as you get to the top.
Now, where do locals eat, drink and buy stuff?
Victuals Market (Viktualienmarkt)
In the centre of the city, you will also find this huge daily food market/beer garden, where you can buy almost anything from fish and flowers to exotic fruits and spices. I was there a few times and it was always packed. So grab something to eat from the many food stalls and sit in the centre area where the tables are. Locals love to drink a beer here in the afternoons.
Each shop has its own timetable, but the standard hours would be Monday to Saturday 8 am until 8 pm. (Shops are closed on Sunday in Germany and Austria, except for Berlin). The Biergarten doesn’t open until 9 a.m. Many stalls close at 6 p.m.
Do vegans have any options around here? Yes. Beer is vegan. Thank God. Just kidding. There are many falafel shops and the local Nord See has vegan avocado wraps, which are a perfect day snack.
A great falafel place is Sababa. Good value for money.
Time to see the famous beer hall of Munich. Even Hitler was there.
This just might be the hallmark of the Bavarian lands. A classic beerhall, with some history going on, which still operates today. It is touristy, but it paints a nice picture of what Americans think about Germany. They are proud to be opened every day (356 days!!), from 9 am until midnight.
As the name has it the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München (public Royal Brewery in Munich), it is a brewery, owned by the Bavarian state. The current beers produced include a Weißbier and Helles, Maibock, Dunkel and Oktoberfest lagers.
The prices are also touristy and do expect that the overall prices of Bavaria to be higher than in Berlin, but it will be still cheaper than during the Oktoberfest. They have thy nice inner garden, where you can eat a local wurst and settle your thirst with a 1 litre Helles beer.
Interesting fact: The Beer gardens usually allow people to bring their own food while consuming the beer in the garden/brewery. But this one, the Hofbrauhaus, has become so popular (for tourists mostly), and they do no longer allow you to bring your food.
Next, shopping? Maybe window shopping.
On your way to the Feldherrnhalle, you will pass by this street.
All city centres have that one street where all the luxury shops are. This is it for Munich. Window shop and admire the fashionista who walk by. I believe people from Bavaria do have their nice and sophisticated way of clothing. Unlike Berlin. Compare this to the Central Berlin.
So you do want to know more about Hitler and what he was doing in Munich?
This impressive square has a lot of history to tell you. It was commissioned in 1841 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria to honour the tradition of his army. But, during the Nazi times (9 November 1923), this was the place where Adolf Hitler and his followers confronted with the Bavarian State Police, in their attempt to storm the Bavarian Defence Ministry. Adolf Was defeated and sent to prison. 16 people were killed.
After the Nazi came to power in 1933, this was transformed into a memorial to the Nazis killed during the failed putsch, to which it was expected to hail the site with the Nazi salute.
Because most people were not so fond of the Nazi party or of saluting the memorial, a secret was to not pass by the front of the building, but by the back. The Dodgers Alley (Drückebergergasse) still has a hidden path, to mark the revolt of the people who were not willing to adhere to the Nazi party. A silent revolution, if you may.
Nest. Just the most beautiful garden to relax after all that walking.
This is one beautiful garden, to spend an afternoon, have a picnic, ride your bike or just alk around. As you come from the city and enter the park, you cannot miss the Eisbachwelle, which is an artificially created wave on the river. People take a turn to surf on it. I saw people who came during their lunch break to surf, and they were putting their suit back on afterwards.
Right next to the park entrance, and the surfing wave is the Art Museum (Haus der Kunst), and you can visit it’s ground floor for free (and the shop).
After a long day of walking, you have to chill in a beer garden.
Address: Arnulfstraße 52, 80335 München, Germany
Munich is known for its beer gardens. Augustiner-Keller is the third largest garden in town, and they have an area where people can eat their own food they brought from home. It is a huge garden, with 3000 seats. That’s what they say.
I sat on the ground when I was there. It was a full afternoon, as it was the first game of Germany in the World Cup 2018. I was sad to not see the winning because that whole garden would have gone crazy if they did. Someone even had a copy of the World Cup. I have a picture of me holding the cup. Unfortunately, they didn’t win. But the people were friendly and I really had a great time. Also, a 1-litre beer is 7 Eur.
A perfect place to spend a lazy summer afternoon. And it’s not far from the Wombat’s Hostel either. Three stops with the tram or a 15 min walk.
Go to sleep. Or to the Wombar. Same building (luckily)
Time to head back to the hostel. Maybe enjoy the welcome drink at the Wombat’s Bar (aka wombar). This is me with Sabrina and Kash from Budget Traveller. They have been my travel and exploring companions for Berlin and Munich. We had a blast. As you can see.
(I want to say that is a 2 person beer, but it’s not. Also, the wombar had happy hour… who can say no to good, affordable beer?!)
Save this guide for later. If you love beer (who doesn’t?!), then you will find your way to Bavaria one way or the other.
This post was brought to you as a result of the #wombatsTraveller blog trip, created and managed by iambassador (http://www.iambassador.net) in partnership with wombat’s CITY HOSTELS [https://www.wombats-hostels.com].
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