Munich Travel Guide
I am so excited to share my Munich Travel Guide with you today! In October of 2016, Russel and I traveled to Germany and the Czech Republic with our friends for the annual Oktoberfest celebration! This was our first time to Europe and Oktoberfest was a major bucket list item for Russel, so we checked a lot of boxes with this trip. We flew into Munich and spent three days there before renting a car and heading to Prague and Berlin. I will share more of each of those cities and a detailed Oktoberfest guide in the next few weeks, but this post will be all about Munich!
Munich is truly an extraordinary city, steeped in rich history that seems at once quaint and also modern. It is the capital of Bavaria, also known as the southern region of Germany. Bavaria is characterized by a laid-back attitude and an enjoyment of life, which we certainly found to be true in Munich. The breathtaking architecture, quaint German shops and delicious food influenced by many European countries ensures that there is something for everyone to love about Munich!
Leonardo Hotel Munich City Olympiapark– We really enjoyed this hotel. It is reasonably priced and the accommodations are very comfortable for two people. It was a little farther out from the city center, but Uber made this a non-issue. The breakfast was not included in the room price, but we did choose to each there one morning and it was very good!
✧Due to the high demand for hotels during Oktoberfest, our options were a bit limited when we made our reservations. If you are thinking of going to Oktoberfest, be sure to plan well in advance and book your hotel as soon as possible!
Munich Royal Residenz– This is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs of the House of Wittelsbach and it is located very centrally in Munich, making it easy to visit. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and you can spend several hours exploring the lavish architecture, furnishings and history in this museum. The amazingly detailed wallpaper within the rooms in the Residenz had me swooning.
St. Peter’s Church– This church was first built in Munich in the 11th century and has been rebuilt and expanded many times. Perhaps the finest aspect of visiting this church is the breathtaking view of the entire city of Munich from the top of the church tower. Just be prepared to get your exercise! With 299 steps to reach the top of the tower, it is quite rigorous and not for the faint of heart! We made the mistake of scheduling this climb after our red-eye plane flight and an entire day of sightseeing-with no sleep!
Marienplatz– Located in the center of Munich, this pedestrian friendly area is filled with shops, restaurants and landmarks important to the history of Munich. Be sure to check out the Old Town and New Town halls, and the famous Glockenspiel, which has been delighting audiences since 1908. We loved the charm and vibe of the Marienplatz and it was a great introduction to Germany!
Zugspitze– Located along the border of Germany and Austria, Zugspitze is the highest mountain peak in Germany. We rented a car during our trip, so we were able to make a day trip to Zugspitze from Munich. Once there, you can board a cable car that will take you to the observation deck at the top of the peak. The views are stunning and making this trip takes you through the most amazing little Germany villages along the way. We stopped in several villages where we found small shops selling fresh cheese, chocolate, and wine. This was truly one of the highlights of our entire trip and it can only be done by renting a car and having a willingness to explore!
Neuschwanstein– Built in the late 1880s by King Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein is the castle that has launched a million dreams and inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle. Set upon a massive hill and surrounded by rolling countryside, this castle is an architectural majesty. Unfortunately, the interiors of the castle were never fully finished, so only 15 rooms are available for touring. We made the drive from Zugspitze to the castle and it was a perfect conclusion to our day trip from Munich.
Nymphenburg Palace– The building of this palace began in 1664 as a summer residence for the Bavarian Elector Max Emanuel and was expanded throughout the 1700s. Sitting on 490 acres of lush gardens, Nymphenburg and the four smaller castles that occupy the property are a decadent example of the wealth and opulence that defined Europe for many centuries. We spent several hours here in order to explore all that Nymphenburg has to offer.
Ratskeller– This restaurant first opened in 1874 in the cellar of the New Town Hall in Munich. It has a warm, inviting atmosphere and the food is delicious
Zwickl– A lovely location for lunch or dinner near the Marienplatz. We enjoyed dinner and drinks on the outdoor patio and it was quintessential European evening dining.
Hofbrauhaus– One of the oldest beer halls in Munich, Hofbrauhaus is a can’t miss destination for traditional German beer and sausage. The atmosphere is true German beer hall with long tables and benches and oompah bands playing songs that only the Germans will be able to sing along with. But that won’t stop you from having a great time and feeling like a member of the party!
Geisel’s Vinothek– A beautiful wine bar with refined elegance, this is the perfect counterpoint to the Hofbrauhaus. Enjoy Mediterranean inspired Bavarian dishes in this fantastic restaurant and leave feeling completely satisfied.
I hope this information has been helpful if you are planning a trip to Munich in the future. The city and the surrounding countryside has so much to see and do, making a must for every traveler’s bucket list. Leave me a comment and let me know if you have been to any of these places in Munich. I would love to hear from you!
All the ❤︎,