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In case you’re new around here, I recently took my first-ever trip to Europe. I was able to find cheap flights there, which was really nice! After starting in Heidelberg (well, technically Frankfurt, as I landed there), my next stop was Munich, Germany.
I’ve heard great things about Munich, and given that it’s only about 215 miles east of Heidelberg, it was the logical next stop.
Munich, the capital city of Bavaria, is home to lederhosen, Hofbräuhaus, Oktoberfest, and of course, all the beer you can drink! Munich is also the home of BMW, among other international brands. There are so many things to do in Munich.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, lederhosen are *not* common throughout Germany. They are mostly confined to Bavaria and Tyrol. I didn’t see them at all in Heidelberg but saw several pairs while strolling through Munich.
Like most European cities, Munich’s history dates much further back than any city in America.
Munich Hotel Near Train Station – A Must for Me
I did not stay directly in the center of the city, so I needed a hotel close to the train. I was able to do just that, staying at Holiday Inn Munich – Leuchtenbergring.
As its name implies, this hotel is just a few minutes (on foot) from the Leuchtenbergring stop. While not quite as convenient as being in the city center, it’s about a 10-minute trip on the U-Bahn to Marienplatz.
When I arrived at the hotel, I was told they gave me a free room upgrade. I definitely didn’t book one of the nicer rooms, so I’m not sure how that happened. But I’ll take it!
I even ended up with one of the nicest rooms in the hotel – which was pretty nice, despite it being a Holiday Inn.
While I was only there four nights, Munich was actually where I stayed the longest. Still, with just four nights and so much to see, I had to act fast.
Best Things to Do in Munich: Munich Residenz, Munich Residenz Treasury, Marienplatz
The Munich Residence was my #1 thing to do when going to Munich, and I didn’t waste any time making it there.
The only stop I made before going to the Residence was to get breakfast. I was hoping to get breakfast at the hotel, but I couldn’t do it. The thing is, I actually booked my room using points.
This was my first time staying at a hotel in Europe, so I could be wrong, but I suspect booking with points is the reason breakfast was not included. I say this because I read a card on the wall that mentioned having to pay for breakfast if it isn’t included with your room.
In any case, they charge 18 Euro for breakfast, and there was no way I was paying that much! Sure, they were losing money on my stay, and I figure this is their way to “get me.” But 18 Euro for breakfast is highway robbery, and I wasn’t letting that happen.
So I ended up going somewhere that was kind of on the way to the Residence. This wasn’t planned ahead of time since I was hoping to just eat at the hotel, so I just found something on the map.
I found a place called Mr. Pancake and I didn’t necessarily expect it to be an American tourist place based on that name, but it absolutely is. Haha. I felt a little funny being there because I really wanted to experience more local cuisine, but it was okay. Like I said it wasn’t planned, so it was alright.
And this short video of the trails in the Englischer Garten (English Garden):
And yes, that was about all I did on the last day. I wanted to do more, but as I said, most things were closed by then.
I figured I may as well grab a few beers from the hotel bar. After all, my stay would have been a total loss for them otherwise – it was the least I could do, right!? At least that’s how I justified it.
And with that, my time in Munich had come to a close. It went by quick, but I did and saw quite a bit – even if there were things I had to skip.
Public Transportation – Best Way to Get Around
Getting around Munich is a breeze. The Munich U-Bahn and S-Bahn run very frequently with stops all over the city. Many routes overlap, meaning that even if you miss the train you wanted to catch, another one will also get you to your destination.
Despite Munich’s large size, I had no problem around getting around exclusively by foot and by train. Germany’s larger cities are clearly designed so that a car isn’t really a necessity.
In addition to Munich’s great public transit, this is also a highly bike-friendly city. As I mentioned in my post about Heidelberg, there are bike lanes on every street I came across.
The way it’s setup is each sidewalk has a divider. About two-thirds of it is for those on foot, and one-third is for bicyclists.
As in any city, many people still rely on cars. However, with Munich’s combination of trains, buses, and bike lanes, it’s hard to imagine anyone living within city limits would really need one.
Eating in Munich
I didn’t feel many of the things I ate were extremely aesthetically pleasing, so I guess I didn’t take many photos. Though you did see schnitzel above.
Other than that, I got a hamburger the first day I arrive along with a half liter of beer. It wasn’t terrible expensive, but not super cheap, either. I spent the equivalent of $18. (For the Americans who don’t feel like plugging that into a calculator, 🙂 a half liter is about 16.5 ounces.)
I also went to a Greek deli stand, which was pretty good. I didn’t keep track of the price but I believe it was between $12 and $15.
This was all still a bit expensive for me so I had to get a kabob the other day. That was only 7 Euro and yet, it was one of the best things I ate. Cheap wins!
Is Munich Worth Visiting? Yes!
Munich is definitely worth a visit. Some will argue in favor of smaller cities – and while Munich wasn’t necessarily my favorite overall (that will come later) – there is still a lot to love.
The food/beer, history, architecture, museums – and yes, even the lederhosen – make it a one-of-a-kind experience.
The only thing I really felt like I was missing by visiting in late March is that it was neither Oktoberfest, nor was it the season for the Christmas markets. I would seriously consider returning for at least one of those, even if I worry they may be absurdly crowded.
Overall, Munich, Germany is an amazing place to see, and I highly recommend it – especially if you were only considering Berlin.