A winter weekend in Munich
Munich is the third largest city in Germany and is situated on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. It is most famous for its annual Oktoberfest, the worlds biggest beer festival and funfair. However, it is not only the beer that attracts the crowds. Munich is a city rich in art, culture, technology and tourism, with many museums and art galleries to delve into. The weather in the summer is warm and pleasant, but we found ourselves visiting in the depths of winter after a ski trip in Austria. With fewer people to compete with and snow flurries dusting the city a pretty white, Munich in the winter is a great time to go.
We stayed at the Euro Youth Hostel (click here for details), which was just around the corner from the main central train station. This was good as I was lugging my full ski equipment with me. We decided to book a private room instead of a dorm. I really loved this hostel. The rooms were very clean and well decorated, and downstairs there was a fantastic bar with an amazing atmosphere and cheap drinks deals. It was my boyfriends birthday so the bar manager was very generous and gave us free shots and drinks. I definitely recommend this hostel as a budget option for a weekend in Munich.
The first morning we made our way to the Glyptothek Museum. Munich is brimming with museums and we choose this one as it seemed a bit different. It is the only museum in the world solely comprising of ancient sculptures, boasting an impressive array of Roman and Greek artefacts.
Tip: Many of Munich’s top museums charge only €1 for entry on Sundays
We then walked towards the centre of the city to explore the Old Town. Marienplatz is the central square and social hub of the city. The northern part of the square is dominated by the Gothic Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) which homes the Munich city government. We also stopped by the red-roofed Frauenkirche, Munich’s iconic cathedral.
Beer, beer and more beer. And pretzels.
After a few happy hour drinks at the hostel, we set off to the Augustiner Keller for dinner. The Augustiner Keller is a traditional beer hall and garden that opened in 1812. The beer is served directly out of wooden barrels and they serve up authentic Bavarian food. As it was winter we sat inside the huge beer hall, with long wooden tables stretching the length of the building. It was absolutely fantastic. We ordered an obligatory stein of beer each and chowed down on some salted pretzels while taking in the magnificence of the hall. The food was excellent, a real taste of Bavaria. This was my favourite experience of our weekend in Munich.
It was a slightly slow start to the day thanks to the steins of beer from the night before. The first stop was a trip back to Marienplatz, this time to climb the bell tower of St. Peters Church. Dragging ourselves up 306 steps on a narrow staircase was certainly one way to sweat out the hangover, and the view from the top was well worth it. From here you can look down on the square and out over the rest of the city.
Just next to the church is the Viktualienmarkt, where we decided to get some lunch. This outdoor market is the largest of its kind in Munich and is stocked full of tasty Bavarian treats. After much consideration, we went for the classic Münchner weißwurst (Munich boiled white sausage) in a crusty roll with sweet mustard. Perfection.
Note: In the summer there is a beer garden in the market. The market is closed on Sundays (we went on a Monday).
A super unique sight that you have to witness is the surfers in the Englischer Garten. A bar built on the river bed has created a manmade wave, which allows experienced surfers to ride there. Being the middle of winter with the temperature barely above freezing, we weren’t expecting anyone to be there. However, when we peered over the bridge there they all were! It’s a fantastic sight.
We wandered around other parts of the Englischer Garten, which is one of the worlds largest urban parks. Within the grounds there is a Japanese tea house, Chinese tower and Greek-style temple, the Monopteros to check out.
That evening we strolled through the Maxvorstadt district, a student-dominated area with many bars and restaurants on offer. We choose the German burger chain, The Burger House (click here for more details), for dinner, which was excellent and a great way to end our winter weekend in Munich.
Thanks for reading! Have you been to Munich? What other sights or attractions did you see? Please leave a comment below!