That time we saw Munich in a day, and it wasn’t long enough
When I originally heard we were going to Munich, I was quite excited. I had been following Bayern München for over 5 years, and that was the extent of my knowledge in this city. By the way, Bayern München are the NY Yankees of the German football league, so if you like winners you should go with them.
We were staying in Kissing, in an old mansion that was converted into a hotel. While that was interesting, the décor looked like it hadn’t changed in over 50 years. Outside of that, Kissing was the most boring and uneventful town that I saw on that trip. The name was the only thing that stuck out. When we finally moved on to Munich, I was relived to be done with Kissing.
It took us a while to find parking in the city, but we found a spot that was a few blocks away from Krone.
Krone is a classic stage in Munich, and it has hosted many famous acts over its history. After snapping my picture of Krone, we headed to Marienplatz. The train systems in Europe make me angry to this day. Only because where I live, we are about 100 years behind many European cities. The ride to Marienplatz was quick, even though we initially went in the wrong direction.
Once we arrived, I felt like we were back in the stereotypical Germany that I had grown to love. Of course, the main attraction was the Glockenspiel, which is worth waiting for if you were 5 minutes off the top of the hour. I certainly wouldn’t wait a full hour to watch this one. Marienplatz is essentially the historic centre of Munich, and it has a lot of shopping throughout. We sat down for lunch (yet again), and I ordered weisswurst. It was disgusting. The only savior of the dish was the mustard that was served with it. At home, we always throw weisswurst on the barbecue. In Munich, they typically boil the sausage which makes it very soft. I guess the texture surprised and disgusted me. Next time I go, I will most likely go to one of the street vendors instead. They usually sell sausage and beer right next to each other for less than half the price of sitting down.
We didn’t spend a crazy amount of time around Marienplatz, but you could easily spend the afternoon there. I know I missed out on the Hofbräuhaus, which is the most generic German thing you could do. It’s like I went to Disneyland, and missed out on It’s A Small World. Who wouldn’t want to sit down with a litre beer and enjoy this place?
Anyways, the only thing I wanted to do in Marienplatz was find a Bayern jersey, and I ended up buying 2. I remember talking to the employee at the sport mart and trying my best to describe which jerseys I wanted. After about 30 seconds, he suggested talking in English, and immediately asked where we were from (he had guessed Canada). He ended up being very helpful and even suggest a name to put on the back of the second jersey.
Because we were only in Munich for less than a day, Peter made sure we got to see the English Gardens, which is the Central Park of Munich. I have been to Central Park, but I loved the English Gardens way more. I believe it is bigger than CP, and it had a ton of wide open spaces. I preferred this to the crammed feeling of being in New York.
We arrived on one side and trekked all the way to the Chinesicher Turm, a spot in the park that has been highlighted in various films and documentaries. Then I saw one of the weirdest things possible in a city park. There were a bunch of surfers lined up where water was being pumped into the stream, and they were surfing back and forth across a permanent wave that may have been 10ft in length.
The sign DID say that swimming was prohibited. I don’t remember it saying surfing was :p
The “turm” was an important stop because they served litre beers and had pretzels bigger than our heads. The beer might have been over 5 euro, but it was worth it. Throughout most of the year you can hear bands playing traditional music.
That was basically the extent of my half day in Munich, beer and jerseys. On the way back from the Chinesische Turm, we got a lift from of the many bikers offering their services. As you can see below, the litre beer had quite an effect on my mood.
There are a ton of places to see in Munich. If you are a museum fanatic, you should definitely spend some time there. More importantly, you should see a game in Allianz Arena (home to 2 teams), which seats over 70,000 people! The arena lights up in red when Bayern plays. Outside of that, you should visit the BMW museum and other exhibits they put on.
In terms of day trips, you can take so many depending on where you would want to go from Munich. Nearby is the Dachau concentration camp, which may be something you should experience at least once in your lifetime. Regensburg, Berchtesgaden (and Eagles Nest), Rothenburg, as well as many castles (Neuschwanstein), make great day trips as well.
From Munich, I would head west to Freiburg, northeast to Prague, or south into Italy. I can’t wait to go back.