I think I fell in love with Munich the moment I stepped off the plane.
Between its proximity to the Alps, being steeped in history and full of gorgeous architecture, it immediately felt like home. By then, some time has passed since we’ve been to Europe and I forgot how much I’ve missed it. The architecture, the food, the way of life.
While similar, it’s so different from the every day grind of life in North America. Munich is so full of life, yet it’s very laid back. It dates back to 12th century and it’s Germany’s third largest city after Berlin and Hamburg. And if you’re really curious, the name Munich derives from the medieval German word “Munichen” – meaning “by the monks” who ran a monastery in what is now Old Town of Munich.
As the capital of Bavaria and the home of Oktoberfest, Munich is a place where you can really experience the beer culture. Beer, after all, was proclaimed as “liquid bread’ in the Bavarian constitution. Tourists and locals alike frequent the beer halls and gardens, eat giant pretzels with ubiquitous sausages and pork knuckles. You can even score your own stein locker at the local beer hall. I’m not sure what you need to do to have one, but the fact that you do is amazing.
And there is so much more to Munich. I didn’t have time to visit all the amazing museums, shops and restaurants, but walking the streets was an experience in itself. I could just stand in amazement in one place for hours. I was fascinated by the architecture all around me, the buildings that could tell stories we can’t even imagine.
As probably every other person who comes here, I absolutely loved the area around the Marienplatz. It truly is the centre of Munich. The Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) absolutely took my breath away. Although it was built between 1867 and 1908, it looks like something out of a Gothic novel. It looks one way when it’s sunny, transforms at night and takes your breath away when dusted with snow. I probably took a hundred pictures of this one place alone.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spend in a city, taking a bus tour is a fantastic way to see the place and get a run down from the guide on where things are and what they are. On a clear, sunny day you can sit on the upper level of the bus with the whole city at your fingertips. In Munch, this is a must.
There are many fantastic road trips you can take from Munich, including the gorgeous Neuschwanstein castle. But that’s another post!