When you hear people mention the city of Munich, they often mention one of the most famous festivals in the world, Oktoberfest. While it’s a great festival, there is much more to Munich than just beer and sausages. A plethora of gilded palaces, stunning parks, and a bustling city center provide great opportunities to enjoy this well preserved, modern German city set amidst the backdrop of the spectacular Bavarian Alps.
Munich’s city center is beautifully preserved and very lively. Locals and tourists alike walk amongst historical buildings such as the New City Hall (Neues Rathaus) to catch the popular glockenspiel music show at the top of the building, or admire the elegant twin towers of Munich’s Frauenkirche, otherwise known as the Cathedral of Our Dear Lady.
A great tradition that happens every Saturday morning is a farmer’s market on Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, which features a tremendous amount of freshly made sausages, cheeses, salamis, frankfurters, kielbasas, breads, sweets, and, of course, beers! It is a jam-packed event, so finding a seat can sometimes be difficult, but there are high-top tables set up as well, for those who just want a quick, fresh meal. Did we mention that Marienplatz and the glockenspiel show are free?
There is a tourist information desk found in the square, and it has free Wi-Fi for everyone. There is a fantastic sweets shop across the street from Marienplatz called Café Rischart, which has freshly baked pastries, breads, chocolates, cakes, and coffee+tea. Perfect for those looking for a place to rest.
Once you finish exploring the many great shops and buildings in Marienplatz, head over to the immense, brilliantly green English Garden, one of the biggest public parks in the world. The English Garden is a perfect get-away trip right in the middle of a bustling city. It offers lush greenery, a tremendous amount of space to walk, jog, and bike, and gives families the chance to have picnics and breathe healthy, fresh air, surrounded by trees, ponds, and, yes, even outdoor beer gardens.
The great thing about this beautiful park is that it doesn’t just include nature. It also has some very interesting architecture, specifically a Japanese Tea House, where you can observe a Japanese tea ceremony, a Greek-style hilltop temple called Monopteros, and the impressive Chinese Tower.There are two large outdoor beer gardens, and they offer a delicious variety of fresh foods, including a traditional stew, potato dumplings, potato fries, sausages, breads, pretzels, and beers.
Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
At last, we come to the beer halls. No other European city compares to Munich when it comes to its beer halls. The most famous one, where a former American President, JFK, once sipped on a lager, is the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, a traditional, cavernous, 400 year old hall filled with the smell of beer and the sound of traditional German polka music. It can be difficult to find a table, because this hall is very popular among tourists and long-term patrons, but once you’re seated, you can admire the beautiful, ornate ceilings, the long wooden tables and benches, the lively atmosphere, the giant mugs of light and dark beer, and a variety of soups and meals.
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Bewildering Bavarian Beauty
These are just some of the things you can do in Munich. There are two palaces within the city area, namely the Residenz and Nymphenburg. However, if you only need to see one palace, Munich can also be a great stopover on the way to Neuschwanstein Palace. Truly, Munich is great as a cultural and historic destination, with a lot to offer for foodies and for those who love great architecture. It certainly has a lot of activities and points of interests for everyone.
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