Bavaria, the southeast federal state of Germany, is one of the most wealthy parts of the country to travel and live within. The previously-known Kingdom of Bavaria is famous for its own unique culture, the state’s Catholic majority, and Oktoberfest, a festival that attracts thousands of beer drinkers traveling to Germany during late September. For cheaper Bavarian experiences, there are several possible ways to cut down on your travel budget in the capital city of Munich:
Take a free walking tour
If you are alone, inexperienced with getting around a new city, and unfamiliar with the foreign country, I highly recommend taking a free walking tour, especially in the case of visiting Munich for the first time. Every early morning between 10.30 AM and 11 AM there are many guides with signs and umbrellas screaming ’Tour Guide’ dominating the Marienplatz - Mary’s Square. Sandemans New Europe organizes many walking tours in multiple languages but I went for the ‘InMunich Tour’ as it’s ran by a smaller association, making the tour less commercial and enabling the guide to have closer interaction with participants. By only paying a little pocket money as a tip for the guide, you will be shown some of the most major attractions and hidden corners around the city center and given suggestions on how to eat and drink around Munich, along with a free city map. Your guide will answer any related questions and the tour lasts for approximately three hours.
Sightseeing around the Old Town
After taking the free tour, be confident now that you know the city a bit better and explore it on your own. Get lost in the expensive shopping streets, a random music shop, or FC Bayern Munich souvenir store on a narrow old street corner. Munich has a lot more to offer than just the New Town Hall and Old Town Hall surrounding the main central square. There are lots of secret statues (e.g. Juliet Statue, Boar Statue) and avenues (e.g. Maximilianstraße, Prinzregentenstraße) waiting for you to explore.
Drink a beer in a brewery (Augustiner) or beer hall (Hofbräuhaus)
Don’t be surprised to see the least sober foreigners in Munich during Oktoberfest, as many tourists come here to experience the beer culture, emerging from some of the world’s most famous beer halls and breweries. Hofbräuhaus is one of the most popular beer breweries that can hold up to 2,500 guests in the large beer hall with live music, excellent service, and a thrilling atmosphere.
Visit a palace (recommended: Nymphenburg)
There is not only the famous fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, along with its mysterious legends of King Ludwig II, but also many other worthwhile castles and palaces in Munich. Some of the most highlighted ones are the Royal Residenz in the city center and the Schloss Nymphenburg - a Baroque palace (about 20 minutes away by public transport). Strolling around the calm and green surroundings is a relaxing and free way to keep yourself away from the busy Munich central area for a while.
Visit a Museum (recommended: BMW)
If you are an adventurous speed-lover, a must-do is to visit the BMW Museum. This fantastic car museum is home to the latest mobile BMW models and technology. Here you will be fascinated by the smallest delicate features of a wide range of cars and motorcycles - from old vehicles to sleek Rolls-Royce exhibitions. An unbelievable fact is that it costs nothing to visit the BMW Museum. Yes, you have heard it right: the admission price is free! It’s even possible to go for a trial ride within a limited time.
Visit a church (recommended: St. Peter’s church)
Visiting a Catholic church in Munich is a must-do to experience the dominating religious scene in the city. Churches in Munich can be visited for free, of which some remarkable ones are the Frauenkirche, with its two famous twin towers dominating the Bavarian skyline, Michaeliskirche, the largest Renaissance church in the Northern Alps, and Peterskirche, the oldest church of Munich. There are lots of tales and stories associated with churches, including some related to devils, the fairytale king Ludwig II, and magical spirits. It’s also completely free to climb up the 306 steps of St. Peter’s Church tower for a stunning panoramic view of Munich.
Chill at a beer garden
A cheaper and more casual way to enjoy your beer with other young people is often drinking outdoors at a beer garden. Bring your own food, bought from an open market stand or supermarket, as it is allowed, and buy only beers to drink here for cheaper prices. The English Garden is probably one of the most popular beer garden and recreational areas for both locals and visitors to grab a drink and chill on the grass under the sunshine
Other budget-saving hacks
Eating on a fairly low budget around Munich is also possible if you are a meat eater. There are lots of street market stands and stores that specialise in all sorts of wurst (sausages) and meat products. Grabbing a quick bratwurst (sausage in bread) or pommes frites (fries) portion for lunch is a common and convenient thing in Germany. From Munich, it’s also cheap and quick to travel by Flixbus or train to nearby cities, such as Augsburg, or Salzburg and Innsbruck in Austria for less than 9 EUR / 10 USD. Plan your budget well and enjoy Bavaria without spending much!
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