For some reason, despite repeatedly staying at a hotel only a few short blocks from Munich‘s Schloss Nymphenburg, I never made time to visit the Munich Botanical Garden. It’s only a short walk along a gravel path north of the palace park. Only a quiet wooded area separates them. The nearly 53 acre botanical garden features lots of varied gardens as well as a greenhouse of more than an acre. There’s so much to explore that you could get lost in a maze of rhododendrons. Well, “lost.” The Munich Botanical Garden is so pleasant that you likely wouldn’t mind. It only took a single visit for me to realize this is a special spot in the city.
Some of Munich‘s most impressive charms can be enjoyed free of charge. Marienplatz, Viktualienmarkt, Englischer Garten, Karlsplatz, Odeonsplatz — some of the most pleasant and notable spots in the city are available for everyone to enjoy. Mere blocks from that downtown area sit two impressive structures overlooking the Isar River: the Friedensengel (Angel of Peace) and the Maximilianeum.
King Ludwig II left quite the legacy. Only 40 years old when he died, he has earned nicknames like the Fairy King and Mad King Ludwig. He was known for being eccentric. He constructed massive palaces in Germany like Neuschwanstein, a beautiful but somewhat strange castle given its opera-themed concept. King Ludwig II also commissioned Herrenchiemsee, a new palace on an island in the Chiemsee, a lake known fondly as the “Bavarian Sea.”
I recently visited the Herrenchiemsee as well as the neighboring island, the Fraueninsel. The islands are almost thought of as a single entity but are staggeringly different. The Fraueninsel is a single island that’s home to a sleepy, small Bavarian town. The Herrenchiemsee, on the other hand, is the site of royal opulence set amidst a beautiful natural woodland.
In so many ways Nuremberg’s Germanisches Nationalmuseum, or German National Museum, is reflective of modern Germany. It’s a blending of the old and the new. The antique and the modern. And they are blended in a way that the past is never forgotten. The present is always moving on. Moving forward.
It’s a feeling that hits you from your first moments inside the museum and you see a work of art titled “Hauptstadt.” Created in 1993-1994 by Raffael Rheinsberg, the work is a collection of street signs from the German Democratic Republic. Rheinsberg collected the signs after the fall of the wall before they disappeared. Some are in good condition, others show signs of wear or graffiti. But all are a reflection of where they were from: East Germany.
Located just along the edge of Nuremberg’s historic city center, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum houses the largest collection of “cultural history” in the German-speaking world.
Munich is full of culture. It’s seemingly everywhere you look. The city is home to many top-rate museums. But as evidenced by two visits in a single week, the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum) is my new favorite. The museum is full of beautiful objects of all kinds. Some are works of art, others are tools of technology and still others are everyday objects. I want to share why you simply shouldn’t miss the museum.
While no one could accuse Munich of being too urban, it just takes a short trip to the suburbs to really get a taste of Bavaria. The small, sleepy village of Aying comes alive quite quickly. That’s thanks in large part to Ayinger Beer, the town’s brewery, and the beer brand’s restaurant and Biergarten. The charming town is well worth a visit — whether it’s merely a trip out from Munich for a meal and a drink or for an overnight adventure. I’ve put together my guide to Aying, Germany to share my favorites.
When we decided to meet up with my lovely German pen pal/friend on our last trip to Germany, a visit to Neuschwanstein seemed a natural choice. Somehow the famous castle that is seemingly on the top of every tourist’s Must See List just wasn’t a priority for me. Until last year. While Neuschwanstein Castle can be quite a hike to get to it is one of Germany’s most popular and recognizable tourist attractions. If you want to know how desirable the castle is, just ask Walt Disney. Neuschwanstein is the model and inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle. If you have the opportunity, it really is an absolute Must See. A visit makes a great day trip from Munich. But there is more to explore in the area than just Neuschwanstein!
It can be difficult knowing where to eat, what to see and where to go when traveling to a new city. Munich is such a large city with so many world-class attractions that it can be difficult to focus. For that reason, I wanted to put together a list of some of my Munich tips: favorite places to eat, things to do, and places to see in the Bavarian capital. I have included links to places I have already blogged about and descriptions for places I haven’t. Now on to my Munich tips!
In southern Munich, Germany, the Theresienwiese is perhaps most famous for playing home every year to Oktoberfest. But on the edge of this large festival area, a woman stands watch. Nearly 61-feet tall, she wears a classically draped Grecian gown. A lion sits loyally at her side while her left arm is outstretched with a wreath of oak leaves. She represents Bavaria, the southeastern state of Germany. It would be easy to draw comparisons to another famous female: the Statue of Liberty. But the Bavaria statue, as she is called, is older. And Lady Bavaria has a bit of a secret that makes a visit to see her a fun Munich sightseeing attraction!
Readers of the blog (Hi, Mom!) may think that FC Bayern Erlebniswelt sounds a little familiar. And they would be correct! I immediately added the museum for the German soccer/football/Fussball team to my Must See List after hearing about it a few years ago. It was one of the first stops we made on our recent trip to the Bavarian capital city Munich! If you’re a fan of the team or the Bundesliga, you will definitely want to make the pilgrimage.
Prepare to be in awe of the historic paintings, priceless jewels, and lavish decor on display at the Munich Residenz. Visiting the Residenz Palace in downtown Munich, Germany involves a lot of commitment. Put on your most comfortable walking shoes, clear your calendar for the entire day and eat a large, filling breakfast because you’re going to need it. Please do not consider this advice. It is a necessity. It can seem impossible to see all that the Residenz has to offer, or even part. But it sure is a fun challenge!
Years ago when I first found out about the Königssee, one of the many lakes in Bavaria, and the Saint Bartholomew Church, a pilgrimage church perched on the edge of the lake beneath the German Alps, I was awestruck.
A friend summed it up more succinctly: it looked fake. And he is not wrong. The photos of the lake, the church, the German Alps hovering overhead: it all looked too perfect, too picturesque, too ideal. Of course, I had to see it for myself. Live, up close, and in person. So my husband and I traveled from Munich to the Königssee to visit the lake and Berchtesgaden National Park, which surrounds the lake. While it isn’t fake, it sure feels surreal. It’s spectacularly beautiful whether you’re looking to hike, enjoy the outdoors or simply explore.