I wish someone had told me these things before traveling to Germany for the first time. My husband (who was then my fiance) and I went armed only with our high school German knowledge, an envelope full of Euros and a positive attitude. But our good attitude only went so far as we spent two weeks in Berlin. It was rough. Since then, we’ve been back to Munich almost a half dozen times and we’ve become a bit of a well-oiled machine. Here are my best tips for things to know before traveling to Germany for the first time. Even repeat visitors might find something of interest.
The Tegernsee is just one of the many lakes in the German state of Bavaria. But there’s so much that makes this specific lake special and worth visiting. I had a chance to visit the town of Tegernsee for a winter afternoon day trip from Munich. It’s the kind of charming lakeside getaway you expect in Bavaria, with a small town feel that’s electrified by small shops and restaurants while the Alps provide a beautiful backdrop.
Mozart, Salieri, and Metastasio are just of the few distinguished names in the history of music who debuted world premieres on the stage of the Cuvilliés Theatre at Munich’s Residenz. The one-time court theater has provided a home for entertainment for more than 250 years and it continues to do so to this very day. Whether your interests lie in the lavish interior, the history within the walls or just the arts in general, you can visit the Cuvilliés Theatre and experience it all in person.
If you thought the riches of Munich, Germany are to be found in a Biergarten then you haven’t yet visited the city’s Treasury or Schatzkammer. The city’s gold isn’t just in liquid form! Housed in downtown Munich within the walls of the massive Munich Residenz compound, you can find priceless items that belonged to the kings and queens of Bavaria. These artful objects range from incredible jewels to masterfully crafted pieces.
Munich is one of Germany’s most visited cities. And if you ask any traveler to Munich what they’re anxious to see, they’ll tell you Oktoberfest, Marienplatz, Englischer Garten and so on. But there’s so much to explore and experience in this cosmopolitan city that feels like a village. From lesser known museums to meals and shopping, here are ten fun (and unique!) things to do in Munich off the beaten path.
Known for Oktoberfest and festive Biergartens, you might not think of visiting Munich, Germany in winter. But with airfares and hotels offering cheaper off-season rates and smaller crowds, you may want to consider a wintertime visit. On my latest Munich adventure in late March, I didn’t know what exactly would be awaiting me. Here’s an overview of what you can expect (and not expect) when visiting Munich in winter.
Munich‘s churches and cathedrals are a popular spot and not just for the pious. Tourists flock to the city’s houses of worship to admire the architecture, the art, the history and maybe to reflect for a few solemn moments. Munich’s churches range from the massive and iconic to the small and hidden away. Some are modest and others are spectacularly indulgent. Even if you’re only in the city for a short time, some of Munich’s churches should be apart of your itinerary. I’ve put together a guide for visiting six of Munich’s most notable churches in the downtown area.
Part of Munich‘s charm and beauty is its skyline and from an observation deck in the Neues Rathaus (the new city hall) you can get an incredible view right in the heart of Marienplatz. The observation deck is not widely advertised, especially in English. Because of this most people aren’t even aware of its existence. From several open air balconies at the top of the Neues Rathaus you can take in views from the Frauenkirche, Alter Peter and, if the weather is good, the Alps will highlight the background. You could even pretend you’re part of FC Bayern celebrating your victories. It’s a quick visit that offers stunning views and worth the stop on your visit to Munich.
No doubt you’re familiar with Oktoberfest, but what about Starkbierfest? Across Munich, Germany in February and March the breweries hold Starkbierfest, or strong beer festivals, that resemble Oktoberfest. But unlike Oktoberfest they are on a smaller scale and with fewer tourists. The German beer festival is Oktoberfest’s little brother and features beers special to the Starkbier season. I went to Paulaner’s Nockherberg for the brewery’s Starkbierfest and it was a blast!
If you’re searching for a comfortable, affordable hotel in Munich, Germany that is just outside the downtown area, the Holiday Inn Express Munich City West, Munich is worth checking out. I recently spent a week staying at the hotel with my husband. From its convenient location a stone’s throw from public transportation to its inclusive breakfast buffet, it just might be my new Munich go-to hotel.