10 Fun Things to Do In Munich Off The Beaten Path

Travel

Explore Munich off the beaten path at the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art.

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.

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What to Expect Visiting Munich in Winter

Travel

Hirschgarten's Biergarten in snow in Munich, Germany.

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.

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Sightseeing Guide to Munich’s Churches

Travel

Exterior details of the Theatinerkirche in Munich, Germany.

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.

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Munich from Above: Neues Rathaus Observation Deck

Travel

The view of the Frauenkirche from Munich's Neues Rathaus tower observation deck.

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.

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Post by . Originally published April 30, 2018. Last updated July 2, 2019.

Winter Beer Festival Fun at Munich’s Starkbierfest

Food, Travel

The band Die Kirchdorfer perform at Starkbierfest at Paulaner am Nockherberg in Munich, Germany.

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!

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Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express Munich City West

Reviews, Travel

A peak inside the double room at the Holiday Inn Express Munich City West.

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.

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Touring the Hamburg Harbor in Germany

Travel

Cranes at Terminal Burchardkai in Hamburg Harbor, Germany.

The Port of Hamburg in Germany plays such a central part in the city’s history and identity. Today, the city is modern, urban and cool with a diverse population and an equally unique culture. But you can’t avoid the waterfront that’s so central to Hamburg.

There are no shortage of cruises around and through the city. The city cruise I took was one of my favorite things I did in Hamburg during my visit. It was fun and informative. But it isn’t just the historic Speicherstadt, a huge and complex series of warehouses, or the countless hangouts and pretty buildings along the waterfront. The Port of Hamburg will impress with its mix of engineering, mechanics, ingenuity and scale. Hey, this is Germany after all.

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12 German Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Germanophile

Travel

Searching for a gift for a discerning lover of Germany? I have just the gift guide for you! Here's 12 German gift ideas for your favorite Germanophile! #germany #travel #giftguide

Germany is known for its engineering but most of us can’t realistically gift our friends and family a German made automobile. But if you’re searching for a gift for a special and discerning lover of Germany, then I’ve got just the gift guide for you! I’ve gathered together twelve German gift ideas from food to clothing to entertainment. All of these ideas are personal picks that I can vouch for. Regardless of whether your German-loving friend or family member has been to Germany or not, they will feel like they have been with any of these great gifts.

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Get to Know Nuremberg Red Beer (Rotbier)

Food, Travel

Get a taste of Nuremberg Red Beer, or Rotbier, at Hausbrauerei Altstadthof.

Nuremberg, Germany is a city with a rich history and lots of traditions. The city is in Franconia, the northern region of Bavaria was a major medieval city and was home to artist and inventor Albrecht Dürer. Big brother Munich is in the south and casts a shadow that’s hard to escape. While Munich might be thought of as the Bavarian Beer Capital, Nuremberg has something to offer in that respect as well: Nuremberg Red Beer or Rotbier. But what is Nuremberg Red Beer? I decided to find out.

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Post by . Originally published November 15, 2017. Last updated March 3, 2019.

6 Fun Things to Do in Hamburg, Germany

Travel

The waterfront in Hamburg, Germany.

There’s nothing better than being proved wrong on your preconceived notions. For me, case in point is Hamburg, Germany. Full of history, culture and an urban lifestyle, Hamburg is everything I didn’t know it is. My former German tutor had constantly told me how nice of a city it was and how I should visit. I always wanted to visit. It simply wasn’t a priority. So when, on our last trip to Germany, my husband and I decided to head north and meet up with friends, Hamburg seemed like the ideal spot.

Almost from the moment we arrived, Hamburg showed me what a modern, urban and young city it is with lots of things to see and do. Here are six fun things you need to do the next time you visit Hamburg, Germany!

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Post by . Originally published October 30, 2017. Last updated February 10, 2018.

10 Munich Biergarten & Wirtshaus for Bavarian Food

Food, Travel

A giant pretzel, beer and Johanisbeer Shorle at Munich's Chinesischer Turm in Englischer Garten.

As soon as there is the slightest hint of warm or nice weather, Biergarten across Bavaria will start popping up. Those long wooden tables and large umbrellas will begin to be set up. But even in the colder months or bad weather you can always turn to your favorite Wirtshaus, or pub. Many of these restaurants serve local Bavarian food in addition to the friendly, joyful and fun atmosphere. I want to share some of my favorite Munich Biergarten and Wirtshaus. Plus I want to make sure you know all the ins and outs you’ll need to know for your next meal!

Here are 10 great Munich Biergarten and Wirtshaus for Bavarian food!

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6 Delicious Munich Bakeries & Pastry Shops

Food, Travel

Violetta cake at Maelu in Munich, Germany.

The Austrians might have invented the croissant, the French are considered masters of pastry and the Italians are the gods of gelato. But German baked goods shouldn’t be overlooked — or underestimated. And I’m not talking about bread. Well, not just bread. The Germans do cakes and pastries to make your mouth water. Munich, in particular, has some delicious specialties that you shouldn’t pass up. On your next visit to the Bavarian capital city check out these favorite Munich bakeries and pastry shops! They’ll have you saying “Mmm, lecker!”

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Post by . Originally published September 27, 2017. Last updated July 8, 2018.