Beaches and Mountains: Exploring Munich

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Despite having spent over a month a year in Germany when I was younger, I don’t recall ever visiting Munich, so I was quite excited to see what all the fuss was about since I’ve heard so many great things about it.

As usual I don’t put nearly as much effort into city trip reports as I do the flight trip reports, because I’m just not all that good at describing them and I’m not one to take notes when traveling. There are tons of great city guides out there, so my focus is just on describing my general impressions.

That being said, Munich quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world, and I’m actually almost tempted to move there (or Berchtesgaden).

Where do we start? For one, the people are incredibly friendly. Having partly grown up in the Frankfurt area, I certainly wasn’t used to the level of hospitality and friendliness that is present in Bavaria.

Second, the sites are stunning. Munich has lots of history and “older” sites, but also modern shopping, beautiful street cafes and markets, and even some beautiful parks. My favorite thing about the German “lifestyle” (or what I associate most closely to Germany) is sitting in a street cafe in a pedestrian zone on a sunny afternoon. Yes, admittedly I avoid Germany in the winter!

I love Frankfurt as well, though it doesn’t have nearly as relaxing of a vibe or the charm of Munich.

We had one full day in Munich and saw as much as we could. We left the hotel at 8AM and walked all around the city, starting in Marienplatz (the old town) and making the rounds from there. As usual we stopped along the way to eat everything imaginable.

I’ll leave y’all with a few pictures, though again, can’t say enough good things about Munich. If you haven’t been you absolutely must.

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  1. I am glad you had a good time. I actually do not mind Europe in the winter, as it is not as crowded and there are usually some pretty good deals getting there.

  2. Interestingly, Munich actually doesn’t have that many old sites. Mainly because the British blew them up in WWII. (‘Schultigung, chaps.) The Rathaus, for example? Rebuilt.

    I like it better than, say, Köln, which has a lovely Cathedral surrounded by miserable 50s/60s buildings. See also: London.

  3. What is there to love about Frankfurt? The people are rude. Complete lack of service in any form. It was so severely bombed during WWII, there is hardly anything of historic importance (except Altstadt). This is a provincial city that is active M-F, but half asleep Sat and Sun. I would pick Hamburg over Frankfurt or Munchen any day of the week. Or if in Hessen, why not go to Marburg instead.

  4. @ Chaos — I suspect I’m just mildly biased and it’s a function of what I’m used to. German culture is so different than US culture, that going to just about any German city is fun. I love the US, but Germany is so much more relaxing and laid back in just about every aspect. Being “used” to Frankfurt, I still have a great time when I go there. Not just in the city itself, but in Mainz, canoeing down the Rhine, etc.

  5. I agree, Munich is a nice city indeed. But to add some more spice to the traditional german rivalry between north and south: consider spending some time in Hamburg. If you find Munich relaxing and charming, well, there are cities, that are even better in that 😉

  6. +1 on Hamburg. Very underrated. It was a revelation. But we did visit in July. Winter might be another story.

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