I asked on Instagram story polls during the week if there would be an interest in a Munich travel blog post and the YES vote won by a landslide, so here it is! Our January trip to Germany was the first of many 2018 adventures so if you find this post interesting and useful, do let me know and I’ll try to do the same for all of our trips this year!
We flew with Ryanair from Dublin to Munich, with flights working out as roughly €41 return each (I booked the flights during one of the flash European sales back in November so I’d definitely recommend keeping an eye out for those every month or so!). We opted for the early flight (08.40 from Dublin) in order to get the most out of our few days but there was also the option to fly out at around 16.30 that afternoon. The flight itself was of a 2 hr 15 min duration and once we landed, getting from the airport to the city centre was very straightforward. Trains operate from within the airport very frequently and the journey to Munich Haupt Bahnhof was a comfortable 45 mins, costing us approx. €10 each (single ticket).
Where To Stay…
Our accommodation of choice was Drei Loewen, a 4* hotel located on Schillerstrasse in the city centre, which we reserved through Booking.com. Approximately 1km from most of the main historical buildings and just a 3 minute stroll from the main train station, it was perfectly situated. The room was spacious, extremely clean and soundproofed, complete with a large double bed and rainforest shower in the bathroom. My only complaint in this regard would be how warm the room was at night time (despite having the AC turned on). Our 3 night stay came in at a very affordable €230 (this didn’t include breakfast). When booking, there was the option to include breakfast for an additional €30 but we decided to go without, trying out some of the local cafes instead.
Day 1 – Familiarisation…
After landing that morning, we checked into our hotel and headed out for a stroll, to familiarise ourselves with the city. We visited Marienplatz (pictured), a central square in the heart of Munich city, home to the new and old Rathaus (city hall) and Karlsplatz, where many of the shops are situated. Frauenkirche (the two identical towers), often considered the symbol of Munich, can be seen in the background of the first photo. Our first taste of Munich’s cuisine was lunch at Ruff’s Burger on Occamstrasse, which was the perfect snack until dinner later that evening at City Lounge, an Italian restaurant 5 minutes from our hotel. To finish the night off, we found a gorgeous bar called The Boilerman, upstairs in the Royal Bavarian Hotel. They pride themselves on creating their signature ‘highball’ cocktails along with local German beers and table service was offered for a small fee. The atmosphere here was really chilled (so much so that we returned the next night!).
Day 2 – Pancakes, Art, History & A Spot Of Shopping…
We set out early on Day 2 after a fabulous sleep, our first stop of the day being Mr. Pancake for breakfast. Located in Maxvorstadt, they served the tastiest pancakes I’ve ever had, with various sweet and savory toppings to choose from plus some damn good coffee! After a decent feed, we continued on to Lenbachhaus, a wonderful art gallery. Admission was €12 for adults, €6 for students and included entry to an exclusive Gabrielle Munter exhibition in the subway across the street. Next, we visited the Munich War Museum, about a 5 minute walk from the gallery. Entry here was €5 each and included an audio guide to use as you walked around. We spent about 2 hours here and learned a great deal about Munich pre, during and post WWII. The museum itself is built on the grounds of Hitler’s former residence, which is now a college. Many of the museums and galleries are conveniently located in and around this area which is ideal if you want to dedicate a whole day to art and history.
After this, we headed to a traditional German eatery, Steinheil 16, for lunch. They’re known for serving typically Bavarian dishes such as Schnitzel and Currywurst, which made for a satisfying meal at a good price – I’d recommend if it’s your first time in Germany and you’re eager to sample the local cuisine! Another stroll lead us back to the Karlsplatz area, where many highstreet names such as Zara, H&M, and Topshop are located. As it was still early January, the sales were still in full swings and I picked up a few bargains. I also ventured into Sephora (how could I not!) which can be found upstairs in Galeria Kaufhof, a department store similar to Brown Thomas. Dinner was Italian 2.0, this time at Ristorante Ca’ D’ Oro, followed by some more drinks at The Boilerman before heading back to our hotel for the night.
Day 3 – Munich Residenz, Englischer Garten and burger heaven…
On our third day, we had a little lie in and then headed to the Residenz area, home to the former royal palace (the largest in Germany) of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria and the Englischer Garten, Europe’s largest city park. This district in particular was gorgeous to walk around, with so much beautiful architecture on show, the vast Hofgarten now housing the Bavarian State Chancellery. As the Englischer Garten is so massive, spanning 910 acres, we couldn’t possibly cover it all but we did see the Monopteros (a Greek style temple) and the Chinese Tower, next to which we had lunch before taking a different path and returning to the city centre. As it was our last full night in Munich, we wanted to try somewhere with super ratings for dinner/drinks, so we chose Mariannenhof Augustiner Bar in Altstadt-Lehel, a very popular spot during Oktoberfest. The food here was exceptional, 100% living up to its #4 TripAdvisor rating out of all the restaurants in Munich! There was some traditional dishes on offer as well as burgers, ribs, pasta dishes, and their signature Bier-colada (a mix of Helles beer and pineapple) which was waaay too easy to drink!). This was my favourite meal from the entire trip and I’d totally recommend you visit during your trip, you won’t be disappointed.
Day 4 – Dachau Concentration Camp…
On our last day, we headed to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, located 16km from Munich city. It was very easy to get there, taking the S2 train from Munich Bahnhof towards Petershausen, a 20 minute journey. We then took the 726 bus from outside Dachau train station, dropping us right outside the memorial site. The site itself was the first of its kind to be set up, operating for 12 years, resulting in 4,000 deaths, most of which were political figures. The memorial site, in my opinion, was build with utmost respect for those who suffered/died there, incredibly educating without turning it into a tacky attraction. Many of the original buildings such as the gas chamber and crematorium are still intact and were very chilling to walk around. I’d highly recommend visiting if you have any interest in history, WWII or the Holocaust – it was an experience we’ll never forget.
After leaving Dachau and returning to Munich city, we had one last lunch in La Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant in the Isator district, a simple set up to Boojum here at home. After that, we headed back to our hotel to collect the luggage (we checked out before leaving for Dachau and they kindly stored our bags free of charge) and catch the train back to the airport. One tip I’ll give for flying out of Munich airport is to eat before going through security – the departure gates are each assigned a tiny duty-free/lounge area rather than a large shared one, which meant there was only one place to get food, that tasted disgusting and was very overpriced for that matter. However, there is a decent choice of restaurants/snack stalls in the main airport so in future, we’d definitely eat there beforehand.
A final few tips for visiting Munich..
- Don’t bother with heels – Many of the streets are cobbled, it’s just not worth it!
- Visit DM Drogerie and Muller for great cosmetic bargains – These two pharmacy chains stock loads of brands such as Catrice, Nivea and Garnier with 60-70% off prices at home (I picked up about 7 face masks between the two of them!).
- Walk whenever possible – With the U-Bahn and S-Bahn being so efficient and close by, it would have been so simple to get public transport everywhere but by walking instead, I feel we saw far more of the city.
- Check the weather forecast in advance – This may sound like an obvious one but the weather can differ greatly from month to month in Germany (it was dry but extremely cold for us, where 5 degrees felt like -5).
I hope you found this post useful if you’re planning a trip to Munich or inspiring if you’re looking for some city break ideas. Feel free to contact me via Instagram should you have any questions or need more recommendations. Munich is honestly such a beautiful, affordable city, that little bit unique in comparison to the usual go-to Amsterdam and Prague.