My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
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My Munich Favourites

What images conjure up in your mind when you think of Munich? Let me guess – you think of the world-famous Oktoberfest, the traditional lederhosen and dirndls, beer steins, sausages and pretzels. Okay, yes you are right, but of course, there is so much more. Munich, or in German München, is the largest and the capital city of Bavaria and the third largest city in Germany (after Berlin and Hamburg). As such, it is a modern and cosmopolitan city chock full of contemporary art museums, boutique hotels and shopping, as well as, Michelin star and fine dining restaurants. All within the beautiful backdrop of the Alps and the Isar river winding through the city. As a holidaymaker, this city makes for a great destination you need to add to your travel list. So, let me share some of my Munich favourites with you.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich Square: Marienplatz

This is the central square and heart of the city since it was founded in 1158. It was then, a place where farmers and artisans gathered looking to sell their crops and produce making it the primary commercial hub. Today, it turns into a large Christmas market for 3 weeks of the year. When you enter the square, you will be surrounded by historical buildings, like the Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) which covers 9,159 square meters (3.5 square miles) and has over 400 rooms. It features the famous Glockenspiel, a cuckoo clock where 43 bells ring out followed by a carousel of more than 30 dancing figures at 11am, noon, 5 and 9pm. It is also where you will find the Raskeller (Town Hall cellar) restaurant and Mariensäule (Mary’s Column) signifying Munich’s gratitude to the Swedes for not destroying the city in the Thirty Years War.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
Photo Credit: My_Europe_Traveldiary
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich Beer Hall: Hofbräuhaus

Despite it being an extremely touristy thing to do, you can’t go to Munich without visiting the famous Hofbräuhaus which dates back to the 16th century. It offers the quintessential German beer hall experience complete with live brass band. You can’t help yourself, to join in during the chorus of “eins, zwei, g’suffa” (one, two, down the hatch). The Hofbräuhaus has more than 100 active groups of regulars. The oldest regulars’ table has already been held for 70 years, as well as, keeping their kegs under lock and key. When you enter the hall, you seat yourself. It might take a few circles around the hall before you find a spot at one of the long tables along with others. Prost!

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich View: St. Peter’s Church

Before the founding of Munich as a city in 1158, there had been a mostly-wooden church that stood for only 150 years before a fire completely destroyed its structure. The reconstruction of the church was over 40 years and was completed in 1368. In the early 17th century, the 91-meter (299 ft) spire was added. Climb the 306 steps to the 56 meter (183.7 ft) high platform to take in the best view of Munich, and on a clear day, you may be able to see all the way to the Alps.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich Shopping: Kaufingerstrasse

This is a shopping area that stretches for several blocks between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz, and is exclusively designated for pedestrian traffic (or fussgangerzone). It also happens to be the oldest street in Munich. There is a great mix of independent boutiques, chain stores and large-scale department stores to explore. Wander down some side alleyways for some interesting specialty shops too.

My Favourite Munich Market: Viktualienmarkt

When the farmers market outgrew its original location at Marienplatz in the early 19th century, Vikualienmarkt was created and offers more than 140 booths of seasonal produce, fish, meat, flowers and more. It’s a great place to go for lunch with lots of take-away choices and is open Monday to Saturday.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
Photo credit: My_Europe_Traveldiary

My Favourite Munich Garden: Hofgarten

The Hofgarten was formerly the court garden of the Residenz, a palace complex built between 1570 and 1620 and has remained relatively unchanged since the 17th century. At the center of the park, you will find a pavilion,  Diana Temple. The intricate octagon-shaped pavilion, which features eight entrance archways, is pretty spectacular, especially if you are lucky enough to catch a spontaneous classical concert like we did. Trust me, it is a wonderful place for a stroll and happens to be along the way to many other attractions like the Englischer Garten.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
Photo credit: My_Europe_Traveldiary
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich Park: Englischer Garten

The beautiful English Garden park was created in the 18th century and is one of the world’s biggest city parks, yes bigger than Central Park in NYC. It is full of massive trees, endless paths, lush grass and a few small lakes making this a a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Here you will find cyclists, runners, walkers, sunbathers and picnickers all coming to escape the busyness of the city. Unique to this park is Munich’s oldest beer garden (Chinesischer Turm), a small Greek temple (Monopteros) offering  views of the sprawling park, a duck pond where you will be amazed by the variety and number of ducks, the Eisback river where you will find surfing due to the strong currents; and lawn mowing sheep – that’s right, whose job is to keep the grass sheared.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich Beer Garden: Chinesischer Turm

Traditional beer gardens (or biergarten) originated in Munich and date back to the 19th century. It is an outdoor area in which beer and food are enjoyed at long shared tables under a canopy of trees. Traditionalists will tell you there is a distinction between a wirtsgarten (where food is sold and served) and a biergarten (where patrons bring their own food). There are many beer gardens spread across the city, but my favourite was set in the Englischer Garten. The 25 meter (82 feet) high 18th century Chinese Tower was built as a viewing platform, but today, it is where you will find the brass band play. This is the second largest beer garden, with capacity of 7,000 seats. The long wooden tables are arranged around the tower and under massive chestnut trees.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

My Favourite Munich Day Trip: Dachau Concentration Camp

This concentration camp found just outside the city, was one of the firsts built and served as a model for all the other camps to follow.  Visitors follow the ‘path of the prisoner’ walking the same way prisoners would have after their arrival in the camp. The haunting entrance marked with the words Arbeit Macht Frei (work will set you free) appeared at every concentration camp’s entrance point. Once inside  you can visit the original barracks, courtyards, and crematorium. It is a moving experience, one that is indescribable, but necessary to learn and reflect on that part of our history.  

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com

A Local's Favourite: Alter Südfriedhof

I asked a local, her Instagram handle is My_Europe_Traveldiary (please check her feed out), what her favourite place was in Munich and she told me it is old south cemetery. This historic cemetery dates back to the 16th century and although it reached its final capacity in 1944, it is where you will find almost all prominent citizens in those preceding centuries. Today, it is where locals like My_Europe_Traveldiary come for a walk, a run, or sit quietly and take in the peaceful surroundings. To hear her describe it, makes me want to return myself to explore this local’s favourite spot.

My Munich Favourites | DreamPlanExperience.com
Photo credit: My_Europe_Traveldiary

Those are my Munich favourites, now what are yours? Munich is a wonderfully diverse city with lots of history and key attractions making it a great destination or home base to explore nearby Austria or southern Germany. 

A very special thank you to My_Europe_Traveldiary, a local from Munich, for graciously sharing some of her photos (see photo credits) and adding her own favourite thing to do in her hometown. 

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26 Comments

  • Esther

    I absolutely agree on most of your favourites, except I enjoyed Palauner Brauhaus better than the Hofbrauhaus (too many busloads of tourists there). I also highly recommend a daytrip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, what a fairytale!!
    #WeekendWanderlust

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you for your comment Esther. Agreed. The high volume of tourists instantly made this place something I would t normally do, but in the end I loved the fun atmosphere and we happen to sit right beside the 70-year regulars, who welcomed us. Yes, love the idea of the day trip to Neuschwanstein too.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you. I too revisited after not being in Munich since a teenager. It is amazing how some places instantly bring a flood of memories back. Hope you get a chance to revisit like I did and discover it with new eyes. Thank you for commenting.

  • Maggie

    The only part of Munich that I’ve seen is the airport, and while it is a super nice airport, I’d really like to see more of the city! Lol. Even though it’s touristy, I’d love to check out the beer hall. It sounds really overwhelming but such a quintessentailly German experience! And it’s hard to imagine a city park larger than Central Park!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Maggie foe your comment. Agreed, it is a bit too touristy, and normally we avoid such experiences, we actually are so glad we did. The Englischner park is quite something, be sure to leave lots of time to walk around.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      How wonderful that you used to live there, would love to know what some of your favourites are – please share if you can. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

  • Dani

    Yep, you pretty much guessed my exact image of Munich! Lol. I admit to not knowing much about it beyond that. But this all looks so wonderful! I would love to visit the biergartens and that church is STUNNING.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Dani for your comment and so happy to hear that you learned a bit more about the city. The church is pretty spectacular and size is deceiving in this photo, it is not until you are standing beside and and walk its exterior when you realize its sheer size.

  • Alison

    I would just love to visit Munich and will keep your suggestions for when I get there! I love sitting back and soaking up a city’s vibe so I think I would start with Marienplatz, the market (very long German name!) and Alter Südfriedhof. Can’t wait to go!

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Alison for stopping by and commenting. I hope you get to see the city one day and get to check out some of the sites. It is a very walk-able city, despite its size, and makes for a great home base to explore some of the smaller Bavarian towns within a short distance.

  • Wendy

    I have never been to Germany, but Munich looks like a great place to visit. I know my husband and I would love the beer hall, Hofbräuhaus. I would love to see the Hofgarten. I love visiting gardens when I travel.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      I agree Wendy, visiting gardens and parks is one of my favourites when travelling. I hope you get to see it one day soon. Thank you for commenting.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you for commenting Jenn and Ed. I would love to visit the Holocaust museum in DC, as I am fascinated by this history. There is something eerie about visiting not just a museum but the actual site where these tragic events took place.

  • Jing

    Living in the Philippines, surrounded by the ocean, I find it unusual to see surfing on a river! I love photographing moody scenes so I would want to check out the old cemetery. Of course, I’d love to experience the beer garden in Munich. 🙂

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Hi Jing, the ability to surf is based on how they set up their water flow through, it creates a reverse wave and current which creates the opportunity to surf. It is actually more difficult than doing it in the ocean. It was quite fun to watch.

  • Mei and Kerstin

    We’ve never been to Munich, but will definitely visit someday. The Chinese Tower looks quite interesting, and when the weather’s nice it’s certainly cool to have a beer there. We’d also love to visit the cemetery, as we both love exploring old cemeteries for the funerary sculptures. The Hofgarten looks quite nice too, it reminds us a bit of Echternach, a town here in Luxembourg. 🙂

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you for your comment. It would be such a short trip from Luxembourg, hope you get a chance to go one day soon.

  • Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions

    Wow. I am in awe at all of the beautiful architectural patterns that can be found around the city. St. Peter’s Church looks incredibly beautiful, but the Frauenkirche which you’ve taken some great shots of also piques my interest. I would have to see both for sure. The English Garden also looks like the perfect place to spend a sunny day, and that’s incredible that it’s larger than Central Park.

  • Lara Dunning

    I have yet to make it to Munich. What a beautiful city! Hofbräuhaus is definitely a must! as well as the Alter Südfriedhof, as I’m a sucker for old cemeteries. The English Garden looks lovely too.

    • The.Holidaymaker

      Thank you Lara for commenting. I do hope you are able to see this capital city of Bavaria one day, it is a mix of modern city with a traditional past. Definitely worth visiting.

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