Munich Germany

Munich is a pretty city in Bavaria – in the south of Germany near the Black Forest and 1 to 2 hours from skiing in Garmisch and Austria’s Innsbruck and Zillertal Valley. We happened here for a day and overnight on our way in and out of Europe, flying into Munich airport on our way to ski Austria’s Tyrol 2 – 3 hours away.

In just one day in Munich, we saw so much at this Top European city. Munich is a very clean, walkable city with most of its historic and interesting attractions in the heart of town, organized by numbered Platz. Local Germans are friendly enough, and the city has a vibrant mix of young and old, the architecture too is a mix too – of colors and styles – Baroque and Italianate to Neo-classic and modern. Munich was bombed heavily during World War II and over 70% of the city’s buildings were destroyed from 1940 to 1944.

Munich is the third-largest city in Germany, with over 1 million people, mostly German-speaking, after Berlin and Hamburg. Munich is on the Isar River just 30 minutes to the Austrian border, in fact you can see the Alps from tall buildings and towers.

Staying at the Hotel Torbrau, Munich’s oldest hotel (since 1490), you can easily walk to Munich’s oldest landmarks. This four-star property is perfect for visiting and touring Munich with modern rooms, a chic bar, and great breakfast. From here you can easily stroll to the Platz, plus great restaurants, the famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall with its steins of beer and live music. You’re also near high-end boutique shopping, and great people-watching in the various pedestrian zones and plazas.

We recommend you start your Munich tour by walking to the hub, the heart –
Marienplatz (platz 8) is a delightful pedestrian plaza where you will be surrounded by fantastic fanciful landmarks – like the Rathaus, Glockenspiel, and Carillion.

The Rathaus-Glockenspiel is the most recognizable in Marienplatz – like Germany’s largest cuckoo clock, with incredible wood carvings on the clock face. The entire building façade is fairytalesque. The Glockenspiel is from the 1500s. Be here at the top of the hour for the bells to ring and watch the Caillion.

Frauenkirche, Frauenplatz 12, is the most famous church of Munich, its massive and holds up to 20,000 people. Munich’s cathedral, translation – the Church of Our Lady – was built 1468–88, and its massive cupola-capped towers are iconic.

Nearby is Peterskirche or Old Peter’s Church and bell tower. Its in Rindermarkt 1 Petersplatz This is Munich’s oldest church – 1169, which was completely destroyed in World War II but subsequently rebuilt in its original form. Climb the tower, $5 Euro, up 14 levels of narrow stairs for amazing 360 views of the entire city – a perspective on how large the palace residence is, and views of the Alps to the south.

Viktualienmarkt at Platz 3 is the biggest and most famous market of Munich, with stands and tents of merchants selling produce, flowers, crafts. A highlight is the best beer garden of Munich here.

The Residenze Munich is a grand palace of Munich’s emperors, kings and royals. Its MASSIVE, lavish and impressive, over 100 rooms on the long tour or less on the short tour.  This first residence of the royal Wittelsbach and also Maximillian. Its beautifully restored, many of the chambers are perfectly depicted since World War II when much of the art and interiors and furnishing were destroyed, Some of the art was moved out in time to safe keeping. Allocate at least an hour to tour the palatial rooms and halls of mirrors, chandeliers, gold, art and tapestry, located at Alter Hof 1.

Visit the 900-acre English Garden if it’s a lovely day, this is where the people of Munich come to walk their pets, their strollers, ride bikes, have a picnic. The size of NYC’s Central Park, it’s a grand natural space.

Hofbräuhaus München is a must for a touristy fun beer hall experience. In a grand hall at Platzl 9, you can get a big stein of beer, a huge salty pretzel and listen to the Oompa band while being waited upon by lederhosen and dirndl wearing servers.

For a classic Bavarian lunch or dinner, our concierge recommended Schneider Bräuhaus München – its old and authentic and delicious. Locals and visitors sit at common wood tables and enjoy all the traditional hearty fare (meats, dumplings, potatoes) with tall glasses of beer. It’s a lively place, with a great view of the Platz.

We didn’t have time to tour Munich’s Deutch Museum full of art, engineering and science – a massive building on the Isar River.

While Munich, Munchen in German, may not be among the most romantic places in Europe, it’s a fun, friendly, safe city with most attractions very easy to explore on foot.

Europe cities we love include Florence, Vienna, Barcelona, Dijon and Porto!