2 Days in Munich

The first stop on my 10-day European adventure with my mom earlier this month was Munich. Germany has been on my bucket list for quite some time for several reasons (e.g. beer, castles, pretzels, history), the biggest of which being, it’s where my grandparents are from!

Day 1

Fortunately, our overnight flight landed us in Munich just after 7 a.m. and the border control line wasn’t terribly long, so we had the whole day ahead of us to hit the ground running to explore. That is, after we checked into the wonderful Hotel München Palace and took a quick 20 minute power-nap.

When we woke up, we got public transportation directions to get over to the main city center, walked around for a good 20 minutes before finding the correct bus stop aaaaaand ended up hopping on the wrong 100 bus (didn’t realize there was more than one). When we finally made it to the city center, we headed straight for the famous Hofbräuhaus, which ended up being one of my favorite stops during our time in Munich.

hofbrauhaus munich

While it’s mostly filled with tourists (locals do pop in as well), this place is a MUST VISIT! The tables are long and filled with seats, encouraging people to sit and chat while drinking beers bigger than their heads, and eating pretzels on the same level (see below for proof and excuse my terrible jetlag look)!

We ended up chatting with a nice couple from Minnesota for a bit, while enjoying the traditional German music and food (Wiener Schnitzel) and soaking in the atmosphere of the place. Since we got there around 11 a.m., it wasn’t too crowded, but as lunchtime approached, the seats quickly filled up and the place was buzzing!

beer pretzel munichhofbrauhaushofbrauhaus hallwiener schnitzel

Next, we headed a couple blocks over to check out the famous Marienplatz! With the Christmas markets in full force, the square was extra crowded, but still, so beautiful. We were bummed to have missed seeing the Glockenspiel in action (the clock only plays at 11 a.m. and noon) by a few minutes, so it’s just an excuse to plan another trip back!

We wandered around the area for about a half hour before meeting back in the center of the Marienplatz for a free 3-hour walking tour to learn more about Munich from a local and see some of the big sights nearby. I highly recommend signing up for one if you’re visiting a new city!

marienplatz

Along the way, we saw things like a church that was bombed during WWII (you could see the original brick, new brick, and some burnt bricks from bombs still), a super random Michael Jackson shrine (which apparently is maintained 24/7 – supposedly people have come in the middle of the night to disassemble the shrine and within an hour it’s completely filled up again), and the stunning Opera House!

old church munichmichael jackson shrine munichmunich opera house

By the time our walking tour ended, the sun had set, and although it was around dinnertime, we opted for dessert instead! When it comes to dessert, mom and I don’t play! We also couldn’t decide since everything looked good, so we picked a strawberry cake, apricot cake, and apple strudel to share. Hey, calories don’t count on vacation!

desserts in munich

Needing some serious exercise afterward, we went to explore some of the Christmas markets in the area, including a medieval times market, with all kinds of things from centuries ago. It was quite a sight to see! And of course, more stands of sweets, which we couldn’t say no to!

munich christmas market

Day 2

Our second day in Munich had another early start, as we headed to the bus station for a day trip to see the beautiful Bavarian (German) castles! Since there’s a whole lot to talk about on that, I’m going to write a separate post on it (look for it next week), but for now, here’s a quick glimpse at my favorite, the famous Neuschwanstein Castle!

neuschwanstein

Fast forwarding to the evening, we decided to eat at a restaurant some locals recommended to us, Spatenhaus. To be honest, we weren’t too impressed with it, mostly because the service wasn’t too great. We think the waitress wasn’t a fan of our lacking ability to speak 100% German, but who knows.

Post-dinner, we ventured out for one last look around some of the Christmas markets (and of course, yummy treats).

munich christmas marketmunich christmas market

And with that, we were back to the hotel for some zzz’s before the next chapter in our adventure, Salzburg, Austria!

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  • Kate Walton

    You are making me hungry!!! And desperately thirsty… For a beer! Looks like such a great trip. Germany has never really been on my bucket list but I just may have to add it!

    • German beer is enough reason to plan a trip! I definitely think it’s a place worth visiting!

  • What a fun mother daughter trip! Tours are great for first time visits to new cities. I took one in Paris and loved it. I’ll be writing about my recap on my trip to Paris next week on my blog. Tune in if you’re interested! Calories definitely don’t count when on vacation. The city looked very beautiful and historic.

    • Thanks, Kaitlyn! They so are. Paris sounds incredible! We had a layover at the Paris airport on the way home, I was bummed we didn’t have more time to step out and explore!

  • Aren’t the Christmas markets darling!? I only live an hour outside of Munich, so I love visiting every so often. Even though Hofbrauhaus is touristy as you mentioned, I love going as I always meet new people. It’s so wonderful you were able to go with your mom as well! We probably just missed each other, my sis and I went to Salzburg and Munich when she was in town, but it seems we flip flopped. If you are ever in Regensburg and need a tour guide let me know ;)

    Annessa
    http://www.seekingsunshine.com

    • Too funny! The Christmas markets were so much fun to explore. Jealous that you’re so close to so many awesome European things! I’d love to visit Regensburg too! If I find myself planning a stop there I’ll definitely be in touch! Thanks, Annessa!

  • Neuschwanstein Castle looks absolutely gorgeous and I’d love to visit Munich itself – been ages since I last went to Germany. Happy NYE for tonight

    • It so is! Very surreal standing next to it. The castle and surroundings blew me away!

  • We are planning a trip to Germany next year. Amazing pics!

    Ashley
    http://www.ashleyelizabethbeauty.com

    • So exciting! Which cities will you be visiting?

      • My boyfriend’s family lives in Stuttgart, so we will be staying in that area most of the time. I would definitely love to visit Munich, Pforzheim, and several of those beautiful castles!

  • oh my goodness, i am so jealous. i would love to go to Munich one day! thanks for sharing :)

    • Hey, maybe it’s a destination to consider for your next Europe trip when the time comes :)

  • You took such lovely photos!! And now I’m craving some pommes frites :-)

    • Thanks, Kristin! The pommes frites were delicious! Obv we couldn’t pass that stand up at the Christmas market :)

  • Hofbrauhaus looks like so much fun, and it looks like you went very German traditional with the beer and pretzel! I would seriously love to visit Germany during Christmas just to see all of the Christmas markets, they look so beautiful! I can’t wait to hear about Salzburg because we’ll be headed there next year and would love recommendations!

    • It was very cool! Wish we had more time to explore, but that only means I’ll have to plan another trip back ;) Salzburg was one of my favorite stops on the trip! I can’t wait to write about it and am so excited for you to visit there!

  • This looks so amazing! I want to go to there, especially all the food. I am so jealous!

    • It was, Christine! Definitely a destination for the bucket list!

  • Munich looks like SO MUCH FUN! I am very jealous of that beer and pretzel right now.

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • It is! The food + beer alone is enough reason to plan a trip!

  • We did Munich as a part of our Germany and Luxembourg road trip this fall, and I, too, loved the city! My dad, toddler, and I tried to have lunch at Hofbrauhaus, but it was SO crowded; since my toddler was with us, we didn’t want to wait too long since she was already hungry and a little grumpy, so we had to eat elsewhere. Next time, I’ll go much earlier like you did! :D

    • What a bummer! I believe it though. We were happy to sneak outta there once it started getting a little crazier. There’s so much to see/do though, I’d be happy to take another trip back too :)

  • One of my good friends is from Munich and he’s always bragging about how Germany is the greatest country in the world, haha. It’s been on my bucket list forever, too! These photos are awesome and I must admit that after reading your post, maybe he’s right! ;)

    • It was pretty awesome! I definitely think it’s worth a trip if you can swing it!

  • I saw this sign once that said “Calories don’t count outside your zip code.” I was so tempted to buy it. Looks like you had a great time! I really want to go to Europe again.