This past weekend we were blessed to visit the city of München (Munich.) As I sit here writing I think about another attack on my beautiful temporary home (of Germany.) I am deeply saddened and concerned for all the victims and families of another senseless attack. In my experience, this is an amazing country and its people versatile, strong and accepting. I will have lived in Germany now a total of five years and my love for these friends and extended family grow every day. They are eager to share their vast history, one that spans centuries, a history full of hard ships, heartache, explorers, adventurers, extremely hard workers and their resiliency. Sound familiar? With that in mind, I dedicate this blog to the people of Germany and the incredible undaunted city of München.
My cousin Jill and her family came to visit for a week so making München a stop was a necessary part of our Bavarian portion of her tour. Having been myself several times now, especially to Oktoberfest (I knew my way around a little bit.) Here’s what else I discovered and loved.
WHAT? It is Festival summer…
After you’ve been here a few years you’ll notice you start bumping into people you may know from Stuttgart. This was my case as I bumped into a good friend who told me all about the “500 year celebration of beer” happening this weekend in München.
After a 30-minute walk I could tell something was happening as there was a lot more “Drindl and lederhosen” walking around the city that was out of the ordinary for not being Oktoberfest. One of the many things I enjoy about Germany is finding out there are festivals every weekend somewhere. The big city of München is not exception.
Hofbrauhaus (hmm… maybe not?)
The Hofbrauhaus in München is legendary. Most Americans think of this restaurant and Oktoberfest simultaneously so I knew we had to make a stop here. However, we arrived late after our travels and did not have a reservation. It was JULY and packed. Having been several times and never been overly impressed with the service or food I gently suggested to my little group to walk around the corner to a GREAT place, the HaxnBauer. However, before we left we were able to take some gratuitous photos and walk quickly through the entire restaurant.
At the HaxnBauer, diagonally located across from the HofBrauhaus, you will find similar seating, spectacular service and incredible food. Here they specialize in Haxen (pork knuckle.) As you can see it’s appearance is somewhat barbaric making all the men in my group feel like Tim Allen from Home Improvement “arghh…arghh…arghh.”
Having eaten quite well all weekend, I chose a potato pancake with Salmon and herbed creme fraiche. While the little ones enjoyed käsespatzle (cheese pasta) and schnitzel (pounded pork/veal cutlet) breaded and fried. Of course, they also had german potato salad.
If you do decide to go to the Hofbrauhaus, be sure to make reservations, they only took them for groups over five everyone else must fight for a table on the first floor. I’ll cut them some slack because of the beer festival, but there are A LOT of breweries in München to choose from.
Here are a few…
- Augustiner Keller
- Andech’s Brewery – Monk’s brewery just outside of München
- Marienplatz & Karlsplatz
In the heart of the city is the Altstadt (Old town.) here you will find the so many wonderful sites, historical buildings and churches that are breathtaking.
- The FrauenKirche
- Rathaus Glockenspiel
- St. Peter’s Cathedral
- Karl’s Tor (gate)
- Fountain in Karlsplatz
- Pedestrian walkway between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz
We like to have breakfast at the Cafe Rischart right next to St. Peter’s Cathedral. Here you can hear the bells and enjoy a large cafe terrace. For group’s bigger than five be sure to make a reservation.
After our great walk through the old city we checked out of the hotel and headed just 15 minutes to the Castle Nymphenburg. After scrolling through photos from fellow blogger Southern Belle’s Fairytale of her recent trip to München I knew we had to have a princess castle on our tour. She’s an expert on all things castle in Germany and when you travel with an 8 year old girl, you go to the expert.
It was a perfect last stop for our tour as we began Bavaria at Neuschwanstein (the castle of Ludwig II.) Ludwig the II, was the son of Maria, Queen of Bavaria and this was her residence.
I definitely saw the resemblance and found out more about the tragic story of this royal family. The opulence and beauty of this estate had to have been an inspiration for the Linderhof and Neuschwanstein.
The grounds are extensive so take your good shoes and the Porcelain Museum is open as well. Audio guides are available for €3.50 each, we chose to just go to the castle since we still needed to drive back to Stuttgart.
Parking at the castle is very easy and has 450 free parking spots, however we found street parking in the back that was free too. And we found an Eis cafe (ice cream shop) making it a perfect ending to our tour of München.
It was time to head home, flights to catch and bills to pay. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this wonderful city, meeting some great people and taking in all the grandeur and splendor. Be sure to add München to your next trip to Bavaria.