Munich is synonymous with Oktoberfest. Or , if you don’t visit during the fair, with large quantities of beer , pretzels and sausages. But Munich is so much than a drink and greasy food.
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- fly directly into Munich
- stay in a budget hotel or hostel close to the city center
- make use of the public transportation (underground, tram, bus) ; the inner district 3 days card costs €13.80.
- if you feel comfortable on bike, you can rent one for your stay in Munich. There are many bike paths in the city but the accidents involving bicycles are on the rise.
- Return flight: London – Munich – London; Aug 10 – Aug 13, 2012; from €113 on EasyJet
- Return flight: Paris – Munich – Paris; Aug 10 – Aug 13, 2012; from €131 on Air France
- Accommodation: from €57 / person / 3 nights in a 12-bed dorm; from €252 / 2 persons / 3 nights in a twin room with private bathroom.
Start the day with a free walking tour of Munich (details here ) . One of the start points is in Marienplatz at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. The tour visits the Hofbräuhaus and Frauenkirche, among other important landmarks, and takes three hours.
After the tour, go back to Marienplatz and explore the city in depths. Go to the top of Frauenkirche to see the views of the city and enjoy lunch in Viktualienmarkt.
In the afternoon, explore the English Gardens , with its lake, waterfall, beer gardens and enjoy the time in nature. Pack a picnic basket if you don’t want to get back to a beer hall for dinner.
Alternative Day 1
Plan to spend the first day in Alstadt (Old Town). Start in Maxburgstrasse and visit St Michael’s Church and then explore Frauenkirche. Don’t forget to go to the top for some interesting views of the city.
Walk to Marienplatz, the heart of the Old Town. Stop to see the statues dance (during summer at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. every day for 15 min) and then visit some of the churches in the area or just do some people watching.
In Viktualienmarkt there’s a beer garden pretty well known among budget travelers. Try the food and don’t miss tasting the beer, either.
Go to Odeonsplatz and continue to the English Gardens, the continent’s largest city center park. Between an artificial lake, the Chinese Gardens – complete with beer gardens – and interesting structures, you’ll be busy for the entire afternoon.
During the evening, make your way to Landsbergerstrasse and its Augustiner Braustuben, a traditional beer hall. Try the food and meet the locals. Sure, try the beer , too but mind the quantities. You still have some sightseeing left to do in the town.
Start your day with a visit to Deutsches Museum, Europe’s largest technology museum. It is located close to Viktualienmarkt, so after spending hours checking out the exhibits, you can enjoy lunch here, or make your way to Hofbrauhaus, Munich’s best known beer hall. It’s touristy and not exactly authentic but it’s not a bad choice for lunch.
Go back to Marienplatz and take Deinerstrasse to get to Munich Residence, where you can learn about the Bavarian history.
From Marienplatz, take U3 to get to to northern Munich with its Olympiapark. Exploring it is free, unless you want to take some guided tours (which cost few Euros).
After enjoying Munich for two days, escape the city to visit the superb Neuschwanstein Castle on your third day. Take the train to Füssen and then the bus Hohenschwangau. In total you’ll be traveling for about 4 hours (including the 30 min walk to the castle). So, leave Munich early in the day, especially if you’ll tackle the summer crowds, too. Driving saves some time (under 2 h to get to Hohenschwangau) but you need to consider the cost of renting a car.
You might remember this castle as being very similar to Cinderella’s castle in Disney’s vision. Actually, her castle was inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle, which is , indeed, a super sight. The guided tour takes only 35 min but you can spend some more time exploring the surrounding forest.
After visiting the castle which inspired Disney, take some time to explore Hohenschwangau, the castle where King Ludwig II grew up. The Romanesque style is charming.
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