On our way back from our honeymoon in Africa, we opted to have a long layover in Munich as it was the start of Oktoberfest. Neither of us had been to Germany and this seemed like the perfect time to get a taste of the Bavarian life!
Getting into Town
Munich has a very simple and intuitive public transit system. We headed straight into town from the airport with no problems. The train runs about every ten minutes and only takes 45 minutes to get into town so this is easy access for those of you with long layovers. From the airport, you can easily take the S-Bahn train (S1 or S8) into Marienplatz, which will put you off right in the heart of the city. The fare is only about $12 and there’s even a tourism office right when you get off if you have any questions.
Once in Town
Forego walking around or taking the bus and rent bikes to explore the city. Munich is such a cute, charming city (similar in look to Zurich or Amsterdam) with endless cobblestone roads, winding streets, gorgeous architecture and a plethora of lush flowers and window boxes. I would have loved to bike around and get lost in the city but Mother Nature had other plans for us. Hopefully next time!
Spend time in Marienplatz. Often referred to as the “heart of Munich”, this central square (where the train drops you off) has incredible architecture, dating back to the 1600s. The town hall is located here and we heard that they’ve got a stunning Christmas market if you happen to be here during the holiday season. You walk about 2 minutes in every direction and there are huge outdoor beer gardens, restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and more.
Stroll through Viktualienmarkt (just a few blocks over from Marienplatz) – it’s basically a huge farmers market plus some. There are tons of open front restaurants with fresh baked pastries, hot coffee, fresh fruit, veggies, sausages, etc. There’s even a huge beer garden that opens at 9am, for all of you early birds!
Grab a happy hour adult beverage or night cap at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof rooftop lounge. The hotel is a few blocks from the heart of the city and their open air terrace offers a great panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately, it was raining the day we were here so the outdoor area was closed; however, it’s top on our list for next time.
Head to a local restaurant and experience a true “Bavarian breakfast”. Fresh off the plane, we walked a mere two blocks from our train stop to the Schneider Brauhaus to see what the hype was all about. The lederhosen clad waitress didn’t speak a lick of English, but she pointed to the “Bavarian breakfast” on the menu, which consists of two sausages (eggs for me), a basket of fresh baked pretzels and a wheat beer. The craziest part? There must have been over 45 people in the place having the exact same meal – at 10am on a Tuesday, y’all! I’m not sure if anyone works there but whatever they’re doing, it looks way more fun than my typical Tuesday morning.
Lastly, no trip to Munich is complete without visiting an authentic beer garden! We went to the biggest and most popular beer hall in all of Munich, Hofbrahaus. The place has multiple floors, an indoor beer hall and an outdoor biergarten. There are hundreds of family style tables, where you sit down, order beers & make friends. There was a live Bravarian band playing and they were incredible – when’s the last time you saw an ensemble of a tuba, two trumpets and an accordion? The entire vibe was upbeat, lively and so much fun.
Though we only spent one day here, we just adored the city – the people, the scenery, the food (and drink of course!). It’s a lively, fun, friendly town with so much to offer. Throughout all of Munich, we just couldn’t believe the stunning architecture and colors. It was like a big maze of streets that felt very old world. Each block presented a new square more charming than the last!
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