Travelogue: What to do in Munich, Germany

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It's a city more than just the famed Oktoberbest, really.

I've never stepped foot into Germany before. In fact, my trip to Italy in April was the first time I visited the European continent. So, my knowledge of Munich was limited to just Oktoberfest and BMW prior to this trip. LOL

It was a short 4 days spent in Munich, but every trip away from home never failed to open my eyes to the wonders and differences of the world and what every different country and city had to offer. If any of you guys are planning a short trip to Munich (especially with so many flight deals going on nowadays!!!), here's what I recommend!

BMW Museum/ Welt & Olympic Park

What's a trip to Munich without visiting the museum of the famed car brand, BMW, which was born in Munich, right?

The architecture in itself is already a feast for one's eyes. It's hard to miss this place even if you're just driving past. The iconic BMW building takes the shape of a 4 cylinder tank (like the ones in your car lol) and the museum and welt takes on a silver futuristic look. Mmm, it kinda reminds me a little of... Dongdaemun design plaza in Seoul? Or Xiangshan Visitor Center in Taichung?

Anyway, we spent some time taking a tour at the BMW Welt and Museum. The Welt is pretty amazing because it showcases 125 cars under the BMW group, including Mini Cooper and Rolls Royce. There is also a level where you can test drive your car IN the welt. Yes... that's just how big it is!!! LOL

The test drive track/area

Side note: They also have restaurants in the BMW Welt and we were hosted at Im Bavaria and can I just say their seafood stew is the freaking best soup I have drank in my life LOL It comes at a hefty price of around $20 for a stew though but the portion is good enough for a main and they're super generous with the ingredients.

You can either opt for a guided tour or just explore the place on your own. Hmm, to be honest, I'd suggest you explore on your own. Our tour was a little too long and we were practically brought to see every car in the building and the place is huge. Yup. So unless you're a hardcore automobile fanatic, maybe you wouldn't need that much detailed info anyway HAHAHA.

The BMW Museum and Welt is actually located very near the Olympic Park, so you may want to visit them together in a day!

At the Olympic Park, you can opt for a tent roof tour but you might want to go on a day with great weather. I kinda got... roasted up there HAHA. The entire tour took about an hour and while I wouldn't say this is a MUST DO in your trip, this is something nice to do if you've a day to spare and you just want to experience something different. Afterall, the tent roof structure is the world's first and is amazing to look at. You can even jump on the roof and the whole tent roof will shake! LOL *legs feeling wobbly recounting that experience again*

The world beneath my feet at the tent roof of Olympic Park, Munich

Seeing Munich from above at Munich City Hall Tower /  St. Peter's Church

The Munich City Hall Tower

During our walking city tour on the first day, our guide told us that we could actually head up to either of these towers and have a panaromic view of the entire city. If we were lucky, we might even see the Alps on a very clear day! :O

What's the difference between the 2 towers, you might ask. Well, the one at St. Peter's Church is free, offers a better view but you have to climb 300 steps to get there. The one at Munich City Hall Tower costs 2.50 euro (1 euro for students) up the elevator and has a slightly obstructed view by the St. Peter's Church.

Our group was quick to put this into our must do list as soon as we have some pockets of free time during our trip, and luckily we managed to squeeze in half an hour one afternoon to head up and have a look! We took the paid option because of time constraint, and also cos lazy to climb 300 steps la HAHAH

View from the City Hall Tower :')

The viewing area wasn't too big, but enough to fit about 20 people at a time. The view was pretty awesome and we were lucky to go up on a clear day, although we still couldn't see the Alps lining the city.

This is probably one of the cheapest viewing towers I've come across so yes, I really recommend you guys to head up the tower/church and have a nice look at the beautiful city :)

Eat and have beer, of course.

Mmm, what's a trip overseas without indulging in overseas delicacies? Heck, WHAT IS LIFE WITHOUT FOOD?! Hahaha Being the capital of Bavaria, trying Bavarian cuisine is of course a MUST. And that's beyond just bratwurst sausages (which I dislike, so thankfully we didn't have to eat that every meal HAHAHA)

Surprisingly, or some of you may call it boring, my favourite food in Germany is actually... Pretzels. Yeah, not sausages, not beer. But their good ol' authentic pretzel, lightly salted, and fresh out of the oven. I think I had at least one pretzel there everyday and still can't get enough. It goes so well with everything. With coffee, with beer and on its own. :X

We tried a couple of Bavarian dishes, and my fav of them all is probably the schnitzel -- thinly fried meat cutlet with crumbs. Oh and can I just compliment how huge their servings are? For any main course in fact! For a carnivore like me, it was heaven HAHAHA. Oh and there's just a way they do their baked/roasted potatoes that I can't resist. It's a total 100/100 -- nicely cooked to be just slightly mashy, yet a slight char on the skin for that crispiness. It's amazing T.T *drools*

Then of course, we have the beer!!! LOLLOL beer is everywhere in Munich... but the more impressionable ones we visited were Donisl (for beer tasting) and Hofbrauhaus, which I visited on the last night during a meet up with a friend there!

Donisl, as I was told, is in fact the second oldest restaurant in Munich and has been around since 1315 :O Of course, it has undergone some restoration and renovation works to look like the Bavarian restaurant it is today. Its location is right smack in the city center, so it is pretty hard to miss it. Stepping into the restaurant, I was awed at how beautiful the interior was -- extremely spacious, able to house up to 400 people!

Probably my favourite part of the restaurant, where lots of natural light is able to shine in.

I spy with my eyes, the people who make yummy food for us :P

I'd say, come here for some beer tasting and have a meal here (they have an extensive menu!). The ambience here is more intimate, but if you'd prefer somewhere with a more communal and joyous atmosphere, you can check out Hofbrauhaus instead!

The photo was taken in the day when we were brought around on our walking tour so that explains the emptiness in the place but when I returned here on my last night to have a drink w a friend, the brewery was bustling with business and it is definitely a great place to chill with friends/ for a gathering! The good thing is there is also a good mix of both locals and tourists :) Only thing is prices for beer here isn't exactly the cheapest :P

Bonus: Stay in Michael Jackson's favourite hotel in Munich

We were told that this was MJ's favourite hotel in Munich when he was still alive. (Went to google and it seems pretty legit, haha) There is even a makeshift memorial for MJ in front of the hotel!

Hotel Bayerischer Hof is a luxury hotel located in Munich with really super huge and spacious rooms (read: suites) that also boasts a very nice view of the city at its rooftop restaurant. It was indeed a luxury to be able to spend a night here in the hotel because everything was really grand -- from the design to the rooms to the impeccable service. Only thing that might set you back is the rather hefty price tag that most of us young working adults can't afford right now but you can mark this in your honeymoon hotel list maybe.

Before I end off this post, let me just give a shout out to Hotel Louis, the hotel we put up at for our first 2 nights for the most amazing breakfast spread I ever had in my entire life!!! I'm not a breakfast person but everyday, without fail, I woke up early to have breakfast at Hotel Louis and breakfast became my most looked forward meal of the day LOL I'm really not kidding. They have a full vegan buffet spread for breakfast on top of the usual breakfast catering and everything was nutritious and delicious.

The rooms were also really huge and nicely done up (complete with Bose speakers and pillow sprays) and the hotel is located right next to the food market in the city. We didn't really see Asian tourists in the hotel (this is a favourite for local tourists) as compared to Hotel Bayerischer Hof.

Hope this has been a little helpful for those who're planning to check out Munich when you're in Germany/Europe and stay tuned for Part 2 where we went to Zugspitze -- the highest peak in Germany!!! (Or you can read a more condensed version on my Dayre HERE)

Till then, see you guys!

Xin Lin

Note: This trip was made possible with special thanks to Munich Tourism.

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