Munich, Germany’s second city, famed for its beer guzzling Oktoberfest celebrations, was the last stop on our Romantic road adventure. It turned out to be a bit of a flying visit; a twenty-four hour visit to be exact, and so we carefully selected our top sites before we arrived. So, if you’re as silly as us to only be spending a day in Munich, below are our recommendations of top sites to see!
1) Munich Residenz
The best way to acquaint yourself with this historic city is to visit the Munich Residenz. The Munich Residenz was the seat of government and residence to the Bavarian Kings from 1508 – 1918. This sprawling palace was once a modest castle that slowly extended further and further into the city as each Wittlesbach ruler reigned. An audio tour is available as you enter the Residenzmuseum, but be warned, it’s a lengthy walk with around 90 rooms available for the public to view! We advise a two hour visit to take in all the rooms. Our favourite was by far the impressive Antiquarium (below). There’s also a Treasury Museum (Schatzkammer der Residenz), which showcases the Kings’ collections of jewels, crystals, enamels and goldsmith’s works. It’s definitely worth a look around (about half an hour with an audio tour) to help appreciate the opulence of the era.
This bustling outdoor market is one of central Europe’s most renowned gourmet markets, and it’s not hard to see why! Stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, cheese, hams, truffles, olives, beer, sausages and anything else you can think of are crowded into a bustling and leafy square. The market even comes complete with its own beer garden and is a great place to stop for a beer and sausage in the sunshine!
3) Glockenspiel in the Neues Rathaus
One of the highlights of our visit was to watch the Glockenspiel chime at 11:00 in Marienplatz. The Glockenspiel consists of three levels that depict different scenes, including the Ritterturnier, a knights’ tournament. It took a while to get going but once the clock chimed 11:00 it was a little delight! With the music twinkling out of the clock tower, as the small figures danced around, it was a lovely sight (even if it did make our necks cramp a bit!)
4) St Peterskirche
For the perfect spot to take in views of Munich’s central skyline, take a (slightly exhausting) trip up St Peterskirche’s tower. With 306 steps, it’s a steep climb but the views from the top are totally worth it! Well, it was once we’d recovered from the vertigo. This church is the oldest in Munich, and itself, worth a look around once you’ve power walked your way back down the 92m tower!
For us, no visit to Munich would have been complete without a pilgrimage to King Ludwig II’s final resting place in the crypt of Michaelskirche. After visiting Neuschwanstein, we felt an affinity to Ludwig and his eccentric ways and it was a little sad to find him in this gloomy crypt, and not by his beloved castle. It was nice to see, however, that other Ludwig fans has adorned his tomb with flowers. Aside from the crypt, the church itself is well worth a look around.
Our suggestions are a little history based, so if you fancy more of the glamorous life when visiting Munich, take a stroll down Maximilianstrasse, This is one of the city’s most glamorous and expensive shopping areas. We enjoyed a wander down this boulevard, wistfully staring into the designer shop windows of Prada, *sigh* and watching the glitzy citizens of the city enjoying the high life! We should also mention that, unfortunately, as we were visiting on a Monday, most museums were closed, which was a little disappointing as we would have loved to have visited a few. You might want to bear this in mind when planning your own trip as this city is crammed full of interesting and varied museums.
So, there’s our suggestions for a whistle-stop tour of the wonderful Munich. We’ll definitely be returning to give this city the attention it deserves (Oktoberfest being an obvious choice), but our 24-hours here were perfect and a great way to end a tour of beautiful Bavaria.