European City Breaks: Munich
Neither the financial capital nor the actual capital of Germany, it’s understandable to think that Munich got a little hard done by. Munich, as the regional capital of the beautiful Bavaria, is the gem in an already glittering crown. Hopefully you will have planned ahead and booked a hire car online with easyCar. So when you arrive at Munich Airport you can relax and enjoy collecting your car in a stress-free manner, cruising the half hour drive along flat, open roads to the city centre.
If you are visiting over a weekend and intend to take in a state museum in Germany, most are free on a Sunday, so factor this in when planning your trip.
Munich has always been a relatively stable city in Germany, a country that’s had its fair share of upheaval in the last century. The city is however notable for its strong links with the rise of Nazism in Germany. It was from a beer hall in Munich that Hitler attempted to start a revolution in 1923.
As full as the city is with history, you needn’t worry if that’s not your scene, there is plenty to keep you entertained in other ways.
Top 5 things to do
This is the main church in Munich and serves as the city’s main cathedral. Interestingly this is a Catholic church, in a predominantly Protestant country. But Catholicism is the main religion in Munich and southern Germany. The building stands head and shoulders above the rest of the inner city, due to the city’s strict height limits imposed on modern builds. Look out for the mythical Devils’ Footstep in the entrance, and ask a local to explain the complex mythology surrounding it.
2. The BMW Museum
A must see for any car enthusiast. Explore the history of BMW, a car that has always stood for a dynamic driving experience and pioneering attitude. There is also an exhibition exploring the more high octane models that BMW has released; from highly-tuned racing cars to sporty motorbikes. Take a peek into the future with a look in the electric car section of the exhibition. BMW are looking to lead the pack in innovation and research into a better, greener driving experience. Entry into BMW Welt is free of charge, but the museum costs €9 for adults and €6 for children.
3. The Olympic Tower
Towering above the city at a height of 291m, this landmark was built in 1972 to mark the arrival of the Summer Olympics in Munich. The tower has a viewing platform as well as a revolving restaurant that completes a revolution every 53 minutes. It also functions as a broadcasting tower for many regional radio stations. The views from the top are amazing and well worth the trip up.
4. Dachau Concentration Camp
The Holocaust is a topic that the German people take very seriously. It is in the curriculum that every German high school child must visit a concentration camp, so that they can understand the massive impact of the wrongs their forefathers committed. A forty-minute drive from the city centre, it is well worth a visit. It won’t be a fun day out but it is a sobering experience that should be seen by all.
Germany is famed for its beautiful lakes. This is one of the best. A two-hour drive out from the city centre is made worth it because of the idyllic location. It is right on the border of Austria and is noted for its crystal clear water. Be warned though, Germans are renowned worldwide for their love of nudity and skinny-dipping, regardless of age or body shape. Those with a sensitive disposition would do well to approach with caution.
Where to eat and where to go out
Munich has some very fine restaurants as well as some that are better suited to a tighter budget. Schnelle Liebe is one such offering, serving up organic burgers, pasta and huge salads all for under €10.
But a trip to Germany wouldn’t be complete without sampling a Currywurst. This national delicacy takes some getting used to, but is a great snack between meals. It is a fried sausage covered in curry ketchup and served with crispy and golden chips dusted with paprika infused salt, an accompanying mountain of mayonnaise is almost obligatory. The best spot for this in Munich is Bergwolf.
Munich has a whole host of beer halls and gardens. The most famous of which is the Hofbräuhaus which has been serving the same great beer since 1589. It is from this hall that Hitler attempted to spark the revolution in 1923 that landed him with a jail term.
In the summer months you would do well to give the Hirschgarten a visit. Tucked into a glorious park, the place will be full of Bavarians in the summer months soaking up some glorious sun, a stein of beer or two and some of the fine Bavarian classics such as Schnitzel or a variety of pork dishes.
It is worth noting that most Biergartens in Germany are more than happy for you to bring your own food as long as you buy a drink. This is a great tip for saving a few pounds here and there on your days out.
If you’re looking for a meal on a shoestring then you should consider heading to the student district, known as Universität, where there is a solid block of 35 or so restaurants serving the local student population.
If you are headed to Munich this summer, you would do well to check out some of these pursuits. But don’t forget to hire a car from easyCar.