Munich, Germany is a town abundant in history. From its roots of being started by Monks that eventually developed beer and the beer halls that make modern-day Munich famous, this town is a favorite! It also has large churches and cathedrals, fabulous restaurants, beautiful museums and monuments and the largest public park in Europe. Not to mention the towering coo-coo clock overlooking the main square; the Glockenspiel. While a lot of the town had been built up on propaganda and then destroyed during WWII, the towers of the Cathedral were left intact as a marker from the air so that bombers from above knew where to fly. This same Cathedral also contains the ‘devil’s footprint’ branded intro the marble floor of the entrance. While the monuments and museums may bring the crowds; the open-air markets and beer gardens create a youthful feel to a city so recently devastated… but if you didn’t know the history, you never would have guessed. While it rained the entire time we were in Munich, we were able to hop in and out of beer halls, shops and restaurants with delicious cheese plates. We highly recommend the Ratskeller restaurant located under the Main Square. But at first glance from the top of the stairs you would never guess the size of this hidden gem.
Many people head straight to the Hoffbrau Haus. It has an infamous history and its servers are laden in drindls carrying 7 pints in a hand, not to mention a central location. However, what you will find is just that – the tourist capital of Munich! I prefer to find more local hang outs, and after a long walk outside of the town center, we found the beer hall claiming to be the oldest in Munich and my personal favorite; Augustiner. However, if we are basing our favorite on beer – then I would head to Hacker Pschorr and grab a seat near the bar – you will be amazed at the wooden half-barrels opened one at a time in the traditional manner. While the rain prevented the picnic style beer gardens that make Munich a must-stop, the city was a great one and exploring the lavish Maximilianstraße, full of ritzy shops and Europe’s best designers offered contrast to the laid back atmosphere found elsewhere.; something for everyone.
We stayed at the Sheraton Olympia Park which is located about 20 minutes from the town center, but pretty instantaneously if you take the stream-lined and well-organized metro system developed when they rebuilt the city. It has a restaurant and bar on-site and is located in a more modern part of Munich closer to where the city hosted the Winter Olympics in the ‘70s. It offered us a peak into daily and common Munich residents’ lives and how they live in this great Bavarian capital. Located right next to a metro station and boasting helpful attendants speaking perfect English – they help you navigate the city, decipher the metro and find local attractions in your immediate area. On the morning before our early (6AM) departure, we considered taking a WWII Walking tour of the city. Unfortunately while trying to get our wallets out of our electronic safe, the combination didn’t work. Promptly, the front desk had sent up someone to help open the safe and change the batteries. While the timing prevented us from making our tour, we were so grateful to have discovered the dead batteries during regular business hours and not while we were trying to hurry to the airport