While visiting Germany with my friend, we planned a brief trip to Munich and we had an absolute blast! Munich (München) was founded by Henry the Lion in 1158 and is the capital of Bavaria. Most people think of Oktoberfest when they think of Munich – however, it’s a charming city worth visiting any time of year! Here are my highlights for first time visitors to Munich:
Marienplatz, or Mary’s Square, is the main square in Munich and one of the first things I picture when I think of the city! Both the new town hall (Neues Rathaus) and the old town hall (Altes Rathaus) are situated in the square on the north and east side, respectively. Marienplatz is usually full of activity! In the center of the square sits the Mariensäule, the column with a golden Virgin Mary marking the center of the city.
Neues Rathaus | New Town Hall
You wouldn’t think that the New Town Hall was built in the 20th century, because of its neo-gothic architecture. Neues Rathaus has hosted the Munich city government since 1874 and was only completed in 1905! Walk through the courtyard and just take in all the stunning architecture. There is also an observation tower offering a great panoramic view of the city.
You will find many people use the fountain in Marienplatz as a meet up spot, but tourists also congregate to watch the famous glockenspiel show! This is the clock on the New Town Hall that chimes and reenacts stories from the 16th century every day at 11:00 and noon. In the summer, it also chimes at 5:00pm. The glockenspiel show lasts between 12-15 minutes, ending with the tiny golden rooster.
Munich is home to Oktoberfest and offers some of the most famous beer halls and beer gardens in Germany! We visited one of the most well-known beer halls, Hofbräuhaus. I highly recommend at least visiting it once. That being said, there are tons of options for drinking in Munich so take your pick of the many beer halls and gardens and enjoy a Maß – a liter mug of beer!
Unfortunately, when I visited Munich Frauenkirche was under construction so part of the towers were covered. This gothic cathedral is a symbol of Munich, with its towers being distinctive to the city’s skyline. Legend has it the devil himself left a footprint at the entrance to Frauenkirche!
Tower of St. Peter's Church
Climb up St. Peter’s Church for a great view over Marienplatz! It started raining while we were up there and the storm clouds looked so cool!
Follow the golden path on Viscardigasse in Munich for a visit into the past. This golden path was erected to memorialize the path that locals took to avoid passing a memorial to Nazi supporters that Hitler had erected in 1933.
I hope you enjoyed my brief highlights of Munich! If you have more time in the city, there are other great attractions like the Englischer Garden – check out the Munich Travel site for more sightseeing tips!