A day to see Munich? tell him he’s dreaming most would say. And they would be right, there is just too much to see and do in this town for just one day. But if you do find yourself with just a day like I did perhaps my adventure can help get you to see some of what there is on offer in Munich.
Starting the day with the free walking tour that meets on Marienplatz under Mary’s Column I soon found a couple of Aussie girls and a Canadian guy to talk travel with for the next couple of hours. It just so happened I had met the girls the day before on our train into Munich when we had to swap to a bus to cross the border before continuing on train.
The tour lasting just on 3 hours covered a good section of Munich, which included the following:
- The Glockenspiel
- Hofbräuhaus – self explanatory really
- Frauenkirche – Cathedral of Our Dear Lady
- Viktualienmarkt – Daily markets held in the center of Munich
Now there was many more churches and buildings to see, along with some history on Hitler’s beginnings so don’t think the above is all you will get to see on the day.
The Cathedral of Our Dear Lady had a story to go along with it that relates to the dark footprint you can see in the foyer of the building. The story goes that as the church was being built the devil marveled at the building because it did not appear to have any windows. Liking it so much he made a deal with the builders to fund the construction as long as the windows were kept out of the design.
Little did the devil know the windows already existed in the building at the time but had been obscured from his view in the foyer by large columns. By the time the devil came back to check on his church and noticed the windows he could not enter as it had been consecrated. Stomping his foot in anger, he left the mark in the floor that you now see in the foyer. True or not it sure makes for a compelling tourist attraction.
At the end of the tour my Canadian friend and I headed to St Peter’s Church to get a better look at Munich from above. The tower at St Peter’s Church offer’s amazing 360 degree views, which if your a fan of checking out a city from above is well worth it the small fee to climb it.
Our next stop was lunch at the Hofbrauhaus, which also included my first stein of beer for the day. Wanting to ensure I had a good meal for the litre of beer to wash down I settled on the Crispy Roast Pork Knuckle with Potato Dumplings and Gravy (delicious you all need to try it). If only I could have kept one of the steins to take home with me…
Feeling merry from our meal (ok from the beer) we set off to walk the streets of Munich and see what else could be found before attending the Beer Challenge (aka Pub Crawl) later on that night. As it turns out there is some rather interesting stuff to see if you can just get yourself to wander about. We passed the Maximilianeum which has housed the state parliament since 1949, it sure is a fancy old building. Then further up after looping back over the Isar river we discovered a few adventurous guys surfing the chop of the river as it passed under a bridge.
Finding our way back to the train station I parted ways with my friend for the day. I set off to dump my gear and prepare for the pub crawl that was sure to help cool me down after exploring in the baking sun all day. a fitting end to my stay in Munich but I was also slightly paranoid I’d enjoy myself too much and miss that important train to Florence the next day. Given the reason I was going to Florence early was because of a lack of accommodation in Munich, I really didn’t want that to happen.
As expected the pub crawl started with a bang and was a great success. The night involved downing too many steins of beer to remember and learning a few songs that I had no idea what they really meant. Not that it matters when your in a group and all as drunk as each other, but in saying that I’m sure I saw a few locals cringe at our poor attempts to sing in their native tongue.
Due to the extremely hot weather failing to let up all night, we lounged around in beer garden after beer garden talking the night away. A fitting way to end my time in Munich really, beer in hand and surrounded by like minded travellers all loving life and where it is taking them.