As we disembarked the plane in Munich it felt like we had instantly found summer with bright sunshine and 27 degrees. Munich Airport is brilliant and it’s really easy to get to the centre of the city, there is a train station at the airport and it only takes 45 minutes to get to Hauptbahnhof (central station).
We decided we’d make the most of the beautiful weather so spent the day exploring the city by foot. We visited Marienplatz to admire the amazing architecture. There are loads of pretty buildings in Munich and the whole city has a lovely feel to it. For lunch we popped into one of the many bakeries and got a Käsebrezel (cheese prezel) which we enjoyed while we sat out in the sun next to a pretty fountain just off Marienplatz. For anyone who loves pastries and bread, like me, the bakeries in Munich are a dream! There are rows and rows of freshly baked pastries, prezels and rolls. We strolled through the food market Viktualienmarkt where there are stalls selling fresh vegetables, delicious looking sausages and of course beer.
We decided the lovely weather would be the perfect opportunity to explore the English Garden so wandered up there. The garden is so huge that when you are in the middle of it you forget you are in a city as all you can see is trees. We spent some time by the Chinese tower where there was a traditional oompah band playing and crowds enjoying the food and beer at the dining area. We walked around the nearby lake and after enjoyed a delicious beer in the beer garden on the side of the lake. For anyone who isn’t a massive beer drinker, radler (shandy) is really good. There is so much to see in the English Garden and you could easily spend a day there. The rapid river running through the garden which people were jumping into wearing rubber rings looked really fun!
After all the walking we headed to the famous Hofbrauhaus to enjoy another beer. The beers here were huge in 2 pint beer steins and were amazing. We stayed for food and tried out the selection of Munich sausages with sauerkraut and the suckling pig with dumplings. After dinner we visited a few of the outdoor cafes to enjoy even more of the beer and a delicious apple strudel.
On the second day we got up early for our pre-booked tour of Dachau. We went with Radius Travel and had a brilliant tour guide, Steve, who was an expert on WW2. He met us at the station and took us over to Dachau for our 5 hour tour. Stepping in to Dachau was very sombre, the memorial site has been done very well to give visitors some understanding of what life in there must have been like and houses a number of monuments dedicated to the thousands of people who lost their lives. I felt it was good to have visited to pay respects and see it for myself having read a lot about it, the scale of it was unbelievable. If you do go I would recommend a guided tour.
When we got back to the city the weather had changed and it had started raining so we headed for The Munich Residenz, the former Bavarian Royal Palace and the house of Wittelsbach. Entry to the palace included a free audio tour which was really good. The palace itself was beautiful and huge so make sure you allow plenty of time if you do go to make the most of the very informative audio tour.
Euro 2016 was taking place while we were out there and that evening happened to be the Germany v Italy game. We sat in one of the very busy outdoor cafes where TVs had been hooked up outside showing the game. The atmosphere was great and you could hear a round of cheers throughout Marienplatz whenever Germany scored.
Munich is a great place for a weekend break and there is so much to do but it’s also great just to soak up the atmosphere in Marienplatz. I’d love to go back again to see BMW World and Museum and visit some of the other palaces including the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle, not far out of Munich which was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle.