Germany: Munich

This is a Work in Progress
Munich’s main square is Marienplatz. Most of the major city sights are situated somewhere around that point (Old and New Town Square, Glockenspiel, Hofbrahaus…). On our first day, we went there for Radius tour’s “Priceless Munich Tour” which was free (you just tip the guide at the end–it departed at 10:45, no reservations necessary. They were holding a big sign in the center of the square. That is where we ended up signing up for a tour of Dachau Concentration Camp (just outside of Munich)–they give you their sphiel about the company at the end and must make a commission off of whatever people sign up for. The walking tour was good because it got us oriented to the city and covered the outside of the major sights. Then, after it, we went back to what we wanted to.

We found that the train station (which our hotel was near) actually had quite a few good food vendors in the hall, so for snacks or a quick bite (like breakfast), it was very convenient. We found one place we loved for dinner that was about 3 blocks away from the train station and went there twice. If you are unfamiliar with Augustiner Beer, it is beer that used to be brewed by the monks and it is AMAZING. When we were in Salzburg, we found an Augustiner beer garden which was amazing, and when we heard there was something similar in Munich, we searched it out. To get there, all you do is walk through the train station all the way to the opposite side from the hotel, turn left on Arnulfstrasse and about 3 blocks up on your right you’ll see Augustiner Brau. They have a small beer garden outside, a large inside–both a bar area with a few tables and a large dining area, and the most beautiful part is in the basement. We didn’t discover this until our second night here, but the basement has a beautiful old vault where they used to store the beer and the ambiance and atmosphere are really great for a meal (high, vaulted ceilings, lit just right, etc). By the time we got to Munich I was getting a bit sick of sausage, but they had this great vegetarian dish there which was scalloped potatoes with cheese and broccoli. Tthe meat was good, too, but the atmosphere and the beer make it a great place to go regardless of where you eat.

Side Trips:
We took the train one day to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich, so that was very easy to access (we did that ourselves, not through a tour… when you get to Fussen via train, there is a bus that goes directly to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, then both castles require you take the tour they have anyway, so really all the tour offices provide for that is transporation, you can get yourself train tickets, book the castles yourself–do it ahead of time online or plan to wait in line for forever–and save some $).

We also took the train out to Dachau concentration camp, but that we did with the tourist office that is located directly in the train station (Radius). That is a sight that you really want to see with a guide to truly get an appreciation for it. We definitely found it to be worth it, and it didn’t cost all that much more than doing it ourselves.

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