We found ourselves in a situation where we had done our time in Italy (for this trip anyway), and we had about 6 nights to get to Budapest for Christmas and Birthday celebrations. Using the Eurail app, we found a number of potential options, and ended up deciding to go to Munich. Normally a city that tourists descend upon during October for the famous Octoberfest, we weren’t too sure what to expect outside of this event.
Biggest tip: Munich has a great public transport system, and certainly the U-bahn and S-bahn are easy to understand. Get a three day public transport pass. The system is all a little convoluted, but the best value is a group pass for three days, costing just over €29 and covers up to 5 adults with the one ticket.
Definitely see: At least one of the grand beer halls. They are an assault on the senses, but I am now of the view that they are the only way to enjoy a beverage. We managed to get to Hofbräuhaus and Augustiner-Bräustuben. The band at Hofbräuhaus is legendary, and my favourite bit is when ever 20mins or so they play a particular tune that stops dead any talking in the hall – with Germans standing up singing along, and then accompanying the end of the song with hard clinking of glasses and shouts of “Prost” – pretty sweet!
See only if you have an avid interest: I know I may get hate mail for this, but the Rathaus-Glockenspiel was a little of a let down. I get that for lovers of glockenspiels its pretty sweet, and I also get that the story is one intrinsic with Bavarian culture – but it was all just a little Meh for me.
Our airBnB was a lovely little apartment about 10mins from the city centre, and we were well placed to get to the main sites that we wanted to get to.
In my opinion Munich isn’t really a great “tourist” destination outside of Octoberfest, however that being said the Beloved and I like to travel where tourism is a second to a city of people living, breathing, working and living ordinary lives – this is the reason why we want to live in as many countries as we can!!! So, Munich was a good choice for us in this way – we were able to live like locals for the week preceding Christmas, and it was fun, cold and grey 🙂