Prost from Munich!

The Eurail train got us from Prague to Munich way too fast! We thought we gave ourselves a good amount of time to detox and never look at beer again, but as we approached the next beer capital of the world all that game plan went out the window. Halting in the Munich Central Station, we decided it would be a good idea to stretch out our legs after sitting for several hours and walk 45 minutes directly west to our Airbnb. Our host, Franz, was one of our favorites as he had some good travel stories from being a flight attendant, gave us great recommendations for Munich fun, and made us breakfast every morning!

Day 1

For dinner we went to a nearby restaurant that our host recommended where we ate some delicious schweinebraten (pork roast) and schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) coupled with dumplings. Then we sprinted north for another 45 minutes to arrive at Munich Olympic Park for our host’s next recommendation- Sommernachtstraum! This is a one night event at the park in July where they bring in food and beer vendors to prepare for the main event- a dominant fireworks show bursting from the central pond that is synced with some of the most epic music you can think of. This is without a doubt the best fireworks show we have witnessed. If you’re in Munich near the end of July, make sure you get to this.

An example of the very hearty food Germany has to offer!

Munich’s Olympic Park (which held the 1972 Olympics).

A spectacular fireworks show for Sommernachtstraum!

An example of the very hearty food Germany has to offer!

Munich’s Olympic Park (which held the 1972 Olympics).

A spectacular fireworks show for Sommernachtstraum!

Day 2

This morning we walked another 45 minutes into the heart of the city to Marienplatz to begin our free walking tour through Sandemans Tours. How free walking tours work is you decide how much you would like to pay the guide at the end of the tour. This was a fantastic way to become more aware of how to get around central Munich and to learn some fun history. For lunch we traveled to the Augustiner Brewery. This became our top choice of beer, but we were a little upset that the pretzels were rock hard and cold. Despite it not being fall we next wandered the grounds of Oktoberfest to try and imagine how much fun we would have at this festival. I think we were the only ones cutting through the field, but it was very helpful to go through and identify each of the six big breweries of Munich. Speaking of the big six, our final stop of the evening came at Hofbräuhaus, where we enjoyed a few liters and some live music.

Marienplatz

Rathaus-Glockenspiel: a giant cuckoo clock in Marienplatz!

Augustiner Brewery

We were underwhelmed by the pretzels.

Oktoberfest grounds during the off-season.

Hofbräuhaus

Germany is known for its liters!

Marienplatz

Rathaus-Glockenspiel: a giant cuckoo clock in Marienplatz!

Augustiner Brewery

We were underwhelmed by the pretzels.

Oktoberfest grounds during the off-season.

Hofbräuhaus

Germany is known for its liters!

Day 3

We bought a Bayern regional train ticket to ride all the way south to Füssen where we disembarked on our journey to the famed Neuschwanstein Castle. We had bought our tour tickets well in advance to go see this palace that served as the model for Cinderella’s and Sleeping Beauty’s castles. Soon we learned that the creator of this estate, King Ludwig II, was a bit of an odd character and was willing to bankrupt Bavaria to complete his vision. Although the castle was never completed due to his early death, most of it sits on a hill with a gorgeous backdrop of the Bavarian countryside that makes for epic pictures. Make sure to find the St. Mary’s Bridge behind the castle for the best shots! Upon entering the castle, you are not allowed to take pictures during the entirety of the tour. But trust us- each room is crazy. One by one they had a different theme and style made from King Ludwig’s mind, with one of the more jaw-dropping moments being his throne room.

Neuschwanstein Castle

The pic you can snag on St. Mary’s Bridge!

The other cool view you get from St. Mary’s Bridge.

You can’t take pictures inside the castle, but here’s a cool one from the back balcony!

Neuschwanstein Castle

The pic you can snag on St. Mary’s Bridge!

The other cool view you get from St. Mary’s Bridge.

You can’t take pictures inside the castle, but here’s a cool one from the back balcony!

Not wanting to leave this beautiful landscape quite yet, we made our way over to the Tegelbergbahn, a giant cable car system that brings you up Tegelberg Mountain. The views were stunning but what was even more exciting was the sommerrodelbahn. This is an alpine luge course that you can cruise down the mountain on for a more exhilarating descent. Despite our size difference, Megan definitely built up more speed and kicked my butt down the slide. I think I was a little too large for the sled to work properly… Returning to Munich that evening we enjoyed some dinner at Schnelle Liebe and taste tested some Hacker-Pschorr.

An alpine luge with some stellar views!

Day 4

A 30-40 minute train ride northwest of Munich brought us to our most somber moments of the trip. We met our guide at the station and began the tour through the Dachau Concentration Camp in the mid-morning. Open from 1933-1945, it was the first camp opened in Germany and served mainly as an experimental execution site. Not many of the buildings and barracks remain, but there is still a sense of human tragedy surrounding you as everyone walks silently through the grounds. The most difficult parts to take in were the crematoriums and gas chambers as the tour concluded. Putting a damper on most of the afternoon after that, there were some highlights to still be had! We met an awesome couple from Idaho who we ended up having lunch with us back in Munich. Lunch included wiener schnitzel which was outstanding and then we trained to the northeast of the city to Allianz Arena! We had discovered the first day of the Audi Cup would be going on tonight and simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go see some top-tier European soccer! The Audi Cup is hosted by Bayern Munich and invites three other top European teams to come play a two-day preseason tournament. The Allianz Arena holds about 75,000 people, so we had no trouble getting tickets the day before for some preseason matches. We actually got seats closer to the field than we imagined and just took in the sporting atmosphere while cheering for the home squad. It was an absolute blast! Fun fact: the new soccer arena in St. Paul, MN is modeled after this arena in Munich!

Dachau Concentration Camp

A truly somber experience.

No words.

Allianz Arena

Spectators at the Audi Cup!

The arena looked even cooler at night!

Dachau Concentration Camp

A truly somber experience.

No words.

Allianz Arena

Spectators at the Audi Cup!

The arena looked even cooler at night!

Day 5

After all this beer consumption, we couldn’t possibly leave Germany without purchasing some traditional steins! So, we sought out our favorites at multiple shops during our last day in Munich and came away with a good collection. It turns out custom steins are really expensive! But they make drinking anything that much cooler, so they were worth it. Most of the day was spent taking in the Englischer Garten, one of the world’s largest public parks. We discovered the Eisbach first, which is a man-made river surfing spot! It was super cool and looked like fun if you knew what you were doing! Next, we grabbed a beer at the Chinese Tower beer garden, followed by another beer at the Seehaus lakeside beer garden. We were simply relaxing and people watching while enjoying another beautiful day. Eventually we got hungry and made our way over to Max Emanuel Brauerei (which has permanently closed). Ordering a Löwenbrӓu here bumped up our count of Munich mainstay beers to 4 out of 6. But we wanted to end with our favorite beer- so we hurried over to Augustiner with probably the most beautiful beer garden and met up with our new friends from Idaho again! The Augustiner beer garden is also gigantic. There must’ve been 4,000 people in there enjoying liters of beer and having a grand old time. It was the perfect way to wrap up our Munich fun and prepare for our train to Zürich!

Englischer Garten: where you can surf in the middle of the city!

The Chinese Tower beer garden!

Augustiner Beer Garden…with just a few people.

They even had bussing carts!

Munich Fun 🙂

Englischer Garten: where you can surf in the middle of the city!

The Chinese Tower beer garden!

Augustiner Beer Garden…with just a few people.

They even had bussing carts!

Munich Fun 🙂

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