On an interrailing trip heading east, a stop in south Germany is a must and what better place than Munich. Munich is the capital of Bavaria and known for its traditional German feel and of course Oktoberfest. As 2 German students travelling Europe it only made sense that we stopped in Munich on our path across Europe.
Planning & Accomodation
Munich was the longest we stayed in one place. We did this because we knew we wanted to visit Neuschwanstein Castle which is a bit further out of Munich. We arrived in Munich late after a relaxing journey from Hannover. This was our first introduction to the Deutsche Bahn which we unfortunately became very well acquainted with during our stay in south Germany. If you need to be anywhere on time, don’t travel with Deutsche Bahn! Our train left Hannover 45 minutes late. They did have a bar on board so of course, being 17 at the time and enjoying Germany’s slack drinking laws, I had to get a beer! We stayed at the A&O Hostel next to Munich Hauptbahnhof which was pretty well located and the room was amazing. It was more like an apartment and we even had a balcony!
Transport & U-Bahn
The next morning we headed into the centre of Munich for a day of sightseeing. We used the U-Bahn in Munich which was relatively easy as all of the main lines go through the same stations? Makes no sense to me but I’m not complaining. A ticket for the day is around €8. My phone didn’t recognise Munich transport, so I just used the map to navigate us which worked out pretty well. Munich main train station is absolutely huge too, we got breakfast here every day and ate at different places every time. The Schokocroissants from the stands by the platforms are the best though!
Marienplatz & Rathaus
We headed for Marienplatz which is the main city centre stop in Munich. Of course I had to buy a huge punnet of south German strawberries to snack on all morning. Our first stop was the New Town Hall, mainly because of the viewing platform! It costs a few euros to go up, it’s worth it for the nice view of Munich and the breeze . After that we spent a some time just looking around the town hall which was so cute and typically German. There is also a restaurant near by which serves traditional Bavarian dishes, but we held out until dinner time for some proper German culture.
Englisch Garten & Cycle Hire
From there we went to the Englisch Garten, which is easy to remember as an English person! We hired some bikes and rode around the park. Although I’m sure that in an hour we barely saw any of it. The gardens are huge and have little cafes dotted around them, including the one where you can rent bikes from. Inside the garden there is a river which hosts some cool looking surfing, who knew you could surf in Bavaria? Not me!! There is also a lake in the middle which was nice to sit by and watch the ducks. The gardens go on for miles and have so many different entrances and exits. You could honestly box off a whole day to spend here!
Olympic Park & Shopping
After we returned the bikes, we decided to exploit our underground tickets even more and headed for the Olympic Park. We got there quite late at around 5/6pm and we were virtually the only ones there. You pay an entrance fee of a couple of euros and get to spend as much time as you like walking around the park and seeing where the Olympics took place in 1972. There are also lots of gardens around the park that you can explore if you want. Fair warning that it is quite a walk from the closest underground station, which we ended up doing in the rain in Birkenstocks and summer dresses. There is also a big shopping centre right by the olympic park, so I bought a new outfit for our “night out” in Munich.
Hofbräuhaus & Nightlife
We headed back to the hostel to freshen up before heading back out to enjoy some Munich nightlife. As we both enjoyed our trip to the Hofbräuhaus in Berlin in January, it only felt right to go back but this time to the original one in Munich. On a Thursday night it was absolutely packed, but it is a tourist hotspot, so bare this in mind. The Hofbräuhaus is just a traditional German beer hall with live music, Bavarian food and of course good beer. After that we had wanted to try some German night clubs, but unfortunately none were open at 11pm on a Thursday, but we did stumble across a cool bar with a DJ. After some extensive googling the name of the bar is Heart Restaurant and Bar in Munich. I can highly recommend the Aperol Spritz but at €8.90 it’s certainly not budget friendly.
Neuschwanstein & Füssen
The next morning we got up nice and early and got the Flixbus to Neuschwanstein Castle to have a look around. We turned up again, in our summer dresses, kagouls and birkenstocks (to be fair that’s all we packed!) to be greeted with wind and rain as we trekked up to the top of the hill where the castle was. Although we did look quite out of place next to everyone who brought walking poles and salopettes. Anyway we made it to the castle and had a quick look inside. There isn’t much to do in Neuschwanstein in Schwangau itself so we ended up going down to Füssen where we were actually getting the train back from. We had a look around the shops but the weather was just so bad we ended up sheltering in doors as much as possible.
Our plan was to head west to Bodensee to meet my Aunt and Uncle for dinner as I hadn’t seen them in 4 years. We jumped on a train through the Ällgau which is single track trainlines??? And ended up being late for our connection across to Lindau. We were told that the train was waiting and when we turned up there was a train on the platform that we believed went to Lindau so we hopped on and an hour or so later ended up in completely the wrong place. So a couple of meltdowns later and a few phone calls home we managed to get back on the write train, we were just 1hr30 late for dinner oops! Thankfully we had a lovely dinner with lovely company and headed back on the Flixbus to Munich. Just writing that is bringing all the stress back ahhhhh!!
Well that was it for Munich, we checked out of the hotel and carried on towards Austria!