MUNICH, Germany – Craving sausages, beer, and colder weather, we flocked to this Bavarian capital city to celebrate the New Year.
Our stay 3 days/ 3 nights (aka holiday whirlwind)
Hofbrauhaus – we stepped off the plane and headed straight to the world’s most famous beer hall. We ordered the “Original HB sausage platter” with Viennese and pfälzer sausage on a bed of sauerkraut, the Goulash, and a potato dumpling side. If you’re craving apple strudel for dessert, make sure to arrive earlier because they sell out fast!
Trouble finding a Seat?
Do not wait to be seated at a bierhaus (and many other German establishments). Diners are expected to find their own table and seating is open. Sometimes a waiter may suggest a table, but they’re usually too busy serving the people who are already seated. Embrace the culture and sit with strangers..chances are they’ll become your new friends. So grab a pretzel, sip on a beer, and soak in the German atmosphere.
Augustiner Keller – huge bierhaus with underground cellar, main hall, and biergarten. This restaurant offers tickets to their private New Year’s Eve party which includes a three course dinner. To our surprise, the bierhaus closed at 2am so we continued the celebration at Shakespeare Bar with our new friends.
Tip: There is another location, Augustiner am Dom, which is situated closer to the Marienplatz.
Zwickl – excellent for dinner! It’s a cozy restaurant and it embraces the German style shared seating. Reasonable prices and high quality.
Noppakao Thai– need a break from German food? We stumbled upon this hole in the wall down the street from our Airbnb and were not disappointed. Very limited seating so we took our delicious pad thai to go.
Andy’s Krablergarten – This casual restaurant offers several traditional German dishes, including the local favorite = pork schnitzel. Big enough for two, Dmitriy and I voted this the best schnitzel of the trip.
Paying with Credit Cards & Tipping
If you are paying by credit card, the tipping procedure is slightly different from that in the US. Tell the server how much you want to add for the tip before he swipes your card.
Even better -Pay the tip in cash. The server is more likely to get the full amount and will not have to pay taxes.
Marienplatz – iconic public square and the largest in Munich! It still stands as the center of social activity in the city.
Sandeman’s Free Walking Tour – starts at Marienplatz and lasts about 3 hours. Did you know that 80% of Munich was destroyed in WWII? We visited several historical sites like the Frauenkirche (or Munich’s cathedral) and learned that The Allies used the church towers as a geographical landmark and therefore were not bombed during the war.
Fun fact: the city administration prohibits any building in the city center to exceed the height of the church towers.
Viktualienmarkt – local farmer’s market just steps away from the Marienplatz.
English Garden – we strolled through this beautiful park on the way to the Chinese Tower beer garden and stumbled upon a group of locals surfing on a man made wave on the Eisbach River. You can find surfing year round at the Eisbachwelle. Lastly, make sure to stop at the Monopteros for panoramic views.
Munich Residenz – former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarch, open to the public.
Bavarian State Chancellery – destroyed by WW2, this government building was rebuilt in it’s original design.
Neuschwanstein Castle – Walt Disney’s inspiration to create the Magic Kingdom. Located on the German/Austrian border about 2 hours away from Munich by train.
Day Trip – by guided tour only! We chose a Viator package that included train, bus, and castle tickets. Highly recommended since there were SO many tourists. We found value in the Viator guide because she helped with logistics only (Neuschwanstein does not allow outside guides inside the castle) The tour is 30 minutes long.
Tips: Wear comfortable shoes = it’s about a 20-30 minute walk uphill to the entrance of the castle. We had some time before our time slot so we enjoyed a beer and the BEST freshly made donuts at the restaurant up the hill.
*Do not wait until you arrive to purchase tickets – entrance is permitted by reserved time slots. Tickets are available 2 days in advance.
If visiting in December/January like we did, make sure to dress warm!!
Maybe next year we’ll make it to Oktoberfest!