Munich is a city of Maximilians. The most well known were Maximilian I who became the first King of Bavaria in the late 1700s and his grandson King Maximillian II of Bavaria, who ruled through 1864. Due to their influence, Maximilians have been an important part of Munich’s history with many squares, statues and buildings named after them. It comes as no surprise then that my own Maximilian fell in love with Munich immediately. The history, culture and traditions pulled him in and of course he loved pretending that the city was named after him. As you can see, there is plenty of evidence.
I recently discussed some of my initial impressions of Munich, but there was so much more about Munich that needed to be captured. I thought it would be a good idea to ask my traveling partner Maximilian to share some of his favorite parts of “his” city.
Where to stay? Hotel Laimer Hof is the place to stay. Located 20 minutes from the city center by train, you get that neighborhood feel while still being close to the city. The quaint, yellow building is warm and filled with character. The friendly and knowledgeable staff make all the difference and provide extras like stamps, train tickets and most importantly, beers.
What to see? I’m assuming that most first-time visitors to Munich find themselves at the Marienplatz and city center so I’m going to highlight some of my favorite things outside of that area.
- The Nymphenburg Palace: The summer palace and gardens on are beautiful. The gardens are extensive and are great to explore on a nice day.
- Deutches Museum: As one of the world’s leading science and technology museums, the Deutches Museum can keep you occupied for hours. Aeronautics, railways, and musical instruments were the highlights for me.
- BMW Museum and Olympiapark: I grouped these two together because they are right next to each other so if you go you should see both. The BMW Museum was the highlight for me because I am a car enthusiast and there are many interactive features to make the experience hands-on. Olympiapark has beautiful grounds right next door and the beautiful green spaces are worth exploring.
Where to eat?
This is the easiest question of all because Munich has some of the best food in Europe. For lunch, Schwaige is a great restaurant near Nymphenburg Palace, which has a great outdoor courtyard and delicious sausages.
If you only have one dinner in Munich than you have to go to Zum Alten Markt. Located off the Viktualienmarkt, this restaurant is fantastic. They have an outdoor patio, which joins a few other restaurants in the same square, but if you are able to I recommend sitting inside. The wood paneling on the walls and ceilings remind me of how I always pictured restaurants and beer halls in Munich to look. The restaurant is mostly filled with locals so it feels like an authentic experience. Their food was fantastic and the apple pancake is a must for dessert. Make sure you make reservations (you can do it online) as they were full the night we were there.
Favorite Beer Garden?
The Hirshgarten was our first beer garden experience and remained my favorite. As the largest beer garden in Munich, I loved the space that outdoors afforded. I found the beer garden to be filled with locals, hanging out with friends on a Saturday night which made it feel authentic. The food was also really good and helped to complete the great experience.
Favorite Beer? Augustinerbrau Munchen Lagerbier Hell
Favorite Experience? The helicopter ride that we took with Heliflieger was one of the most unique experiences of the whole trip. Seeing Munich from above after we had explored it on foot allowed us to get our bearings in a different way. The view of the Alps and the Lake Region at the beginning of the tour is spectacular and has officially made it on my list for our next trip to Europe.
How to get off the beaten path? Make sure you wander away from the Marienplatz and down the side streets for great shops and galleries that are not tourist traps. I found a great vintage drawing of Munich that I’m going to get framed.