Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bavarian Dream Vacation - Day 1, Munich

My friend, Georgette, mentioned to me she was going to spend a few days in Southern Germany with her son during their trip to Europe next year. She asked me what I what I would recommend they see in Munich if I were going (and how I wish I was). I started to put together a Google Map for them with recommendations, and thought I'd just go ahead and share my suggestions with all of you, too.

They only have three days to spend in Germany since they are on a schedule. So, here's how I would break it down. For reference, here's the map:

View Bavaria Things To See in a larger map

Day 1: Munich
Georgette told me once her and her son took a guided Segway tour of Austin, Texas and thoroughly enjoyed it. They plan to do the same in Munich. This is a great idea. There are two I found:
  • Mike's Bike Tours of Munich offers Segway and other tours in Bavaria. They are conveniently located near the Hofbrauhaus (a popular tourist attraction) and are highly rated by previous customers.
  • City Segway Tours is located close to the Main Train Station (Hauptbahnhof), also a convenient location.
Here are my München must-see suggestions for:
  • Frauenkirche - The twin-domed Cathedral of Our Lady is a prominent Munich landmark. Just a short distance from the Marienplatz, it's easy to see and find from just about anywhere in the central part of the city. It's a beautiful, old church and well worth taking an hour or so to walk through. 
  • Asamkirche Dominikanerinnen - Georgette mentioned wanted to visit a couple of churches. One I think they should see is the Asamkirche, which is just south of the Marienplatz on Sendlinger Strasse. This old, dark church is a great representation of Gothic-style churches. It's very interesting and takes just a few minutes to walk through.
  • Marienplatz and The Rathaus Glockenspiel - The Marienplatz is the heart of touristy Munich. There are shops and restaurants all around the perimeter ranging from old-style Gasthauses to American fast food. The highlight of the area is the Glockenspiel atop the city hall. Every day at 11 AM (also at Noon and 5 PM in the summer) the clock strikes and a play begins depicting the 1568 Wedding of Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria and Renata of Lorraine as well as the "Cooper Dance" which marked the end of a plague of that era. The show lasts around 15 minutes. Take the U3 or U6 and get off at the Marienplatz station.
  • For The History Buff - There is a display atop on of the buildings on the south-east part of the Marienplatz with photos of what the area looked like before World War II and at the end of that war. You can compare it with how it looks now and see that great pains were taken to restore the buildings just as they were. I can't remember exactly where it is, but I'll bet the Segway tour guides or the locals know where it is.
  • Beyrischer Donisl - After seeing the Glockenspiel show at 11 AM, a great place to stop for lunch is the Bayrischer Donisl. This was always my favorite place to lunch in Munich. Check out the Bavarian specialties and (of course) the excellent beer. I would recommend a sausage sampler platter including some Bavarian Weisswurst (White Sausage) - it can't be beat. It's located on the Marienplatz to the left as you're looking at the Glockenspiel.
  • BMW Museum - I'm a car buff, so I would be remiss if I didn't mention the BMW Museum located near the Olympic Park in the northern part of the city. The museum covers the history of the car maker from the beginning to modern times. Take the U3 to the Olympiazentrum station.
  • Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site - While this may not be a "happy tourist" place to go, while you're in the area it's certainly something to see. "Never Again" is the phrase you hear echoed over and over as you go through the museum and walk the grounds. It's certainly a heavy place, but important. Take the S2 from Munich to the Dachau station.
  • Beer Halls - There are a number of beer halls in Munich. The most famous (and arguably more for tourists) is the Hofbräuhaus. The food is great and the music is festive. And, of course, the beer is pretty good, too. I spent many a good time hanging around with friends and meeting people from all over the world there. Another nice place to visit, and less "touristy" is the Löwenbräukeller. Either spot would be great for dinner and a good time to wind up a great day.
Also mention: The Beer And Oktoberfest Museum. I've never been there and I don't even know if it existed when I last visited Munich, but it look like it might be interesting.

Thus ends day 1. Next up is day 2 in Schwangau.

Please feel free to leave your Munich tour tips in the comments.


  1. I suspect that the Segway tour goes through the Englischer Gartens, but it is a must see for me.

    Todd Y.

  2. Hello Todd, thanks for stopping by.

    Yes, I imagine that the Englischer Garten is included in the Segway tours and that's why I didn't mention it specifically. I recall that Biergarten next to the Chinese Tower in the Garten was a nice place to lunch, too. I remember going there for lunch after a FLTCE field trip to the nearby Voice of America offices.

  3. Diana Foskett10/24/2010 3:52 PM

    Excellent suggestions, Elmer! We spent a lot of time in Munich, especially in the Englisher Garten. I hope we get the opportunity to go back there again ourselves.

  4. Thanks, Diana. I appreciate you dropping in.

    I'm thinking now I should have mentioned the Englischer Garten specifically. :-)