I started my first international trip with Munich(Germany) it’s a wonderful city that you’ll fall in love with more every time you visit & it’s a very traditional German city.
For solo traveller, safety is very important to travel so here is my rating system
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 1 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 1 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 1 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)
I loved the old town area – very ‘old world’ with the Rathaus and Glockenspiel – and the Viktualienmarkt, a massive outdoor market with all types of food, beverages, flowers, crafts, etc.
The English Gardens are a beautiful adventure. I saw people surfing, playing cricket, biking, everything. And the beer garden at the Chinese Pavilion was scrumptious!
There’s also Schloss Nymphemberg. The gardens are beautiful and beside the main palace, there are a handful of other beautiful smaller ‘cottages’ scattered about the grounds. It was enchanting.
Getting around is so easy everywhere in Germany. You can walk most places or take the trams which are very easy to figure out. There’s always a schedule at each tram stop plus an electric sign that tells you when the next tram will arrive (usually just a few minutes).
lederhosen, sausages and beer, opera, a royal residence, and the marienplatz glockenspiel. It’s also a hub of technology and is the home to the BMW museum and the Deutsches Museum which is famed for being the largest science and technology museum in the world. The city has range!
My top recommendations for a few days in Munich.
- Marienplatz. This is where everyone starts and rightly so. It’s the square in the center of town with the glockenspiel which performs at 11:00 am, noon, and 5:00 pm. Even if there are no special events in the square it’s a must. When I visited, a Christmas market was set up there.
- Enjoy the outdoor culture. Even in the cool weather of December people were sitting outside at the cafes and beer gardens. For locals, the main purpose of the Christmas markets is to meet people outside. Munich is truly an outdoor culture.
- The English Garden is a massive park within a 20-minute walk of Marienplatz. Created in 1789, it covers almost 1,000 acres and though it’s called the English Garden it includes a variety of unique spaces including the Chinese Tower, the Japanese Teahouse, and a 7,000-seat beer garden.
- Viktualienmarkt is just a few minute’s walks from Marienplatz and a place to have lunch amongst locals. There are communal tables to sit at. It’s great for people watching and you’ll often find men having a beer there at any time of day.
- Staatsoper. Whether you simply take a tour of the opera house or actually go to the opera, this is a site that I would not want to miss. Tickets to the opera in Munich are surprisingly affordable.
- Manu Factum. Pop into Manu Factum, which is around the corner from the Staatsoper and a few minutes from Marienplatz. It has the very best quality of very ordinary things. I’m not a shopper but I found this to be a fascinating retail curiosity. A pencil sharpener I saw cost over 100 Euros. As my mother would have said, it’s not the best use of 100 Euros. But there are also items that are not too expensive yet quite special. Looking is free.
- Take in a neighborhood. Get out of the city center where all tourists go and get into a neighborhood. I’d recommend Schwabing which isn’t all that far away. Should you walk all the way to the north end of the English Garden you’ll get there. In the past, it was Munich’s bohemian quarter. It’s been gentrified and is now a destination for shopping and restaurants and clubs in the evening.
- Go to Ingo Maurer’s Showroom. While in Schwabing, go to Ingo Maurer’s showroom. It’s spectacular! I loved it–so much so that I will write an entire post about it very soon.
- Go to one of the many museums. From art to beer, there is a museum covering almost every subject in Munich. I went to the National Socialism Museum which opened just a couple of years ago. It’s an amazing study of the rise of the Nazis and of populist politics in general. There are many lessons to be learned there.
- Check for festivals. Munich is famous for Oktoberfest which takes place in the Theresienwiese fairgrounds. But that’s not all that happens there or throughout the city. Check the Munich event listings before you go. I went to Tollwood when I was there, which is a festival that happens twice a year. It was great fun.
- Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. I visited this memorialabout 15 years ago. It’s heavy stuff but I think very worth while. It’s located just outside of Munich and can be accessed by Munich transit.
- Bus tour. At some point in my visit to a major city, I usually take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to get an overview of the city. If I’ve traveled overnight I usually do this on the first day when I’m tired.
In the end, I want to say, Munich is a lovely city and has stuck to my heart. PM me if you need any more tips or info …. happy to share tips with you in this city that I love so much!!!!!!!