Back in December I made my first ever trip to Germany, partly to visit the Christmas markets but partly just to spend time in one of Germany’s beautiful cities.
I chose Munich as it seemed to have the best of everything. A thriving food and drink scene, a gorgeous old town, a highly recommended Christmas market (post here) and a stunning surrounding area full of snowy mountains and fairytale castles (post here).
We really tried to pack as much as we could into our 2 and a half days, with 1 and a half days allowed for exploring the city itself. Whilst we did spend our evenings at the Christmas markets, the days were spent wandering the streets and seeing some gorgeous locations throughout the city. I thought I would put together a little guide of what we did in our time there and recommend some places to visit and things to eat (as per usual!).
So, here’s how to spend 24 hours in Munich.
Breakfast is always important and I had a couple of places that I wanted to try out. Both are delicious but it depends on your breakfast preferences!
If you’re happy with pastries for breakfast then check out Cafe Frischhut, where they make fabulous filled doughnuts called Krapfen. This gorgeous traditional style bakery was the perfect start to the day for us, although you could pop in here for a morning or afternoon tea break depending on your plans. They fry the doughnuts in an open area at the front of the cafe so you can see the work that goes into making them. It was a fabulous breakfast experience and one I would love to do again.
Prälat-Zistl-Straße 8, 80331
If you want something a little more substantial for the first meal of the day, then head to Cafe Luitpold, a fancy cafe over towards the Residenz which serves up a pretty delicious hot apple strudel with a vanilla sauce. Apple strudel is a local specialty, so I was definitely going to have this one way or another, but dessert for breakfast always makes me happy! They also do a delicious bircher muesli topped with fresh fruit if that’s more your kind of thing.
Brienner Strasse. 11, 80333
Your morning excursion is going to depend on the weather; one for a rainy day and one for a sunny one.
If the weather is bad, I would recommend a trip to the Deutsches Museum. It’s huge so unless you have a spare day then you won’t get to see it all, but grab a map and pick the parts that most interest you. It’s kind of like a Science Museum and History Museum all in one. The section on aviation was amazing, the astronomy section was interesting, and I’d also recommend seeing the enigma and code breaking machines up close. Before you leave, make sure you head up to the roof for views over Munich. We timed ourselves to have just a couple of hours here and although it was definitely a rush, it was definitely a good way to get a look at the museum without losing too much time out of our short stay.
Museumsinsel 1, 80538
If the weather is sunny or just not raining, I would absolutely recommend a wander around the English Garden. It’s huge and beautiful with some gorgeous waterfalls and a Chinese tower. In nicer weather you’ll even get surfers riding the wave of one of the waterways that pass through the park! It’s definitely the way to spend a relaxing morning, and if you have the time maybe a pack a picnic and spend your lunchtime there too. We only had time to explore some of the southern end of the park, and it was literally pouring with rain, but even that was time well spent.
In Munich I highly recommend getting your lunch at a Brauhaus, Bierhalle (brewery run establishments, sometimes with great food – so pick well!) or a traditional Bavarian restaurant. I can recommend a couple where the beer was fabulous, the food was delicious and the atmosphere wasn’t full of drunk men on lads holidays. Just be prepared to share your dining space with others, as both places I’m recommending have communal tables.
Beim Sedlmayr was a lovely, homely Bavarian restaurant serving up local Paulaner beer. The menu was extensive, but I knew I wanted to try the schnitzel (traditionally breaded veal) and I was so happy I did. It was beautifully fried and juicy on the inside and a large glass of refreshing beer was the perfect accompaniment. If you’re looking to try schnitzel while you’re here, it’s certainly the place to do it. It’s a super relaxed atmosphere full of families, couples and older friends, and not full of drunk, loud people like some other places in the area.
Westenriederstraße 14, 80331
Augustiner Bierhalle is a stones throw from the central Mariensplatz and it is much larger than Beim Sedlmayer. This is a brewery run beer hall and only serves Augustiner beer (order one of their darker beers for something a little different to the normal lighter wheat beers). We shared a table here with a lovely older couple who helped us out with getting an English menu and chatted to us about our holiday. Although it’s much bigger, busier and louder in here, it’s still has lovely traditional decor and delicious food. Their sauerkraut is excellent, so make sure you get a side of that!
Just a note. Visit Hofbrauhaus if you must (maybe outside peak hours for less people), but honestly I didn’t think the beer was great. It’s pretty touristy and rowdy and it’s not a great eating experience. Come here for the gorgeous painted ceilings, the oompah band, and if you’re a big group of people that need a huge amount of space. We came for a quick drink to see what all the fuss was about, but it wasn’t the best experience of the trip.
The afternoon I think is best left to exploring the streets, shops and markets of Munich.
Although the Christmas markets aren’t there for most of the year, Victualien Market is always open, and it’s such a fabulous place to explore. It’s a produce and plant market, so it’s a gorgeous market full of food and foliage. It’s a great place to pick up cheese, tea, nuts, fruit and veg, honey and maybe a little bit of chocolate!
Speaking of sweet treats, Eilles is packed full of them. Their packages of biscuits, cakes and cookies are the perfect gift for yourself or for people back home. The Schoko Honigprinten is literally the best lebkuchen-style mini cakes that you will ever taste. It’s like a honey cake covered in chocolate and I cannot get enough of them! I wish I had bought more bags of it at the time! You can also get individual chocolates, boxes of tea and bars of chocolate too. It’s a one stop gift giving shop!
Residenzstraße 23, 80333
St Peter’s Church tower has some of the best views over Munich. Climbing the tower is the best exercise for burning off the beer and schnitzel from lunchtime and you’ll be majorly rewarded once you reach the top! Even though the day was a little overcast, we still had some beautiful sights from up there, and it only cost us a couple of Euros for the privilege.
Rindermarkt 1, 80331
If you’re looking for somewhere to get a quick take away pastry for a snack on the go, then Rischart seems to be the place! They have various branches around Munich and their cinnamon swirl was pretty delicious.
Viktualienmarkt 2, 80331 (check web for other branches)
Sadly I can’t recommend any evening spots as we spent all of ours at the Christmas markets drinking gluwhein and eating sausages! However, you could pick one of the lunchtime spots above for dinner instead and choose whichever you would prefer for the style of night you’re looking for!
I highly recommend Munich as the perfect European city break destination. You can spend the entire time in the city or easily take a trip to the mountains and surrounding countryside. I would absolutely love to visit again in the summer, spend an entire day in the English Garden and explore Munich’s restaurants and shops further.