You might already know that I'm on winter holiday in Germany at the moment and since the boyfriend joined me for two weeks, we headed to Munich and Hamburg as I wanted to show him a little bit of German culture. I got back from Hamburg yesterday and we were in Munich in late November which makes it a bit confusing to write about the latter now but I'll try anyway. Originally we had planned to spend a whole week in Bavaria to see Neuschwanstein Castle and Mt. Zugspitze but since that would have totally strained our budget, we decided to only stay in Munich for two nights or better: 36 hours!
We arrived in Munich at 1 pm on a Thursday and had to leave again on Saturday morning which means that we only effectively had one and a half days to explore Bavaria's capital city. Now there might be A LOT to see in Munich but it was definitely possible to see most of it on this short stay without having to hurry or stress. Today I'm going to tell you all about what we did and saw during our first day and I'll blog about our entire day in the city next week. Maybe our itinerary can be an inspiration for you if you plan a short visit to Munich too!
The very first place we were headed to after leaving our bags at the hotel was the Olympic Park. Our hotel was situated in Moosach which meant that the Park was practically on our way to the city and from what we had seen about the Park on TripAdvisor before, we just couldn't visit Munich without taking a look at the former Olympic Stadium and Tower. We decided to take a stroll through the park before heading inside the tower to get a view of Munich from above.
It is possible to visit the stadium but we had already planned to visit the FC Bayern stadium on the next day and figured one stadium might be enough. Instead we were able to take a peek into the former Olympic swimming hall though, which is used as a proper swimming pool for the public today - how cool is that?! Also, we had a pretty nice view on the stadium from the tower anyway...
The Olympic Tower is definitely something you HAVE to visit when you're in Munich, no matter how little time you have. From the viewing platform at 190 metres above sea level, you can see almost everything Munich has to offer and on clear days, you can even see the Alps! Of course as you'd expect from late November, we couldn't see the Alps but I loved the little we could see anyway. All those houses, cars and people looked SOOOOO tiny!
The tower was built in 1968 as a TV tower and didn't have anything to do with the Olympic Games of 1972 per se. Nonetheless it's part of the Olympic Park today and as such, has much more to offer than just a viewing platform. There are for example two photo exhibitions - one showing the building process of the tower and the other showing the tower in different weather phenomena. There also is a turning restaurant at the top but as a look on their website told us that they have a "business casual" dress code, we already decided beforehand that we didn't want to head there. After 4 and a half hours on a plane, we felt more casual than we would have liked anyway.... Needless to say, we opted for the "Currywurst-Pommes" diner downstairs.
The tower also hosts a "rock n roll museum" which to be honest, was more annyoing than interesting. Every time someone went in there, incredibly loud rock music was played which kinda disturbed the view. It's included in the entrance fee of 5,50 Euros though and exhibits various autographs and newspaper articles of artists like Elton John, the Beatles, Madonna, Britney Spears and so on. If you're a huge music fan though, you'll probably like it much more than I did of course.
Munich's Old Town & Christmas Markets
After having spent about 2 hours at the Olympic Park, we finally headed into town to see Munich's famous Old Town. It was the day the first Christmas markets opened and everything was decorated in Christmas lights - so beautiful! We took a short stroll around Frauenkirche (the women's church) and Marienplatz where the Town Hall is situated. It is possible to take the elevator to the top of the Town Hall but as it was already dark when we arrived downtown, we postponed this for our next day. It's absolutely recommendable (and cheap) though but more on that next week!
There is a Christmas market at Marienplatz each year and it's the biggest but also the most touristy for sure. It wasn't opened that evening yet so instead we headed to the medieval Christmas market at Wittelsbacher Platz which was absolutely cool. Lots of people were dressed up and you could buy lots of medieval stuff like swords and drinking horns. There were also lots of booths with handcraft, liquor and Christmas chocolates so all in all, the perfect first Christmas market to experience for the boyfriend! Why are there no Christmas markets in Norway like that???
Anyway, we ended our day drinking some hot chocolate with cream and headed back to the hotel. We had planned to visit the stadium and experience some local Bavarian culture and cuisine the next day and we also met Allane from Packing My Suitcase at yet another Christmas market but more on that next week!
I personally think that Munich during Christmas time is absolutely wonderful so if you're still searching for a last minute Christmas getaway, this is the place to go! We were booking our flights from Tromso kinda late too and flights to Munich were the cheapest we found!
Should you visit Munich during Christmas time then, definitely avoid the Christmas market at Marienplatz. It's crowded and touristy and no fun at all! Head to the medieval one at Wittelsbacher Platz or the one at Englischer Garten - they are both really special!
If you plan on visiting the Olympic Tower, head there shortly before the sun sets. It was so nice to see Munich lighting up when it got dark! Also, if you're a fan of cars, visit the BMW museum that's right next to the Olympic Park entrance!
Have you been to Munich? Could you imagine visiting the city during Christmas time?
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