If you asked me before we started this year-long trip what my favorite city was, my answer was always “Munich during Oktoberfest or London any other time of year.” The first time I stepped off the train and into Marienplatz, I just fell in love with the city. After making our way through many amazing cities in South America, I was anxious to get back here to find out if I still loved it as much as I remembered loving it.
And guess what, guys? I do. I love it so much!
Everything in Munich is either old and beautiful, like the ornate Neues Rathaus in the center of Marienplatz, or modern and pristine, like the stroll along Kaufingerstraße or Weinstraße past all the shops which span stores I can and cannot afford. There is no old and crummy in central Munich. There are no weird gaps of dilapidated areas that you have to pass through to get between destinations. Everything is clean and well-maintained and beautiful.
The streets are windy and lined with small bakeries selling schnittlauchbrezel (pretzels spread with chives and butter so thick we thought it was cream cheese) and fresh breads stuffed full with meats and cheeses. There are beer halls that spill out onto open-air patios where you can get huge mugs of beer and my favorite dish of Rahmschwammerl, a large bread dumpling smothered with a mushroom cream sauce, or other meaty dishes for my omnivore readers.
Again, we are here during Oktoberfest time, and this means that it feels like you’re living in Epcot’s Germany pavilion and have actually stepped back in time. It’s not uncommon for half the train to be filled with women in drindls or be passed in a square by a group of men in lederhosen. It’s not like some people dress up for the holiday, most people dress up for the holiday, and this adds so much flair to the beautiful and traditional Bavarian city. I would be interested to see what the city is like the other 11 months of the year, but I just can’t imagine planning a trip to Munich and not picking Oktoberfest as the time of year.
What you need to know:
- Population: 1.5 million
- Altitude: 519 meters
- Exchange Rate: .85 Euros to $1 USD
- Primary Language: German & English
- Walking Tour: New Europe Tours (NOTE: we have not yet taken the tour, unsure if we will)
- Time Zone: Central European Summer Time, GMT +2 (7 hours ahead of US Central Time)
- Taxi: Yes
- Uber: Yes
- Public Transit: Bus & Train
- Emergency Number: 112
- Running: English Garden, the biggest park in Munich and bigger than Central park in New York
- American Football: Yes! There are a handful of bars in the city playing American Football, but we will not be here on a Sunday to watch and Thursday night football doesn’t start until about 2 AM so not likely to watch that out.
- Starbucks: Yes, many.
- Local Starbucks Specialty: None. (But the McDonalds have veggie burgers!)
- Coffee Price: €5 (~$5.80 USD) for a cold brew a blended iced coffee and 3€ (~$3.50 USD) for a cappuccino at a cafe
- Beer Price: €10 (~$12 USD) for a liter of beer, but you can purchase in smaller unites for cheaper