Our weekend in Munich seems like FOR-EV-ER ago. I'm talking October of 2012. Yep. Why haven't I gotten around to sharing one of Germany's most historic and "fest-worthy" cities? No clue. I simply forgot. But it doesn't mean Munich isn't memorable...far from it. In fact, I counted it as one of the top 10 European cities you shouldn't skip. Munich is what I like to think of as the perfect blended city. It's chock full of fascinating history, kitschy cuteness, modern conveniences, and, most importantly, is the host city for one of the world's largest beer festivals...OKTOBERFEST! And that's precisely why we found ourselves in Munich for a quick visit.
Even though we didn't stay in Munich for our Oktoberfest adventure (we opted for more affordable accommodations in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and trained into Munich), we still found the city easy to navigate and filled with attractions for all types of travelers. We traveled with another military couple, and because the two boys wanted to dive a little deeper into WWII history and the Nazi footprint left behind all over Munich (formerly known as "the Capital of the Movement"), we decided to take the Third Reich Tour with Sandemans New Europe tours. Talk about a humbling 3-hour walk. We wandered all over Munich, stopping at infamous landmarks once occupied by the likes of Adolf Hitler and prominent leaders inside the Nazi party. Headquarters, houses, meeting rooms, and memorials...we heard stories of war, horror, and, eventually, the rebuilding of Munich to its former glory. The scars of inhuman malice and unfathomable fear can still be found lurking all around the city, a constant reminder of a painful time many still don't understand. The tour, while macabre at times, was extremely informative and well-done. I highly recommend it if you've got an inquisitive mind and a stomach for hearing some less than lovely stories of German (and world) history.
The tour offered quite a lot of heavy information to take in, so after our morning tour ended, we returned to Munich's famed beer hall, Hofbrauhaus, for a stein to take the edge off. I honestly can't tell you how cool it was to be standing inside the Hofbrauhaus. We'd heard about it for years, but actually having a drink and partaking in the camaraderie typical of the insanely huge beer hall was just beyond awesome. Ain't no party like a German beer party! It did take us a little bit to find a table, but once we did, we spent HOURS there...eating, drinking, and enjoying the traditional oompah band and partying tourists in town for Oktoberfest. Even if you're not typically into hitting up tourist hotspots, the Hofbrau is a MUST SEE. At least wander around inside and enjoy the beautiful frescoes and lively atmosphere. Such a super neat place.
Even if you're not into beer-drinking or history re-hashing, Munich is a gem of a place to behold. If I had to recommend one large city to visit in Germany, this would be it!
Want more cities to see in Germany? Check out my WANDERLUST page!