48 Hours in Munich: Explore the Highlights on a City Break
Fairy-tale streets, green gardens, stunning architecture, and beer – there’s a lot to do and see on a weekend holiday in Munich! Germany’s third largest city easily seems as if it were made for 48-hour trips, and has plenty of exciting activities in store for weekend visitors. With its grand Gothic architecture, leafy parks and gardens, and streets that resemble illustrations of fairy-tale books, a city break in Munich is a fantastic introduction to German – and distinctly Bavarian – culture. In other words, get ready for lots of beer and bratwurst sausages!
If you’re planning the perfect 48-hour city break in Munich, be sure to check out my recommended itinerary and my insider tips:
Your first port-of-call is the Marienplatz, the main square that has formed the beating heart of the city for the past 850 years. The dazzling Rathaus (Town Hall) is an icon of Munich, and is home to the famed Glockenspiel tower. At 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. every day (and also at 5 p.m. if you visit in summer), 32 life-size figures act out famous scenes from Bavarian history whilst the 100-year-old clock chimes for 15 minutes. For amazing views of the Old Town, make sure to also catch a lift up the tower to get the lie of the land before exploring the city’s charming streets on foot.
*Insider Tip: To get the most out of your wander around the Old Town, why not book a guided walking tour? Ranging from one to two and a half hours, a guide can let you in on the secrets and quirky stories that make Munich such a special place to visit.
After exploring the city streets in the morning, your afternoon and passage into the evening should be dedicated to only one thing: taking in the city’s breweries and beer-gardens for those all-important golden beer steins. No city break in Munich is complete without beers and bratwurst sausage! For a traditional beer-hall scene, complete with brass band and waitresses dressed in Dirndl outfits, visit the Hofbräuhaus and Augustiner breweries, two of Munich’s oldest, which serve some of the city’s best and cheapest beer.
If you’re visiting during warmer weather, take advantage of the sun and enjoy a stein or two in one of Munich’s many beer gardens. Top choices are the Chinesischer Turm, next to the Chinese tower, which has fast-food self-service kiosks and daily live music. You also won’t want to miss out on the Hirschgarten, the city’s largest beer garden, which is set in an ancient hunting lodge. While you savour your beverage, you may even spot deer roaming around the grounds.
*Insider Tip: If you want to stave off beer-induced lethargy with something a little more active, you should visit the Englisher Garten, which is perfect for running and even has a river that you can surf on!
Presuming that your head isn’t too sore from yesterday evening, devote some time to a stroll around the Munich Residenz, a royal palace. With its ornately painted ceilings and grotto courtyards, you’ll be gasping in amazement and grasping for your camera.
If you have time (and Euros) left over in the afternoon, it’s definitely worth visiting one of Munich’s grand shopping malls, such as the Galeria Kaufhof, Oberpollinger and Pasing Arcaden, which are guaranteed to have those all-important gifts and souvenirs by which you’ll remember your visit.
*Insider Tip: For a good and affordable lunch on-the-go, return to the Old Town and to the Marienplatz, where you can pay a visit to the Viktualienmarkt. This food market takes place daily, and sells a vast array of different fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads and other delights.
How to Get There
There are many direct and daily flights between London airports and Munich. For instance, Eurowings offers return flights for as little as £50 per person. To top it all off, the flight is only an hour and a half.
Once you arrive, Shuttle Direct’s shared and private taxis are perfect for the drive between the airport and your hotel, taking approximately 45 minutes. There are no fees for pre-booking your vehicle online, and you’re guaranteed fixed and economical rates – that will certainly come in handy when you let your wallet loose on your city break in Munich! Prost!
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