It’s been two weeks since the end of our German adventure. After a couple of days in Heidelberg, we stayed in Munich, the Bavarian capital, on the last leg of our trip.
We arrived in Munich in the evening and our lovely little hotel, the Condor, was only a 5-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof. It was perfectly located around the corner from Karlsplatz and it had a beautiful interior. The walls were painted with frescos of famous, regional attractions, like the Neuschwanstein Castle and the Nymphenburg Palace.
On our first evening, we met with some friends who were singing in a concert with their choir in St. Wilibrord’s Church. They sang absolutely beautifully. Afterwards, we were taken to the Hackerhaus on Sendlinger Str for dinner. The food was very Bavarian, with lots of pork and plenty of dumplings, noodles and strudel! The Hackerhaus is one of the oldest breweries in Munich – the history of the company can be dated back to the 15th century!
The next day, after a wonderful breakfast in the hotel, we met with our choir friends again, this time to do some sight seeing at the Nymphenburg Palace. Although out of the city, the journey by metro and tram didn’t take long and, after a short walk, we were greeted by the magnificent facade of the palace.
Access to the park is free for anyone who wants to go for a wander (or even a jog!) but we all bought tickets to see the inside of the Palace too. The interiors were exquisite and the painted ceilings throughout the state rooms were all stunning! As soon as you enter the entrance hall, you’re just blown away by the decadence and luxury. Our favourite room, though, was the Gallery of Beauties, a collection of 36 portraits of women from across 19th century Munich.
After a tour around the palace, we went and explored the gardens. The lakeside paths led us through some beautiful scenery and to some very peaceful spots. We particularly liked the Witch’s House and the stream that ran by it as well as the intricately decorated Temple to Apollo.
We spent the rest of the afternoon sat outside the Palmhaus having a few drinks before heading out for dinner. Our destination this time was the Hirschgarten, the former royal deer park. You can even still see some deer there, which was an added bonus! Hundreds of long tables have been set up to create a really relaxed and sociable atmosphere. The ‘market stalls’ are filled with pork, chips and, most importantly, beer! Eating outside as the sun went down in such a friendly and open place was such an amazing experience Note: the food stalls don’t accept card but luckily there’s a handy cash machine nearby!
The following day was a more relaxed one. We went to the Olympic Park where the choir had a spontaneous sing atop the Olympia Hill. After the heavens opened and it started to rain, we made a quick dash back to the U-Bahn and to the centre of Munich for lunch. We opted for the Ratskeller in the Marienplatz, where we were seated in an alpine booth! The food was delicious (if a little overpriced). After we’d finished eating, the rain had stopped so we headed across the square to St. Peter’s Church. After taking a look at the inside of the church, we joined the queue of people waiting to climb the tower for gorgeous views over the city. The 299-step staircase was very narrow, which made the ascent difficult if people were coming down – there was a lot of breathing in as people squeezed past! – but we made it up (without any breaks)!
As a final performance, the choir had been invited to sing at mass in St. Michael’s Church, a huge building with a stunning baroque interior. Following the service was nearly impossible for us but the choir sang beautifully from the gallery at the back and it was a beautiful way for them to end their tour. Dinner that night was at the Augustiner Klosterwirt and, unsurprisingly, the menu was very pork-heavy. So we decided to choose something a bit different. I went for sausages and potato salad, while Ruth decided to be a bit more adventurous and accidentally ordered half a duck (which proved very difficult to eat!). After dinner, we said a sad farewell to our choir friends, who were all leaving the next morning, and made our way back to the hotel.
The next day the city was incredibly busy because of the Pride Parade. We wandered from the hotel to the centre of town, via the Oberpollinger Galleria, which from the street looked tiny but, after half an hour of getting lost in it, turned out to be massive!
This year, Pride Season has been particularly special in Germany as the German Parliament has finally voted to legalise same-sex marriage and Munich’s parade was no exception! The Pride Parade started and finished in the Marienplatz and thousands of people lined the streets to watch as the floats went past. The atmosphere was so joyous and inclusive and it was absolutely fantastic to watch the city coming together like this!
After watching the last float go by we went for a wander up the Maximilian Str., where we did an enormous amount of window shopping as we went past all the luxury brands. We also passed the National Theatre and the Residenz Palace, where they were setting up for an open air concert of classical music in Odeonsplatz.
For our last evening meal we decided to treat ourselves, so we went to the Grill in Karlsplatz. The restaurant specialises in steak and it was obvious why. The food we ordered was cooked to perfection and absolutely delicious. The staff were also incredibly attentive and did their utmost to make sure we had an unforgettable meal. It’s safe to say that it was the perfect end to our stay in Munich!
We loved our time in the Bavarian capital but there’s still so much on our to do list that we didn’t get round to, including the Pinakothek art galleries and the Frauenkirche. It’s definitely a city we’ll be visiting again!
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