Christmas markets in Munich

Hi friends,

Hope you guys enjoyed the switch up last week around GMO’s. I’ve come to accept that I generally have very strong opinions, therefore I can see this becoming a semi-regular posting series around various things happening in the world- not just GMO’s, but finances, news events, food waste, etc. I’m not ever saying my opinions are right, so please always feel free to tell me your thoughts on the matter!

Switching back to my usual style of blogging, today is my recap of Munich! Assen and I headed there for a short 3 day trip pre-Christmas and I absolutely loved it.We were really back and forth about our Christmas plans this year, as it was Assen’s mom’s birthday on the 26th, and she wanted to go somewhere on her birthday. Therefore, in late November and early December, we spent a lot of times looking into different options for her birthday- we looked at Canary Islands, Malta, Croatia- but since it was around Christmas/New Year’s plus we were looking into it so late, everything was very expensive! Finally, around Dec 15 we decided she would come and see us for New Years , and that freed up our time pre-Christmas to go on a trip just Assen and I. We ended up booking our trip 5 days before we left!

We stayed in an amazing place with Air BnB- which I’ve realised I always say that and never give the link for where I stayed. If you’re staying in Munich, honestly, I can’t recommend this place enough. He was super punctual on getting back to us, left us food for breakfast and beer in the fridge! He also had a book put together of good places to eat around him, so when we arrived late on Sunday, we tried out the Greek restaurant he recommended (which was AMAZING) and then went back to our place where we shared a beer, and planned out what we would do the next day.

The morning of the 21st, we were up at a good time and took the train to Marienplatz. If you’re ever going to Germany- prepare for everything to be a “platz” which translates to “place”. Marienplatz is the central square in Munich, so is a great starting point for the city. Also- there’s a Christmas market right in the square, so it was perfect for why we were there- the Christmas markets!

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This building is the city hall. While we didn’t go inside, we admired it from many different angles as it was a truly breath-taking building. Also- Marienplatz had free wifi, so we often were standing by this building while loading Google maps for our next location!

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While I love the Christmas markets, I find I never end up buying anything from them. They sell the usual trinkets you would expect- a lot of food options, drink options, Christmas decorations, etc. German markets had beautiful hand-crafted wood figurines, which I would’ve loved to buy- but it always comes back to the question “How would we get it home?” especially on this trip, since we only had hand luggage. Instead of buying anything, we just wandered around, and then starting wandering from the center of the city, until we found the City Wall, by Karlsplatz.

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They had a skating rink, Christmas music playing, and, my favourite, mulled wine. Assen and I enjoyed a cup of it while watching people skate. I will warn everyone going to Munich- be cautious of the punch! After about one cup, you can feel the liquor in your veins- that stuff is strong!

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Unfortunately at this point, we had been wandering around for a couple of hours, were getting kind of cold, and then- it started raining! I hate wandering around in the rain (though, as evidenced by my trip to Budapest- I will do it). We knew our trip was short, so wanted to use every second we had to explore the city. To find something to do indoors, we ended up climbing the stairs in St. Peter’s church, to see the roof-tops of Munich.

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I think I’ve said it before, but I love the roof-top views of cities, and always try to find at least one place whenever I’m in a new city. However, while I love the views- I don’t enjoy the stairs! They’re often wind around a tight circle (making you dizzy when you make your way down) and if you’re claustrophobic, then you would not enjoy it! Assen snapped a picture of me in this stairwall, just to demonstrate how small the space was.

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It was still raining by the time we made our way out of the church, so we decided it was time for one of the most famous sites in Munich.

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Hofbrauhaus is one of the more famous beer halls in Munich. Munich has 6 breweries within the city walls, and they’re all sold at various pubs and beer halls. The reason they don’t move out of the city borders (where real estate would be much cheaper) is because of a little beer festival called Oktoberfest. Only the beers brewed within the city are sold during Oktoberfest- and obviously the sales of beer during that time make up for larger real estate costs.

Hofbrauhaus is actually owned by the Government, as when German’s old royal family stepped down, they “gifted” many things to the Government, including the brewery (though Assen and I have spent some time speculating how forced this gifting was). The hall was founded in 1589 and is one of Munich’s oldest beer hall. It’s a bit of a tourist trap- with the live music playing, and the gift shop in the back but I absolutely loved it and thought it was beautiful. I snapped a few pictures of the ceiling, but ended up missing the band that was playing.

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Assen and I each ordered our beers, which come out in a Litre cup. I ordered a “weiss beer” with lemonade (weiss beer is a wheat beer and is a bit sweeter) and Assen had just the house kind. I couldn’t finish mine- despite the fact that we ate full meals and sat there for quite some time.

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After our beer and food, we went back to Marienplatz, which was all lit up with Christmas lights, as well as some beautiful live Christmas caroling. We hung around for awhile, just listening to the singers and finally feeling in the Christmas mood.

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We headed home pretty early that first day, as we had a big day the next day. When I had first started looking into “What to do in Munich”, one of the big things that popped up was the Neuschwanstein castle. Made famous by “Sleeping Beauty”, which the castle in the Disney movie is inspired by, the castle was built in nineteenth century and is truly beautiful. It’s a bit of a trek from Munich, so we booked a day long tour and made a day of it.

First up, was this beautiful small town, Oberammergau, which is famous for its wood carvings. I loved this little town as it was so small and quaint, and had beautiful paintings on the building. We had some time to check out the cuckoo clocks here, and wander around before we headed back on the bus.

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Next up was the castle Linderhof. Because it was a guided tour, while on the bus, we learnt a bit about Kind Ludwig II, who built both Linderhof and Neuschwanstein castle. He was an interesting character! He was the King from 1864, however, was very disillusioned with his rule, since he wanted to be an absolute monarch, but at that time, was more of a figurehead as Germany had elected officials (also he was the King of Bravia, which only made up a small part of the country Germany). He was obsessed with building, building 3 castles during his rule, and having plans in place for another 2. As he aged, he got quite fat and lost a lot of his teeth, therefore he created these palaces so he would never have to see anyone- including features like a table that could be raised into the kitchen, so not even a servant would have to bring him his food.

Because of the cost of his castle, officials decided they needed to get him out of power, and had a psychiatrist declare him insane, and therefore he was removed from power. The day after this all happened, the psychiatrist came to visit him where he was being kept outside of Munich, and the two of them went for a walk around the grounds. They were later found both drowned in a lake, and to this day, no one knows what happened.

Assen and I had decided not to go inside this castle (as it was extra from our tour and only a 20 minute tour on the inside), so we wandered up to the outside of the castle to enjoy the view and then wandered around the grounds while discussing the story of King Ludwig.

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After that castle, we headed back on the bus for our final stop of the day- Neuschwanstein. I was excited!

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The castle was beautiful! It was never finished (due to the King being removed from power and then passing away), so the tour is around only those rooms which are finished. Unfortunately you can’t take pictures inside the castle, so I don’t have any from inside, but even the outside was breathtaking.

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It was a great day- and definitely worth the price for the tour. By the time we got back, it was about 7 pm, and we were pretty tired from the day so we had a quick dinner (at a different beer hall) and then headed to bed.

Our final day in Munich was a beautiful sunny day. We decided to walk from our place, up to the English Gardens, which are another big thing to see while you’re in Munich. We under-estimated how far we actually were from the gardens however, so by the time we even got to the entrance, we had already walked 12 km’s, and had been walking for quite some time. However the entire time we were walking along the water, so it was a beautiful walk.

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After all that walking, we decided we were ready to sit for awhile and enjoy the last couple of hours of our trip. We felt like we had seen many of the main sites to see in Munich, but hadn’t kept ourselves so busy that we hadn’t enjoyed our time together.

Usually while on holiday, I try and eat at different places every time, however for Munich- we decided we would go back to Hofbrauhaus and enjoy one more beer (and the pretzels, which were AMAZING). This time, I captured the band while they were playing!

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After enjoying all the food we could stuff into ourselves, and a couple of beers, we were back to the airport for a late flight home!

I absolutely loved Munich- and Assen and I are already discussing the possibility of going back to experience Oktoberfest. There are also other cities in Germany which I’d love to see, so I hope to be back to this great country soon.

Has anyone else been to Munich, or anywhere else in Germany?

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