Back in May, Chris and I had the opportunity to go to Munich, Germany for a few days. He had already been a couple of times, but I was excited for my first visit! On our first full day there, Chris had to work all day, so I went out and explored the city on my own!
I started by heading to Marienplatz, the famous square in the middle of the city with the beautiful Rathaus-Glockenspiel clock tower. I had read on various travel blogs that if you go to the square at 11, you can hear the bells and see the little figurines move in the glockenspiel in a little “performance.” I fought my way through the crowds and was able to get a pretty good glimpse!
When the show and bells stopped, a man in lederhosen jumped up on a bench and immediately started to play the accordion. Then he started to yodel, and I have to admit, I got a little caught up in the moment! It was so fun to listen to and so very… German!
After enjoying some German yodeling, I decided it was time to move on. I had so much more to see! (And I was already almost out of the roaming data pack I had bought for the day just from Snapchatting the yodeler. Oops!)
Next, I headed to the nearby St. Peter’s Church, as I had read that it had a tower with amazing views of the city. I paid the 3 euros entry to climb the 299 steps up to the top. (Anyone ever notice how when you’re hiking or climbing up something really tall, you always pass at least 3 other people on their way back down who chuckle and say you have a long way to go?? Just me? Ugh.) The climb was worth the views – especially the views of the New Town Hall and the glockenspiel clock tower.
Next, I made my way to Victuals Market (or Viktualienmarkt, which I can’t pronounce in German!) and Rindermarkt, where I saw a bunch of locals hanging out by the fountain in the square (a common activity on this warm, beautiful day, I’d soon discover!). I loved checking out the architecture along the way. Some of it was so ornate and unique!
I checked out Asam’s Church, another site I had read about online… Wow…
…Then stopped for lunch at a little cafe called Playa in Asamhof Passage, a little alley lined with colorful cafes behind the church. (Ok, let’s be real. I only went because it looked like this. ❤ Well, wouldn’t you want to check it out??)
After filling up on some lunch and coffee at this colorful and flowery cafe, I continued on, meandering through Karlsplatz and Odeonsplatz before making my way to Hofgarten for a little rest on the grass.
As comfortable as I was, lounging on the grass in the Hofgarten park, I eventually got up and made my way around the corner to the royal residence, the Residenz München. I purchased my tickets and went in to explore the Residenzmuseum, the Treasury, and the Cuvilliés Theater. I enjoyed the Residenzmuseum most, especially the green and gold room, but was a little underwhelmed by the theater. (The Garnier Opera House in Paris has ruined every other theater for me! Read my post about it here!)
After the Residenz München, I made my way to the Eisbachwelle in the Englischer Garten (the English Garden). This is a popular spot at the end of the park where a wave continuously forms on the Eisbach River, right behind a convenient bridge, where people can watch from. I have to say, after all my touring around Munich that day, watching the SURFING in the middle of a city was probably my favorite!
I sat on the banks of the river and watched for a bit, before deciding I wasn’t ready to leave yet, buying an ice cream, and sitting back down for a little longer. It was fascinating to watch how surfers, of all different ability levels, would line up on either side of the water and wait for their turn to jump onto the wave.
Some surfers would sit on the edge of the wall and push themselves off to get onto the wave, some would swim out on their bellies, some would put a foot on their board and push off from a standing position, and the more experienced surfers would just throw their board onto the wave and jump on! Some people fell immediately, threw their heads back in frustration, and got back into line, and others lasted for longer periods – even doing fancy tricks like 360s! It was so fascinating and fun to watch!
Of all the surfers out there that day, there was only one girl (Woo! You go, girl!), and she happened to be the only one wearing a helmet… not something you’d normally think you’d need while surfing, but when there’s a concrete wall on either side of you as you ride, it’s not a bad idea! (Maybe the one girl was the only surfer with a brain to protect?? Just kidding, boys…)
At this point in the day, my phone was just about dead – from using Google Maps, taking pictures, and Snapchatting my adventures. (I’m normally really bad about remembering to Snap, but Munich was motivating me!) I found a lovely hotel that let me charge my phone for a bit before continuing on to the legendary Hofbräuhaus München. I was planning on staying for a beer and a pretzel, but it was packed and I couldn’t find any seats, so I just walked around, bought some souvenirs, and left.
By the time I left, it was late afternoon and I was starting to get hungry and tired. I started making my way back to the hotel, even though Chris wouldn’t be back from his work event until later. When I was about halfway back, I heard some fun music coming from the little park and fountain (called Vater-Rhein-Brunnen, I learned) to my left on the island I was walking across. I decided to investigate.
There was a DJ playing and people camped out everywhere in fun, summery beach chairs. There were long beanbag-like couches, yummy-smelling food stands, and umbrellas hanging from the trees with lights tied to them so they looked like they were glowing. Everyone was hanging out, enjoying a drink and the great music. It seemed like the perfect place to grab some dinner (a German frankfurter, of course) and rest my feet. It was the perfect, relaxing end to my solo day out in Munich!
P.s. Side note: If you ever find yourself in Munich and want to eat some non-German food, Nepal Haus (located here) was INCREDIBLE. Normally, Chris and I try to eat/drink whatever is local when we travel, but we were tired and starving one night, and this place was right around the corner from our hotel. The man who served us was incredibly nice and the food was absolutely delicious!