The Many Sides of Munich, Germany

germany_munich_travel_optitravel_munich_germany_opti00germany_travel_munich_opti3germany_travel_munich_opti4travel_munich_germany_opti17Just hours after arriving in Munich, awestruck and excited, I wandered into the Viktualienmarkt, which is a food lovers paradise. I would move to Munich in a second just to have access to the endless amounts of fresh food and flowers, both unique and traditional. This market has been around and growing since 1807.germany_travel_munich_opti17germany_travel_munich_opti5germany_travel_munich_opti6 It’s basic math that two beers are better than one, so that’s exactly what I and ordered upon entering the famous Hofbräuhaus. Munich is a dream trip for the beer lover, and my boyfriend at FLCraftBeer details some of the best beer the city has to offer.

This place is huge and seriously old; the Duke of Bavaria founded it way back in 1589. Which of your favorite bars was started by royalty? All in all I can’t imagine a more perfect place for history lovers to get drunk; Hofbräuhaus’ historic guests include Mozart, Kennedy and from a darker chapter in history, Hitler.travel_munich_germany_opti19travel_munich_germany_opti20travel_munich_germany_opti21germany_travel_munich_opti7germany_travel_munich_opti8The Englischer Garten really looks like a scene from a Disney film, and has been around since 1780. It brought me to truly understand the value of a park beyond an easy route for irregular exercise. 

In a city, relaxation is almost never free, but Munich’s park is open to all and quickly transports you away from the lively streets on quiet, winding paths surrounded by tall, lush greenery. And being the largest public urban park in the entire world, you can wander away from your responsibilities and play Thoreau for quite a while.

germany_travel_munich_opti9germany_travel_munich_opti10And if you get thirsty on your walk, great beer is never far. Hidden within the park like an alcoholic oasis is the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower). The beautiful, towering structure hosts traditional Bavarian bands at different times (yes, lederhosen and all). If you plan on consuming anything besides beer on your trip to Munich, this place only serves snacks that pair perfectly with their beer. Also, really huge, really awesome pretzels. travel_munich_germany_optiedgermany_travel_munich_opti12germany_travel_munich_opti13germany_travel_munich_opti14 Munich will overwhelm and sadden you because there are so many worthwhile museums and you’ll never see everything. Time already goes so fast while you’re traveling, don’t rush yourself. Pick one or two museums and roam the halls with patience.

I chose the Munich Residenz, which was the former royal palace of Bavarian monarchs. It’s eccentric, elaborate and a playground of color, pattern and texture for the eyes.germany_travel_munich_opti15Travel_munich_germany_opti16There are so many sides of Munich, it’s a wonderful city to explore. I’m reminded of a more quaint, calm and matured New York City. My overall reaction to Munich was curiosity and sensory overload more than immediate infatuation.

During the day, the city center was of the least interest to me; it’s filled with high end chain stores you could easily find anywhere. Though after nightfall, the district transforms. Groups of homeless people begin making their beds at the foot of Dior’s entryway and musicians from guitarists to accordion players, some young and shy, others rough and seasoned, all turn the consumer-less shopping district into their stage.

This city has character and a centrally located outdoor mall is just a tiny part of it. Just a block in another direction brings about a change in scenery; in my case it was a tucked away hookah bar where I spent my last night in Munich, across from a small, aging theatre where the occasional souped up car rolled by blasting Arabic rap.