We took a break from the cold Irish autumn weather and traveled inland Europe to Germany. Our time spent in Munich was filled with wanderings, finding local favourite spots and travelling south to Neuschwanstein.
We adored the Hotel we selected. It was the first and only hotel we looked at on Bookings.com and very central – right across the Karlsplatz Stachus (train station). Travelling from the Airport was a breeze. We were very hungry when we arrived and had lunch in the hotel’s Deli. We were very impressed with the food. The hotel has a selection of dining options, from a Deli to restaurant, burger joint and the Boilerman Bar for mingling.
The rest of the day we spent wandering around, getting to know our surroundings. We availed of the fabulous top floor sauna and refreshments in an authentic European style. In the evening we paid a visit to the renowned Herzog Bar & Restaurant. The Bar has a fantastic atmosphere, the food is superb and the cocktails… wow, the cocktails! Definitely top class, upmarket – the place to be seen.
Our recommendation for top foodie spots:
Herzog Bar & Restaurant – for the upmarket socialite and fine food!
The Royal Bavarian, NENI Eatery – gather with guests for an Oriental lunch or dinner experience. The food is incredibly fresh and flavoursome.
Cafe Zeitgeist – Their claim to fame is the best fries in town. Here you will find home with American comfort food mixed with local German beer.
Stereo Cafe – A cake and pastry lovers’ heaven. A hidden gem above the retail store around the corner from Mariensplatz. Stop over for a light lunch if you are in the area. It’s a busy little spot and a favourite to locals.
Beetle Tavern – A gourmet restaurant with unique character and high quality food. The Käfer brand also has a Brasserie which is lovely and well located. We loved our time at Brasserie Kunsthalle.
The next day, we got up early to catch the Flixbus to Neuschwanstein (New-swan-steen). As we did not have time for a sit-down breakfast, we opted for the ‘to-go’ option from the Hotel. Of course we grabbed a couple of giant pretzels, big ones, small ones, some as big our heads! Just because we are in Germany. Why not! Our bus was delayed when we got to the bus station. So, we had more pretzels.
The travel to Neuschwanstein was not 2 hours and 45 minutes as indicated. We flew down the autobahn and got there in 1.5 hours. Straight out of a Disney fantasy, Neuschwanstein Castle sits imposingly over the Bavarian countryside. Back-dropped by the Alps and Austria in the distance, we trekked up the hill for the most breathtaking views.
Tip: If you want to go inside the Castle, tickets can be purchased down the hill in the tourist office. The best time to visit to avoid long queues, is very early or after lunch time.
You can get fantastic photos of the castle from Marienbrücke (bridge). However, the Marienbrücke was closed for maintenance when we were there. We were adamant to get a full view of the castle from a distance. So we walked up a hill alongside the bridge and nestled between the trees, was the most amazing sight.
It was the most pleasant day with the sun high in the sky. We had lunch in Neuschwanstein and ice-cream at the lake. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend some of the restaurants we dined in as the food was really not the best and the service was unpleasant.
Soon, it was time to catch the bus back to our hotel where we retired in the bar for Bourbon highballs.
After another early rise, coffee and pretzels to-go, we took the train from Hauptbahnhof to Dachau, using the line that goes to Nürnberg. It was literally just one stop. From there, a shuttle bus takes you to the Concentration Camp memorial site. This was our first visit to a former concentration camp and no words can describe the experience.
All we can say is that this is something everyone needs to experience themselves. It was well worth paying €3 for the guided tour. Otherwise, it is possible to get an audio-guide in your own language and walk the premises in your own pace. Visiting Dachau Concentration memorial site is free with no tours or guides.
Lest we forget.
Our last day in München was pretty low-key. We spent it wandering around Marienplatz and savoured breakfast at Glockenspiel Café Restaurant Bar. The best view of the platz!
Finding this restaurant was complete luck and last minute. A reservation is required but the hostess was extremely friendly and accommodating. We even got a table at the window, overlooking the Glockenspiel.
We walked to the Vikualienmarkt, a large farmer’s market with fresh foods, flowers and beer flowing left, right and center. We climbed the 299 steps of the Church of St. Peter, stopped at Stereo Café for lunch then made our way to Siegestor for a photo stop at the Victory Gate.
Munich was not too cold (6 to 16 degrees centigrade). We wore our coats as we spent most of the days outside. The most important thing was being comfortable in a good pair of walking shoes.