Trip Report

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Trip Report

Art, History, and Biergartens in Bavaria

A three day tour of the museums, parks, and biergartens of Munich (+ Dachau day trip)

by parkerswhiteAbout Me:I’m an account manager in the healthcare industry from Atlanta, GA who loves music, sports, and spending time in the great outdoors! I’ve traveled much of the US and Europe, and I recently visited South America for the first time as well! ... read more

Germany2 days / April 2018

Highs & Lows

The English Gardens is one of the best urban parks in the world!

Little bit cold and quite expensive (especially the beer)

Itinerary Overview

The city center of Munich is enchanting - the Bavarian architecture melds seamlessly with the modern additions over the last 100 years. Definitely don't miss the main town square, as well as Weiner Platz a couple blocks to the east, to get a sense of the city and grab a bite. St. Peter's Church near the city center is definitely worth seeing. I didn't have high expectations for the cathedrals, as Germany the isn't really known for religious architecture, but this turned out to be one of my favorites in all of Europe. If beer is your thing (it probably is if you're vacationing in Germany), stop by Hofbrauhaus. It's a bit of a tourist trap, but it's an authentic experience and has great food in addition to the liter beers that draw in the crowds.  

The English Gardens and the art galleries were the unexpected highlights of the trip. Alte Pinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne are right next to each other and you can squeeze in both of them in a morning. Both galleries were full of famous paintings that even I recognized (I'm no art expert), as well as several others that became new favorites of mine. Either museum could fill an entire morning by itself as well if you wanted to cut one of them out. Alte has more classics, Moderne only has art from the 20th and 21st centuries. After we'd had our fill, we took a short walk over to the English Gardens. I had no clue how gorgeous, or vast, that this park would be - it's even bigger than NYC's Central Park! We spent the whole afternoon wandering around the park, grabbing a bite or a drink here and there at the various food and beverage stands scattered throughout the gardens.  

We decided to take a day trip to Dachau to visit its concentration camp memorial site. Public transit in Munich is very solid, and it will take you all the way out to Dachau where you can then take a bus to the site. This is the only thing we did in Dachau because it'll take you most of the day to get through the guided tour (which I do recommend over the self-guided exploration). Prepare yourself - you'll be presented with some uncomfortable and extremely unsavory history that isn't easy to process, but it was one of the more impactful experiences I've had in all my travels. We've all read about what happened in these camps in the 30s and 40s, but to actually lay eyes on the facilities changes your perspective entirely.  

  • 1 Night: Wiener Platz
    Biergartens and Bavarian culture
  • 1 Night: English Garden
    Urban park strolls and art museums
  • Day trip: Dachau
    A difficult but important history lesson

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I could have probably stayed one less day. There isn't an overwhelming amount of things to see and do in Munich, but I enjoyed everything that we did.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Stay close to the center of the city. Almost everything that we did was very centrally located, and we all wished that we had stayed closer to that area.

  • Transportation Tips?

    Use the subway and buses if you need to - they were great the few times that we used them - but Munich is extremely walkable. Bring some good walking shoes and you may not even have to set foot on public transit.

  • Any surprises?

    I was definitely surprised by how much I enjoyed the galleries in Munich, I say that as someone who doesn't consider myself to be an art fanatic. If you're a big art person, you'll love Munich.

Lodging

  • We stayed in an airbnb on the south side of town in Glochenbachviertel that was very reasonably priced and clean. We didn't need anything fancy, so we were able to find a good deal, but lodging in Munich is generally pricey. Location wise it left a little bit to be desired, as we had to walk a quite a bit to do just about anything. Since we were on a budget, this was fine, but I would recommend staying closer to the city center if you can afford it.

  • We stayed in the same Airbnb for the whole trip - the same comments apply here. The location was even less convenient for this part of the trip, but again, we were on a budget.