Munich is the capital of Bavaria, the most southern province of Germany. Bavaria has lots of tradition which often get mistakenly associated with the whole country. Nevertheless the ridiculously large beer steins and the weird clothes locals wear – especially during the once a year occurring Beer Fest – can only be found in Munich, Bavaria. The city close to the Southern Alps has far more to offer than the Oktoberfest. However, you will notice that Bavarians place great emphasis on beer and food!
Getting In And Around
Transportation Honesty Policy
Like Berlin and Vienna, Munich runs on the transportation honesty policy. What do I mean by this? Think about New York’s subway system where you buy a ticket and there’s a gate preventing you from entering without using said ticket. London’s Tube system requires the ticket when exiting the station. In Munich, there is no security measure preventing you from catching the train. There are places to buy your ticket, and there’s a little box for you to “stamp” your ticket, but there’s no turnstile or gate preventing you from catching the train!
Airport to the city
Munich has one of the nicest airports in the world. I love transferring through here. It’s clean, it’s modern, there’s an open stadium like entrance. There’s even a beer garden. From the airport, the S-Bahn takes you straight into the city. The trains are located in Terminal 1 and there are clear signs everywhere for them. It’s about 45 minutes into the city center via the S1 or the S8 trains.
The U-Bahn (underground metro) is similar to the system in Berlin. The city is far smaller than Berlin so the train system is easy to pick up. The fare is 2.70 € for a single ride. For the most part, I found Munich to be a very walkable city. I only really used the metro to visit the BMW factory and the hirschgarten.
What to eat?
I think German food is vastly underrated. It’s certainly not the healthiest or most exotic cuisine, but it’s home-cooked, hearty, European soul food. Perhaps it was the short amount of time I spent in Germany and Austria (9 days) and the fact I was traveling, which made consuming large quantitesi of beer and meat justifiable. For those 9 days, I was in heaven. Munich is the spot to try traditional German cuisine, and by that I mean Bavarian cuisine. Sausages (wurst) of all types, giant pretzels, haxe, leiberkase, knodel, spatzle etc. are easy to find in this city.
Okay, now you can seek lunch and the day’s first beer! Dine like a local at Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s central market. There are plenty of food stands to buy traditional Bavarian street fare like German sausages and pretzels. Grab a cold one and cozy up to some new friends at one of the shared tables. I thoguth the food was pretty damn good here and ended up eating a few times. For breakfast, I came here for the weisswurst (white sausage) and pretzel, a true Bavarian breakfast. For lunch I would have haxe sandwiches. All washed down with top quality German beers as you’d expect. Filling. Cheap. Delicious.
The world famous German beer hall is a great stop for lunch or dinner in Munich. Yes this place might be the biggest tourist gathering in all of Germany, and you’ll be hard pressed to find any Munich residents at this place but so what? The experience alone is worth the visit. As soon as you walk in, you feel like you’re where you should be to experience proper Bavarian culture. It’s best to come here with a big group, and thankfully I had met a group of Aussies in Salzburg a few days before that were keen to have dinner here.
This place might be a bit intimidating for solo travelers (particularly should you be sitting next to a loud British group celebrating their stag weekend in Munich) but as soon as the beer, and large ones at that (1L only), get flowing, everyone’s here to have a good time and dance to the live Bavarian music.
Plus most people here are tourists that are seeking the same experience as you are so whatever that might be, everyone’s a little friendlier and happier at this place. Oh, did I mention that the beer helps?
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