München is amazing, so far my favourite place that i’ve been too. I would highly recommend this city to anyone wanting to travel to Europe. I spent only 3 days/2 nights here and there is still so much to explore. München is in a great location, only about an hour till you’re in the middle of the snow covered Alps, about 2 hours from Neuschwanstein Castle, another 2 hours from Salzburg, i mean the list keeps going on and on. With the few days that i had here, i went to Neuschwanstein Castle and a day of exploring the city center on München.
I arrived late on Friday night and stayed at the Wombat City Hostel Munich. They’re honestly 1 block away from the main train station and 10-15 minute walk to Marienplatz. The hostel is so clean and modern I was very impressed with them. There’s actually not a lot of options for good hostels in München, but i believe this is the best one and the location is great. I mean it’s kinda sad when your hostels bedroom and bathroom are cleaner and more modern than your residence room..
Next morning, foggy and early, I did a tour with Viator called “Royal Castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof Day Tour from Munich” I’ve looked at a lot of tour going to the castle and this one seemed hassle free and to see the other palace of Linderhof. When we left there was dense fog all over München, so there wasn’t much to see out of the window, and then all of a sudden, the fog was behind us and BOOM, mountains, snow capped mountains, i was actually shocked how close we were to the alps.
Linderhof was our first stop. A very small palace, not much around it. The interior is absolutely stunning! Apparently the interior is suppose to be very similar to that of Versailles (i’ve personally never been). Gold, gold everywhere! on the walls, crawling up towards the ceiling, massive figurines, furnicure, tapestry. Everything was grad and luxurious with precious minerals and ivory and porcelain. I was so amazed with everything. You’re not allowed to take pictures within, so I can’t show you how luxurious it was.
Afterwards, they let us stop at a small village where The Oberammergau Passion Play takes place. The village itself wasn’t anything too special and I thought could definitely be skipped.
Next, the main attraction; Neuschwanstein Castle. Many of you may recognize this castle, it’s nickname is “The Disney Castle” because Disney used this castle to base Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
The castle is situated on a huge rock, and they drop you off at the bottom of his rock. There are 3 days to get up there; walk, bus and horse-drawn carriage. Naturally I walked, only takes 20-30 minutes one way, and the slope is hardly noticeable til the end, the last 200m wind you up. The photo above can usually only be seen by the bridge, and the bridge was closed due to construction. I was pretty upset to hear this cause all other views of the castle are too up close to see it’s greatness. So i ventured in the direction of the bridge hoping that maybe there was a lookout point along the way. No such luck. But, there was however, a gap in the fence of the construction site, but big enough for a person to fit through and many people going through the fence. The bridge was still completely sealed off, i saw the floor missing, but there was a lookout point through the trees and up a small hill, with a man made path. And that was where this photo was taken.
The castle itself isn’t too old, built about 150 years ago, relatively new as far as castles go. And this castle isn’t even complete. Only about 1/3 of it is complete. When the King died a mysterious death at a fairly young age, all work stopped on the castle. I did a tour within the castle and it’s really not too great, if you’re on the fence for wanting to take the tour, don’t do it, it’s only 30 minutes long and isn’t too luxurious inside. Go inside Linderhof instead.
But the views from the outside of the castle are beautiful. There’s even another castle adjacent to it!
Overall, the tour was okay, it was so rushed or you just had enough time. We did not spend enough time at Linderhof, the grounds are so pretty and he had no time to explore, I could hardly even take picture of the palace itself. It was very much get in and get out. We had more time at the castle, but between walking up and down, the tour and wanting to take some photos, it nearly all just fit. I know it’s to be expected with a tour group, but our guide was really good.
The next day, my last day, I found a free walking tour, I went with inMunich tour group and was so impressed with them. The tour did kind of end up being 4 hours long, but there is so so much to see in München. Even after the tour i felt like there was more to see aswell. Our tour guide was amazing. He was actually funny! I don’t find too many tour guides funny, cause i usually find they make jokes, some people laugh, and i’m wondering why people are laughing cause the person is just annoying instead. But he was great and knew so much about München, i was so impressed and i highly recommend.
The tour was provided so much information and history about München, I got about 4 hours worth of it, so instead of repeating it all here are some of the things mentioned:
- The 6 major beer breweries (logos seen below)
- The opera house and how it has burned down 5 times
- München was completely destroyed after the war, but they took so many detailed pictures of the buildings they were able to recreate them with as much detail as possible.
- München came from the word Monk. why? because of the oldest brewery established in 1040 by Benedictine monks.
- I saw the world famous bar Hofbräuhaus. This bar, was the birthplace of the Natzi party.
- A lot of the history of the city is centered around beer. Seriously.
- King Ludwig I, who had sex with thousands of girls, how do they know this? every sexual encounter he had, he got their portrait painted while they were sleeping. But he did eventually get married in October, and this wedding party was so big and extravagant they kept celebrating every year. And every year, the weather was really bad they kept saying, oh lets have it one day earlier, and the same the next year… and this is why Oktoberfest is in September and always ends on the first Sunday of October.
- The four-point Drindl bow system for girls: to the right: taken, to the left: single, directly behind the back: widowed, directly in front: desperate virgin.
- There are Lions everywhere over the city and rubbing the nose of a Lion can bring good luck.
- Beer: there is a German Beer Purity Law which states: beer can only be made with water, hops and malt. Every person in Bavaria, by Law is allowed to drink 1L of beer for lunch and 1L for breakfast, no matter what your job is. Do not expect good service at a pub.
München is such an amazing city and I plan to be back many, many more times.
If you’d like to see more pictures from my trip to München, you can check my flickr account