We got up early and took the ~1.5 hour train ride from Salzburg to Munich, which was only $25.
When I visited Munich back in 2009, a lot of people I met were staying at the Euro Youth Hostel by the train station, so that’s where Ariel and I stayed this time. It’s a very short walk from the train station, so we went straight there, dropped off our luggage, and set out to meet up with a free walking tour. The first thing I always try to do in a new city is a free walking tour if it’s available. I’ve found its the best way to get your bearings, learn some history, and figure out what sites you want to go back to visit some more.
I’ve used the Sandeman’s company for free walking tours and other tours specific to each city. I like the company, their tour guides, and the people I meet on the tours! The tour may be free, but the guides make their money through tips. I’ve honestly never had a bad tour guide and always end up tipping, but the amount is always up to you!
We set out on our Sandeman’s free walking tour around the city of Munich. The meeting point and first stop was the Glockenspiel. The tour guide timed the tour so that we were in the square ready to hear the chimes.
Here’s a short video of the Glockenspiel:
The Bayerischer Hof is is one of the most expensive hotels in Munich and is where Michael Jackson would stay when he visited Munich. We were assured the hotel he hung the baby out of was in Berlin, not Munich, haha.
When Michael Jackson passed away, fans flocked to the hotel with pictures, candles, etc. The hotel owner asked them to move their display to the park across the street, so people commandeered this poor guys statue as a shrine to Michael Jackson. They bring fresh flowers to the shrine EVERY day!
In the picture below, the lion on the left has his mouth open representing freedom of speech. The lion on the right has his mouth closed facing the church, stating the church didn’t like the freedom of speech.
This is Dodger’s Alley. Germans would take this alley to avoid saluting the Nazi’s standing guard on the street next to it.
A theater in Munich:
This guy was a King who was very loved. He said he never wanted his statue displayed in public but when he died, his son ignored his wishes and well… here you go:
Hitler painted this view many times while aspiring to be an artist in Munich.
On the tour, we met Matt from Canada who was traveling Europe by himself. The three of us decided to go to the Hofbrauhaus for some pretzels and beer. We were actually in Munich for Thanksgiving, so this was Ariel and my Thanksgiving dinner. I seriously love the atmosphere at the Hofbrauhaus, and really any beer hall for that matter. You sit at a large table, almost like a massive picnic table, squeezed between strangers. People walk around with pretzels bigger than your head and ask what kind of beer and food you want. It’s seriously amazing! Not to mention I’ve never had a bad beer in Germany!
That night, we convinced Matt to join us for a Beer Challenge tour, which took us to several different beer halls and gardens. I also went on this tour back in 2009 and had an awesome time. It’s a great way to experience different beer halls in one evening and to meet some really great people! This tour was my favorite from our entire 2 week adventure because of the people we met. We started off strangers and left as friends!
I have my own beer hall! One of my professors in college always pronounced my name Lowen, haha.
There are some crazy rules for people to earn the ability to lock up their steins at the beer hall of their choice. Some say it’s going to the beer hall at least 3 times a week, drink at least a liter of beer each time, for 15 years!
This is inside the Augustiner.
The next morning, we headed to the Neuschwanstein Castle, my favorite castle ever! You’ll have to read my next post to find out why!
* If you’re spending several hours outside on a walking tour in winter, dress warm enough!
* Euro Youth Hostel – This is such a fun hostel. There’s a bar near the entrance that people staying at the hostel and other hostels hang out at. The Beer Challenge that we went on actually ended up here. It’s super close to the train station and just a short walk to the Glockenspiel.
* Sandeman’s Free Walking Tour – This is a must in Munich. It’s the best way to spend 3 hours in Munich learning its history and hitting all the major sites.
* Hofbrauhaus – Just go there! Even if you don’t drink beer, it’s worth a visit just for the atmosphere.
* Beer Challenge Tour – A great way to visit several beer halls in one night and to meet some pretty amazing people!