Munich. The land of lederhosen, giant pretzels, and beer mugs as big as your head. Most famously known for Oktoberfest, Munich is located in Southern Germany.
Before heading to this German city, I mapped out a plan and a list of things I wanted to see and do. I didn’t accomplish half of what my list entailed thanks to the beauty and vastness of Munich. Not to mention the incredibly friendly people who got me side-tracked (in a good way) more than once. I found myself slowly wandering the streets finding hidden parks and gawking at the beautiful architecture of the city; one of my favorites – Rathaus-Glockenspiel. And hey, I am okay with all of that! It is important to be flexible while traveling, especially alone, because that is when the most magical things occur. And all that it means is that I will have to go back and revisit Munich again, and I am DEFINITELY okay with that
Upon arrival to Munich head straight to the city centre. You can wander around for hours getting lost in the streets and getting caught up in the German atmosphere. Make sure to spend time in Marienplatz, the main square in city centre. Close by you’ll have the famous Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, a quintessential German beer hall. And when you need to eat, look no further than Hans im Glück.
After spending time in and around Germany’s main square, spend some time outdoors at Englischer Garten. Grab picnic goodies from the farmers market, Viktualienmarkt, and head outside to enjoy the sunshine. While you’re there make sure to check out the infamous Eisbach. A river that people surf down. Quite entertaining if I do say so myself!
Your second day in Munich, spend outside the city by taking a day trip to Dachau Concentration Camp. One of the first Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany. To date, it has been the most life changing experience I have had. Upon arrival you can feel the gloom of the town, everyone’s spirits low. Upon entrance through the gate that reads, “Work Sets You Free”, you get a bone chilling feeling. Dachau is well preserved and has done a good job at documenting what went on during WWII. If you opt for an audio guide there’s recordings of survivors and liberators, talking about their experiences of Dachau.
Note: Dachau is open seven days a week from 0900-1700. You can buy tickets at the gate before entering.
I can’t describe how eye opening this experience was for me. Out of everything I’ve done in Europe, this one was the most informative, history rich, life-changing moments for me. I spent over four hours at the concentration camp, and could have spent even longer if I had had the time.
I got to experience Munich at a special time in my life. It was my first solo trip, further cementing my love of travel. While it was my first experience solo and I was worried about so many things, Munich gave me piece of mind. I felt safe and protected. I learned about some of the most important history in the world, and met friends who turned into family. I drank German beer, and ate pretzels the size of my head. It was a special first solo trip and I hope that when you visit you see the magic in it too. Auf wiedersehen Munich, thanks for having me!