In and Around Munich, Germany

In June I visited my cousin and his family in Munich, the third largest city in Germany, about 585 km (363 miles) south of Berlin. I had visited Munich once before so on this trip, I set aside one day for sightseeing in Munich to revisit some of the main sights and to explore two new-to-me attractions (Munich Residence and Olympic Park). On the remaining days, my cousin and I made day trips to a few places located south east and south west of Munich and to Salzburg in Austria.

Below is a map with blue markers to give you an idea where we were. Munich is the top marker, Tegernsee and Chiemsee Lakes are near the centre, Salzburg is far right, Füssen and Neuschwanstein Castle are lower left.

Munich and the surroundings

SIGHTSEEING IN MUNICH

Marienplatz, located in the heart of Munich, is an optimal starting point to get to know the city. In 1854, this square was named after the Marian column that stands in the middle of it. On the day that I was there, the square was packed with people out to celebrate Munich’s 861st anniversary festival.

On the right in the photo below is the tower of the New Town Hall. At noon, the Glockenspiel chimes and the figures appear in the windows of the tower. Munich’s glockenspiel is the largest in Germany and the 4th largest in Europe.

On the left in the photo below, the two green domes belong to the Cathedral of Our Dear Lady (Frauenkirche) which dates back to the 15th century. The nearly 100-metre high towers (also known as the onion towers) are inspired by the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Marienplatz in Munich

I walked for a couple of hours re-visiting other main sights in Munich, such as Karlsplatz (Stachus), Odeonsplatz, and the Victuals market (Viktualienmarkt). The market has more than 140 stands and shops offering local and exotic products.

In the afternoon, I explored a new-to-me attraction: the Munich Residence (Residenz). The Munich Residence is the biggest inner-city palace in Germany. From 1508 to 1918 it served as seat of residence and government to the Bavarian rulers.

Statue in the courtyard at the Munich Residence

The various Bavarian rulers furnished and extended the rooms to suit their own personal tastes, engaging important artists for the purpose. Some of the most impressive rooms that I saw include the Antiquarium (photo below), Stone Rooms (Steinzimmer), the Green Gallery, and the Treasury (Schatzkammer) where crowns and jewels of the last 10 centuries are displayed.

Antiquarium in the Munich Residence

I was surprised at the inside size of the Residence, room after room on several floors, with huge amount of furnishings. Two words came to my mind “excessive opulence” as I kept walking and listening to the audio commentaries. The Munich Residence is well worth a visit and one would need at least three hours to see it all.

In the evening, my cousin and I went to Munich Olympic Park. We took the lift ride up to the 185-metre high Olympic Tower to see magnificent views over the city of Munich. It was a clear and calm night with a handful of visitors at the lookout level. We had a coffee break at the on-site revolving restaurant to soak in the views of the tented roof stadium, the BMW Museum, various sport facilities, and Munich by night. It was a beautiful end of this day in Munich.

Views from Munich Olympic Park Tower

DAY TRIP TO THE LAKES

On another gorgeous day, we spent time visiting the lakes near Munich. Tegernsee Lake is about 51 km south of Munich, and Chiemsee Lake is about 55 km east from Tegernsee Lake.

First stop was at Tegernsee Lake where we had a delicious lakeside brunch. On the platter was fresh pretzels served with cheese, eggs, cured ham, salami, and pickles. The Weisswursts (white sausages) are traditional Bavarian sausages made from minced veal and pork back bacon. They were served with sweet mustard and soft pretzels. The cappuccino came in a cute cup, just what I needed for the morning.

It was peaceful by Tegernsee Lake without any noise except the sounds of birds and water movements. After brunch, we walked around the lake perimeter for some exercise and enjoyed the lake views. The surrounding gardens, houses with timber sidings and hanging flower baskets were lovely.

Lakeside Seatings

In the afternoon we went swimming in Chiemsee Lake. The cool lake water was a refreshing relief from a warm and humid day with high temperature around 31 Celsius (or 88F). From the sandy beach, we could walk pretty far out into the lake as its slope was gentle and the water was so clear that we could see our feet.

Tegernsee

DAY TRIP TO FÜSSEN

Füssen is located about 133 km south west of Munich. It’s a pretty town, easy to walk around to explore the shops and local scenes. We strolled in the town centre for about an hour, took a coffee break, and picked up our reserved tickets at the Tourist Office to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.

Füssen Town Centre

VISITING NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most visited palaces in Europe, with around 1.5 million visitors a year. King Ludwig II based the design of the castle on the medieval paintings of Romanesque knight castles and an interpretation of the musical mythology of Richard Wagner, whom he admired greatly.

Construction of Neuschwanstein Castle commenced in September 1869 and never completed when the King died on June 13, 1886 in Lake Starnberg.

Neuschwanstein Castle

We booked our tickets in advance to avoid the long line up. The castle is easily reached on foot at a distance of 1.5 km with upward slope, mostly in the shades of the surrounding trees. Horse-drawn carriages are available for hire as well. Unfortunately the horse poops attract a lot of flies.

Ticket holders enter the castle as per the reserved time on their ticket to take the 30-minute guided tour in German or English. A tour guide walks the group through the castle to see the various rooms. Audio device is provided so everyone can hear the commentaries. No photography or video recording is allowed in the castle.

At first sight, Neuschwanstein Castle looks like a fairy tale with the green mountains in the background. I was most impressed with the Throne Hall and the amazing views from the castle, which includes a bridge above a canyon, the lakes, and Hohenschwangau Castle with its yellow walls.

Views from Neuschwanstein Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle

EATING OUT AT A BEER GARDEN

On a warm summer evening, my cousin and his wife took me to a local beer garden for dinner. Picnic tables and benches are set up under white umbrellas. Customers pick up their food and drinks from food huts and pay at the cash counters before sitting down. We shared roasted chicken, ribs, and warm pretzels which went down well with the local beer.

Beer Garden
Beer Garden food

I had a wonderful time in and around Munich. There are plenty to see and do in the Bavaria region. I was glad I could make this trip a reality and create new memories with my cousin and his family.

From Munich, we took a day trip to Salzburg, Austria. I also took the inter-city trains to Stuttgart to meet my friend and her husband and together we did more sightseeing. More on these day trips in my future posts. Stay tuned!

Thank you for travelling with me. I’d love to hear your comments.

Copyright © 2019 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

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61 thoughts on “In and Around Munich, Germany

  1. Dr Sock July 14, 2019 / 2:51 pm

    I visited Munich many years ago. I remember touring a castle in the city, which may have been the Munich Residenz.

    The photos in this post took about five minutes to load.

    Jude

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    • Natalie July 14, 2019 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you, Jude, for your feedback about the slow loading of the photos in this post. I did resize them before posting and did try to limit the number of photos. I’ll double check to see how I can improve the loading. On my desktop and phone, they seem to load fine.

      Like

  2. Erica/Erika July 14, 2019 / 4:10 pm

    Hi Natalie, We were in Munich Oktoberfest time, I think in 2001. Slightly chaotic, festive and fun. The Glockenspiel is very German. I don’t recall seeing it when we were there. The photos are spectacular! The Chiemsee Lake seemed a perfect refresh, dip area. It looks like you had pretty authentic German meals. Making new memories with your Cousin and his family is priceless. Danke:) Thank you for sharing:)

    Like

    • Natalie July 14, 2019 / 4:19 pm

      Hi Erica – The Munich Glockenspiel chimes three times a day, at 11, noon, and 5 pm. I just happened to be there at noon. My cousin’s wife is German so I’ve got to do some non-touristy activities and enjoyed authentic German meals with them. Thank you for your kind comment. Danke 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica/Erika July 15, 2019 / 10:19 am

        Hi Natalie, Neuschwanstein was very memorable for us, too. You are right, this area has many visitors, and the history is very interesting. Thank you for helping bring back some fond memories:)

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        • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 10:29 am

          You’re welcome, Erica. I like the Bavaria area (Bayern) in Germany very much. I think it has beautiful landscape and is rich in history and culture.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne July 14, 2019 / 4:31 pm

    Natalie looked like you had a fantastic trip and having the opportunity to do “everyday things” and go where the locals go makes for a more indepth look at a culture. Those castles are incredible.

    I would love to see more of Germany, perhaps one day.

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    • Natalie July 14, 2019 / 5:06 pm

      Hi Suzanne – Thank you for your kind comment. There are a lot of castles in Germany. You can build a trip just to visit the main castles. It was a fantastic trip all around, including the weather which I was told wasn’t good the week before my arrival. Thanks to my cousin and his wife who is German, I’ve had the opportunity to go where they’d normally go like the lakes and beer garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo July 14, 2019 / 6:12 pm

    I’ve only been to Munich once – October 1995. Oh my goodness was it that long ago? It was beer festival time and the crowds for that unsettled me a bit. That lake and the beer garden look like my sort of places and the weather was obviously amazing. Have a great week.

    Like

    • Natalie July 14, 2019 / 6:59 pm

      Thank you, Jo, for your comment. The lakes and the beer garden that we went to were definitely local and authentic, unlike Ocktoberfest which is a major tourist draw.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo July 14, 2019 / 7:01 pm

        I think what freaked me out with it was that everyone was so big and so tall and I couldn’t see around or through anything. Really unsettling. Having said that I have very fond memories of the sausages, beer and bread…and a fabulous pork knuckle dish.

        Like

  5. Deborah July 14, 2019 / 8:44 pm

    I’ve never been to Germany… I think I’d like to go in the winter as it would be SOOO much more different to Australia!

    Weirdly when I lived in Africa (Mozambique) in the mid 1990s people assumed I was South African or German. I don’t think they’d heard of Australia at that point.

    Like

    • Natalie July 14, 2019 / 9:48 pm

      I haven’t been to Australia but from what I read, I think you’re right that the winter in Germany would be very different to Australia. Likely colder temps and enough snow for winter sports in Germany.

      Like

  6. Retirement Reflections July 14, 2019 / 11:22 pm

    Your travel posts are always so impressive to read, Natalie. I love your enthusiasm, positivity and the details that you highlight. You have a great way of making me want to visit (or revisit) so many interesting places – including Munich! )

    Like

    • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 7:45 am

      Thank you, Donna, for your kind words. I try to contain my enthusiasm to write more concise travel posts and attach less photos. It’s a work in progress.

      Like

  7. Sydney Shop Girl July 14, 2019 / 11:37 pm

    Munich looks fascinating, Natalie. The culture, art, natural beauty and food. I loved Berlin and Munich is the next city I would love to visit in Germany.

    SSG xxx

    Like

    • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 7:46 am

      Munich is a good choice, SSG, for all the reasons you mentioned. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  8. Darlene July 15, 2019 / 11:01 am

    I would love to visit Munich. I was impressed with the glockenspiel in Nuremberg. Your pictures are great. I had no trouble loading the pictures, they opened up immediately.

    Like

    • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 11:12 am

      Thank you, Darlene, for your feedback about the picture loading. I always reduce the size of my photos before posting them as I dislike waiting for photos to load on a blog. Munich is a good travel choice and it’s not far from Costa Brava when you’re there.

      Like

  9. lunalyon July 15, 2019 / 3:07 pm

    Now I’m hungry for pretzels!

    Like

    • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 3:12 pm

      Freshly baked pretzels are yummy.

      Like

  10. Savoring Sixty and Beyond July 15, 2019 / 3:19 pm

    Thanks for taking us on this trip with you! Your commentary and photos made me feel as if I was there. The history is amazing and the food looks delicious! What a wonderful trip for you! Visiting from #Senisal

    Like

    • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 3:24 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m happy that you enjoyed my travel post and photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. restlessjo July 15, 2019 / 3:48 pm

    Bavaria is such a pretty area, Natalie. There are a few similarities with the architecture and decorating style in southern Poland. I find it very beautiful. Many thanks for sharing 🙂 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie July 15, 2019 / 4:06 pm

      Thank you, Jo, for sharing your walk and letting me share mine. I agree with you that Bavaria is a pretty area and the architecture there is beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Debbie Harris July 16, 2019 / 4:38 am

    Fabulous post Natalie! I haven’t been to that area but always wanted to visit that special castle, it just oozes fairytales! #lifethisweek

    Like

    • Natalie July 16, 2019 / 7:53 am

      Thank you, Debbie, for your comment. I read that Disney World modeled their Cinderella’s Castle and Disneyland modeled their Sleeping Beauty’s Castle after the Neuschwanstein Castle.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. 3sistersabroad July 16, 2019 / 4:55 pm

    Munich looks amazing. the pretzels are huge!…great post and looks like you had fun

    Like

    • Natalie July 16, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      I saw people carrying the big pretzels on their wrists like big bracelets 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Suzanne July 16, 2019 / 5:00 pm

    Natalie, returning to share 🙂 #MSTL

    Like

  15. leannelc July 16, 2019 / 11:17 pm

    Your pictures brought back fond memories of my time visiting Germany Natalie. The green domes, the little markets, the umbrella cafe tables, castles – so glad you enjoyed your time there.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie July 17, 2019 / 7:36 am

      Thank you, Leanne, for hosting and sharing. I’m glad my post brought back fond memories of your time visiting Germany. Have a beautiful week!

      Like

  16. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond July 17, 2019 / 3:39 am

    Your post brought back memories, Natalie. We have visited Germany a couple of times and Munich was one of our first stops. We also took a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and walked up rather than taking the coaches. Such a fairytale castle isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your travels with us at #MLSTL and have a lovely week. x

    Like

    • Natalie July 17, 2019 / 7:43 am

      Thank you, Sue, for hosting and sharing. We walked up to Neuschwanstein castle, too. King Ludwid II sure had a passion for castles as he had a few built in his short life.

      Like

  17. betty - NZ July 17, 2019 / 3:41 am

    What a fabulous place! I love to see old buildings and artwork that you don’t see in the ‘newer’ countries. Thanks a lot for sharing these stunning photos and wonderful information about your trip.

    I enjoyed your post at ‘My Corner of the World’ so much this week!

    My Corner of the World

    Like

    • Natalie July 17, 2019 / 7:44 am

      Thank you, Betty, for hosting. It’s fun to see photos from various countries in the world.

      Like

  18. Denyse Whelan July 17, 2019 / 3:54 am

    That looks like it was another amazing trip for you Natalie.

    Thank you for sharing on #lifethisweek. Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 29/51 Winter: Like/Loathe 22/7/19. Hope you link up again too. Denyse.

    Like

    • Natalie July 17, 2019 / 7:47 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for hosting. I look forward to next week’s link-up.

      Like

    • Natalie July 17, 2019 / 7:48 am

      Thank you, Di, for your visit and comment. I hope you visit Germany and have a wonderful time there.

      Like

  19. Min Write of the Middle July 17, 2019 / 9:42 pm

    Beautiful photographs Natalie! You’re lucky being so close to so many wonderful countries, and I enjoy travelling vicariously with you (via the blog)! My daughter was in Munich a year or so ago around Christmas time and went to the Christmas Market there. I used to have a German penpal when I was a child that lived somewhere near Munich. At the moment, I can’t remember her name! I remember we corresponded for many years and sent each other gifts. Thanks for sharing your travels with us! #TeamLovinLife

    Like

    • Natalie July 18, 2019 / 8:05 am

      Thank you, Min, for your comment and sharing your pen pal connection. Christmas markets are popular in this part of Europe. How nice that your daughter visited the Christmas Market in Munich.

      Like

  20. Mary-The Boondocks Blog July 18, 2019 / 8:45 am

    That ceiling on the antiquarium is most impressive.

    Like

    • Natalie July 18, 2019 / 10:21 am

      The Munich Residence looks simple outside but quite impressive inside. It’s well worth visiting. Thank you, Mary, for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Mother of 3 July 18, 2019 / 4:20 pm

    That sounds like a wonderful trip! I love that castle.

    Like

    • Natalie July 18, 2019 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you for your visit and comment. The Neuschwanstein Castle has a majestic air to it and the views from the castle certainly fit for a king.

      Like

  22. Joanne Sisco July 21, 2019 / 4:15 am

    Great sights and experiences but I admit I was constantly distracted by the pretzels. I remember those soft warm pretzels and trying to find one here just doesn’t compare! Now I have a craving. One with my coffee right now would be wonderful 😉

    Like

    • Natalie July 21, 2019 / 10:16 am

      The pretzels we have here are hard. A much better, soft and warm version exists in Germany 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Sanch @ Sanch Writes July 25, 2019 / 7:47 pm

    Oh wow! Those buildings!!! So beautiful! And that pretzel! 😀 Yummy! Thanks for sharing this trip

    Like

    • Natalie July 25, 2019 / 9:01 pm

      You’re welcome, Sanch. Lots to see and do in and around Munich. Thank you for stopping by.

      Like

  24. Su Leslie July 30, 2019 / 11:36 pm

    We visited Munich a few years ago (in late winter). Loved the city, Fussen and Neuschwanstein Castle, but it was so cold our sightseeing was a bit curtailed. Thanks for taking me back to this beautiful city/surrounds.

    Like

    • Natalie July 31, 2019 / 8:03 am

      Thank you, Su, for your visit and comment. Weather plays a part in our travel, doesn’t it? I had nice days while I was in Germany. However, the day that we went to Salzburg in Austria, it was warm, humid, and sunny so we had to take breaks from being outdoors too long and skipped visiting an outdoor garden.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Su Leslie August 1, 2019 / 5:55 pm

        You are right — especially on a first visit. And I prefer rain and cooler weather to humidity and high temperatures. I really struggle in places like Singapore.

        Like

        • Natalie August 1, 2019 / 6:13 pm

          Cooler weather is great for walking. I love Singapore but I agree with you…The humidity there slows me down.

          Liked by 1 person

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