Munich travel guide

Munich Travel Guide for first time travellers

As we see the arrival of winter in Delhi, I started preparing for my well-awaited trip to Munich. The visa process was a pain which almost broke my spirits, but in the end, it was all worth it. As I had to pack for the chilling cold in Munich, I shopped for warmer clothes, left my camera out of the suitcase and headed towards the airport. I had booked Lufthansa airlines for an almost 12hour journey to Munich via Frankfurt. This is my Munich travel guide where I’ll try to add all the information you might find useful while planning a trip to Germany.

Don’t miss my Mumbai travel guide!

Planning the trip to Munich

The visa process from India

Schengen Visa process from India is the standard one which requires us to provide all detailed documentation including passport, flight tickets, hotel reservations or invitation letter from the host, sufficient funds in bank account etc. The key to getting a Schengen visa is only by having all the documents correct without fail.

Update: October 2021 – May 2022, the visa process through Germany is tricky as the slots in VFS are extremely low and chances are you’ll probably not get a slot at all. I don’t want to disappoint you, but if you have the option, try applying via France or Netherlands. The documents required are as follows –

  1. Duly filled application form
  2. Passport
  3. Flight tickets
  4. Latest passport size picture
  5. Hotel reservations or invitation letter from the host and their address proof & residence permit.
  6. Minimum 1.5Lakh₹ in bank account and last 6 month’s bank statement
  7. If employed – job offer letter
  8. Leave letter from the employer for the entire travel period
  9. Last 3 months’ salary slips
  10. Past 3 years’ ITR statements

What to pack for Munich

My Munich travel guide cannot be complete if I don’t cover what to pack for Munich. The city is pretty cold most parts of the year barring peak summer months from June-August that too weather fluctuates often. The fall and winter months are bone-chilling. Layers are the key when you plan your clothes for Munich. If you’re going in fall or winter, don’t miss out on a coat, scarf, boots, jeans, warm cap, gloves and a sweater. For the spring & summer months, bring a light jacket, rest normal clothes will go.

Munich Travel Guide – What to see in Munich

Marienplatz

Take a U-Bahn (subway) and head to the centre of the city – Marienplatz. A lively square with Neun Rathus (the city hall), Frauenkirche, bakeries, and international shopping outlets. When in the city centre don’t forget to enjoy sausage and mulled wine in fall & winter. There are a couple of gorgeous monuments in the city centre, take a long walk in and around the square.

Pro Tip – I tried weiße Wurst (white sausage) – Unless you’ve tried & liked it – I’d recommend skipping it.

For an immersive experience, take U-Bahn and get down at Universität and take a long walk from here till Marienplatz. You will also come across Odeonplatz square with a lot of cafes and cathedrals. On a good weather day, Odeonplatz is a pleasing place to chill or have a meal here. You can also have a picnic at the Hofgarten or enjoy some sun if you’re lucky.

Marienplatz

Neues Rathus/ New Town Hall

Located right in the centre of Marienplatz, hosting the city’s council is built-in striking Neo-Gothic architecture. If you’d like a view of the city, get yourself the tickets for the tower and head to the top. The tower offers breathtaking views of the city and is an amazing place to get some selfies too. To get to the top, a lift is available which will take you to an office where you’re tickets will be checked. Once checked, you’ll take a different lift to head to the top.

Neues Rathus

Munich Residenz

Located extremely close to Odeonplatz, Munich Residenz is a must-visit place to visit in Munich. The former official residence of Bavarian monarchs – the palace can be easily reached by foot or tram. The largest city palace in Germany is open for visitors for its marvelling architecture and intricate room decors. Unfortunately, the palace was mostly destroyed during WWII, however, reconstructed slowly after the war.

The palace is open all days, you may get tickets from the entrance for either museum, treasury or both. Note – no paid tickets are required for children under 18yrs of age.

English Garden

For me, the English Garden was the highlight of Munich. The largest park in Munich spans across the entire city, Isar river passing through it, beer gardens and Monopteros. If you are an adventure enthusiast, you can surf in the Eisbach (a man-made river from the Isar river).

I am sure you’ve heard of Octoberfest – hosted here – now you do have a reason to visit English Garden. The world’s largest beer festival actually begins in mid-September and ends by the first week of October.

Olympiapark

Built in 1972 for the Olympic Summer Games, with a sustainable structure the complex is a must-visit for all. The complex still hosts various cultural events happening around the city. The Olympic Tower offers panoramic views of the city and the city looks beautiful from the top.

Nymphenburg Palace

Another palace for the Bavarian monarchs which they used as a summer residence. In fact, a part of the Wittelsbach family still lives in a castle adjacent to the palace. The baroque architecture, marvellous wall paintings and striking architecture will keep you on your toes during the Palace tour.

Frauenkirche

The tallest church in Munich – Frauenkirche located in Marienplatz is definitely worth the visit. Most likely associated with the images of Munich you might have seen – the church can be easily spotted. Also damaged heavily during WWII, the church was gradually renovated and is now the seat of the Archbishop of Munich.

What to eat to Munich

When in Munich – always try local cuisine. I’d suggest pretzels, sausages (and a lot of it), schnitzel, meatballs, mulled wine, and beer. A special mention goes to Riesling (rice wine) which I loved a lot. Munich also has a lot of world cuisines, but I prefer local foods when I travel.

Where to stay in Munich

A lot of hotels are located near Munich Hauptbahnhof – Munich’s central railway station. Some of my recommendations are –

  • Le Meridian – A well-known name in the hospitality industry, and located in the heart of the city, Le Meridian is my first choice for places to stay in Munich. Located just 50meters to Hauptbanhof, designer rooms and an in house restaurant serving local cuisine.
  • Bayer’s City Hotel – One of the most beautiful hotels out there in the city, with beautiful interiors, within a 5-minute walk of central station, the hotel is a top choice for places to stay in Munich.
  • Boutique Hotel Atrium – If you’d like to spend a bit less on your hotel expenses, this is the hotel I’d recommend. With modern interiors, a green courtyard and a stylish lobby area, this is easily one of the top places to stay in Munich. Marienplatz is less than a mile away from the hotel which is a big bonus to staying close to the city center.

Tips to get the most out of your visit to Munich

I have been to Munich twice and almost lived like an insider. My Munich travel guide will not be complete without some of the things I noticed. Here are some of my tips which will come useful to you –

Make use of the efficient public transport system

Munich is a small city but with a rather complex public transport – subway (U-Bahn), S-Bahn (trains), trams and buses. All of these are well connected to each other, although for first-timers, it can be a tad confusing. The markings are few, and the same platforms are used for different trains – be careful before hopping on a train.

Learn a few German greetings

Language can be a barrier in Germany, with few people speaking English. So it’d help you if know a few German words – especially greetings.

Hallo – Hello

Guten Tag – Good Day/Hello

Guten Morgen – Good morning

Guten Abend – Good evening

Ja – Yes/Ya

Nein – No

Tschüss/Ciao – Bye

Bis bald – see you soon

Keep your vaccination certificate handy

As Munich is now opening up, a vaccination certificate is now mandatory. If you’d like to dine in a restaurant, a lot of restaurants ask for your passport & scan your vaccination certificate’s barcode.

Keep N95 mask

I made this mistake – only N95 or surgical mask is acceptable in a lot of restaurants in Germany. Locals are generally quite rigid about it.

Have some cash with you

You’d be surprised to know so many places in Germany still accept mostly cash. A lot of restaurants/cafes won’t accept cards or your card might not work at all. Have some cash handy, anywhere around 200€ should do.

HAVE YOU TRAVELED TO MUNICH? HOW MANY DAYS DID YOU SPEND AND WHAT PLACES YOU VISITED? DID YOU LIKE THIS MUNICH TRAVEL GUIDE? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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