Walking Tour of Munich

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August 13th 2011
Published: September 4th 2011
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 Video Playlist:

1: Glockenspiel 70 secs
We got a free city pass by staying at InterCity Hotel so I decided against doing the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour of Munich since most things are within walking distance or a short S- or U-bahn ride away. So this morning after breakfast, we headed out on our grand walking tour of Munich.

Since I knew we’d be doing a lot of walking, we decided to take the S-bahn to Marienplatz to start our tour. We walked from the station to Frauenkirche, where our tour began. Currently being restored on the outside (a common theme in Europe), the church was completed in 1488 and its twin towers escaped any damage during World War II. It’s free to go inside and not the prettiest church in Munich, but worth a visit.

From there we walked back to the main square to Neues Rathaus, just in time to watch the Glockenspiel. After being pretty disappointed by the Astronomical Clock in Prague, I have to say that the Glockenspiel is pretty impressive. There is even a knight battle between two of the characters and when one goes down, the crowd cheers and it’s pretty entertaining. The New City Hall building, built at the end of the 1800’s, is also what I consider the prettiest building in Munich. After the show we took the elevator to the top to get a view of the city. It costs 2,50 euro and if you don’t have the energy to walk up the steps of Peterskirche across the way, this is the way to go Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall, rebuilt in 1470) is also in the square and is not nearly as impressive (its also currently under cover being renovated).

Behind the main square is Peterskirche, the oldest Parish church in Munich. Make sure you go inside as it is impressive to look at (as are most churches in Europe). If you have the energy, climb the steps. We didn’t, which is why we took the laxy route up Neues Rathaus. Around the back of Peterskirche is Viktualienmarkt, full of places to eat, stock up for a picnic, or have a drink. Heading north we stopped at Heiliggeist (Holy Ghost) Church, another impressive interior worth checking out.

A few blocks further north is Hofbrauhaus, which we walked past for now and stopped instead for tea at the nearby Starbucks (too early and still too much walking for beer!).

On the way to Residenz we walked past Alter Hof (once a palace and now just financial buildings), Munzhof (once many different things but now home of he Munich Preservation office), and onto Max-Joseph-Platz where we took a tour of Residenz Palace. Residenz was the official home of Bavarian rulers until 1918. Today you can tour the main Residenz museum, the Treasury, the Cuvillies Theater, and the Herkulessaal (concert hall). We only toured the Residenz museum, which was quite a long tour but also quite interseting. The outside of the building is currently under renovation.

After leaving Residenz we walked north along Residenzstrasse to Feldhernnhalle, the open air loggia commissioned by King Ludwig I and famous for being a Nazi rallying point. Next to Feldherrnhalle is Theaterinkirche, a bright yellow church also worth a look inside.

Across the courtyard (and behind Residenz) is Hofgarten, a nice park with beer garden. We walked through and then headed back along Briennerstrasse to where we’d catch the U-bahn back to Marienplats. Along the way we passed through Wittelsbacher-Platz (one of the most famous squares in Munich), Maximilliansplatz (a prestigious shopping street), Karolinenplatz (based on the Place do l’Etoile in Paris with an obelisk in the center), and Konigsplatz, where we took the U-2 to Sendinger Tor and the U-6 to Marienplatz.

Next stop was back to Hofbrauhaus where we capped the long walking tour off with sausages and beer before stopping to shop on the walk back to the hotel.

Tomorrow we take the S-bahn to Dachau….

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