With the rich history and beautiful architecture, Munich the capital of Bavaria in Germany, has a lot to offer anyone. Budget-shoestring-student travelers like myself can see and enjoy so much for free!
There was so much to do in Munich I felt like I hardly had enough time to immerse myself in the city’s unique culture. This is definitely a city I would like to return to, and as a hub for other European travels, I think it will be easy to do so.
One of the famous things to do is watch the clock ‘show’ (available only 2 times a day, 3 times a day in the summer). I tried to catch the show at noon so I was running in circles trying to find this clock. It was the first time I was in the city so I had almost no clue where I was. The only challenge is that there are massive clock towers everywhere in this city (and really everywhere in Europe)!
It was one minute to noon and I found a clock! This must be it I thought! But as the clock hit noon, nothing happened to the clock or around the clock. I just heard loud bells for a minute. At 12:01, with defeat, I realized this was the wrong clock…
I continued to walk around and ‘ah-ha’! I walked into Marienplatz, Munich’s central city square and then I saw it, the actual clock, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel. My next and last opportunity was at 5pm and I as determined to see it.
I opted for a free walking tour for a portion of my afternoon. Since I only had a day in Munich, I wanted to make the most of it. I found the walking tour through online recommendations and went with a group called New Europe tours.The tours are completely free of charge with any amount of donations that work with your budget and you give what you think the tour was worth.
I really enjoy these walking tours because I always meet wonderful people. In 3 hours I’m also given a condescended snapshot of the city with an overload of history and facts (which I love hearing). This time I met a girl from India who I hope to meet again in the future! Munich was her last stop on her several weeks of travel.
At the end of the tour I was able to see the clock show! Thanks to the tour I actually understood what the story the dancing pupets were showing!
Walking from my hostel, Euro Youth Hostel (minutes from Munich HBF), to the city centerI climbed up the stair of St Peter’s Church. It’s the oldest church in Munich, built in 1368 but almost totally destroyed in WWII. The view is of Marienplatz (Munich’s central square)The famous Hofbrauhaus a beer drinking hall. Confronting it’s darker past, this hall is known as a place where the Nazi party declared policies and held functions. Adolf Hitler claimed the 25 point program of the National Socialist program here. It’s important to keep in mind that although Munich has put behind it’s grim history, there are still so many reminders of the times under the Nazi regime.Odeonplatz. Do you see the two lion statues? The one of the left, is facing the government buildings, the one of the right is facing the church cathedral. The one of the left has is mouth open, symbolizing that you should always speak freely to the government (or ruler); but to the right the closed mouth symbolizes that you do not speak against the church. Weiner Platz, the smallest permanent market in Munich, also home to the beer gardens! (As long as you buy a beer, anyone is welcome to enjoy the tables and even bring their own food. Any table with a table cloth is a serviced table, so you will have a waiter approach you if you sit here)
Fun fact? The people of Munich love their beer. You might have already assumed this, given they are the host of Octoberfest every year where thousands flock to Munich to participate in the beer-drinking festivities. Germany is home to approximately 1,250 breweries, nearly four times as many as all the other countries in the EU combined.