A Winter Break in Munich

By the time December rolls around, after what feels like an eternity of working towards deadlines, a break away couldn’t feel more necessary… and where is more perfect for the winter season than Bavaria? Yes, Nottingham has a pretty nice Christmas market, but nobody does Christmas like the Germans. After a short but sweet trip, Munich has secured it’s place in my heart forever and here's why.

It is the ultimate festive destination. As well as the usual sights, including the Englischer Garten, Nymphenburg Palace and Königsplatz, the city becomes overrun by miles of Christmas markets stocking festive food treats, decorations and so much more. My favourites were in Marienplatz, surrounding the famous Christmas tree in front of the New Town Hall donated to the city every year. It’s the perfect photo spot! The Tollwood Winter Festival is also pretty special. You HAVE to try the Kinderpunsch (yes, I realise it’s targeted at children). It’s warm apple juice and cloves.

There are plenty of opportunities for Christmas shopping. Maximilianstraße offers over a kilometre of designer stores and Kaufingerstraße is the best spot for high-street brands. For more independent stores, Sendlinger Staße is super sweet, offering antiques, books and art.

Munich isn’t short of great places to eat either. My personal favourites included Hungriges Herz (super Instagrammable!), Mr. Pancake (no lie, THE best pancakes I have ever had) and Gute Nacht Wurst, where they serve vegan currywurst. For a traditional Bavarian meal, Augustiner-Keller is perfect and serves schnitzel, pretzels and strudel. Can’t get more traditional than that!

Something I was surprised by in Munich was that it was relatively quiet at night. I was led to believe the city was popular for stag holidays, but I didn’t see much of this side of the city. Instead, many places seemed to close early, but this could have just been the time of year. Of course, Germany is famous for its beer and Munich is not short of traditional beer halls. The Hofbräuhaus is the most popular and most touristic, but is also one of the most traditional so is a safe-bet if you’re looking for the most authentic experience. Augustine Brästuben is off the well-beaten tourist track but is huge and has a great atmosphere. If beer isn’t your thing (me too!), I would recommend Pusser’s; a small bar and restaurant that serves amazing cocktails.

To make the most of the festive season, a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle is essential. It’s beautiful all year around, but it is truly enchanting when surrounded by snow-covered mountains. From Munich, it takes a train journey to the town of Füssen, and then a short bus ride to the castle. Füssen is a small and traditional Bavarian town and is worth the visit alone. Seeing the castle was the highlight of my visit for sure and one of the most incredible sights I’ve ever seen.

Munich is great for shopping, Christmas markets, a festive-break and my number one recommendation is definitely a d ay-trip to Neuschwanstein. However, if you’re looking for a good night out, maybe skip this city in the winter season!

 

All images writer's own