Munich, More Than Beer and Sausages

Germany may be the land of beer, sausages and pretzels but Munich has so much more to offer. Whenever I have mentioned to someone that I am planning a trip to Munich, the first question is “are you going to Oktoberfest”. I prefer to visit a little later in the fall or at Christmas…both really beautiful times of the year. After less than a two hour scenic drive from Salzburg, my husband and I arrived in Munich. The capital of Bavaria can be described in so many ways. It has small town charm and provincial character with long-standing traditions but it is also cosmopolitan and sophisticated. There are many cultural events, world class museums, Baroque, Rococo, and Art Nouveau architecture, cobbled streets and beautiful gardens.

Beautiful Architecture

It is considered one of the best places to live in Europe. Yes, you can go to the Hofbrauhaus (probably the most famous beer hall in the world). You can sit at long wooden tables with lots of tourists as well as Germans, drink liter size beers and eat sausages and pretzels and listen to oompah bands .

Hofbrauhaus

You can also go to one of the many fine restaurants, bistros, and wine bars that are just a block or two away for a delicious, relaxed meal.

Pfistermuhl Gourmet Bavarian Restaurant

We like to stay at the Vier Jahreszeiten (four seasons in German) Kempinski.

Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich

It is a 150 year old hotel in the heart of Munich, on the famous Maximilian Strasse. The location is ideal as most everything is just a short walk away. The street itself is lined with high end haute couture shops where you can sometimes spot celebrities.

Haute Couture On Maximilian Strasse

It is fun window shopping and dreaming of wearing one of the beautiful dresses that you see. The hotel has a wonderful traditional lobby that is called the living room of Munich. Each afternoon when we return from seeing the sights, we like to enjoy a delicious cappuccino here and watch people greeting each other, visiting over a glass of champagne. Everything about this old world hotel is wonderful. The service is outstanding and you are always greeted by name. We love the piano bar, the great buffet breakfast and the food in the restaurant. The top floor spa has views overlooking Munich. The Kempinski is one of our favorite hotels in Europe. Less than a five minute walk from the hotel, you arrive at the Marienplatz in the heart of the old town’s pedestrian area.

The New Town Hall Dominates the Marienplatz

Glockenspiel

The wide square is dominated by the New Town Hall with its famous Glockenspiel. Just a couple of minutes in the opposite direction is the Residenz, one of the largest and most opulent palaces in Europe. You can visit 130 rooms, all with English descriptions.

From the Treasury

There is also the Treasury with a collection of crown jewels. Behind the Residenz, is the Hofgarden, designed in the 17th century. Further along, you come to the Field Marshalls Hall, designed after the famous Loggia in Florence.

Field Marshals Hall

In the same area, is Theatinerkirch from 1633.

Theatinerkirche

The pure white stucco interior is such a contrast to its bright yellow exterior. It is wonderful being a foodie in Munich. There are several international food shops, Dallmayr being our favorite. The Viktualienmarkt is probably the most beautiful open air food market I have ever seen.

Bavarian Maypole At The Viktualienmarkt

With a traditional Bavarian maypole at its center, lovely fountains, its own outdoor beer garden, it is truly amazing. Venders beautifully display exotic fruits and vegetables.

Beautifully Displayed Vegetables

Exotic Fruits

So Many Kinds Of Mushrooms

Others sell meats, poultry, and fish of every description.

Pork Of Every Description

Fresh Seafood

Wine, cheese, and fresh baked breads can be bought for a picnic. There are spices and herbs from all over the world. There is so much to see and do in Munich. We have returned five times to this lovely city and there is still so much that we haven’t seen. I will be doing other posts that will highlight of our time spent in Munich. I hope you will enjoy seeing more of one of our favorite cities in Europe.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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34 Responses to Munich, More Than Beer and Sausages

  1. ChgoJohn says:

    Such beautiful pictures, Karen! The Theatinerkirche must have been breath-taking to see in person. Were you lucky enough to see the glockenspiel in operation? Seeing the hog’s head in the pork display brought back memories! Thank you again, Karen, for taking us with you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, Thank you for your compliment. Yes, I have seen the glockenspiel in operation. Knights on horseback and peasants dancing, plus a carillon of bells to go with the action. So much fun. The Theatinerkirche was awe-inspiring. The outside is a beautiful yellow gold and the interior was so bright and white. The sun shining through the windows made beautiful beams all over the church. Don’t you just love the hog’s head. Another vendor has heads, feet and ears in the window. The photo had a glare from the window so I didn’t include it.

  2. Monique says:

    What a trip you are having. we have friends we see once a yr.. that are from Germany.. Now I know more because of you.Thank you.

  3. It’s amazing how lined-up everything is in the “exotic fruits” photo. I wonder if it’s because you happened to snap the photo right after the stockboy straightened everything out, or if it’s because customers had the decency to not ruin it when they got their fruit (like so many nicely-laid out displays here). Interesting. Great photos!

    • Karen says:

      Hello Michelle, Welcome to my blog and your nice comment. The stall selling the exotic fruit was run by the two owners…no stock boys. Generally, in Europe you tell the person in charge what you want and then they select the produce for you. Believe me, there was not one item at that market that was not total perfection. I wish we had such perfect produce at home.

  4. kbosin says:

    love it! Keep posting. Love this time of year, because you still get plenty of fresh vegetables, and can spend leisurely time outside, and the hanging baskets and gardens are stunning.

  5. Charles says:

    Nice – my boss comes from Munich and constantly rambles on about how wonderful it is. Your photos make me think that perhaps he’s onto something! Definitely looks like a place I’d like to see!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charles, Thank you for your comment. Munich really is a wonderful city…one of my favorites to visit. Beautiful, clean, friendly people and wonderful food. Visit Munich if you get the chance.

  6. You’ve had a brilliant holiday and I’ve loved every one of the related blogs.

  7. Tandy says:

    I saw the pig’s head lurking. This is a country on our to do list :)

  8. I love the New Town Hall…what year was it built?

    We were in Luxeumborg a few years ago, and the valley is crossed by the New Bridge and the Old Bridge…the New Bridge was built around 1850…

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your comment and question. The New Town Hall was started in the 1860′s and wasn’t finished until the early 1900′s. It is a huge building and it is so interesting to walk around and see all of the intricate workmanship.

  9. Kristy says:

    Stunning pictures Karen! I remember on my trip to Europe, I was most surprised by Germany. It had far more beauty than I expected – and in so many different forms. :)

  10. I say this each time, but what glorious pictures! We visited a German restaurant in Indianapolis last week – The Rathskeller – which was a good substitute – but nothing like being in Germany! Enjoy your trip!

  11. kensajolaw says:

    Hi Karen! What fun stories! I actually did marketing for the Munich International Airport and the Bavarian Tourist Board, and I’m so glad to find someone else who sees how much more Munich has to offer than beer and sausage. Our marketing campaigns always focused on all the other wonderful aspects of the city and region. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be back for more stories!

  12. Cayla says:

    The Theatinerkirche altar looks so much like the one in the Vatican. (The way the detailing is up the columns… that’s why I am reminded of it). Munich looks so magical and gorgeous! and your photos are beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Hello Cayla, Thank you for your compliment. Munich is a beautiful and has some amazing churches the should be visited. The Theatinerkirche is breathtaking with its white plaster. You are right about the columns.

  13. spicegirlfla says:

    Beautiful photos Karen! Where to begin, the architect truly is amazing and just like a foodie, I must comment on the gorgeous produce!! My ex-inlaws always spoke so highly about this area and now I see what they were referring to!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, That you for your compliment. My husband and I keep going back to Munich. It is beautiful, there is so much to do, it has great restaurants and the people are very friendly. Being a foodie, I know what you mean about the produce…just amazing.

  14. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    I do so love following you around Europe :)

  15. While beer and sausages is all I need, I rather enjoyed this post!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greg, Thank you for your comment. Beer and sausages are not only delicious but must be enjoyed while in Germany. There is so much great food available to everyone…weisswurst and sweet mustard before noon to perhaps a memorable meal at Tantras, a michelin Star restaurant.

  16. cabinet stew says:

    Wow – Thank you for all the great architecture photos! Traveling to Europe is always a reminder how “young” our country really is!!
    (and of course – even though I never met a sausage I didn’t like – I can see there is much more to be eaten in Munich!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, Thank you for your comment. You are right, I live in a 1730′s house and that isn’t very old in comparison to Europe’s buildings. I especially enjoy the weisswurst in Munich. I have to drive all the way to Boston to buy it if I want to enjoy it at home.

      • cabinet stew says:

        I am wondering if you go to “Karl’s Sausage Kitchen” on route 1 north in Saugus – if you don’t you should!

      • Karen says:

        Hi Carol, Yes, Karl’s Sausage Kitchen is wonderful. We drive down once a year to buy smoked pork chops, and sausages to do an annual Octoberfest dinner for our friends.

  17. Pingback: A Foodie’s Tour of Munich | Back Road Journal

  18. Karen – this post made my heart jump to Munich! I spent some time there when I was 21, and I cannot wait to get back. All of your photos were just stunning, and I can tell you guys had a blast :)

  19. sartenada says:

    Your photos are awesome. Especially I was impressed from the photo showing Theatinerkirche!

    I have been in Munich once in my life, but nowadays it is possible to watch in TV its streets in the TV series called “Der Alte” or The Old Fox.

    Happy week-end!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment. The Theatinerkirche was just beautiful. From its bright yellow outside to its bright white inside…lovely to visit.

  20. Always wonderful to see images of the city I call my second home and make long of the days I lived in Muenchen. :-)

  21. Great photos of the Viktualienmarkt!

  22. Pingback: Munich, The Warm Heart Of Bavaria | Back Road Journal

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