Three Reasons to Go to Munich – Other Than Oktoberfest
When you think of Munich, (or perhaps even Germany in general) you inevitably think of Oktoberfest. So…is that all there is to Munich? Absolutely not. In my three short days there in May, I fell in love with this little Bavarian city, and I’m pretty sure you will too. Here’s why:
1. The parks are ace
I’m a big lover of the outdoors, so parks are inevitably where I spend a lot of my time when I travel to a new city.
Munich’s Englischer Garten might just be the coolest park ever. So many activitiiiieees! When you first approach the park from the south, you’ll find an abundance of surfers. Yep, surfers. While Munich is located many hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest beach, it is an amazingly popular spot for surfers. The locals use planks of wood to stabilise and shape the perfect never-ending wave on the Eisbach (a man-made river.) It is incredibly dangerous and therefore recommended only for experienced surfers. Delving further into the park, you’ll find volleyball games, beer gardens, lakes, a weaving system of rivers and even a nudist area!
Other nice parks include the Schlosspark Nymphenburg, a palace park including colourful flowerbeds, an ornamental pool and a huge forested area, plus Hofgarten, a small and peaceful park centred around the Temple of Diana.
2. It’s Beer O’Clock alllllll the time
It’s no secret that Germans love their beer! Admittedly, I don’t drink beer. But this didn’t stop me from enjoying the ‘beer culture’ in Munich. The city is packed full of beer halls and beer gardens. A meal (or just a stein) at Munich’s oldest beer hall, Hofbrauhaus, is essential in a trip to Munich. Inside the enormous beer hall, a small band plays traditional German songs, leiderhosen-clad ladies wander round selling (incredibly delicious) pretzels and ‘prost!’ (German for ‘cheers!’) is heard regularly at the tables. Perhaps it’s filled with more tourists than Germans… But it feels like a fun ‘German’ experience nonetheless.
3. There’s so many hilarious (questionable) tales
Whilst on a walking tour around Munich, I heard a few tall tales. My favourite was the story of the ‘Monkey Tower,’ a beautiful wooden bay window, up in a tower. Legend has it that many years ago, when King Ludwig was just a baby, he had a pet monkey. This cheeky monkey climbed up the tower one day, taking Ludwig as his hostage. The cheeky monkey wouldn’t come down…that is, until he was bribed with delicious German beer! Seems likely, eh? Different versions of this tale state that the monkey was valiantly saving the baby from a wild pig.
I won’t spoil all the ancient tales for you, but other stories included the devil’s angry stomp, an unlucky fountain and a stein of beer falling from a huge height and landing upright, not a drop wasted. (Beer is a trend in these stories..) To hear the stories in full, jump on a walking tour.