Going back to Muni, to Muni, to Muni...
September 9, 2010 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I am heading next week to Munich, Germany, for the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest...

I will be there the 16th through the 22nd and was wondering on any "must-sees" while there.

There are 2 of us and we got a 4 country euro-rail pass (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France).

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
posted by keep it tight to Travel & Transportation around Munich, Germany (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Since you've got lots of time, we enjoyed taking a day trip to Hohenschwangau, where the Neuschwanstein castle sits. It's about an hour away via rail. The castle is pretty cool, and you can do some short little hikes in the Alpen foothills right there. Some of them give you great views down into the valley below.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:42 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

6 days seems like a fairly short amount of time. I would recommend Berlin, but getting there will take most of a day. There is are overnight trains though so that might work out. Oktoberfest is a pretty interesting phenomenon, but for me, it got kind of old after a few hours. The Hofbrauhaus in Munich is pretty neat, but you'll get basically the same experience in the tents at the fest. Neuschwanstein is definitely worth a visit. Salzburg Austria is also possible for a day trip from Munich.
posted by Locobot at 12:10 PM on September 9, 2010

I agree with Hofbrauhaus being the place to go. Neuschwanstein was also great, (and I went in January beautiful in the snow!). While in Munich, we also did a side trip, via train, to Dachau and went to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site.
posted by 6:1 at 2:01 PM on September 9, 2010

So you're just asking about things to do in Munich, correct? I think that my must-sees for anyone are of course the old town/city center that is bounded by the gates of the old walled city, Olympia Park, and the English Garden. Everything else is kind of up to your interests. Here are some thoughts:

If you're interested in art, Munich has a few wonderful art museums. I recommend the Neue Pinakothek (New Picture Gallery - ca. 18th-20th centuries) and Pinakothek der Moderne (Modern Picture Gallery - modern art). The Alte Pinakothek (Old Picture Gallery) is just a crapload of 15th century paintings of martyrs and Madonna and Child, and can be boring as hell unless you're into it. The Lenbachhaus is also great.

If you're into ancient history, there are museums for that too. The Glyptothek has a lot of ancient Roman and Greek sculpture; the Antiques Collection has a lot of pottery.

If you like architecture and history, take a long walk around the Schwabing neighborhood and admire all the Art Nouveau buildings. (There are some fantastic ones along the Leopoldstrasse but I recommend going down the smaller side roads as well.) The Residenz and Schloss Nymphenburg (Nymphenburg Palace) were two homes of the royal family of Bavaria, both located in the city, and both very cool and worth seeing.

There are many fabulous, amazingly beautiful old cathedrals in Munich. My favorite is the Theatinerkirche (Theatine's Church). Oh, and of course the Asamkirche (Asam Church) - it's a teeny tiny church near the city center that is an insane explosion of Rococo gaudiness inside. Actually, I think the Asamkirche is a must-see as well.

On the more modern end, the Olympia Park and the nearby BMW-World are both surprisingly cool and worthwhile.

If you like the outdoors, it is very easy to get to good hikes in the Alps with a ~2-hour train ride. Very easy to make a day trip out of it. I recommend Tegernsee, and the Partnach Gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. For something closer, Starnbergersee takes maybe an hour to get to, and is a very scenic and pretty lake. Good place to stroll around, eat ice cream, and drink beer.

If you like beer, there are a lot of terrific beer gardens outside of Oktoberfest. There are also many breweries in and around the city with tours. I love the Ayinger tour in Aying, but it's only in German.

I agree with previous recommendations for Dachau, Neuschwanstein, and Salzburg. I don't think that the Hofbraeuhaus is anything special - tourists pretty much go there for Oktoberfest Lite if they don't actually make it to Oktoberfest.

P. S. If you want to hang out in a beer tent at Oktoberfest, get there early. Eaaarly. People who want a place to sit line up before the tents open and they camp those benches all day long. If you are okay with standing room get there no later than early afternoon. It's crazy.
posted by mandanza at 4:16 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I went to Oktoberfest many, many years ago and stayed at the Kraft Hotel. The beer is strong and I had a wonderful time. Danced on the table, kissed strange women, got a little(!) drunk and discussed WW II with an ex German major who couldn't speak English, nor I German. Highly recommend Oktoberfest!!!!!
posted by psc1860 at 5:35 PM on September 9, 2010

Six days? I wish I had that much time during my visits. Stupid American, doesn't know how to take long vacations.

I've spent a fair amount of time in Munich, and mandanza pretty much nailed it.

I second the Theatinerkirche and Asamkirche as completely over the top examples of rococo architecture. Dachau should not be missed. I'd add the Deutsches Museum.

Hofbräuhaus is a tourist trap; go to the Pfälzer Residenz Weinstube instead for a classier experience, and to the Englischer Garten for a more energetic outdoor beer garden experience.

Personally I think Neuschwanstein is a horror. But do spend a day heading out of the city and into the Alps, somewhere, and consider stopping at a random small town along the train line and just wander around for bit to see an average small town.

Didn't know that it was the 200th fest. I'll be there next September!
posted by intermod at 8:50 PM on September 9, 2010

Damn, I'm jealous!!! I spent a fair amount of time in Munchen many years ago and it is one of my favorite European cities. mandanza did nail the key sights and I would especially second going to Garmisch if you want to get out of the city for the Alps but not have to travel too far.

Have a great time!!!
posted by Alexdan4 at 11:32 AM on September 10, 2010

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