Munich in January?
November 18, 2013 2:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to Munich the second week of January! What should I do in Munich in January?

I luckily have a somewhat last minute opportunity to go to Munich, Germany for around a week in January. My flights are booked, my hotel is taken care of, now I just need to figure out what to do while I'm there. Most of the travel advice I see for winter in Germany revolves around Christmas markets and beer halls. I think I'll be too late for the former, I plan to do the latter. More details:

> I've been to Hamburg and Berlin and had a great time in both cities
> My written German is pretty good, my spoken German less so
> I've driven in Germany before and I'm comfortable navigating trains and buses
> I'd like to see one museum or castle, but I don't need to spend every day at museums and castles
> I'd love to get out into nature and even hike if that's possible
> I can do day trips, but I'd really like to be home each evening
> As tempting as it is to rent a car and drive to Berlin or Prague I've never been to Munich and I'd like to explore that city and Bavaria

Oh and after many years of living in New York, I now live in San Francisco. So I'm guess I'll need a heavy coat and boots?
posted by 2bucksplus to Travel & Transportation around Munich, Germany (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Deutsches Museum in Munich is one of my favorite museums in the world.
It is a science and technology museum. The section on mining is amazing.
Visiting a museum to learn about technology used in mining might not sound interesting,
but trust me, it is amazing.
posted by Flood at 2:37 PM on November 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

I imagine the area surrounding Neuschwanstein Castle would be beautiful in the winter. You may want to look into the logistics of visiting in the winter, though. Climbing a icy hill to the castle might be difficult or impossible, but they might have a bus that does the trip for you. It's easily done as a day trip from Munich.

Salzburg would probably make a good day trip from Munich as well.
posted by backwards guitar at 2:43 PM on November 18, 2013

Best answer: On the beer side of things, check out Ayinger - their beers are fantastic.
posted by exogenous at 3:12 PM on November 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I went there recently, and found the Pinakothek der Moderne amazing. It's huge, I didn't even try to see it all. Just go for the cars, or the furniture, or… whatever catches your fancy.
In general, it is a really charming city, very suitable for a few days of walking about and enjoying the life. The market in the inner city is fun for snacks or lunch, and the area south of that is filled with galleries, bars, restaurants and interesting shops.
My friends visited a huge cemetery in that same general area and recommended it strongly for beautiful landscapes and strange monuments.
We also visited the Ingo Maurer showroom/studio. It was unusual, fun and something off the beaten track. Also in a nice neighborhood one might not visit otherwise, though it's close to the impressive Ludwigsstrasse.
You can hike a bit without even leaving the city: the Englisher Garten is huge, and beautiful.
Kloster Andechs provides an interesting beer expedition. Helmuth Kohl's favorite.
For a daytrip, Salzburg is a must, wether you want to visit the city or the amazing surrounding landscape or both.

I spent a lot of time in Bavaria some 15 + years ago, but haven't really been back for ages. I was very positively surprised by the level of English spoken everywhere. That is a huge change. All over, the city felt very cosmopolitan (compared to then, where lots of people were wearing Tracht in the streets and hardly spoke a word of English), but still cosy and friendly.
posted by mumimor at 3:21 PM on November 18, 2013

I don't read or speak a lick of German and had zero trouble in Munich that a standard phrasebook couldn't solve. Starting every conversation with a broken "Sprechen sie englisch" always put a smile on people's faces from the effort, and they'd happily continue the conversation in English.
posted by hwyengr at 3:24 PM on November 18, 2013

Best answer: Oh, Munich, how I miss it....

On Museums, my favorite for local art is Lenbachhaus. It has the world's largest collection from "Der Blaue Reiter" artist group - a Munich-based avant-garde group that included Kandinsky and Münter.

For nearby travel, I would recommend checking out the BOB trains. They head south of town and end up in some cute little places. Very easy day trips.

Another great day trip would be Chiemsee. There is a ferry that takes you around to the various islands.

If you stay in town, make like the Omas do and have kaffee und kuchen in the afternoon. Favorite spots of mine include Cafe Arzmiller (super old-school) near Odeonsplatz and Trachtenvogl near Gärtnerplatz.

Also, my favorite beer hall is Hofbraükeller at Wienerplatz. Munich-y restaurant, probably Bratwurst Glöckl am Dom (warning, noisy site)

It will be chilly, possibly snowy, but mostly worry about that special damp coldness that goes straight to your bones. I would recommend wearing many wool layers. Have fun!!!!
posted by munichmaiden at 4:50 PM on November 18, 2013

I just wanted to pop in and say thank you for asking this question because I will be there in December and was going to ask!
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:20 PM on November 18, 2013

I highly recommend Regensburg (on the Danube) and the Neuschwanstein Castle. Both will give you beautiful views of Bavaria. Regensburg is 1 hr 40 min by train from Munich; the castle is 2 hrs 15 min. The snow may complicate travel but will make it that much more gorgeous.

Also, Dachau (30 min by train) is an amazing site to see. Lots of pictures and interesting artifacts there.

Have fun on your trip!
posted by juliagulia at 7:21 PM on November 18, 2013

It's going to be so cold you should go for a swim and sauna or for the whole roman bath routine at the beautiful art nouveau Müller´sches Volksbad. Make sure you get a private relaxation room.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 12:28 AM on November 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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