24 Hours in Munich Wikimedia

24 Hours in Munich

Beyond the notoriety of Oktoberfest awaits a city just as alluring and thrilling every other week of the year. In Munich, Germany, old Bavarian tradition meets big-city modernity in a fantastic explosion of Weisswurst sausages, chic cafés, sprawling beer gardens and looming churches. Here’s how to do it in a day.

by Sarah Leonhardt

pixabaybfastPixabay

The best way to start your day of exploration is with a hot sip of roasted coffee and a sweet bite of German pastry like Franzbrotchen. A most delicious and authentic choice, Franzbrotchen is composed of layers of dough slathered with butter and cinnamon and baked to flaky perfection. Find it at Man Versus Machine, an excellent coffee shop with a dedication to superbly-roasted beans and appropriately-frothy milk. If you fall hard for their brew, you can pick up a bag of the roaster's coffee as a souvenir. This cafe is located in the up-and-coming Glockenbach district, noteworthy for the rising hipster scene and LGBT community. Stick around after breakfasting to scout out the districts’ shops, cafes, and culture.

marienplatz-1685882 1280Pixabay

Next is Marienplatz, Munich’s central square and an absolute must-see while in town. Start with Frauenkirche Church, an impressive and unmissable cathedral that will offer you a glimpse of Munich’s past life. Be sure to climb the Old Peter tower, which will lead you to a panoramic view of the cityscape, before heading back to the square in time for the Glockenspiel’s show: the square’s clock contains 32 life size figures that come alive for a reenactment of Munich folk tales at 11 am and 12 pm daily.

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pretzel-701810 1280Pixabay

The Munich beer halls will be calling to you by lunch time, and right around Marienplatz is Munich’s most famous one, Hofbrauhaus. Bavarian-style live folk music, traditional German food, and tall litres of beer have kept this eatery on the map for decades. Order the obazda, a beer and cheese spread topped with paprika and served with a classically large German pretzel. The Munich veal sausages with sweet mustard are another important addition to your authentic meal.

München Fünf Höfe Sphere 2013-06-20Fünf Höfe, Wikimedia

Stay in the centre city for shopping, like on Maximilianstrasse, an old royal avenue turned shopping boulevard dotted with top designer names. Also nearby is Fünf Höfe, a gorgeously designed cluster of high-end shops and boutiques, and Viktualienmarkt, a daily open air farmers market. Here, you can find local produce, gourmet cheeses, and freshly baked breads from vendors at the packed and lively stalls.

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22FlickrMuseum Brandhorst, Flickr

Before leaving the city’s centre area, grab some local Schmalznudel, a classic sweet treat similar to a donut. Cafe Frischhut is a perfect place to try one, whether you want to linger for a while inside the charming coffee shop or just grab one of the sugary desserts for the road. Next, get your museum fix at Museum Brandhorst, a contemporary art haven with rotating exhibits and an impressive layout. Enjoy the art fixtures and the grounds outside on a sunny day.

Restaurant PfistermuhleRestaurant Pfistermuhle

Dinner is your chance to continue venturing into Germany’s culinary history. Restaurant Pfistermuhle will deliver both tradition and elegance to your dining experience. The restaurant serves Bavarian cuisine with a modern twist, catered to the seasonal availability of the local ingredients. Enjoy skilfully prepared dishes in a quiet atmosphere indoors or dine beneath the gorgeous ivy covered exterior of the remodelled 16th-century mill.

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Schloss Neuschwanstein 2013Neuschwanstein Castle, Wikimedia

Before you say goodbye to Munich just yet, experience a sampling of the nightlife the city has to offer. Schwabing district is notably the most lively, with clubs and bars nearby the city’s University campus and a metro line that will run late into the night. Or instead, wake up early to view the magnificent Neuschwanstein Castle. The impressive palace is a bit outside the city, but the gorgeous architecture and resemblance to a fairytale makes it well-worth the stop as you bid Munich farewell for now.

For more of the best of Munich, view our destination guide.

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