For this week’s Travel Tuesday we jet off to the beer capital of the world to learn all the tips and tricks you will need to navigate Munich.
It was the summer of 2017. Bored and skint, me and my best friend decided we needed to travel- to do something big before we finally parted ways for uni. Clutching our passports and about £200 in cash, we drove to Bristol airport and took the soonest plane to wherever the hell it was going. We ended up in Munich. And it was epic.
A quick note on the lingo
Southern Germany, especially Bavaria, don’t really consider themselves ‘german’. They’re kind of like the Scotland of Germany. Not really England, but sort of (if that literally makes any sense at all). Because of this, the German they speak there is going to be a lot different from what you’d hear in Berlin or your A-level German class. Also, not everyone there speaks English- can everyone stop assuming this?- so it might be worth going old school and buying a Bavarian phrasebook.
Try and get to grips with using the U-Bahn (underground system) as it’s the easiest way to navigate the city. You’ll see a few weird yellow box things around the station. These are to ‘validate’ your tickets. Tickets are dispensed from machines only, and will not have a date on them, so you need to date these yourselves on the day you travel. Remember to stamp before you travel or you could face a €60 fine.
If you start getting sick of endless U-Bahn journies, Mike’s Bikes offers bike rentals and cycling tours all around the city. You can choose from different journey lengths, intensities, and destinations. I gave a 10K loop around Munich a go (which thankfully involved a beer stop) and absolutely loved it. These tours won’t break the bank and are a great way to see the city in a short amount of time.
Therme Erding was the highlight of our trip for sure. The stunning sub-tropical resort is set on geothermal spring so all the water is naturally heated. Although not directly in Munich, it’s about a half an hour train journey to get to the spa. Imagine a boozy version of a Centre Parcs swimming pool. Incredible, right?
You could easily spend a whole day there. They have everything, literally: a wave pool, a slide area, outdoor rapids, places to eat, outdoor sunbathing areas. They’re the whole package. Treat yourself to a day at Therme Erding. You deserve it.
The English Garden
You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you to go to a park, but honestly, the gardens are stunning. Covering about one and a half square miles, the English Garden is supposed to mimic landscape styles popular in 18th century England, hence the name.
There are so many different features in the garden from a Japanese tea house to a huge pagoda with a beer garden spreading out underneath it. You will spend hours wandering around these gardens. There’s even a bridge people surf under!
Hellabrunn Zoo (or Tierpark Hellabrunn if you want to get in the deutsch spirit) covers 40 hectres in central Munich. Hellabrunn is a little different from most UK zoos as it is laid out as a nature preserve. Most of the park is forested paths and you will suddenly find yourself staring at a field of tortoises the sizes of great danes. Some areas such as the goat and wallaby enclosures also allow you to walk straight through them too.
The park also features an aquarium and has a range of animals from a polar bear, to a pack of wolves, and a red panda- who will most likely be napping when you stop by. Exploring the whole park will take close to a whole day due to its size, but it is definetly worth your time and money!
The Olympic Park
Even if you couldn’t care less about sports, the Olympic Park is still worth a visit. Built for the 1972 Olympics, the park remains a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Set amongst the famous hills of rubble from the second world war, the park is stunning in every aspect. It’s the perfect spot to update your Insta, or have a spin on a pedalo around the lake.
Find yourself tempted by a trip to Munich now? Us too. Be sure to check-in with Nerve every Tuesday for a new travel destination. In the meantime, bon voyage!