24 Hours in Munich on Here To Travel

24 Hours in Munich: What To See & Where To Eat

Before you carry on reading, spend the next 10 seconds trying to imagine what 24 hours in Munich might be like. What kind of imagery springs to mind when you think of the Bavarian capital? What might you see and what might you eat and drink? Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here while you have a think…

Did you do it?

In those 10 seconds, did you see Lederhosen and Dirndl-wearing men and women drinking litres of beer and eating enormous pretzels in huge tents whilst being serenaded by a brass band? Am I close? Go on, admit it!

I’m not a big fan of stereotypes as they’re normal exaggerated. In this case though, particularly if you visit Munich in September, your expectations will be met. As you might expect though, there’s a lot more to Munich than meets the eye. Here’s our an account of 24 hours spent in magnificent Munich. It’s a credit to Germany’s third largest city that we had a fantastic day and barely even scratched the surface.

Your 24 Hours in Munich Starts Here

Ready to start exploring? Let’s go!

11:55Watch a jousting tournament at the New Town Hall Glockenspiel

We started our 24 hours in Munich the way most people do, by watching a wedding, a jousting tournament and repetitive dance routine. We followed the crowds of tourists to Marienplatz and craned our necks back in readiness of watching these three events. A hush fell upon the square as bells struck 12. We waited with bated breath, mouths slightly agape, with a sense of anticipation.

Full-sized wooden caricatures started to whir into action atop the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) as bells played the first in a series of tunes. A re-enactment of the wedding of Duke Wilhelm V and Renata of Lorraine was in progress. The glockenspiel, consisting of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures, was installed in 1907 and is still in fine working order.

New Town Hall, Munich
The impressive facade of New Town Hall, Munich
Glockenspiel, New Town Hall, Munich
At over 100 years old, it’s amazing this thing still works.

To say the portrayal was captivating would be lying, but it was still amusing and rather enchanting. We were certainly impressed that this huge, decorative structure was still in working order over 100 years after it was installed. The most interesting section of the routine was the jousting tournament, particularly when one of the jousters was knocked over (Tip: place bets on which one you think might win before it happens). The crowd of spectators watched in peaceful and respectful reverence throughout and applauded when the show was complete. It was certainly a gentle start to our 24 hours in Munich.

The New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) Glockenspiel on Marienplatz is one of those tourist attractions whose reputation is perhaps better than reality. But it’s the reputation that draws people in and makes this one of Munich’s highlights and we’re glad we were able to see it for ourselves.

12:20Lunch at Cafe Rischart for delicious cakes

In 1883, a man named Max Rischart opened a bakery in Munich. Since then, the business has grown considerably with branches all over Munich and, five generations on, is still run by a member of the Rischart family. Drawn in by the promise of cake (rapidly becoming our Kryptonite), we headed to the first floor of the most visited bakery branch in the whole of Germany, the Rischart Cafe on Marienplatz. With a view of the New Town Hall and its famous Glockenspiel, we enjoyed a creamy tomato soup and Rischart’s Club Toast, a delicious sandwich of chicken, salad, egg and bacon.

Afterwards, we spent longer than necessary gazing at the counter display of cakes, tortes and gateaux. After careful consideration, Jade opted for a slice of Schwarzwälder, an irresistibly decadent black forest gateau topped with chocolate, cream and a plump cherry. I on the other hand went for a serving of Fidelio, a cake made of biscuit, vanilla cream and raspberries and topped with marzipan and a fruit jelly.

Honest, tasty food and a wonderful way to get fuelled up for our 24 hours in Munich.

Rischart's Club Toast at Cafe Rischart, Munich
Rischart’s Club Toast at Cafe Rischart, Munich
Tomato Soup at Cafe Rischart, Munich
Deliciously creamy Tomato Soup
Black Forest Cake at Cafe Rischart, Munich
Scrumptious Schwarzwälder, a.k.a. Black Forest Gateau
A scrumptious torte at Cafe Rischart, Munich
Fidelio, made from raspberries, vanilla cream & biscuit

14:00Climb the Tower of St. Peter’s Church for fantastic views

With only 24 hours in Munich, we wanted to see as much of the city as we could. So, we headed to a place where we could literally see all of it – the Tower of the Church of St Peter (Kirche St. Peter). The tower, colloquially known as Alter Peter (Old Pete), is 91 metres high and offers views of the entire city and, on clear days, even the Alps. After being destroyed in a fire, the church was rebuilt in 1368 and is a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. After admiring the architecture, we headed up the 299 steps to see what we could see from the top.

The Alps weren’t visible on our visit, but the city was in all its red-tile-roofed and clock-tower-filled glory.

Old Town Hall, Munich
The clock tower of Munich’s Old Town Hall
New Town Hall, Marienplatz, 24 Hours In Munich
Marienplatz, with the New Town Hall in the foreground
Old Town Hall & Heiliggeistkirche, Munich
Old Town Hall & Heiliggeistkirche, Munich

15:30Explore the Expansive ‘Englischer Garten’ for a breather

Look at any map of Munich and your eye will immediately be drawn to a huge green scratch emanating from the city centre, extending almost 6km to the outskirts. This is the English Garden, (Englischer Garten) one of the largest urban public parks in Europe. The park boasts over 75km of path and walkways, over 100 bridges crossing 8km of streams and a series of interesting attractions.

Every so often, we’d stumble upon a curiosity or point of interest, like a gentlemen busker cheerfully playing the accordion, a horse-drawn carriage, a statue, a bridge or a waterfall.

We took the U-Bahn (Munich’s underground metro system) to Dietlindenstraße station, walked along the main road to the park and, without any real idea of what route we would take or what we would find on the way, strolled in the direction of the city centre. What we discovered was an unmanicured but well-looked-after park full of green spaces, mature trees and waterways. Every so often, we’d stumble upon a curiosity or point of interest, like a gentlemen busker cheerfully playing the accordion, a horse-drawn carriage, a statue, a bridge or a waterfall. On a lake, visitors had hired electric boats and they were dutifully dispersing wildfowl as they hummed their way across the water. It was all rather lovely and it was smashing to see the park was clearly loved and able to offer so much to so many.

U-Bahn train, Munich
A U-Bahn train arrives at a station in Munich
Matt in Englischer Garten, Munich
Matt enjoys the peaceful ambiance in Englischer Garten, Munich
Busker in Englischer Garten, Munich
An accordion player serenades visitors to Englischer Garten, Munich

Our peaceful stroll was suddenly disturbed by the unmistakable echoes of Bavarian music. Easily distracted and always open to discovery, we followed our ears to find out where it was emanating from. We turned a corner and were delighted to find a beer garden full of revellers being serenaded by a traditional band atop a Chinese pagoda of all things. The garden was enormous and was full of people enjoying the ambiance, freshly baked pretzels and generous steins of beer. We were tempted to join in, but we were still recovering from our day at Oktoberfest a few days before and decided it wise to abstain on this occasion.

Horses in Englischer Garten, Munich
Horses pull a Oktoberfest show cart through Englischer Garten, Munich
Serving hatch, Beer Garden, Munich
From this hatch, beer is served. Like many across Munich.

18:00Head to ‘Hofbräuhaus München’ for beer and meat

Our abstention didn’t last long. We were getting peckish and knew our only option was to head to one of Munich’s historic traditional beer houses. The house we chose, Hofbräuhaus, was first opened in 1589 and is still a firm favourite among locals and tourists. The place is an impressive mix of vaulted ceilings covered in frescoes and beautifully crafted wood furniture, some of which is over 100 years old.

Roast Pork at Hofbrauhaus, Munich
Roast Pork served with a potato dumpling and homemade gravy
Mixed Salad at Hofbrauhaus, Munich
A mixed salad with roasted kernels, crispy bacon bits and house dressing

We headed straight for the main beer hall, Die Schwemme, which was a fluster of activity and noise. Revellers roared with laughter and held their steins aloft in celebration whilst servers in traditional garb emerged from doors bringing yet more beer. We apologetically squeezed our way between tables and found one of our own amongst the hubbub. After exchanging nods and smiles with our table-mates, we got about to the important business of studying the menu. We decided to have roast pork served with a potato dumpling and homemade gravy and a mixed salad with roast kernels, crispy bacon bits and house dressing. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we also ordered two beers. Helped by the house band playing traditional Bavarian tunes, the revelry was infectious and it wasn’t long before we were singing along and thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

After we’d eaten, we were keen to explore the rest of the house. We walked upstairs and came across the Festival Hall, an cavernous room full of more long-tabled merriment above which hung beautiful chandeliers and even bigger vaulted ceilings covered in more decorative frescoes. For a true taste of Bavaria, there couldn’t be a better place than this.

Die Schwemme at Hofbrauhaus, Munich
Die Schwemme, the main beer hall at Hofbräuhaus, Munich
Festival Hall at Hofbrauhaus, Munich
The beautifully decorated Festival Hall at at Hofbräuhaus, Munich

21:00Go for a Ride at the Oktoberfest Funfair

For you to enjoy this part of your 24 hours in Munich, Oktoberfest will have to be running (yearly during September). If it isn’t running, simply stay in the beer house or move to another one of your choosing. If you’re lucky though and Oktoberfest is in full swing, catch the U-Bahn again to Theresienwiese station.

We’d already had our day at Oktoberfest earlier in the week so we were here just to go on some rides. If you are visiting the festival ground to do the same, access is free and unrestricted. You can just pay for each ride as you’re going around. If though you’re hoping to experience the beer and pretzel-fueled version of Oktoberfest, don’t show up at 9pm and expect to gain access to any of the beer tents. Unless you have a reservation, you will be met with closed doors and shaking heads.

Big Wheel at Oktoberfest
One of the tamer rides at Oktoberfest
Rischart's Café Kaiserschmarrn at Oktoberfest
Tasty treats aplenty at Rischart’s Café Kaiserschmarrn

We don’t recommend you mix a full-on drinking session with the funfair (unless you enjoy feeling sick). Instead, we suggest you designate a day or evening for the funfair either before or a few days after your Oktoberfest experience. We’ve made a complete guide to Oktoberfest especially for Oktoberfest newbies with more tips such as this one. You can view it here.

Oktoberfest – 22 Essential Tips for a Fantastic Day Out

To the uninitiated, Oktoberfest is a brash and intimidating taste of Bavarian culture and tradition. Fear not though, as we’ve drawn together 22 essential tips for having a blast at the world’s largest beer festival.

View our Complete Guide

It was interesting to see how different the festival ground is at night. When we visited initially by day, there was a sense of fun and silliness. By night however, there was a heightened excitement and much more of a party feel. Jade and I avoided the beer-guzzling and toured the food stalls and rides, all the while bedazzled by thousands of twinkling lights. It was a fun way to end our 24 hours in Munich.

Special Thanks to the Munich Tourism Board

Our 24 hours in Munich couldn’t have been possible without the assistance of the Munich Tourism Board. Thank you for your help in making our day so special.

Drop us a comment in the box below if you’ve found this post helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends.

Untersberg – Climbing The Mountain In The Sound of Music

In one of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema, a young nun joyously sings and runs through lush meadows of green grass against a dramatic backdrop of mountain peaks stretching into the distance. As she crests a summit, she twirls about and proclaims, “The hills are alive, with the sound of music.” Recently, we headed to Untersberg, the very mountain Maria sang on to find out if she was right.

For the best value ride, we recommend getting a Salzburg Card.

The rather unattractively named Untersberg lies less than 16km from Salzburg and is the very mountain that appears at the beginning and end of The Sound of Music. It is in fact a massif of six peaks, the highest of which is Berchtesgaden Hochthron at 1973m. While there are walking routes to the summits, most visitors ascend by the Untersbergbahn cable car which lifts passengers from the lower terminus at the village of St. Leonhard to the Geiereck spur at an altitude of 1,776 m.

Salzburg Card

For the best value ride, we recommend getting yourself a Salzburg Card. Many tourist-friendly cities around the world have visitor cards which, for a fixed fee either covers the cost of entry to a handful of attractions or offers discounts. Salzburg’s offering is by far the best we’ve ever found, providing inclusive access to all of Salzburg’s major attractions, unlimited use of public transport and discounts on concerts and excursions.

Matt & Jade on Untersberg Untersberg Viewpoint

View from UntersbergJade and I used our Salzburg Cards to get ourselves all the way from the city centre to the lower terminus of the Untersbergbahn by bus and then up the mountain. Individually, this would have cost around €24, the same cost as an off-season 24 hour Salzburg card giving you access to every other major attraction in Salzburg. So even if you only intended on visiting Untersberg and one other attraction, you’d save money buying a Salzburg Card.

Ascending Untersberg

The ascent in the cable car only took around 8 minutes, but those 8 minutes were full of drama. The initial leg to the first pylon lifted us gently over the village of St. Leonard. Passengers shuffled around the cabin to take photos and murmured their appreciation to one another. As we approached the pylon, the mountain felt like it was within touching distance. Suddenly, it felt like we were moving much quicker than before, though it was just an illusion of proximity. We crested what we thought was the summit, but discovered we were actually only half way there. Passengers audibly gasped as the mountain dropped away from us again and a huge cavern-like drop was revealed.

Cafe on Untersberg Untersberg Signposts

Upon arrival at the Geiereck spur, two things hit us. Firstly, it was much colder than it was just 8 minutes before. We were glad we had anticipated this and put on some extra layers. Secondly, the views were breathtakingly spectacular. We had visited on a clear morning. Cloud was building, climbing mysteriously up the sides of the mountain face towards us, but still the views were wonderful. We could see Salzburg sprawling out into the countryside like a spider to the north. To the north-west, we could see the farm lands of Bavaria stretching out to the horizon.

It was an easy and rewarding walk, made all the more exciting by swirling clouds of mist obscuring the pathways.

Having soaked in the views, we decided to hike towards another slightly higher peak in the distance. The route was well marked and wooden steps had been installed at the steepest sections. It was an easy and rewarding walk, made all the more exciting by swirling clouds of mist obscuring the pathways. Once we’d reached the summit, we found a bench and a large cross and not much else. We stood wordlessly and motionless and surveyed our accomplishment with pride.

Matt Climbing Untersberg Untersberg Pathways

Recreating that opening scene

The stoicism didn’t last. In our case, it rarely does. We were on the mountain made famous by The Sound of Music for goodness sake! We couldn’t come all this way and not recreate that famous opening scene. Cue Jade twirling about on top of a mountain, me slipping down a hole while I’m filming and an unceremonious exit from scene.

Viewers in Germany unfortunately cannot watch this video due to copyright restrictions.

Have we inspired you to climb every mountain, literally and figuratively? Have you got a mountain-related story to tell? Let us know in the comments section below.