Pros:Wonderful architecture, lovely countryside, Christmas markets
Cons:If it had to be wet snow would have been better than rain
The Bottom Line: This is a great city filled with travelers and residents - all having a good time.
From Weimar, I took the train to Munich. This was a long train trip of about 6.5 hours that involved two trains. The first train took me from Weimar to a town whose name I cant remember (I was only there for 10 minutes). The second train took me to Munich and was less than five minutes late (I dont know how they do that but I wish I could count on transportation here to be that efficient). Just another brief plug for the trains they are wonderful!!
From the train station I walked a block to my hostel.
This hostel was my least favorite of my trip to Germany. It was clean and safe and the staff members were very helpful. However, at this hostel I chose to stay in the dorm and the dorm rooms contain 24 beds each. Most people were very considerate but there are always one or two who make a lot of noise or turn on the overhead lights in the middle of the night. The other hostels I stayed in were smaller and consequently, the dorms were smaller (6 to 10 people per room). Having said that, I wasnt in Munich to spend time at the hostel so after getting my stuff put away, I headed out.
I have already mentioned that the reason I chose to go to Germany in late November/early December was for the Christmas markets. The first time I heard about these markets, the one mentioned was in Munich. While they had markets in every city I visited, Munichs was a big one.
Luckily (!) the Christmas market is near the historic sections of Munich so I go to see more than just the Christmas market. Lonely Planet has a nice walking tour guide in their Germany book that I used and highly recommend. It takes you past the town hall and the Glockenspiel (with the times when the music plays and the figures dance) as well as to other sites. You can go to a former royal palace, several really lovely churches, several sites from the time of Imperial Germany and several Nazi party rally sites. I went in to some places (mostly the churches because of the art) but not all of them and took several pictures of narrow, twisting streets, courtyards and beer halls.
When it comes right down to it, the truth is that I spent most of my time in Munich at the Christmas market.
The Christmas market was up and down the pedestrian mall leading to the old town hall and in the square in front of the building. It was wonderful. Booth after booth of Christmas toys, candles, nutcrackers, incense smokers and gifts and even more booths of Christmas ornaments. I got ornaments for my tree and for family and friends. There were so many things to choose from. Prices varied depending on what you wanted the little straw and gold thread starburst ornaments were available for cents, while the nutcrackers and other hand made wooden decorations could be hundreds of dollars.
In addition to the decorative and gift shopping there were tons of food booths. They had something that I can not spell to save my life but I can tell you about sauerkraut, spaetzel noodles and a little bacon sautéed up and served piping hot. It was wonderful. Also there were all sorts of fruits that were skewered and dipped in chocolate. They had bananas, grapes, orange slices, apricots and strawberries. They had whole apples on sticks dipped in caramel, candy or chocolate and they had half pears on sticks dipped in chocolate and decorated to look like mice. I made a pig of myself on the strawberries milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate several times a day for the duration of my stay.
Considering that it was December, rainy and cold, it seems a little strange that I spent almost all my waking hours outside but I did. I never saw the areas outside Munich except from the train windows but I walked all over the place in the historic sections of Munich. Next time I go, I am planning on going in September (between the crowded, busy summer months and the crowded, busy, crazy time at Oktoberfest). Then I will get to spend more time exploring Munich and the countryside that I just couldnt fit in on this trip.
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Best Suited For: Friends
Best Time to Travel Here: Anytime