After a month walking the Camino de Santiago I planned to celebrate by visiting a good friend of mine in Munich… Which just “happened” to coincide with Oktoberfest…
I’m kidding I wanted to end a month of healthy habits with excessive alcohol and Munich at the beginning of October seemed like the perfect place to do just that.
But aside from spending a couple of days in beer tents consuming jugs of beer bigger than my head I also spent some time exploring the gorgeous city with my wonderful friend Alissa (who I become good friends with when we were both living in Reykjavik a couple of years earlier).
As soon as my train arrived at the station and I saw Alissa I was overwhelmed with happiness to be reunited with my friend. (It’s always funny how you don’t realise how much you miss someone until they are waiting for you in a train in some random corner of the world).
We had a lot to talk about and spent my first day in the city catching up on two years worth of life updates as well as partying at Oktoberfest with a group of Alissa’s friends. We saved the Munich sightseeing for day 2.
Day 2 quickly arrived and nursing some sore heads we hit the town. The weather was gloomy but Munich is such a bright beautiful place that not even a (very) thick layer of clouds could prevent me from becoming fond of the place very quickly.
I had also decided to continue wearing my beautiful Bavarian ‘Dirndl’ dress while sightseeing so that put me in a pretty good mood too…
One of the greatest things about getting a personal tour of a city of a friend is realising how naive most people are about their home city. Now I mean absolutely no offence to Alissa because I am exactly the same when I am in my hometown but it was hilarious watching her try and work out what purpose very important-looking buildings had.
Between Alissa’s random facts and some later research I managed to put together a briefing on Bavaria’s capital city.
With a population of over 1.5 million, Munich is the third-most populous city in Germany and the 12th biggest city of the European Union.
On the banks of River Isar, north of the Bavarian Alps is where this city of beautiful architecture and fine culture rests. The city becomes liveliest at the end of September for the annual drinking festival of Oktoberfest.
Although it was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, many of its historic buildings have been rebuilt and the city center appears mostly as it did in the late 1800s including its largest church, the Frauenkirche, and the famous city hall (Neues Rathaus).
The colourful historic buildings give a sense of a small-town feel for such a big city and in a very walkable range there are a number of beautiful galleries and fascinating museums for every interest and taste.
Alissa and I were pretty hungover on this particular sightseeing day so our main priority was not museums and galleries but more finding a perfect place to have a post-Oktoberfest feast.
Munich has a very lively cafe culture and we passed many alluring shop-fronts on our way to Alissa’s choice for the day. Unfortunately the vegan cafe she had been hoping to visit was closed for the public holiday but fortunately there are a number of vegan cafe’s (which I found quite surprising given Bavaria’s meat-devoruring reputation) and just down the road we managed to score a table at the cutest vegan CAT CAFE.
Yes, I skipped the bratwurst that day and had a gorgeous fresh feast surrounded by pussy cats in Munich.
There is so much more that I would like to go back and explore in Munich but my little sneak-preview of the gorgeous city during such an exciting festival in the city sure left a great impression of my friends home town!