What is that you say? You’re traveling again? Hell. Yes. My friends. Hell yes.
Or well, I traveled once for Spring Break, but man was it needed. I could feel my soul like itching for
a 9 hour plane ride an adventure.
My sister and I went to Munich, Bavaria, Germany together over break and it was glorious. The trip included a great hostel (minus some terrible etiquette, but more on that later), amazing food, and ridiculous castles. I MEAN SERIOUSLY THIS CASTLE THOUGH:
Yeah so our day trip included that beauty and some hiking in the Alps!
Like…the alps alps. Like Chuck vs. Phase Three alps (except in Bavaria).
Anywho, our time in Munich was fantastic. If I can make one recommendation from our trip, it is to take the free walking tour from OzTour Munich! Out of all of the free walking tours I’ve been on, Oz blew all of my guides out of the water! Remember that ridiculously detailed Poland post? Ozzie made that fantastic guide look like he knew nothing about Warsaw in comparison! Crazy.
Seriously. Ozzie and his tour just blew me away. I learned a ton in the first 5 minutes (Munich is a super Catholic, conservative town with great history and monuments) and Ozzie even let us stay after the time was up and showed us an amazing hot chocolate place. Also, he was just an great guy. He made us think while we were on the tour. He showed us food that came directly from the butchers/bakers/etc. He got us local in 3 hours. If you’re in Munich, take OzTours. If you’re anywhere else…still take the free walking tour.
So…yeah…take the free walking tour. Everywhere you go.
TAKE THE FREE WALKING TOUR! DAMMIT (Not actually trying to yell here, sorry)
One other important thing I learned, that is the reason for the title of this post, is that Munich is in BAVARIA. There’s a difference. Bavaria is a freistaat – a free state – that could actually leave Germany because they have their own culture, economic power, and even Prime Minster. This is a big deal, and it made me think a lot about these ethnically or culturally independent states more closely. According to Oz, and he’s not wrong, most places have a “Bavaria” in them, like Texas in the US. Bavaria can raise its flag (they have their own flag) as high as Germany’s, they have their own leader, and their culture dominates what we think of as “German”. Wurst? Bavarian. Lederhosen? Bavarian. Pretzels? Bavarian. Need I go on? This lesson from Oz was seriously poignant and instructive. It’s the one major thing I take away from my trip, I think.
I know you want more pictures….and why not food pictures…because this is my blog and there must be food? Yes. You’re right. FOOD!
We went to one of my favorite places in Munich (twice! we went twice woo!
Once on the walking tour. Can I plug that walking tour enough?) that is called the Victual Market in English, but in German it is Viktualienmarkt. So…we ate wurst and drank beer here for 5 euros all together. A half litre of beer and a wurst sandwich (sommel bread) all for 5 euros?! Yes. Yes it’s true. Go to Munich…eat food. It’s filling, cheap, delicious. Amazing. (Like my lack of eloquence? That’s because of the amazing food.) So here’s a photo of that amazing wurst:
Looks simple enough, but let me tell you, this sausage sandwich was one of the best things I ate in Munich!
Here’s Chelsea with her half litre beer and sandwich :)
(She’ll hate me for this later)
And that’s not all (did you really think it was?) in terms of food. We ate (for 13 euros total) an entire Bavarian feast with our friend Manda (who we met at the hostel – MEET FRIENDS AT HOSTELS!! ) one evening:
And to be honest, that doesn’t even cover all of the delicious food we ate. But this plate includes a pork knuckle, roast pork, half a duck, two wursts, a potato dumpling, and cabbage (not pictured). Can we talk about this food? Mind blowing. Thank you, Augustiner-Brauhaus. Thank you.
And I’m serious about making friends at hostels. I made some good travel buddies in Poland and now Munich, and in this case, Manda even taught me and Chelsea some German! Even better.
Finally, I want to have a chat about hostel etiquette. When I studied abroad and was writing this blog at that time, I had a main lesson a lot of the time…and here’s my major lesson for this post: KEEP HOSTEL ETIQUETTE IN MIND.
What does that mean, you ask? Easy…here’s some “don’ts” for you:
- Don’t wake people up by turning the entire room light on and being noisy as hell at 2am if possible
- Don’t fall asleep with your light on
- Don’t walk around naked (yep that happened)
- Don’t stay up super late with the main light on (and you can use your bed/reading light) when everyone else in the room is trying to sleep
Honestly, I don’t think these are too hard to follow…so keep them in mind when you’re staying in big hostel/communal rooms :)
Otherwise, if you want some good Munich times, take the walking tour, eat all the food, walk everywhere (don’t really need a underground pass), check out the English Gardens, and ENJOY YOURSELF.
Also, did I mention this entire trip was free? FREE. Yes. FREE. I won a raffle at a “Life After Study Abroad” Conference. I highly recommend going if you’re post-study abroad, because they are an amazing experience where you get to talk about your time abroad and learn how to apply your experience to your professional life.
Overall, this trip was good for my soul.
P.S. – Random protip for Munich – skip Hofbrauhaus for actual drinks (it’s an expensive tourist trap, but if you take the free walking tour, you’ll get the historical info without spending money!)