If you visit Munich and you don’t like beer or you just need a break from it, there are plenty of other things to do outside the beer halls. We kept very busy exploring the other side of the city. Here are ways to spend your time in Munich outside the beer halls.
Walking Tour of Munich
Not much is open anywhere on New Year’s Day, so we signed up for a walking tour. The walking tour of Munich was led by a Chicago-accented German. It offered a lot of info and history on this city and we recommend it. We walked around the downtown area and learned about the history of the city, with a lot of focus on Hitler and beer.
If you’re visiting the city, this is a “free” tour where you are asked to tip whatever you think it was worth at the end. We learned a lot about the city and got some useful tips on where to go for local food to eat and places to visit.
This is an outdoor food market that runs all year round and is super popular even in winter. The hearty Germans were even crowding the outdoor beer garden when we went on a chilly winter Saturday. At the market, they sell fresh produce, wine, cheese, and meats to go, and there are even quite a few sit-down restaurants. We went to a great seafood shop/cafe that served delicious fresh fish dishes, including a wonderful soup.
An indoor gourmet food shop, Dallmayr offers coffee, chocolate and other sweets, cheese, meats, seafood and more. Besides shopping, we had a great meal with seafood in the shop’s excellent café. The upscale restaurants above the retail store were closed for holidays but our meal was excellent.
We needed a break from the beer – we tried a lot – so on our last night in Munich we visited a well-reviewed jazz club, Jazzbar Vogler. It was a bit of a walk through a winter wonderland just outside of the central area we spent most of our time, and it was worth the visit.
The cover was 4 euro each which was a bargain. It was a “jazz jam/open mic night” with varied performers throughout the 2 sets we heard, but we both agreed the quality of performers was top notch. Cool place, pretty busy – we got there around 8PM and got the last table with a view, so good timing! We stayed about 3 hours for the entire show and got some grainy video.
The Residenz is Munich’s version of the historical wealthy people house with lots of antiquities: as former home to the leaders of Bavaria from the 1500s, the place houses all the fancy art, relics and furniture acquired by those leaders. With Munich (and most of Germany), much was destroyed in WWII and just rebuilt to seem like the original. So a lot of the rooms were “reconstructed” with not a lot of items from the olden days. You can walk around this building for hours.
We also got to stop in nearby and see the theatre constructed by the opera loving leader Maxmillian. It would be a beautiful place to see a production. If we’d planned ahead, we could have gone there to see an opera. Next time for us but maybe you can do it.
Munich has a lot of museums, but with our timing of the New Year’s holiday plus a Monday, many weren’t open and we didn’t get to visit any. Just another reason to return.
A very quick and easy metro and bus ride from central Munich, Dachau Concentration Camp is a moving site to visit. This current time is an appropriate time to visit and remember the inhumanity man suffers from other man.
We visited on a cold and windy day, but wore warm coats and shoes. While there, we learned about the suffering experienced by people barely clothed and fed. The exhibits and audio guide with personal stories from survivors and liberators resonated with me, but it was a sad day. I only took a couple of photos of some of the memorials as it didn’t seem appropriate to take more.
We spent 3 full days and 4 nights in Munich. A lot was closed on New Year’s Day, but we tried to maximize the time as best we could. It was a good balance with a lot of time well spent in Munich outside the beer halls.