EVE BUCKLAND heads to Munich to discover there’s more to the place than beer and sausages

WHEN our tour guide asked me what I knew about Munich, beer, sausages, and Bayern Munich FC immediately sprang to mind.

But as he groaned at the predictable answer, he promised us there was so much more to discover about this magical city, and he couldn’t have been more right.

The beautiful city of Munich is a short two-hour flight away from Bristol Airport. As soon as you leave baggage claim at Munich airport, an underground station is waiting to whisk you off to the city centre. The S1 or S8 will get you there in around 45 minutes,

The Maritim Hotel, complete with steam room and rooftop pool, was situated a convenient 15 minutes subway ride from the centre of Marienplatz, home of the Christmas market.

A classic room provides everything you may need and the all-you-can-eat breakfast is one thing not to miss – especially when it comes to a traditional breakfast staple white Bavarian sausage and one that quickly became one- champagne.

Ahead of a cultural day we fortified ourselves with a piping hot chocolate in Marienplatz as we watched the spectacular Rathaus Glockenspiel 15 minute revolving display every day at 11am.

Markus our tour guide, who moonlighted as a professional mountain biker, was very enthusiastic about his home city as he led us on our walking tour.

The first stop was his favourite place of worship, St Peter’s Church. Despite much of the city being destroyed during World War Two, with 70 per cent of St Peter’s obliterated, the rebuilding effort is something its residents are extremely proud of.

St Peter’s is the oldest church in Munich and if you can manage the 300 steps to the top, you will be rewarded with a view which stretches all the way to the Alps.

Yards from St Peter’s was a beer garden with an array of bakeries, butchers and bars. You can buy everything from a pillowy apple strudel to a festive mug of warming Glühwein and survey the beauty of the city from the benches.

Munich is the place where beer gardens were born, and Markus said this one would be full to the rafters in summer, although the cold weather certainly wasn’t putting anyone off.

It was a buzzing and lively place to spend an afternoon and a definite highlight of the trip.

The Chinese Tower beer garden is considered the best in the city and can hold up to 7,000 drinkers.

When mentioning Munich I couldn’t forget Oktoberfest. The two week beer festival, which is the largest in the world, draws hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city.

There are no foreign breweries which trade over the fortnight, and despite Munich’s worldwide fame for beer, there are only six breweries in the city.

The biggest of which is the Hofbräuhaus, the brewery of Kings which can hold 3,000 people. It is a favourite of locals and tourists and a great place to while away the afternoon with some freshly baked pretzels (one euro each) and people watch. Kristallweizen, a filtered wheat beer for four euros is the perfect accompaniment

A key feature of Munich is how history and modern culture effortlessly blend together with authentic buildings slotting in next to modern shops and cafes.

Skyscrapers are non-existent, with no building allowed to be taller than the 325ft Fraeunkirche cathedral

The Residenz, the former Royal palace is a particularly breathtaking sight. Flanked by bronze lions it is said rubbing their noses as you walk past will bring good luck.

Close to the Residenz is the English Garden, the biggest inner city garden in the world, even larger than Central Park.

You certainly will never go hungry in Munich, the food is exquisite and comes in hearty portions. From the ‘half’ shank of perfectly cooked pork (which resembled an entire pig) to the juicy Regensburger sausages to the gigantic steak, all rounded off with fluffy potato dumplings, carnivores such as myself were delighted.

You are never far away from history in Munich which was demonstrated when we came across a shop that sold traditional German lederhosen, conveniently sandwiched between Chanel Dior and Versace.

An education in traditional German fashion followed, if a woman who ties her apron on her left she is single but if it is tied on her right she is taken.

Munich has a vibrant night life including burger restaurant turned cocktail bar Hans im Glück which is a convenient five minute walk from the hotel

With colourful fairy lights and the quirky addition of indoor trees to compliment the fruity cocktails, I immediately felt at home.

Munich is an amazing city to experience on a three day trip, with fantastic shopping, history, culture and great food and beer. I can’t wait to return, explore, and of course sample more beer.


One-way flights from Bristol to Munich with bmi regional start from £98. The price includes 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating, in-flight drinks and snacks and speedy 30 minute check-ins.

Visit www.flybmi.com

For more information on Munich, visit www.muenchen.de/int/en.html

The Maritim Hotel

The Maritim Munich has 347 furnished rooms and suites as well a panorama rooftop indoor swimming pool.

A double room starts from €125,00

A single room starts from €110,00 €

The Maritim offers a festive package which includes two nights accommodation, dinner, welcome drink and gift from €239 per person for a double room and €288 per person for a single room.

For more information visit www.maritim.com