I will be traveling through Europe in late May with three of my college roommates and will be in Munich for three nights and was wondering what were some of the "must see" spots. I love scenery and architecture and really want to see at least one castle. Which one would be best for us to visit and how do we get there? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Beyond the big name restored sights in downtown, spend some time at the Nymphenburg Palace, it gives a whole new meaning to summer house. If you don't have time to see all of the grounds, at least take in the carriage museum. From an architecture standpoint you have to remember that we pretty much flattened Munich in WWII. I was there in 1953 and even then there were areas where you could see nothing for 6 blocks.
Oh true, I didn't even think about that Irv. Thanks. I've heard a lot about Neuschwanstein Castle in Fussen, is that too far for a day trip from Munich? Is there a better castle we should check out around Munich?
You should review other questions on this web site. many of your questions have been answered at length. However, Neuschwanstein is one of the standard day trips from Munich, either on an orgainized tour or on your own. However, there is more than enough in Munich to take up your full three days
Mark, A day trip to the Castles (Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau) are easily possible as a day trip from Munich. As the previous reply mentioned, you can do this on your own or with an organized tour. If you do the trip on your own, you'll have to arrange the tickets for the Castle tour. You'll be given an "appointment time" for your tour, and if you miss the time (for whatever reason), you'll have to try and re-book. You might also have a look at This Website for one example of the organized tours. Groups meet at their offices in the Munich HBf (opposite Track 32 - it's not too hard to find), and they take care of all the transportation arrangements (train and Bus from Fussen to the Castles) as well as tickets for the Castle tour. They also offer tours of Dachau and interesting local walking tours (which last a few hours). One point to mention is that photos are not permitted inside Neuschwanstein during the tour, although you can take photos looking towards the outside. If you have the opportunity, try to get to St. Mary's Bridge (which goes over a VERY deep ravine) as it provides an incredible view of the Castle. There are LOTS of options, so you should have no trouble finding things to do for three days! Happy travels!
For me, a Munich highlight is taking a stroll through the Englischergarten. I find it one of the nicest urban parks in Europe.
Regarding the architecture... there's been enough restoration so that at least some of Munich's pre-war glory remains. Nobody would mistake it for Rothenburg, Heidelberg or Prague, but it's architecture certainly is more interesting than, let's say, Mannheim or Cologne.
Mark, below is my response to someone here last week who was also inquiring re: visiting Munich. Thought it may help you, too. For maps and the like, I suggest contacting the German National Tourist Office here in NYC; it's an excellent planning resource (in addition to the Rick Steve's Germany Guidebook, of course!). Link: http://www.cometogermany.com/ Some highligts of Munich I loved, and that you can do in a few day's time; Marienplatz, Frauenkirsche (sp!); including walking all the way to the top for a great view of the city, Nymphenburg Palace, The English Gardens, The Deutsches Museum (fantastic science museum), The Alte Pinakothek, Neue Pinakothek and Pinakothek der Moderne Museums, The Residenz (home of the Wittelsbach family, now a museum), strolling down ritzy Maximillian Strasse and, of course, The Hofbrauhaus beer hall! Dachau (moving and important experience; Germany does, after all, have a very dark past....) is a very easy morning or afternoon side trip (about 30 minutes by SBahn outside the city center). From Dachau train station, there are buses marked "KZ" which take you to the concentration camp/museum/memorial. If you are car buffs, The BMW Museum and factory tour (you must sign up for the tour BEFOREHAND) are also great; they are across from the '72 Olympics Stadium at BMW's Munich headquarters. From Munich, you are about a 2 hour train ride to Fussen, which is a handy homebase for exploring Neuschwanstein & Hohenschwangau (Neusch, espeacially, is really something to see; walk over to Mary's Bridge for a breathtaking sideview of the castle and surrounding Bavarian countryside). Their are excellent guided tours of the insides of both castles.
Try having lunch in Viktualien Markt. It is central (2 minutes walk from Marien Platz) and offers a real taste of Germany. It's like fast food German style. It is a market with tressel tables and benches in the centre and you grab a beer from one market stall and something to eat from another (Bratwurst/sauerkraut or roast pork type things) Watch out for those stalls offering Pferde Fleisch unless you like horse meat. I have spent many happy hours watching the world go by and taste testing the beers. I agree with the post that suggested Dachau concentration camp. It is worth visiting in my opinion. And the Deutsches Museum. I am not normally a museum person, preferring art galleries but this science museum is outstanding. We 'popped' in on sufferance to pacify a scientist friend and spent 7 hours there! The Augustiner beer Keller in the Kaufinger Strasse (also 2 minutes walk from Marien Platz in the direction of Stacchus on the left hand side) is great in the evening for a meal or a few beers and has a good atmosphere.
@ Shoni; funny, I had the same experience w/ The Deutsches Museum! With so much to see in Munich, I figured I'd give this science museum just a little while......but like you, ended up spending the better part of the day there! The exhibits are terrific; it manages to be edicational, interesting and fun at the same time. We all spend so much time visiting art museums, churches, cathedrals, etc, while on holiday/vacation in Europe; The Deutsches Museym was a nice alternative/break from that. And even if someone only had a few hours to spend there, I would still advise not to miss it. Didn't anticipate it, but The Deutsches Museum ended up being 1 of my Munich highlights.