Our first full day in Munich was delightful despite starting off with some questionable weather featuring a very light drizzle and mid-40s. We layered up and headed out for a day of sightseeing.
Our hotel is about a 20 minute stroll past interesting shops to the Marienplatz. One such shop was the Columbia Sportswear store where we discovered even better base layers to combat the chill.
The Rathaus, old town hall, is one of the anchors to the Marienplatz and features a unique glockenspiel. We only briefly passed through but were impressed by the lovely tower.
We continued on to visit a few churches, including St. Michael’s where King Ludwig II and a variety of other royal remains line the crypt.
Perhaps it was the beer or that we weren’t really following the map but our trip to the Residence, which was the HUGE royal palace of the Wittelsbachs took some effort. Yes, it was rather straight up the road, and while we found the large palace grounds, the single door entrance to the Residence museum was found only after walking around nearly the entire complex.
One thing I’ve noticed is despite being a major tourist destination, Munich fails to post convenient directional signs pointing to the major sites. You definitely need to keep your map handy.
The Residence is incredible, partially destroyed in the war but restored with lavish detail. It is however exhausting as you wind you way through hundreds of rooms peeking into the lives of the royals of yesteryear.
One highlight of the Residence is the Treasury (different admission cost fee). Within the treasury lie what appears to be hundreds of millions of dollars worth of well, treasures. Jewel laden crowns and tiaras. Huge diamond encrusted state seal pins and reliquaries that will take your breath away. The second gasp is when you see what the reliquaries hold!
Munich happens to be home to more religious remains than any other city. Within the treasury alone you’ll find a vault filled with saintly leg bones, fingers, entire hands and shards of the cross.
After several hours of history, we discovered history of a different nature at the world famous Hofbrau House. Ok, so we can’t always find the cultural sights but the beer halls have been no problem.
I was initially hesitant about HB having read tons of derogatory comments that it was just a giant tourist trap full of foreign visitors. Well, that may be true but it’s an awesome tourist trap full of foreigners and tons of locals alike!