Munich is a city of contrasts. While it has a definite cosmopolitan feel, it somehow manages to hold onto its small-town feel. In recent years, it has become a mecca for young professionals and a burgeoning tech startup industry. However, despite all the trappings of modernity that go with being a hub for international business, you do not have to look that far for traditional workshops and Bavarian handicrafts.
The largest influx of tourists to Munich comes in fall for Oktoberfest. But while the event is certainly a lot of fun, it can overshadow that wealth of other fantastic reasons to visit Munich as a tourist. In this article, we shine a light on some of the lesser-known things to see and do on a trip to Munich! Read on to find out more
1. Check Out the Stairway Without End
In the outside courtyard of the firm KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft is one of the more bizarre sculptures that you will find anywhere. The Umschreibung is a spiral staircase that suspends belief as it leads to nowhere. At 9 meters tall and shaped like a strand of DNA, the meaning of the sculpture is open to interpretation, but it does make an unusual photo for curious tourists.
2. Spooky Yourself Out at the Museum of Hunting and Fishing
There are some great museums in Munich, including Nymphenburg Palace, Munich Residence, Kunsthalle Munich and the Pinakothek der Moderne. However, if you want something slightly weirder, why not take a trip to the Museum of Hunting and Fishing?
Hunting and fishing are part and parcel of Bavarian culture. At this museum, you will find hundreds of the most impressive animals and fish ever caught in this region – all stuffed now, of course – as well as the hunting implements that have been used to catch them all through the centuries.
3. Sample Some ‘Beer Soup’
If there is one thing that Munich is famous for, it is the beer. But while you have likely tried similar beer to that which is produced here before, we are willing to bet that you have never tried beer soup before! For an off-the-wall culinary experience, head to Isarbräu, an innovative food joint which is set up in a disused railway station. Here, you will find all kinds of oddities, including beer soup and much, much more.
4. Pay a Visit to the Patron Saint of Spinsters
One of the most haunting experiences in the city can be found at Alter Peter (Saint Peter’s Church) where you can catch a glimpse of a skeleton wearing jewels and gold. The church is thought to have been the final resting place of the patron saint of spinsters, Saint Mundita, after she was beheaded in 310 AD. Today, she is encased in a shrine, clasping a goblet of dried blood to symbolize her martyrdom.
5. Meet an Infamous Bear
Bears can be a bit of a problem across the Alpine Region, and Bavaria is no different. One such bear that came to a grizzly end (excuse the pun) back in 2006 was a monster known as ‘Bruno’. Unfortunately for Bruno, his scavenging behavior got him into trouble in a few human settlements in the area to the extent that he was culled by the local authorities for safety reasons. Today, you can find him stuffed as an exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Nymphenburg Castle.
6. Got Lost in the English Gardens
If you fancy a little respite from the hustle and bustle of central Munich, you can find it at the wondrous Englischer Garten. Spreading out to the outskirts of the city from its starting point near the Haus der Kunst, this area of park and woodland is simply magical whatever the weather. Designed by American Sir Benjamin Thompson in 1789 (considered an Englishman when the park was named since the Civil War had not yet taken place), you can find many secrets in the park, including a Japanese teahouse, a number of monuments and a charming open-air theater.
Even if it is not October, Munich is a fascinating city which offers so much in terms of history and culture. For this reason, it attracts millions of tourists from Europe as well as from further afield every year. An increasing number of Americans and Canadians are making their way to the city in recent times. If this is you, make sure to sign up for an ETIAS visa. Set to come into force in January 2021, the ETIAS visa will be the only way to gain entry as a tourist to the Schengen Area.