In a month’s time I’ll be on my merry way to Munich and Salzburg, and I’m on a mission to soak up ALL the Christmas cheer of the famous markets while I’m there. I’ve already bought a load of massive jumpers, wooly scarves and gloves in anticipation of the chillier climes, and I’m now officially on countdown. I love the run-up to trips!
I decided that I needed more of a plan than “drink ALL the glühwein (German mulled wine)” – not that there’s anything wrong with dedicating a whole week to the consumption of sugary wine, but I do need to get a bit more out of the trip. So I sat down and did a bit of research, which only made me even more excited about next month! First of all, I’m going in the run up to Christmas which makes it the most incredible time to be travelling in Europe and second of all both Munich and Salzburg sound like fantastic cities that are just teeming with interesting things to do (and loads of things to eat – this is me we’re talking about!).
So, I present you with part one of my wish list. This is what I intend to do while in Munich:
Trawl the Viktualienmarkt
I love markets. From the chaotic ones you find in Saigon, to the food markets of London, I love nothing more than to go, take loads of pictures and then eat whatever is in sight. There are always loads of photo opportunities in markets, and you can usually get your hands on various local delicacies (and then there are the ones you want to steer clear of – I’m talking to you, Vietnam, and your balut).
Viktualienmarkt (yeah, I cannot pronounce it either) has cheese shops, sausage shops, flower stands, spice stands (important), bakeries (very important), and touristy stuff. The market takes up a whooping 22,000 square feet of space, so I’m sure I’ll walk out slightly poorer.
And there’s also a beer garden. I’ll casually add it in there like it’s not the main reason that I want to visit.
Eat Pretzels and Drink Glühwein/Beer
Continuing nicely from my previous point about bakeries, I want to eat those massive pretzels that Germany is famous for. With it being winter, carb-loading is perfectly acceptable – I need to add a couple of layers of fat to survive horrible Cypriot January. So I’m going to munch on pretzels that are as big as my head and chug loads of that lovely Bavarian beer.
And it’s not just pretzels that I’m going to be munching on. No sir/ma’am. Despite the fact that Bavarian cuisine is mainly meat, meat and more meat (and no, I don’t eat meat anymore), there’s still plenty on my radar, like apple strudel, kaiserschmarrn and flammkuchen. Yes, more carbs. And sugar. Loads of sugar. It’s rolly polly time!
Oh and of course, with it being Christmas, I’m going to substitute water with glühwein because a) I love mulled wine and b) I can.
Soak Up ALL the Festive Cheer at the Christmas Market
Fun fact number one: I bloody love Christmas. It’s my favourite holiday, and the main reason why I decided to visit Germany in December was so that I could visit a Christmas Market. So I got in touch with my lovely friend Katja and said “Hey, what’s a good German Christmas Market?” She suggested Munich and I said “Want to join me?” She replied “Hell yes” and so I booked my flights.
German Christmas Markets are like the Chanel of Christmas Markets. Or something along those lines. So I’m going there to feel ridiculously festive, buy a few gifts and see how the Germans like to celebrate Christmas. I’m so excited!
Pretend I’m a Princess at Neuschwanstein
Fun fact number two: my nickname all throughout my teens was princess. In fact, some friends of mine in Cyprus still call me that. While I’m not about to go into the reasons why, what I can tell you instead is that Neuschwanstein, which is located near Munich, looks like a castle straight out of a fairy tale. In fact, my sources tell me (i.e. Wikipedia) that it was the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
It’s a total tourist trap, but it looks absolutely breathtaking! And fit for a princess like me.
Enjoy Some Art at Brandhorst
I’m a museum/galleries geek. Whenever I’m in London I always have to go to at least a few museums, and it’s one of the many things that make it my favourite city in the world. So I was excited to read that the Brandhorst Museum in Munich is teeming with modern art and features around 100 of Andy Warhol’s works as well as a collection of Pablo Picasso’s illustrated books. Ah the inspiration that’s to be found in there!
Also, I’ve read that some of the smaller galleries that surround the museum allow students to display their own pieces, which is super cool. AND the area has great and well-priced places to eat.
Sample Munich’s Best Beer at Augustiner Beer Hall
Marvel at Exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum
Until I started researching things to do in Munich, I had no idea that the world’s largest science and technology museum is here (rather pathetic considering I went to an academy that specialised in, erm, science and technology!).
So continuing my theme of ‘I love museums’ I think a visit to the Deutsches Museum is on the cards. There are a mind-boggling 28,000 items on display! And the thing that fascinates me the most is that there’s a giant ‘walk-in’ human cell, which is bound to bring A’level biology exams screaming back to me.
And that, my friends, is my Munich wish list! This was supposed to be a joint Munich/Salzburg list, but it seems like I have A LOT more to see than I initially thought. Salzburg is coming up soon!