Valentine’s in Munich

As expected, work has gotten the best of my time and blogging has fallen out of my mind completely. So here I am, writing my post on a trip I took almost four months ago.

Munich, Germany. 12-15 February 2015.

It was Valentine’s Day weekend. Also, it was the weekend I needed to get away to activate my visa. I thought I would let Sean do the planning for once, and he selected Munich as our destination (his portion of the planning stopped there – surprise surprise!). I was eager to give the city a try because I had been before and was quite disappointed, yet kept hearing incredible things. So, I gave it a second go and am so happy I did.

The Basics:

Flights – Booked with BA miles (and my new Silver Card membership gave us access to the lounge!)

Accommodation – This was only my second time using Airbnb and I was so happy. This place was perfect for the two of us and Stephanie gave us fantastic recommendations for our time there. I highly recommend it for a stay of any length.

The Food:

When I think of what we managed to do over our weekend in Munich, I pretty much only think about food. We ate a lot…like all the time. Our Airbnb host recommended two fantastic brunch places. Being the brunch-obsessed girl that I am, this made me so happy and I was NOT disappointed.

At Cotidiano, I had a fantastic charcuterie breakfast. This place was very open despite its small size and had the environment that I love most about brunch – chatty, light, cute. Though I didn’t have the room in my stomach to try them, the tarts also looked gorgeous! Our second brunch was at a place called Backspielhaus and was equally delicious. We struggled a bit due to the lack of an English-translated menu, but with the help of some very friendly staff, we managed to order two great meals (the items they considered for the American breakfast will give any American a laugh!).

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[Brunch at Cotidiano]

We checked out multiple beer gardens – Zum Franziskaner, a small one on the walk up to Neuschwanstein, and most notably, Hofbrauhaus. It’s every bit as touristy as you expect it to be, but still an experience worth having! Sean even enjoyed it so much that he picked up his own stein to bring back to London. The only problem is that it’s almost too heavy to drink out of!

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[Sean looking like an ant next to his stein]

For dinners, we went for the cozier, more romantic restaurants. On the day we arrived, we went to a place around the corner (another one where nobody spoke English!) which was very authentic. I had a wonderful (MASSIVE) schnitzel and the dessert looked amazing but we did not make it that far. The next day, we went to Restaurant 181 at the Olympic Tower – it was a set menu and we ordered the wine to accompany each course. It was definitely an amazing meal, but we were too distracted by the fact that we missed all of the views (a clear day suddenly turned foggy come reservation time) and the rotations caused a weird feeling throughout the whole meal. On Valentine’s Day, we settled for something local – an Italian restaurant called Nero. The pizzas were huge and fabulous – so much so that the couple next to us spent more time taking pictures of them than actually speaking to each other!

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[The “view” from Restaurant 181 ended up being our own blurry reflections]

The Fun Stuff:

Though I consider eating to be extremely fun, I managed to get out and about throughout the weekend, as well.

On our first day exploring Munich, we went to The Residenz. I have been to castles and palaces on numerous occasions, but have never seen anything this large and complex. I think we only made it through half of the rooms when we decided we were too tired to carry on. Not 100% sure I would recommend it if you’ve seen State Rooms previously – they are all the same! We also tried to go to the Church of St. Mary’s to see the famous pillars, but it was under construction (typical of my tourist luck).

My favorite part of the entire trip was the day tour to Linderhof and Neuschwanstein. This took us out of the city and opened us up to the absolute beauty of the Bavarian Alps. While Linderhof was tiny, it was so gorgeously ornate, and Neuschwanstein was absolutely breathtaking. Not to mention the fact that a real life Disney Castle is my dream come true, and to think it’s this stunning without ever being finished! The trip also took us into the town of Oberammergau which had the cutest little shops and cafes. Apparently cross country skiing is huge in this area and I would love to go back for that just to spend a day in the middle of such a beautiful valley. I’m not big on organized tours whatsoever, but am so happy I gave this one a chance.

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[Neuschwanstein Castle]

On our last day, we went to the English Gardens. The surfers were so entertaining to watch and just kept going despite the fact that it was freezing. Once again, walking around in the cold made us too tired to continue and we settled for a nap before our flight.

I will definitely say that Munich is a great city, and one I hope to return to. It does miss the charm that many other European cities have, but the visit to the castles more than made up for that. If you visit, I highly recommend exploring the areas outside.

Next Stop: Nice (which was nice)

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