Visiting the Home of Oktoberfest

Flights

Cheap flights by everyone’s favourite budget airline was the reason for this spontaneous Bavarian trip! The two of us flew over and back for just under €80. We had a glance at Ryanair’s website the week before Christmas and couldn’t resist a short getaway! Flights and accommodation were booked in a matter of minutes.
The new baggage policy by Ryanair is quite ridiculous. If you have bought a standard ticket you can only take on a small personal bag. For €10 at the airport you can check a 10kg bag but you will have to wait at the carousel for it. Our original plan was to check one 10kg bag. Then when check-in day came we were tempted by priority boarding. It sickened me to give Ryanair any more money as their new baggage policy is quite clearly a scam to squeeze as much money out of people as possible, but for €32 more we brought two 10kgs over and back.
So in the end direct flights from Dublin to Munich and back with two bags each cost €110.

Accommodation

Though I really wanted to treat us to a stay in a hotel we couldn’t seem to find one we actually liked close enough to the city centre. After a rather long and tedious search for somewhere to lay our heads, we eventually decided on an Airbnb. Despite quite an unhelpful host and a rather incorrect location pin drop on maps the apartment was very sweet. It was an instagrammer’s dream.

It was bright and colourful with quite a nice view. Plus it was literally right above a McDonalds! The area was further from the city centre, Marienplatz, than we had originally thought (or had been led to believe) but the area had some nice bars and restaurants.

Food & Drink

Munich has an amazing selection of international cuisine. Italian restaurants are in abundance but we didn’t bother with these. There were about 6 Vietnamese restaurants near to our apartment and because of my history with Vietnam (older blog posts) we had to try one. We settled on Ao Dan, a place which featured Bun Cha on the menu. While it was not half as good as a Bun Cha you’d pick up in Hanoi, it did not disappoint.

The following night, due to a lingering hangover we eventually settled on sushi from Tsuki Ji. Japanese food is slightly cheaper in Munich than in Ireland so we took full advantage of this and ordered more than we could ever eat.

Embarrassingly, we didn’t get around to trying a proper German dinner until a few nights in. We visited Zum Durnbrau. Pork medallions and steak along with rich gravy and potatoes, the food was delicious and if I might say, reminiscent of Irish dishes.

We couldn’t go to Germany and not sample a few beers. We hit up Paulaner Brauhaus for the famous litre of beer. The wheat beers of Germany are delicious and we certainly weren’t disappointed.

The nightlife in Munich certainly has its ups and downs. All of the pubs in our area closed at 12 on a Saturday and our other options were either too busy or suited to a very specific taste. In the end we ended up in Kennedy’s, an Irish pub with live music. The atmosphere was great with a mix of tourists and locals.

What We Did

Alter Sudlicher Friedhoff:

We took a stroll though the famous city centre cemetery covered in snow. It was a nice way to pass a half an hour while making our way in towards the city.





Therme Erding : From €25pp

We took a trip to Therme Erding, swimming pools, a water park and a spa all rolled in together, AND the second largest thermal bath complex in Europe. From the reviews we read we were very unsure about whether or not we should go. On average Therme attracts 4,000 people every day and can at times be over-crowded and unenjoyable. We were lucky that when we visited it was relatively quiet.
So, originally we had planned on buying a four hour ticket coming in at €31. However, when we arrived the teller recommended we bought the 2 hour ticket for €25 and then pay per extra hour that we stayed at about €3 per hour. You’re given a watch when you arrive which is both the key to your locker and your method of paying for everything! Whilst inside we bought an amazing lunch and some drinks and then settled the bill when we left.
The changing rooms at Erding are unisex and there are certain areas of the complex that are nude only. Places like the swimming pools are fine but from the spa area onwards you have no choice but to be naked. As it is not an optional thing I can only assume that it’s so everyone feels comfortable (or equally uncomfortable!).
The swimming pools at the centre of the complex range from heated and rapids-style to a wave pool. The pools are encircled by a restaurant and cocktails can be bought from the poolside bar. By far the most amazing part of the experience was the outdoor heated pool. The fact that we visited in February when there was heavy snowfall made it even better. The spa area was a little bit lacking, though you could get beauty treatments and massages at an extra cost. There was a jacuzzi, several types of saunas and relaxing pools. Water slides are not at all my thing but there were certainly loads to choose from and for all ages.
As you leave your bag in the changing room when heading out and photography is supposedly forbidden it was impossible to get any photos inside.

Therme Erding

We obviously did other tourist things whilst there but most of it was just walking around looking for beer or drinking beer or being extremely hungover from too much beer so it’s not worth mentioning!

Overall Opinion

Pros:

  • Despite the heavy snowfall, the city continued to operate smoothly and efficiently. They had snow ploughs circling the city all day to ensure the roads stayed clear.
  • The train systems are easy to follow and relatively cheap. You have multiple trains going to the same destination and they’re all fairly frequent so you’re not stuck anywhere for too long. On a side note; while we were on the way to Erding the train had to terminate early due to a tree ahead on the track. Within 5 minutes taxis had arrived at the station to collect passengers and bring them to the next working train.
  • The stereotype of a typical unfriendly German is actually far from the truth. The whole time we were there we had many instances of locals striking up small talk with us. Unfortunately on each of these occasions the person was speaking German and so we had to awkwardly shake our heads saying “no sorry”. However amidst the Erding chaos we had a lovely stranger approach us and offer to drive us into the town. We were about 15 minutes away from the spa and on the drive there learned that he was attending an English class and eager to practice his speaking as much as possible with native speakers.
  • The beers are tasty and much more reasonably priced than in Ireland.
  • There is such a wide range of international restaurants in the city. I was delighted to get the chance to have some Vietnamese food again. The sushi is also much cheaper than in Ireland so we got an absolute feast one of the nights!

Cons:

  • On arriving in the city centre we were shocked at how dirty and generally rough it was. There were people falling about drunk at 8pm and I certainly felt like I had to hold onto my bag tightly.
  • All of the pubs in our area closed at midnight on a Saturday which left us wandering around the city and eventually winding up at an Irish pub.
  • Not that it’s in anyway the city’s fault but you need much longer than a weekend to explore it. I felt like we could return to Munich again and still have a totally different experience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s