If you are planning a trip to Munich Germany, I have great recommendations for you to help make your trip planning easy and smooth! My husband recently returned from a business/tourist trip and shared with me tons of great info including the top places to see, and the best place to stay. Even if you are planning on traveling as a family, all of these suggestions can apply to you as well!
When starting to make your travel plans, you’ll first want to book your stay at the best hotel in Munich – Hotel Laimer Hof. This was a recommendation from my father-in-law who has traveled to Germany frequently.
This hotel was built in 1890 and was once used as a bowling alley. Now the building has been renovated into 23 rooms, and has many historic and romantic touches. But you can still get modern conveniences like wi-fi or even TV with free English SKY Movie and Sport channels (for us English speaking travelers!)
The owners and staff are warm and friendly as they greet you. They are very helpful and know the city area in and out. This trip was during one of the peak travel times when the Christmas markets are out – and they offered their best tips and small shops to be sure to visit. They also explained easily how to get to downtown using a street car – since this hotel is not downtown.
Here is the inside of one of the rooms. Rooms were clean and include TV and wifi, hair dryer, and minibar.
Here is a view from the back of the hotel – with amazing shopping and restaurants in walking distance!
This is my husband with Sebastian, the owner. My husband described Sebastian as a person who “was born for this job – he’s very and hospitable and treats guests like family! He is one of the most welcoming and friendly people who is ready to answer any questions.”
This is a family owned hotel – and they have a set of twins boys. So if you are traveling with kids – this is the “host family” for you while you create a home away from home on your traveling journey, with kids in tow.
Breakfast at the hotel has quite the variety ranging from fresh fresh scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, to various breads, rolls, yogurt, cheeses, cured smoked salmon and fruits. It costs $10 per person, and any children under 6 can eat for free.
One other nice hospitable touch was that there was a Chocolate Santa Claus left on the beds each day after the maid service was done with the rooms!
Another site, Tripsavvy.com ranked Hotel Laimer Hof #1 Best Hotel in Munich Overall out of their list of the 9 best munich hotels of 2017.
Hotel Lamier Hof is also ranked #1 by travelers or on Trip Advisor because of the friendly staff! They are especially nice to Americans wanting to stay at a place that is more authentic and homey. This is not a large chain generic hotel. If you want the same old, same old, then don’t pick this place. But if you want an authentic, friendly atmosphere in a Renaissance old style European building, then this is the place for you!
Now after you settle in your room at Hotel Laimer Hof – you’ll want to schedule in time to see these 10 places/activities:
1. Nymphenburg Palace, the summer home of the royal Wittelsbach family, its many museums as well as the botanical gardens. This is a premier tourist attraction in Munich. One extra bonus to staying at Hotel Laimer Hof is that it is literally a five minute walk (2 blocks away) away from the palace! Leave your car parked at the Laimer Hof and spend the day at the palace.
The Nymphenburg Palace west of Munich is one of the largest royal palaces in Europe and is not to be missed on a sight-seeing tour through the Bavarian capital city. The oft-visited Baroque tourist attraction with it’s expansive landscaped garden and museum draws not only guests from around the world, but is also a beloved institution for Munich residents. In 1664, Prince Ferdinand Maria had the castle built as a present to his wife, who had borne him the long-awaited heir, Max Emanuel. Max Emanuel himself later played a significant role in expanding the palace layout.
Here is a view of the main hall when you enter.
Here is a picture of the Queen’s bedroom.
Summer or winter, you can see tourists and locals enjoying the outdoors and snow on the grounds of the palace. There are miles of trails and gardens that can be explored and are open to the public free of charge.
Tickets to see the inside are an additional fee. You can choose between seeing the living quarters or the stables (where you can see the gold chariots) or both.
Here is a winter view of the main entrance of Nymphenburg Palace.
The Nymphenburg Palace is one of those places that you have to experience in person to appreciate the vastness and enormity of this place. Pictures don’t do it justice. This is breathtaking architecture with incredible ornate detail that needs to be seen in person.
2. Marienplatz: You will want to take a street car from the hotel and visit this well known site. The Rathaus-Glockenspiel of Munich is a tourist attraction in Marienplatz, the heart of Old Town Munich. There are stores and restaurants galore at this tourist hot spot. This area is also the home of the seasonal Christmas Markets.
Glockenspiel: Part of the second construction phase of the New Town Hall, it dates from 1908. Every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ( as well as 12 noon in the summer) it chimes and re-enacts two stories from the 16th century to the amusement of mass crowds of tourists and locals. It consists of 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures.
3. Christmas Market in Munich – Other than Oktoberfest, one of the biggest tourist times to travel is in December when the Christmas Markets make their debut under the Glockenspiel. Each year dozens of local artisans set up shop to sell everything from Christmas ornaments, candy, decorations, candles, beer, and bratwurst. Even though the temperatures can be cold, it does not hinder any locals from shopping or even eating a meal outdoors to enjoy this annual event.
4. Frauenkirche, the gothic-period Frauenkirche, or Church of our Lady, is a unique part of the Munich skyline with its two dome-topped towers
This is a 2-5 mintue walk from Marienplatz – so this is another place to visit in the same vicinity.
It is located in Munich’s Old Town, not far from the centrally located Marienplatz. Construction on the cathedral began in 1468 under Prize Sigismund, who commissioned Jörg von Halsbach with its construction. In World War II, the Frauenkirche was very heavily damaged by air strikes, but was later rebuilt and renovated in several construction phases. The south tower of the cathedral can be climbed and offers a unique, wide view across the rooftops of Munich and on to the Alps. In the entrance of this imposing late-Gothic interior you encounter among other things the legendary devil’s footprint in the floor of the church.
5. As a shop “Max Krug”, is the No. 1 shop for original Black Forest Cuckoo Clocks, special Beersteins, Nutcrackers, Smokers and a large selection of fine souvenirs. While you are visiting the Marientplatz and Fraukirke – be sure to stop here as it is a 2 minute walk.
6. Viktualienmarket, located in the Alstadt is the city’s oldest farmer’s market:
Over the years, the market has evolved from a farmers’ market to a popular market for fresh food and delicatessen. It offers exotic ingredients that are not available anywhere else in the area, and is renowned for its diversity and size: 140 stalls and shops offering flowers and plants, fruits and vegetables, venison and fowl, eggs, butter, honey, fish, meat, sausages, herbs, spices, delicatessens, wine and tea are assembled on an area covering 22,000 square metres.
7. BMW World (space dedicated to one of Germany’s most famous exports) / Olympic grounds (stadium and park from the Olympic games 1972)
The ensemble comprising BMW Welt, plant and museum at the Munich Oberwiesenfeld represents the internationally unique BMW world of experience. The synchronous integration of automobile delivery and thrilling temporary exhibitions about the past, present and future of the brands as well as a multifaceted daily event program have turned BMW Welt into an attractive place of encounter and exchange.
8. English Garden, large public park, which reaches from the city center to the northeastern city limits including the “Chinese Tower” (large beergarden) and the famous “Eisbach” (surfing wave pictured above.)
Today the Englische Garten offers numerous leisure time activities. Cyclists and joggers train on the 78-kilometer-long (48.5 miles) network of paths, and amateur soccer players meet on the fields for recreational games. A beautiful vista of the city if offered by the Monopteros, which was added to the park landscape along with the hill in 1836. The Japanese teahouse first opened in 1972 on the southern end of the park on an artificial island in the Schwabinger Bach (stream). Japanese tea ceremonies are performed here regularly.
9. Deutsches Museum, a science and technology museum like no other, probably the favorite of the families!
Sailing ships, models of atoms, windmills, space probes, diesel locomotives, industrial robots, organs, lifeboats,…this unbelievable abundance of technical achievement – and lots more – can be found in the Deutsches Museum.
10. Recommended Restaurants:
As a restaurant we certainly recommend the “Hofbräuhaus”, the famous beer hall is the cradle of Bavarian tavern culture – the origin of tradition, “Gemütlichkeit” and hospitality – tourist hot spot restaurant!
Once block away from Hotel Laimer Hof, stop by and eat at the Italian restaurant Risotto – you can eat outside in the summer in a courtyard. Very reasonable prices and fabulous food!
Three blocks away from Laimer Hof is the Koniglicher Hirschgarten – classic German restaurant with classic dishes like schnitzel and Gemischter Salad (typical mixed green salad with German potato salad and coleslaw buried underneath the greens.)
As with any trip, my husband said there is much more to see than he had time to visit – but here is at least a start to help you plan your journey. If you stay at Hotel Laimer Hof, be sure to tell Sebastian Hello from Glenn and Maura!
Thanks so much to Sebastian Rösch for helping us to write this article.