Helloooooo, fellow budget travelers! We all know Europe (especially Western Europe) is a doozy when it comes to price. From hostels to public transportation, food to souvenirs, travel can really drain your bank account if you don’t pay attention (or even if you do, tbh). I went to Munich for a week and found the 8 things to do, all under just FIVE EUROS.
1.Do a free walking tour.
I’ve written about this in like, every post I’ve published since I embarked on this great European adventure. But really, there’s a reason… did ya see the word FREE?
So yeah, there’s this company that basically does free walking tours all over Europe. They’re rated crazy high on Trip Advisor, Yelp, and like every other travel website. They last 2-3 hours, and you get to see most the famous monuments, places, and Googleable things in that time.
You also get free tips from the local tour guides, who, in my experience, have been nothing less than hilarious and friendly. They’ll tell you all the great local spots to avoid the tourist traps (hellooo, sustainable tourism!!). It’s great.
This is the link to their website.
(There’s also regular walking tours in every city everywhere, but I’ve found this company to be the best of any I’ve done!)
2. Go up the elevator in Marienplatz.
Marienplatz is the main square in Munich, off of which are a significant portion of the tourist sights. I think this cost 3 euros. You basically locate this random elevator under the main gothic-style building in Marienplatz (aka the new city hall), and go up to the fourth floor. The receptionist will take your money and send you on your way up to the ninth floor. When you get off, you’ll be on the top tower of the new city hall, out in the open with the wind whipping on your face and the freezing wind blinding you.
But the #VIEWS, friends. Omg.
Need I say more?
3. Shop around the Viktualienmarkt.
This is a little (well, not so little) market right next to the city centre, Marienplatz. In the market, you can find everything from local meats to unique souvenir shops. There’s flower shops and fruits and spices. It’s really a local spot turned tourist. It’s free to walk around and enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the city!
Fun fact: there’s also a May Pole here. Apparently there’s a local tradition where you try to steal other town’s May Poles and demand beer and food as ransom.
4. Grab an espresso, a small glass of wine, or a slice of cake, and people-watch.
This, you can probably do in any city. But it’s one of my favorite things to do (and I have done it in every city I’ve been to so far).
You can so easily pass the time by observing how people do life in the city, people-watching, eavesdropping (does it really count if you can’t understand the seemingly endless conversations happening around you–you just want to listen to the intricacies that come with a foreign language?), or even reading, journaling, or just enjoying the moment.
This is what they mean by “stopping to smell the roses”.
Take a breather! Let yourself rest for a minute (or three hours) and watch the city. Take it all in. It’s a fantastic way to really feel a city.
Plus, a couple times when I’ve done this, locals have asked me for directions. So there’s that.
5. Explore the churches.
There are like a billion churches in Munich, and they are all so different.
St. Peter’s is right next to Marienplatz, and its incredible ornate gold touches contrasted with the white and black interior is so worth the visit. I actually went twice, because I loved it so much.
The gothic Cathedral Church of Our Lady is a beautiful church on the opposite end of Marienplatz. It is absolutely full of history and beauty.
Asam church is maybe a five minute walk from Marienplatz (closer to Sendlinger Straße, if you’re coming via metro or bus), but it is absolutely. worth. it. This is probably hands-down one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever been to, like, ever. It was made by the Asam brothers, for the Asam brothers, but the church was made available to the public when there was some protesting. It’s not the biggest church in the world, but it’s *literally* breathtaking.
6. If you’re a history buff, visit the NS Documentation Museum.
I believe the ticket entry price was 5 euros for adults, 2.5 euros for students, and the price includes an audio guide. I spent around 2.5 hours here, but I easily could’ve doubled that. The exhibition begins on the fourth floor, and you work your way back down to the first.
Basically, the museum is a deconstructed textbook. It’s brimming with historical videos and photographs and text about World War II–everything there is to know about it.
This museum is not for people who don’t have an interest in WWII, Nazi Germany, or anything having to do with those two topics. It’s mostly reading about dense, sensitive topics, but it’s important and I’m really glad I visited.
7. Visit the English Garden.
I only spent about thirty minutes walking around the English Garden (Englischer Garten, in German) because it was so bitterly cold the day I went, but it was beautiful anyway! The garden was full of trees and fields and gazebos and little cafes, and the snow-capped pine trees were really lovely to wander about.
8. Eat a huge pretzel or split a pint.
Of course, a trip to Munich wouldn’t be a trip to Munich without visiting the famous Hoffbrauhaus. It’s where Oktoberfest happens! Hoffbrauhaus is this gigantic, traditional beer hall, serving all kinds of beer, food, and other delicacies. There’s a traditional German musician group playing at all hours of the day, and the waitstaff wears traditional garb. The pints are not pints, either–they’re, like bigger than the size of my head! The beer ranges in price, but the pretzels were 3,80 euros, if my memory serves me correctly. I spent two nights here with friends, and we easily stayed for three hours without growing bored. It was rowdy, traditional, and lovely all at the same time, if that’s possible.
There you have it! Of course, there are countless other amazing things to do in Munich, but they’ll take just a little more of your wallet (and are totally, completely worth the price).
What are your favorite things to do in this lovely town?