The adventure began by us getting up literally in the middle of the night to catch an early morning flight. We landed in Munich at around 9.30am so we had the whole day left to start exploring the city.
As soon as we stepped out of the terminal, before we’d even left the airport, we were greeted by a Christmas market. Yes, there was an actual Christmas market in Munich’s airport. This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the weekend, because as we made our way into the centre of Munich, we realised just how festive this place is. We wanted Christmas markets, and Christmas markets we got…they were everywhere! The whole of the city centre is essentially one massive market – it was amazing!
A couple of days before the trip, we had booked ourselves onto a free walking tour of Munich for the afternoon on our first day. The tour was much better than we’d anticipated and our guide was so enthusiastic about the city, which made it ten times better – no one wants a monotone tour guide! The best part about the tour was the stories behind all of the buildings, they were genuinely interesting, with some humerous and some devastatingly sad tales from the war. I won’t bore you with the history of Munich now, but I learned more than I ever expected, and I encourage anyone who is visiting Munich to book yourself onto one of these tours! You can check out the tour company’s website here.
So after exploring the main markets, going on the tour, and checking out some incredibly creepy churches, we decided to call it a day. For the record, our dinner consisted of a Starbucks cheesecake in bed – so much for tasting the traditional German cuisine.😂
This was the big the day. The day we finally got to visit Neuschwanstein Castle!
I am going to write a whole post about our day trip to this castle, with some advice on how to get there etc, so I won’t go into too much detail here!
Visiting Neuschwanstein Castle was the main reason why I wanted this trip to happen, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. You only need to look at the photos of this masterpiece to understand why I wanted to see it in person!
For anyone who doesn’t know, Neuschwanstein Castle was actually the inspiration for the Disney castle that we all know and love, and the king that lived there was also known as the “Fairytale King” – HOW COOL IS THAT?!
You can probably imagine my excitement as we made the long journey to the castle, and that excitement lasted all day long. I just couldn’t believe (and still can’t believe) that I was actually there, it all felt very surreal!
We spent most of the day at the castle, trying to find the best photo spots – there are some truly breathtaking views of not just the castle, but the surrounding areas as well. We could have spent hours and hours taking photos, but of course, the darkness started to draw in, so we made our way back to Füssen (the tiny town with the train station that takes you back to Munich).
Rather than go straight back to the city, we wanted to explore Füssen a little bit as it is such a pretty and endearing town. Here we came across another Christmas market and just a lot of happy locals enjoying their evening – it was the cutest place ever, and I’m glad we got to spend a few hours there.
For our final day in Munich, we had a couple of things left on our agenda. The first was to climb Alter Peter (or Old Peter), which is an old church in the city centre with a very high viewing platform open to the public. So that is exactly what we did, the 299 steep steps were a bit of a mission, especially since we were so tried from the previous day! But it was, as expected, completely worth it for the beautiful panoramic views of Munich.
The thing that you notice about Munich’s skyline, is that there is not one skyscraper in sight, in fact it doesn’t really look like a city at all – it’s more like a quaint little town, which is a rare sight these days, and made it totally different from every other city I’ve visited.
Next we wanted to find some of the more tucked away Christmas markets, for example the market at the Chinese tower, which sold more unique, hand-made goods.
Along the way to this market we had to take a walk through the English Gardens, where we stumbled across the Munich surfers, yes you read that correctly, SURFERS! There is a fast-flowing river within the gardens, which people use to practice their surfing skills – this is the last thing I ever expected to see in the middle of a freezing cold European city, but it was super cool to watch! If you’re ever in Munich, you HAVE to see this!
The last thing that we wanted to see on this crazy, jam-packed weekend, was the Krampus run. We were lucky because the Krampus run only happens twice a year, and we just so happened to be there for it. Let me tell you, this was without a doubt, one of the most bizarre events I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I had no idea what a Krampus even was, but I quickly learnt that it’s basically a demon, that punishes bad children at Christmas time. So essentially the opposite of St. Nicholas/Father Christmas/Santa.
During the Krampus run, people dress up as these so-called demons and walk through the streets, creating as much noise as possible, and causing mischief. We had been warned by our tour guide that they might approach members of the public and steal hats etc, but we weren’t prepared for the level of harassment we would receive from these monsters. For example they whipped us, grabbed us by the head, pulled us from the crowd, and just generally intimidated us. But it was all in good fun, with no real harm intended, and the German children seemed to love it! I’m so happy that we got to experience this as I’ve never seen anything like it before.
Munich is so much more picturesque, interesting and welcoming than I had ever imagined. I’m surprised by how much I fell in love with the city and I already can’t wait to return.
Until next time, Auf Wiedersehen❤️