One of the things I want to do more of is travel. So when my friend Kelly and I were talking about Memorial Day plans, we quickly starting thinking about taking advantage of the holiday and heading to Europe. After we found a reasonably priced ticket to Munich, there wasn’t much holding us back!
Below is an overview of our trip by day. If you’re planning a trip to either Munich or Vienna, or you’re just curious, this post is for YOU:
We spent the first real day in Munich doing a LOT of walking and getting a feel for the city, walking around and exploring. I highly suggest making Marienplatz your starting point for getting to know the city as well. (There’s a cute market close by here called, Viktualienmarkt, which I stumbled upon that I recommend.)
Our main destination, however, was the Munich Residence, which is the biggest inner-city palace in Germany and was the seat of residence/government to the Bavarian rulers for over 400 years. It truly is a sight to be seen and I recommend putting it on your shortlist.
We walked a TON so we carved out time for a mid-day regroup/siesta session before heading to Museum Brandhorst, a modern art museum. We ended the day drinking steins and people watching in Marienplatz.
In the morning we headed to St. Peter’s Church and climbed 14 flights of stairs (!) up the tower. It was a HIKE, but we had seriously incredible views of the city that made it totally worth it. Pro tip: get there right when it opens and beat the crowds for the climb. Kelly and I did (by accident!) and it was such a blessing – we flew up and didn’t realize how lucky we were. By the time we were heading down, a bottleneck formed on the narrow stairs, which made the experience more difficult for those just starting.
In the afternoon, Kelly and I hopped on a train to Lenggries and went PARAGLIDING. I’m a big baby and was seriously concerned if I’d have the courage to do it, but the instructors were AMAZING and I was able to get off the ground. I’m so happy I did because this was easily a highlight of the trip. Seeing Germany from 2000 ft. up is absolutely breathtaking. I had a big smile plastered on my face the entire time. I can’t recommend this experience enough.
This day was jammed packed, trying to squeeze in all Munich had to offer before heading to Vienna. In the morning, we headed to the “Siegestor,” the triumphial arch/victory gate built for the Bavarian army.
We had breakfast at one of the cutest restaurants ever – Café Queen 43, before heading into the famous Englischer Garten (English Gardens). Pro tip: if you head towards the Haus der Kunst Museum, you can find people surfing (!) on a standing wave on the Eisbach, a man-made river that runs through the English Garden.
After a quick siesta (notice a theme?), we headed to the Hofbräuhaus, a very popular beir garten in Munich, for a stein. This place was AWESOME and out of all the pretzels I ordered in Germany, my favorite was the one I ate here (see picture of aforementioned pretzel below).
We spent most of the morning on a train to Vienna, and arrived around 2pm. Our AirBnB in Vienna was PERFECT. It was in a very hip, very vegan-friendly part of the city. I couldn’t believe that right across the street there was a pizza shop that served vegan cheese and a dairy-free ice cream shop called “veganista.” It also happened to be a stones throw away from MuseumsQuartier, which is overflowing with museums, cafes, restaurants and bars, so we were able to drop our bags and have an afternoon.
While it was SO hard to decide which museums/places to see (there are seriously so many), we hit up Kunsthistorisches Museum because it was close by and we both like #art. In the evening we headed to 25 Hours Hotel for a rooftop view of the city and a killer sunset.
The next day got up early and headed to Schönbrunn Palace, Austria’s most frequently visited tourist attraction and a Cultural World Heritage Site. The massive 1,441-room Baroque palace served as the imperial summer residence for the Habsburgs between 1569 and 1918. Even though it’s a little out of the way, it’s worth the trip – trust me. Because it’s so popular, there’s typically an hour + wait time to view the palace, but that gives you time to explore the gardens, which are breathtaking.
After the Palace, we explored the city a little more, walking through Volksgarten (a beautiful public park) while on our way to shop to in the first district (near Stephansplatz). I had a lot of people tell me to hold the trip shopping until Vienna and I’m SO glad I listened.
We had such big day that we lost track of time and shopped a little too long. But, we just couldn’t end our one full day in Vienna without at least trying to go to the State Opera House. After a very quick turn around and DASHING to the theater, we found out there were only 2 open seats left to see Samson and Delilah. What are the odds of that happening? It was a sign!
In the morning, we headed to the train station to store our bags since we had to check out of our AirBnB early, then spent the rest of the day doing last-minute gift shopping before taking the train back to Munich. We paid a little extra to have assigned seating on the train, which paid off on the trip back. Once we arrived in Munich, we headed to our hotel near the airport, which was the perfect way to close out the trip.