Marvelous Munich | Jest Kept Secret

Marvelous Munich

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As loathe as I was to leave Hohenschwangau behind, Leslie told me there was a life-sized cuckoo clock in Munich, and I just had to see that. So we hopped on the bus that would take us from Hohenschwangau back to Füssen, where we would board a train bound for the capital of Bavaria.

And just like the day before, it wasn’t long before our trip was waylaid—only this time, it was by cows.

Cattle Drive in Downtown Hohenschwangau | Jest Kept Secret

Yep. Cows. A whole herd of dairy cows, to be exact, and they were moving from the pasture to the milking shed. But ever the ag nerd, I thought it was awesome! They even had bells on, which made me so happy. I spent the rest of our time in Germany looking for a replica cow bell to take home as a souvenir, and I found the perfect one at the last shop we visited in the country.

Munich at Last

We arrived in Munich, dropped our stuff off at the hostel (the last hostel we would stay in during the trip), and hurried back out to explore the city. And oh, what a jewel it is. The architecture is so quirky and fun, with archways and castle turrets and mosaic tile facades.

And there were so many funny little details. Munich is home to a vibrant contemporary art scene, and that was pretty apparent as we wandered around the city. My favorites were the spitting fountain and the gigantic eyeballs. So random!

Christmas Shop, Munich | Jest Kept Secret
These shops were full of cuckoo clocks (littler ones), ornaments, cowbells, beer steins, and kitschy souvenirs. I had to step out of a few of them because there was just too much stimuli for my brain to handle, but it was fun to look at all the cute things.

Leslie collects the traditional wooden German Christmas tree ornaments, so we made sure to stop at every souvenir shop that looked like they might carry them. Many did, but some were lower quality products, so it became a scavenger hunt to find ones that were both cute and well-made.

The Gigantic Glockenspiel

The Rathaus-Glockenspiel (that life-sized cuckoo clock Leslie promised me) chimes every day at 11am and 12pm, with additional performances “for the tourists” at 5pm between March and October. It was so stinking cool! And look, I got a video of it:

(Please excuse the shakiness and the patchy editing. It was very crowded, and people kept walking in front of me while I was trying to film it.)

Leslie: It was so cool to see a working cuckoo clock so many stories tall! Plus, there was jousting, so I’m sure you were sold at that point! Seriously, it’s charming, it’s fun, and it’s free, so why wouldn’t you see this? And the gold bird at the end of the music that turns the show into a traditional cuckoo clock was pretty cute.


We also stopped in at a few lovely churches. We saw Frauenkirche, Peterskirche, and St. Michael’s Church. All were beautiful inside and out (actually, we didn’t go inside Frauenkirche, so I can’t speak to the interior there), but honestly, churches at this point had all kind of blended together in my mind. There was an organist playing in St. Michael’s Church, though, and Leslie got a recording of that for your listening pleasure:


When we started to get hungry, we wandered over to Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market with open-air stands that feels like a giant farmer’s market. There were so many different things to eat! There were ostrich eggs (but for like €1 Billion a pop, we didn’t splurge—plus, neither of us had a frying pan in our backpacks), cheeses galore, various cured meats, and a vendor that sold all sorts of exotic fruits from all over the world. I tried rambutan for the first time there (and loved it) and I will always regret not buying some ugly fruit. That one’s still on my bucket list.

Leslie: This was a cute market with great food! How many times did we grab something quick to eat from here and walk around looking at the flowers, produce, and other quirky wares?

Munich Residenz

Our big stop for day one was the Residenz, former imperial home of the Wittelsbach monarchs. These days, it’s a massive museum complex including a theater, treasury, state rooms, and the living quarters of the royal family.

Leslie: The Cuvilliés was ornate and beautiful. There is no grand tour; you simply walk into the theater and can drool at all the Rococo ornateness. The Residence is another of the palaces that are well appointed with furniture and artwork and such from the period. There’s a lot worth seeing here, and it’s interesting that the Residence was built over a long period of time, and the architecture and furnishing reflect the different styles of different centuries. I thought the Treasury was really cool, too. None of the other palaces we visited had their crowns, jewelry, etc. on display. Each piece was beautiful and unique, collected over centuries. The combined ticket to see the Theater, Treasury and Residence was definitely worth the price, in my opinion.

Cuvilliés Theatre

The Treasury

The Antiquarium

The Grotto

The Living Quarters

  • Munich Residenz
  • Official Site
  • Prices

    Tickets ForAdultsStudents
    Cuvilliés Theatre€3.50€2.50
    Combination: Residenz + Treasury€11€9
    Combination: Residence Museum + Treasury + Cuvilliés Theatre€13€10.50

    Prices are intended to provide a general idea of cost only and may not reflect changes in price. Please see the official site for details.

  • 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
    Our Rating

The Deutsches Museum

Our second day in Munich was rainy the whole day, so after getting soaked admiring the Grecian architecture at King’s Square and trying to find the now extinct Milka Welt chocolate shop (tears were shed over that one, let me tell you), we opted for an activity that would keep us warm and dry and came highly recommended by a mutual friend. I had left my dSLR locked up at the hostel to protect it from the rain, so all I had with me was my point and shoot backup camera. But don’t let the low quality pictures fool you: this place was awesome. We spent hours wandering through the many exhibits. It was great.

Leslie: Becuase everything we wanted to see in Munich was pretty close together and easily accessible, it worked out that we had seen what we wanted and that we could spend this rainy day here, staying dry (ish). This is quite a cool science/technology museum with lots of interactive displays and great signs describing all of the different machines and how they work. I enjoyed this museum!

  • Deutsches Museum
  • Official Site
  • Price: Adults €12, Students €4
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)
    Our Rating

Munich in the Rain

Even in the rain, Munich was beautiful and fun. We really enjoyed this city and all it had to offer, and I would love to come back to explore it further in the future.

Have you been to Munich? What were your favorite parts?

And be sure to check out more about my trip with Leslie here.

Where We Stayed: Wombats City Hostel Munich

+ Nice place to stay–rooms were comfortable, ensuite bathroom was nice, and the indoor courtyard was lovely. Staff were really nice, though, and we met some great people. I’d stay here again.

– The wifi was pretty spotty at times, and laundry was suuuuuper expensive.

Type of Room: 6 Bed Female Dorm

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Booked at HostelWorld

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An Insider's Guide to Munich, Germany | Jest Kept Secret

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