Lederhosen, bratwurst and so much beer – who could resist a trip to the city once known as Germany’s Secret Capital? And Munich flights are cheap. But isn’t Germany expensive? Not so! Here’s how to Bavaria on a budget:
1) Buy a litre of beer at Oktoberfest. 6 million people will be doing the same thing, so get ready for the biggest, beer-iest party of your life. And if you have a lederhosen fetish, or always fancied yourself in a pair, then this is one event you must not miss.
2) Visit the Deutsche Museum. Ok, so buying an 8.50 euro museum ticket might not be on the top of most budget travellers’ to-do list. But this place is one of the world’s largest science and technology museums and is mind-bogglingly cool. Most of it’s interactive and you can even have a go at several of the crafts (like glass blowing and paper making) for which they have all manner of machines.
3) Eat currywurst and chips. At the Bergwolf for 4.50 euro. This Munich institution is a must visit for anyone with a taste for the German diet, or anyone who wants to kill their hangover before it kicks in.
4) Stand on the devil’s footprint. A visit to Frauenkirsche, to learn the legend of the devil’s visit and to see his hoof mark in the foyer, won’t cost you a penny. And the views from the tallest building in the centre of Munich are spectacular.
5) Get a glühwein in Christmas heaven. If you’re in Munich in the winter, the Christmas markets are unmissable. Chock-a-block with wholesome handmade crafts and gorgeous gifts, the extensive market is about as far as you could imagine from the singing-sparkling-Santa type holiday you’re probably used to.
6) Feel anything but English in Englischer Garten. This enormous park is misleadingly named, as it contains all sorts of international themed areas (including a Greek temple and a Japanese tea house) and it’s packed with locals. Most un-English-ly, there’s even part of the park where everyone (legally) sunbathes naked. See all that for free? Yes, please.
7) Watch the world go by at Viktualienmarkt Beer Garden. More beer? Yes, more beer. But this time, your pint comes with a wonderfully German spectacle in the form of the famous fresh produce market. And after your beer, you’ll have plenty of pennies spare to fritter on sauerkraut and sausages.
8) Marvel at Marienplatz. The 12th Century square is dominated by the impressive architecture of the Neues Rathaus, which is definitely worth a look. The Glockenspiel of its tower was inspired by the medieval tournaments that used to be held in the platz, so if you’re feeling creative, you could try out staging a little jousting match. Or, you know, you could just join a walking tour, many of which are free.
9) Play with boys’ toys at the BMW Museum. Provided you can claim to be a concession (student card, anyone?) it’ll only cost you 6 euros to ogle the latest of BMW’s flash gadgets and whizzy cars. Even if technology doesn’t usually get your blood boiling, you can guarantee this place will have you dreaming of James Bond style spy missions and zooming down the Autobahn.