From Füssen we drive to Munich and arrive in the morning at the hotel, the Ibis Muenchen Parkstadt Schwabing,
the staff is helpful and the room is larger than the Ibis standard. The location is not bad, surrounded by parks and a few minutes walk from the tram stop that leads to the metro station, and in any case it stops almost in the center. I suggest to take a daily group ticket that saves quite a bit, the transport price is quite expensive.
We start our visit of the city by crossing the English Garden (Englischen Garten), the huge city park full of attractions such as the Orangerie, the Monopteros, the Chinese Tower, the small Japanische Teehaus (home of Japanese tea) and several beer gardens. The Englischer Garten in Munich is the green lung of the city, a huge natural area that extends from the center to the suburbs. With a width of 373 hectares it is one of the largest city parks in the world along with New York’s Central Park and London’s Hyde Park. We cross bridges, immense meadows and splendid ponds populated by swans and ducks, and then we stop to admire the surfers who come from all over the world to practice the River Surfing on the Eisenbach: the meeting between this river and an artificial diversion of the river Isar produces some currents that give rise to waves about one meter high.
We reach the Hofgarten, a garden that is part of the architectural complex of the Munich Residence and which is the southern extension of the English Garden. From here we enter the historic center of the city. A visit to the Theatinerkirche (St. Kajetan) on Odeonsplatz is worthwhile. We stop for a short lunch on Theatinerstraße and taste one of the Bavarian specialties, Leberkäse, a kind of meatloaf, which is usually served hot, cut into slices, in a sandwich, naturally accompanied by a mug of beer.
We continue our walk through the streets of the historic center, there are so many things to see, but time is never enough, so we skip visits to museums to dedicate our time to visit churches and places of interest such as the Munich Cathedral and Marienplatz. The square is dominated by the Neue Rathaus (New Town Hall), an imposing neo-Gothic building that houses the mayor’s offices and the municipal administration. A tall tower (81 meters) dominates the main facade and captures the attention of tourists because it hosts the famous Glockenspiel (game of bells), the largest carillon in Germany that operates three times a day: at 11, at 12 and , from March to October, also at 5pm. In the middle of the square stands the Mariensäule: a marble column, embellished at the base by four seventeenth-century putti, supports the gilded bronze statue of the Madonna, patroness of Bavaria.
We continue with a visit to the two churches of St. Michael and Augustinerkirche, one next to the other. The oldest parish in Munich is St. Peter (Petersplatz), the church’s masterpiece is the sumptuous high altar, inspired by the one created by Bernini for the Basilica of San Pietro in Rome. The apotheosis of the Bavarian rococo is personified by the Asamkirche (Sendlinger Str. 62), not to be missed.
We take a walk around the shops to buy some souvenirs and in the evening we go to dinner at the Hofbräuhaus, a famous typical restaurant where you can listen to live music and breathe the true Bavarian atmosphere. We eat pork shank and pretzels accompanied by large mugs of beer. Thus we conclude our first day in Munich.