So what else can you do in Munich?

Are you sick of hearing about Munich yet?  I mean, it’s only been three months since our trip.  You’d think I would have run out of stuff to talk about.  Well, you’d be right.  This is officially the LAST Munich post.  Until the next one.  Nononono.  This is the last.  #orisit? #yesyesitis

So you know we journeyed primarily for the markets, but we knew Munich had plenty of other things to see.  I also knew that we would need to brave more inside things than usual, given the icy temps.  Usually, outside is our friend.  Just turn Henry loose and let him kick a rock.  But this time I knew we needed a game plan for all things indoors.

So, should you find yourself in Munich, with or without kids, here are some things to do when you aren’t enjoying the beer and bratwurst.

1. BMW Welt

This was a HUGE hit with the kids.  And by kids, I mean Henry.  This futuristic building showcases very pricy cars and motorcycles that you can climb all over.  And then try to persuade your toddler to climb OUT of.  Poor James.  He still recounts the stink eye he received from a line of grown men upon trying to extricate Henry from the $100,000 car so they could have their turn.

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It was easy to get to, just a few stops on the metro.  Once you exit the metro, you’re there.  You are dangerously close to the Olympic Stadium if you’d like to check that out as well.  We looked over at it, but did not venture that way.  It was cold, ya’ll.

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You can also visit the BMW Museum across the street.  But that costs money.  Oh, did I not mention?  The BMW Welt is FREE.  That’s right.  Hours of entertainment for the price of a metro ticket.

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This place was also good for a family.  They have a changing room downstairs (like a family bathroom minus the toilet).  They also have large lockers where you can stash your gear, free of charge.  There is a restaurant if you need a pick-me-up.  And there is even a little play area with a few toys.

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I was a little meh because cars aren’t really my thing, but I got a kick out of seeing Henry’s excitement.  They had a stunt motorcycle demonstration while we were there.  I will admit that was pretty cool.  Henry still talks about that time we saw a moto drive up and down the stairs.

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For kid-friendliness and overall enjoyment of the experience, I give it five Breadstick Macs.

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2. The Residenz

We didn’t make it to Nymphenburg Palace outside of town, but we did make it to the Residenz.  This is where the Wittelsbachs, who basically ran Munich, posted up for many years.

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We paid to see the Residenz Museum, but not the Treasury.   I figured that was as much as we should press our luck with the two destroyers in the fancy castle.

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There is a coat room, but they cautioned us that it would be cold inside.  For the stroller, they asked that we switch ours with one of their inside strollers.  These were actually fancy Maclaren strollers; much nicer than the umbrella stroller we had with us.  Cool, no problem.

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What was a PROBLEM that NO ONE mentioned were the large number of stairs on the tour.  I’m not talking a couple of stairs.  I’m talking flights of stairs, with zero elevator alternative.  It’s fine.  I just wish they had given us a heads up.  Like a “hey, please take this fancy stroller, but do be warned that there are oodles of unavoidable stairs.  Toodles!”

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Henry lost it fairly early on during the tour.  He vociferously refused to stay in the stroller.  He wouldn’t walk.  He was doing some screeching.  We even tried putting Mac in the stroller with me wearing Henry as a backpack.  You know what else is on the back of me?  My hair.  That doofus would not stop pulling my hair.  We hustled through the beautiful rooms.  In a way, it was probably better.  This way I just enjoyed the palace ambiance without being worried about reading EVERYTHING.  But it would have been nicer sans the hair pulling.

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We didn’t even try the bathrooms so I can’t report back.  I would not hold out hope for a changing table though.

For us, I give it only two Breadstick Macs.  If you could keep your kids locked down though, you might get more mileage out of this one.

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3. The Viktualienmarkt

This is a daily food market that has been operating for lots and lots of years.  (As you can see, we value historical accuracy around here at Roman Reboot.)  It was conveniently across from our hotel.  We didn’t spend much time there because, you know, super cold outside, but it was nice to walk through.  They supposedly have a biergarten, but I think this is just in warmer weather.

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In sum, we didn’t really take advantage of this one, but it would be a great place to pick up a snack or some provisions if you have a kitchen.

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4. The Schrannenhalle

This is beside the Viktualienmarkt.  It is sort of like taking the Viktualienmarkt party indoors and a little yuppier.  (DC folks: this is basically Union Market.)  They have individual stall/booth like places, but it is a little more restaurant-y.  Like you could grab a glass of wine and a snack kind of a place.  (I looked all over for beer to take back to my hotel.  They did not seem to have that.)

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Important to Henry, the Milka store is downstairs.  For me, Milka will always be inferior to Kinder, but we picked up some pretty tasty treats.

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5.  Asamkirche

On this one, I just really like the backstory.  This is an incredibly over-the-top Rococo church (I guess those are redundant) built by the Asam brothers in the 1700s.  These brother architects built it as a private church to basically show off what all they could do for private clients.

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It is pretty tiny.  You can do the whole thing in less than five minutes.  But interesting (and free!) to pop in if you are by that way.  And you probably will be; Munich downtown is actually pretty small.

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6.  Frauenkirche

This is one that is a part of the Munich skyline, but I think you can skip.  Granted, we didn’t try to climb the tower.  That might have been worth it for the views.  The inside of the church is nice, but nothing super special.

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There is a pretty sweet cenotaph in back.  According to the internets, this is the Cenotaph of Emperor Louis IV by Hans Krumpper.

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7. Ohel Jakob synagogue

This is one you can’t just roll up into (although this site mentions tours), but is impressive to see from the outside.  Rick Steves says it was designed to look like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  According to the internets, “[t]he glass roof represents a tent (Ohel), symbolizing Moses’ 40-year-journey through the desert.”

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It is definitely an interesting, recent addition to downtown Munich.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  And, there is a small playground right outside.  This is the only playground we spotted in all of our trekking around downtown.  BONUS.

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8.  The Glockenspiel

And, last but  not least, Munich’s famous glockenspiel at Marienplatz.  When we were there, shows happened at 11:00 am and noon, but there are more in summer.  We caught the show our first day and our last.  Yay for trip bookends!

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The show is surprisingly involved and it goes on for awhile.  I find it a little boring, but Henry was all about it bout it.  Every time we went by, he commented about when the men would be moving again.  Rick mentions hitting the upper floors of the bookstore across the street for a bird’s eye view.  We tried that, but the windows are small and the view was not great.  I think you are better off on the ground.

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So that’s our trip.  I was bummed that we didn’t make it to the English Garden, but you know, freezing.  Next time, Gadget.

Did we miss your Munich fave?  Did you like these sights?  Isn’t Breadstick Mac adorable?

Hot drinks for cold days

Now we’re in it.  January and February are pretty bleak.  Christmas cheer has been packed up.  Things can be a bit dreary.  Back home, March is usually just as bad, which is even worse for me because I stubbornly continue to think it should be warm.  March, that should be spring, right?  WRONG, YOU GET A SNOWSTORM.  Hope that parka goes with your Easter ensem!

Things in Rome have been downright balmy compared to DC.  The weather claims the highs are close to 60.  I guess I can’t argue with the weather reporting professionals, but it doesn’t feel like 60.  40s and 50s, yes.  It is a damp cold, but the teens it is not.  Huzzah.

In case you are experiencing mega-cold let’s-build-a-fire type weather, consider these toasty Christmas market inspired drinks to warm you right up.  These drinks were great for walking the markets in Germany.  I think they would also be awesome on a chilly evening tucked up with a blanket.  You don’t even have to worry about paying extra for your cup deposit (pfand) and remembering to get your money back!


Mulled wine is a staple at Christmas markets.  You can find both white and red, but I’m all about that red.  There are about a million recipes online and I can’t claim to have found the best one, but you are probably looking at some combo of wine, cloves, sugar, and orange.

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If you like your gluhwein with a little more flair, consider trying a . . .


With a little help from wikipedia, I can tell you that this fun-to-pronounce drink involves a run-soaked sugar loaf being set on fire and dripped into gluhwein.  The main difference in the markets seems to be that feuerzangenbowle, aka fire-tongs punch, stands are usually covered with flames and fire.

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We tried it.  It was tasty.  I didn’t notice a huge difference from traditional gluhwein.  I was disappointed that nothing was lit on fire in front of me.

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The problem with gluhwein is that it can feel a little too Christmas-y.  If you want to mix up your flavors, allow me to recommend . . .

Fruity Gluhwein

In Nuremberg, we enjoyed some heidelbeer gluhwein.  Heidelbeer doesn’t exactly translate to something in the U.S.; it seems to basically be a European blueberry.  James and I ended up liking this a lot.  You could really taste the fruit.  I think this could be great with blueberry wine, strawberry wine, or any wine your grandmother would probably be really into.  I’m looking at you Manischewitz.

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If you are over hot wine, why not try a . . .

Hot Coconut

We got this on our trip to Tollwood.  I’m not translating here.  We literally ordered the “hot coconut.”  It was served in a half coconut bowl that I forgot to take a picture of.  I’m pretty sure it was just rum and coconut milk heated.  I’ve tried googling to confirm, but all sorts of delicious and more complicated recipes come up.  These sound pretty incredible if you have the time and inclination, but I’m pretty sure hot run and coconut milk together would be a simple win.

I would NOT, however, recommend that you try . . .


That’s right.  I tried hot beer.  The descriptions sounded amazing.  Beer with additions of vanilla and caramel flavors.  Beer with orange.  James and I both got a different flavor.

Yeeaah, it was still hot beer.  It is not something I would recommend.  I like the concept.  Hated the execution.

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We also tried the Stachelbier.  For this one, they put a hot poker into a cold beer, with the goal of creating hot foam.  The point is then to enjoy the hot foam with cold beer.  It was. . . interesting?  There was definitely hot foam on the beer.  I would not say it created any sort of unique flavor experience, but I’m glad we tried it.

And for the kiddos . . .


That’s right, zee Germans serve a hot punch for kids that looks like they are swigging hot wine along with everyone else.  We only got this once for Henry because it was HOT and there was the mess factor.  Henry can report that he really enjoys french fries dipped in his kinderpunsch.  Also, this is not a hot one, but Henry put a hurting on some apfelschorle, a carbonated apple drink, during the trip.

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Want to elevate your market-inspired drink experience?  Try these authentic market munchies.

Is it super cold where you are?  Do you have any favorite drinks to warm up by the fireside?  Do you have a fireside?  If so, I am definitely jealous!

I like to eat street meat

Granted, this post could have just been named “I like to eat” and it would be completely accurate, but inexplicably I ADORE eating while walking.  Something about food while on the move just makes me happy.  I sometimes joke (not really joking) that I could walk forever if you just kept feeding me things.  This is why I find it so strange that the Italians generally buy gelato and then stand/sit outside the store and eat it.  I supposed they would say they are savoring it.  I say, don’t you know you could take that gelato on the road??  Best. walk. ever.

Christmas markets are the perfect spot to indulge in an eat-and-walk.  And you can drink-and-walk too!  (But we’ll cover drinks later.)  It is pretty much the best thing ever.  It’s like the state fair, but classier and more festive.

Up first, we had plenty of actual meat.  Here, you can see me with your standard bratwurst.  We pretty much avoided the traditional Munich weisswurst, as we are not huge fans.  But we did have plenty of currywurst, which is a sliced bratwurst in a tomato curry sauce.  James also discovered a deep love for the Nurnberger bratwurst, which are smaller and served three or five to a roll.  As James will tell you, there is more surface area for more crispy skin deliciousness.  I thought the Nurnberger ones tasted a tad breakfasty, but very delicious.  There were fish sandwich vendors as well, but we never got around to trying it.

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Up next, the baumstriezel.  This was new to me, but it is not one I will soon forget.  It is basically just dough that sort of looks like it is cooked on a spit and topped with deliciousness.  We tried coconut, but preferred the simple sugar and cinnamon version.

Note the bundled toddler.  Henry will pretty much stay in the stroller as long as he is getting food.  Can't imagine where he gets it . . .

Note the bundled toddler. Henry will pretty much stay in the stroller as long as he is getting food. Can’t imagine where he gets it . . .

We also had a pretty epic strudel experience in Nuremberg.  Here is James with the hazelnut strudel.  When I ordered, the lady asked “apple or hazelnut?”  We opted for hazelnut, but when I went back, the strudel was all gone.  The moral of this story is that if a nice German lady asks “apple or hazelnut,” you should say “yes please!”

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We didn’t seem to take any pictures, but we also enjoyed french fries, crepes, and roasted almonds (both traditional and nutella-flavored).  And probably other things I’m forgetting.  You can ask James; I was constantly darting off, a few euro in my pocket and returning with something to eat.  It was awesome.

Some honorable mentions that we didn’t eat but looked fascinating.

Here, we have the schoko doner.  Instead of meat, you can see the pillar of chocolate that was shaved off into various things.

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And here, middle, you can see the marzipan potatoes.  Zee Germans are a little obsessed with marzipan and a lot obsessed with potatoes so I suppose this was inevitable.  I like marzipan as a sort of condiment to a dessert item.  This is a lot of marzipan.

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And a special note on lebkuchen.  Because you can’t mention a Christmas market and not talk about lebkuchen.  You can see some of them dangling in the photo above.  They are everywhere.  We did try an iced one.  They are sort of like gingerbread, but I like them less.  James seemed to enjoy it.  He brought some for his office and one of his colleagues who lived in Germany before said it took her back.  This is true.  Love it or hate it, lebkuchen = Christmas market.

Do you like a walk and eat?  I say it’s like a Sorkin walk and talk, only better!