On our first full day in Munich, we took the U-bahn to Odeonplatz to look for a place to have breakfast and explore on our own before the Sandemans free Munich tour at 1pm. The San Francisco Coffee Company became our daily breakfast place due to convenient location, reasonably priced lattes (or hot chocolate) and tasty croissants.
Although it was freezing cold throughout our stay, all the holiday decorations and cheerful faces helped keep us going. We also discovered small Christmas markets seemingly in every courtyard!
Dianatempel in the Hofgarten
Eventually, we made it to Marienplatz for the start of the tour. We missed the (in)famous glockenspiel show, but according to our very amusing guide, it’s not altogether exciting. Despite the frigid temperatures, over 60 people showed up for the tour, so our guide certainly had his work cut out for him in keeping us all together.
One of the more interesting things about Munich is that much of it has been rebuilt over the last hundred years… so even though this is the “new” town hall, the old town hall has actually been rebuilt more recently. So, the old town hall is newer than the new town hall. Awesome.
Like many churches in Europe, the outside of the Frauenkirche is shrouded due to construction but the inside is wide open and lovely. It will also continue to be the tallest landmark in Munich, as the city prohibits any building taller than 109 meters in the city center. Along the ceiling there are crests and faces representing the architects and in the foyer lies the “devil’s footprint” (Teufelsschritt) which looks to be about size 10.5B.
After a short stop for refreshments (read: glühwein), the three hour tour broke up at the Jewish Museum in St. Jakobsplatz. It was getting dark, so we slowly wandered back to our S-bahn station via another manger market, this one in Rindermarkt near St. Peter’s Church.
The Sandemans tour guides work solely on tips so you give what you felt the tour was worth. We enjoyed the tour and I highly recommend spending some time exploring the alleys and churches this way; we learned a lot and had a great time.