After our unfortunate attempt to visit Nymphemburg Palace (read about it here), we were very excited about seeing the Munich Residenz, which was previously a Royal Palace.
This time, it was open and we actually made it inside, which was a good start. Ok, there’s potential we walked around the building a couple of times before we actually managed to find the entrance. (Yet again, Google is to blame.) Nonetheless, we did finally go in, and I’m so glad we did.
It was crazy busy in the entrance, I think because it’s where all tours start and finish, and the gift shop is also where you buy your tickets. But we joined the queue (being British it’s something we’re accustomed to) and put our stuff in the cloakroom before going for a wander.
It’s technically called a museum, I think because it’s now a complex of museums, with the treasury also housed there, but it’s a similar experience to visiting any other historical building; there are people in most of the rooms there to help you, some of whom are really fun. One girl told me to look in the mirror (which had a crown on it) and she said “Look now you are a princess” and then tried to help me coerce Hamilton into doing the same, which wasn’t something he leapt at the chance to do.
I’d say it took us roughly an hour to walk around the place, and it’s stunning. Really decadent in places, with huge chandeliers and decorations. Plus, there are some fun secret doors that you only realise are hidden once you’ve walked through and then can’t see where you just came out of. It’s a bit cold in places where they’re doing works though! It’s a big building though so you wouldn’t be blamed for not paying such close attention in these bits and picking up the pace in order to get back to the warm bits… In some places, we were completely on our own; at one point we were in a HUGE ballroom. Don’t worry, we did of course spin around etc – we wouldn’t waste any time in a huge old empty ballroom.
It’s a perfect activity for a few hours, as it isn’t too expensive and is right in the centre of town. I’ve heard it gets busy when it rains, but I can imagine it’s still a good option.
As this was our last day in Munich, we wanted to make the most of it, so once we’d finished here we went straight on to the Englischer Garten which is… Huge. I mentioned a few times the amount of steps we did in Munich and I can’t help thinking a good proportion of them were done in the Gardens. Like, oh my god, I did not realise how long it would take us to get up there. Luckily even though it was cold, the sun was shining so we still got to experience just how beautiful the gardens are: there were loads of people laid around on the grass with picnics, playing games, walking their dogs. A perfect weekend experience. I bet it’s amazing in summer!
The reason we were heading up there was because I had asked someone that used to live in Munich which Christmas Market was their favourite and they said the one in the Englischer Garten. So seeing as we hadn’t been there yet, we decided to make it our last stop.
This market is located by the Chinese Tower and yes, it’s nice because of the location, but I would stick with the bigger markets if you aren’t wanting to explore the gardens. We had a meander round, and got some food, but realised the things we wanted to buy were in the Marienplatz near our hotel, so jumped on the metro and went to the market before jumping back on the train and heading to the airport.
It was sad to say goodbye, but we had such a good trip and I’m sure it won’t be the last we see of Munich. Especially seeing as I’m yet to tick Neuschwanstein off my list!