Three days in Munich

11 September 2016

One of the reasons we agreed to this relocation to Germany was the chance to travel around Europe. My husband goes to Münich often for business, so before school started, we decided to tag along.

three days in Munich with kids

I know we’ll be in Munich again, so we didn’t try and cram everything in. I find travelling with a seven year old is a lesson in picking a few things and taking your time.

Marienplatz, Munich
Marienplatz, Munich

The Englisch Garten

This huge park is in the middle of the city, and easy to reach by transit. There are many many playgrounds, and we just stopped at three or four as we wandered. Elliot’s favourite was right next to the big biergarten surrounding the Chinese Tower. You can ride a beautiful carousel from 1905 for €1 a go. Terrifically, no adults are allowed on it, so you can sit for a minute.

Surfers on Eisbach canal, Munich
Surfers on Eisbach canal

Check out the surfers on the Eisbach canal at the far south end of the park. It’s mesmerizing.

Englisch Garten, Munich
Englisch Garten

If you’re exhausted, you can flag down one of the pedicabs for a ride or a tour. It’s not cheap – €35 or so will get you a tour. A cheaper option is taking out a pedal boat on the lake, it’s €10 for half an hour.

Carousel in Englisch Garten, by the Chinese Tower
Carousel in Englisch Garten, by the Chinese Tower
Playground by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten
Playground by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten
Biergarten by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten
Biergarten by the Chinese Tower, Englisch Garten

The biergartens serve the usual bratwurst, french fries, soft pretzels (brezeln), sauerkraut, onion salad, and potatoes – as well as giant vats of beer. You can bring your own food as well, so if you’re planning to make a meal of it, swing by a REWE or Edeka beforehand for some vegetables.

Hellabrunn Zoo

Easy to reach by bus, the zoo can easily take up a whole day. There are several playgrounds, and a little mini theme park called Kinderland complete with ride-on cars, a minitrain, a beautiful carousel, and a digger. Kinderland involves buying tokens for the rides, so keep that in mind.

Carousel in the Hellabrunn Zoo
Carousel in the Hellabrunn Zoo

In the middle of the zoo there’s a biergarten right next to the biggest playground. There’s also a sit down restaurant on the terrace above if you’re looking for burgers instead of sausages.

Biergarten in Hellabrunn Zoo
Biergarten in Hellabrunn Zoo
Feeding the acrobatic pigeons at the Hellabrunn Zoo
Feeding the acrobatic pigeons
Hellabrunn Zoo, Munich
Hellabrunn Zoo

It’s worth checking the schedule of feedings and shows before you head out. The shows are in German, so if you don’t speak the language it’s a bit less interesting. We watched the acrobatic pigeon show, though, and it was fun anyway. The pigeons kept landing on people’s heads!

Our favourites were the Bat Cave, where the bats fly around your head and occasionally bump into you, and watching the penguins zip through the water.

Ask at the entrance gate for a map in English, and one in German to practice your animal names!

Taxisgarten, Munich
Taxisgarten, Munich

We visited Taxisgarten, a local biergarten recommended by my husband’s colleagues. Again, it’s furnished with a playground, and features the usual food options. It’s beautiful on a warm summer evening, with lights strung up in the trees. You can bring some of your own food here too, so bring some extras if your kids are like mine and will only eat Brezel.

Where to find playgrounds >> should you be in Munich and need to find the nearest playground, try this great searchable outdoor playground (spielplatz) database. You can plug in your children’s ages and where you are, it will give you the closest playgrounds. It’s in German – I’m sure you can find your way through, but if you’ve got the Chrome browser with the translation plug-in it makes it very easy.

 

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