So last weekend we spent in Innsbruck, a beautiful lesser regional capital with a very cool club if you enjoy live music (the pmk). Apparently I’m the mayor of it on foursquare at the moment. So anyways…
Last year we were there a few times…twice for sight-seeing and once for a concert. Although it is possible to do Innsbruck (sight-seeing) in a day from Munich…either you won’t see much at all or you’ll be completely exhausted from running around all day…leave EARLY and come back late (early is more important as museums, castles, palaces, and churches close by sun down or earlier).
I recommend 2-3 days, quite similar to Salzburg…though Salzburg is much prettier…
I enjoy being in Innsbruck…but I certainly wouldn’t want to work there as a tour guide…
So yeah…things you should not miss:
The cenotaph of Max I (it’s in a church, across from the palace, gotta pay to enter, but it’s well worth it)….castle Ambras….and the museum of the golden roof…the imperial palace is nice as well, but we’ve got much better in Munich
Want a more impressive run-down on what is in Innsbruck and my opinions of each? ask in the comments or e-mail me! (I just don’t want to write a novel if no one cares )
As many of you know, I used to do the Radius “Bavarian beer and food tour.” Last night I went on the tour with a group of fellow guides & Radius employees as well as a few tourists. I rarely go on tours from other guides…just as most guides rarely go on mine. It’s usually very annoying to me so I sneak away from the group and try not to listen to the guide. There are many reasons for this…
Anyways, so last night I went with the group to the Beer and Oktoberfest Museum (which is great), had a few beers there & then went on to eat at the Hofbräu Keller (which is a highly recommended restaurant for good reason), and then we ended up at the infamous Hofbräuhaus. Well, okay, to be fair we continued after that…but not with the full group.
This is actually a fairly typical night out, partly because so many of the places in Munich close by 11 or 12. So then you have to hunt for a smaller hole in the wall that will let you drink for another hour or two.
Several companies these days to pub crawls, but when we created the Bavarian Beer and Food Tour we were the first to focus on the actual TOUR…the beer and its role in Bavarian culture. Depending on the group as well as the guide, however, in practice the tour can make many detours and digress very quickly into a drink-a-thon pub crawl with food thrown in for the hell of it. Half truths filling in for reality and accepted because of either pandering to nationalism or an emphasis on entertainment rather than correctness.
I think it may be impossible to do a proper beer tour day after day without this variance though. That may be a big part of why I don’t do the tour any longer. At least not for random groups.
I love beer. I love Bavarian culture. I love Munich. *sigh* oh well.
Want a private beer tour? €220 + the price of the beers and I can make it happen. Please enquire at least three weeks in advance of the proposed tour date. Cheaper if you don’t mind me drinking soda while you’re drinking beer, that way I can work the next day.
Really, it’s not good. Snow has been falling the last couple of days and although it hasn’t amounted to hardly anything (it’s pretty much all gone), it makes a tour guide’s life hell. It’s just cold and wet…that’s no fun.
Wednesday I had a Neuschwanstein tour…it mostly drizzled and you couldn’t see anything. The tour group were all happy at the end of the tour, but it really is hard to make someone actually HAPPY when you can’t show them anything. The good part is for those moments that you CAN see the building from further than 20 feet away, there is no longer any scaffolding covering it!
I keep having Spanish people on my tours…yet they say they have 25% unemployment. Rather odd.
Supposedly they have a special glühbier this year at the Christmas market…gonna have to try it soon. Tomorrow we’re going to Die Toten Hosen…it’s been years since I’ve seen them…
As with every year the tour numbers have taken a nose dive for a few weeks, but now that the Christmas markets are up and running I expect my next few tours to be busy. Along with the Christmas markets, we should have REALLY horrible weather later this week. I’ll be down at Neuschwanstein tomorrow and it should be raining with a high of 40F. The problem with this is that will probably be the forecast for every day until March…possibly April. I hope I’m wrong.
I’ve gotten a few e-mails over the last few months wanting very specific/odd private tours. I usually don’t do them if they’re hard to get to by public transportation because, well, although I have a driver’s license…I don’t have a commercial driver’s license. Also, I really do want to feel like I’m actually doing you a service when I give a tour, not just bringing you places. I know, most of my colleagues would just tell me to take the tour and pocket the money and who cares….well, the problem is that I do. Glühwein sounds good about now…
It’s black friday, but I don’t have time to shop. At the moment I’m on a train out toward where I used to live. This is a test to see how this app for my phone works with wordpress…so far so good.
Speaking of where I used to live, Seefeld, there’s a massive 14th century castle there that may be well worth a visit on your way to Andechs monastery…well, that is if you like Egyptian stuff.
However, I won’t be at KFC very long. My wife and I will be hurrying in order to get to a concert of a French band, Uncommonmenfrommars. Technically, I believe 3 of the 4 members have American passports as well as French…so you could say I’m celebrating Thanksgiving with other Americans…er, so.
Anyways, Thanksgiving has always been a weird time of year to be an expat. These days all the relatives chime in via Skype, but it’s certainly not the same experience. I was serious when in the headline I wrote that we’re going to KFC…because, well, that’s as close as I’m going to get to a thanksgiving meal on a Thursday which is also a work day…and unlike Germans and most American expats, I don’t just move holidays.
I also just wanted to mention my friend’s blog, @ http://freshbreadripenedcheeseandabottleofwhine.wordpress.com/ …he’s an American expat as well, but not a tour guide. He teaches English and American culture…and watches a heck of a lot of American football, which is what I get to avoid by being here instead of with my family in Minnesota.
Happy Thanksgiving, hope everyone has a wonderful day…
In about a week, Germany is going to be completely covered in middle aged tourists seeking the best of the Christmas markets. I have been to a couple dozen throughout the region many, many times…and here are my top choices for Christmas markets within three hours of Munich:
- Augsburg – This is my favorite Christmas market not because of the city itself being the most historically interesting city in Southern Germany, but because it is a beautiful Christmas market, has its own unique “Christmas show” at the Rathaus (daily I believe?), is one of the larger markets, and does not have the crushing crowds of Munich, Salzburg, and Nuremberg.
- Nuremberg – The largest and most famous of the bunch, it can be ridiculously busy in the evening. Then again, to truly see it…you HAVE to be there in the evening…during the day just will not do. So…good luck.
- Landshut – Landshut is a beautiful town closer to Munich’s airport than Munich itself. The Christmas market there is on the main pedestrian only street which is lined with historic houses and a charming atmosphere that the big cities just cannot attain.
- Munich’s main market (at Marienplatz) – It’s busy, it’s not centralized, but it does have everything that all the others have…and the New Town Hall works really wonderfully for Christmas photo backgrounds…
- Würzburg – With it’s large market square, this medium sized city has what makes for a much nicer market than most larger towns in the region. (the problem with Würzburg is it’s location, see #7)
- Innsbruck – Innsbruck has several Christmas markets thoughout its historic old town. Certainly not the largest nor most beautiful Christmas market; it is quite charming.
- Rothenburg – Cutey-small Christmas market in a beautifully well preserved walled city. What more do you want? (the problem is that it’s 3+ hours from Munich each way…so I’d recommend an overnight stay, possibly in nearby Würzburg)
- Munich’s Tollwood Festival (at the Oktoberfest grounds) – It’s more of a high-end hippie fest than a Christmas market, but it still has its charms…and much of it is in door, which is quite welcome if you’re touring Christmas markets!
- Regensburg – A smaller Christmas market in this ancient river town, in my opinion vastly over-rated. Skip-able…
- Salzburg - If you could delete 75% of the people, this would be a wonderful Christmas market…but be warned: I refuse to do tours to Salzburg during the Christmas market for a reason. The crushing crowds, even at noon, are too much for all but the most hardcore of angry people.
Augsburg’s Christmas Market
Munich’s main Christmas market (taken just a 1 min walk south of Marienplatz)