Glimpses of Munich #4: Flaschenöffner

When I started this project I had no intention of sticking to historical places, but rather to try and keep it random.  Keeping that in mind, I present the Flaschenöffner.

Tourists are always looking for the best place to drink when in Munich and I can tell you with great certainty that it is probably the Hofbräuhaus or Augustiner Keller that you should be visiting.  The problem in saying that is midnight will come around and you will be looking for “just another beer.”  There are several options at this point, but sadly this too shall pass.  At three in the morning you find yourself either calling it a night or searching for a rare bar that is still open and will serve you in the state that you find yourself in at this hour.  It is at this point where I would recommend stumbling your way to the Flaschenöffner for another few CREW Republic beers.  When they throw you out it’s 5am…so go watch the sun come up on the banks of the Isar.  Don’t forget to grab a beer for the road, after all it IS the bottle opener.

The Flaschenöffner is only a five minute walk from the Marienplatz or a short U-bahn (U1 or U2 to Fraunhoferstrasse) ride if it is still running at that point.  There also happens to be a tram stop right there (tram 18 or N27).  Anyways, the address is:  Fraunhoferstraße 37


Glimpses of Munich #3: body parts

Pope Eleutherius’s skull

When my kind of people think of sightseeing in Europe, one of the first things on their minds is checking out all of the dead people on display.  In Munich, there is a full skeleton just off of Marienplatz, but today I want to point out the largest collection of random bones from corpses of possible saints in Bavaria.

In 1557 Pope Paul IV gave Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria permission to start collecting relics.  Wilhelm is well known today in Munich for founding the Hofbräu brewery, building St. Michael’s church, founding the Old Schleissheim Palace, forcing all protestants out of the country, bankrupting the state,  and eventually abdicating.  I guess I should also mention that his wedding is at the center of the glockenspiel, which is that thing that goes on at Marienplatz that you could just watch on youtube (don’t, it should be watched in person) if you want.  Wilhelm V’s son, Elector Maximilian I, expanded the collection to what we see today.

The collection of relics is kept in a room half way through a tour of the Residenz in downtown Munich.  It is a vaulted chamber with sixty display cases of mostly small bones that were originally displayed in the Reiche Kapelle, which is also in Munich’s Residenz.  However, the best part is probably having a glimpse at Saint John the Baptist’s 4th skull.  That’s right, according to the Catholic Church he had four heads, or there was a horrible trade in fake relics for a few hundred years, one or the other. 

Before you go:  As mentioned, the reliquaries are located inside the Residenz museum which is a sprawling palace in downtown Munich.  The entrance is just off of Max-Joseph-platz and the entry fee as of 2018 is €7 for the entire museum.  You can check out the map here.  Audio guides are free with paid entrance.  Expect to spend two hours or more in the museum.

On a side note:  if bones don’t do it for you, have a look at the preserved organs over in Altötting.  The hearts of the Wittelsbachs are on display daily in the Gnadenkapelle and the body of Count Johann Tilly of the thirty years war fame is in the crypt of the Stiftspfarrkirche St. Philipp und Jakob immediately next door.  Don’t worry, I’ll have more disturbing posts later in the year.

Glimpses of Munich #2: Blood Castle

Blutenburg, directly translated to blood castle, sounds like an awesome name for a medieval castle, doesn’t it? (unfortunately it is now called Schloss Blutenburg, so its name is now “palace blood castle,” which isn’t quite as fun)

This medieval castle was built between 1438 and 1501 for Duke Albrecht III and his son Duke Sigismund. As with most castles in the area, it was neglected at some point, in this case during the 30 years war, and later restored.  Restoration took place in the late 17th century and unfortunately they did not bother to restore its full defenses and therefore some of its castle character.  Still, it retains the castle structure and definitely looks beautiful in its little park.  I would go so far as to say it is the only “real” castle left in the city limits of Munich.  (both the Alter Hof and the Residenz at one point were castles, but they’ve been modified so many times that you can’t see it any longer)

What I love about this castle is its appearance and its slightly hidden location.  Most tourists will never see it, which makes it a little more fun for those that do.

Getting there as a tourist is a BIT more difficult than pretty much anything in your guide books, but these days you just download your MVV app and away you go…


Unfortunately for places like this I don’t have great pictures that I’ve taken myself.  Below is an open source picture, but you can find many more on google.

Glimpses of Munich #1

I love Munich.  I lived there for ten years…my wife is from Munich, my son is from Munich…and well, I spent many hundreds of hours walking its streets in some sort of a weird “Lost in Translation” sort of thing.  Anyway, friends of ours are going to visit Munich this year and one of my first thoughts was that they are odd tourists who might want to see and do things that the average tourist probably would never stumble into.

SO, that being said, I’m going to start posting somewhat random places that I think are interesting in Munich.  Some might be interesting to you, some might not…we’ll see.

Oh, what about the picture at the top?  That has nothing to do with this post as it’s 2 hours South-West of Munich and you know all about it anyway…but it got your attention.

Anyway, below is my first one.  This is a statue that most tourists don’t see because of its location…except maybe during the Oktoberfest.  Holy Roman Emperor Ludwig IV “The Bavarian” used to get quite a lot of attention on some of my tours, but unfortunately all I could show tourists, as far as statues of the man himself, was a dismal one outside of his former castle, The Alter Hof (map).

It’s probably not worth your while to find it if you’re in town for a few days, but…you know, if you’re wandering around town like me…


Denkmal Kaiser-Ludwig

This guy only gets a look from random Oktoberfest visitors…you can find him at Kaiser-Ludwig-Platz 8

Project rediscover the Midwest.

I have recently moved back to Minnesota.  I know many (including myself sometimes) never thought I would move back (it was 10 years), but I have moved…and it’s been interesting.

Why the move?  Many reasons, but at the end of the day it’s what my wife and I decided long ago and we’re giving it the old college try.  Is it permanent?  Who knows.

What am I going to do with this site?  Hopefully be more active again and become entrenched in Minnesota tourism.  I really do love to travel and I don’t think moving to Minnesota will change anything other than flight possibilities.

So far this year we’ve done a fair amount of new touristy things in the area, but from this point on I’ll hopefully post about them here.

I call it project rediscover the Midwest as that’s what this is: a rediscovering.  Many of the places and things I plan to see and do I have seen and done before, but in what seems like a lifetime ago in a weird dream.  This time I’m showing my wife and child the intricacies of my culture while at the same time checking out things I’ve wanted to do since I can remember.  Also, thanks to the internet, I now know of options I never knew existed…making the list of options almost endless.  Project rediscover the Midwest will take years, but it should be fun and you’re welcome to join us…if you have ideas, post’em!

Radius started a blog

Radius Tours, the main tour company I’ve worked with since 2005, is having its 25th anniversary this month!  It’s time to party while trying to conduct tours…

Anyways, the company has started its own blog which you can find here:

Please like, share, and take a few tours if you’re in town 🙂


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…

Innsbruck Christmas market


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 🙂 )