Route and arrival
My small pack and I arrived in Munich from Köln through Frankfurt. The distance is quite long – it’s around 5 hours driving but add up rest time and it goes up to 6 hours. We also stopped by Frankfurt to have a quick stroll and look at the Opera house (Alte Oper) and the surrounding area.
Via Frankfurt am Main
I didn’t know much about Frankfurt when we decided to drive through it but I was nicely surprised. After the business and crowdedness of city centre Köln, Frankfurt was a breath of fresh air. We visited it on a Sunday afternoon so maybe that contributed to the experience – I found it quiet with people strolling leisurely and enjoying the beginning of the festive season. The building of the Opera house was an impressive old structure – the area is closed off and you can enjoy it without being disturbed by traffic. There are two park areas around it, one of them quite big with a lake for a central point. The colours in autumn are beautiful and only add up to the enjoyable experience. Continue walking and you’ll end up at the closed off shopping district. It was a slight surprise to me that almost every shop on Sunday was closed (compared to full-on weekend life in Dublin, Ireland for example). There were open coffee houses and eateries but even they were somewhat quiet. Nevertheless, I did enjoy our walk and the Christmas decoration and autumn nuances only contributed to my delight.
Accommodation in Munich
The best Airbnb accommodation we’ve had so far. Our hosts were originally from Ukraine but they were also well-travelled and have lived in multiple German cities for years. The building was old but completely renovated and brought back to life – it was simply stunning. The apartment was completely modernised – there were four bedrooms, three of which rented out through Airbnb and the last one occupied by our hosts. There were the cosiest bathroom and most charming arty kitchen as well. Everything was done with care, precision and consideration.
One thing about Germany – it’s absolutely quiet after about 9-10 pm in the residential areas. Where we have been so far – there hasn’t been an exception. Local people respect their neighbours and it’s extremely peaceful and quiet. Truly, you can’t even hear cars passing by, possibly due to proper house insulation as well.
On an unexpectedly sunny day we walked (and Sylvie scooted) to the Munich central district. After each turn we encountered another beautiful building. I kept repeating “This is impressive“, “This is amazing”. Every single construction was a piece of art. It felt somewhat Italian around Munich – in a way that the architectural feeling was reminding of Milan or even Florence. I’m not sure whether that was due to the sunny warm day but it was beautiful, bright and light. It wasn’t too busy, people were hanging out and sitting in chairs in the green open spaces, and everything felt elevated. I was truly impressed and loved it.
The Olympic tower
The Olympiaturm is a 291 metres tall tower and it’s located in the Olympia Park which was built for the 1972 Olympic Games. This is a big area consisting of a stadium, swimming hall, park, lake and more. There is also the Olympic village nearby which hosted the athletes during the games. From the tower you can observe all this plus a 360° view of Munich and the Alps in the background.
History fact: Unfortunately, a sad historical incident has marked this spectacular area. You can read more about it here.
Personally I enjoyed Munich better than Köln, perhaps because the day was warm and sunny and I felt better welcomed and prepared. I understand that an experience is coloured by so many factors so I wouldn’t say Munich is more fun than Köln. But I’ll say I had better fun myself. I was impressed by the city in any way but at the same time I don’t know what it’s like to live there. But I’d like to come back and taste more of the local life for sure.
Some of the many photos I’ve taken: