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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: nateo on February 06, 2014, 07:37:15 AM

Title: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 06, 2014, 07:37:15 AM
I've been in Munich for almost a week and thought I'd share some brief observations.

The beer stores (Getränkecenter) here are really cool. Most of the beer comes in the 0,5l bottles. I've seen a few 6-packs of the 0,33l bottles, but only a few of the biggest brands come in those. They cost between 0,75 and 0,95 euro, with a 0,08 euro bottle deposit.

So far my favorite Bierhalle was Hacker-Pschorr. It's on the Theresienplatz where they do Oktoberfest. The Weisswurst was great, and it seemed to be mostly locals there when I went. I didn't see any other tourists at Augustiner am Dom either. Schneider & Sohn was good too, but a bit touristy. Our waitress was an older lady, and she seemed very impatient with all the Russian tourists, but I speak a bit of German so she was very friendly to me. Hofbrauhaus was mostly tourists, and a few very drunk, very loud locals. The service there was pretty terrible, too, compared to the others.

The beer prices were typically 3,95 or 4,30 euro per 0,5l, and I think 7,60 for the 1L Maß in the Hofbrauhaus. As far as the quality goes, everywhere the beer was great. It definitely tastes different (and a bit better, to me) to drink it fresh, but it's not a night-and-day different from what you can find in the states.

Also, don't touch anything in the street-vendor stalls or you'll get yelled at.

It seems like most people in the city speak German. In the village I'm staying in there's a lot more Bairisch, which is almost totally incomprehensible to me. It sounds like Old English. Almost everyone can also speak German (or close enough), although I've run into a few old guys who either can't or won't speak German. Maybe half the people can speak limited English, but mostly the younger people. Most of the people over 30 don't seem to speak any (except for that waitress at Schneider, hers was very good).
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: phillamb168 on February 06, 2014, 09:22:40 AM
So if I understand correctly, the Germans call their beer shops "Drinking Centers." I love Germany.

I just gotta make it out there this summer. It sounds like so much fun.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 06, 2014, 01:23:14 PM
Was in Munich 1.5 years back, and boy did the beer prices seems high after 4 days in Bamberg, where the 0.5 liter beers were in the 1.90 to 2.10 Euro.

The older people did not get English in school, now the younger ones had up to 7 years before university. That may vary by location. The first time we were in Bamberg was 98, and it seemed like no one spoke English, but our German was functional. Last time in Bamberg we noticed many more locals with English skills.

I have to start practicing my German!
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: AmandaK on February 06, 2014, 01:52:59 PM
We are planning our honeymoon to Munich as I write this. Any more tips and tricks I should be aware of? Dates are 9/15-9/23, yes, during the beginning of Oktoberfest.

I'm practicing my German. I used to be fairly good, but lost it. Now that I'm learning it for the third time, it's coming back fairly quickly.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: gmwren on February 06, 2014, 02:29:48 PM
I used Larry Hawthorne's "The Beer Drinkers Guide to Munich" when I was stationed in Germany. Great resource for beer tourists in and around the city with good directions for mass transit and walking. I still have my first edition copy.

Try the Forschungsbrauerei (Experimental Brewery) in Perlach. Let me know if it is as good as I remember. It is a short walk from the S1 station.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: yso191 on February 06, 2014, 02:50:59 PM
I enjoyed Salzburg far more than Munich.  I could live in Salzburg.  However there are no breweries that I know of there.  The next time I go I think I'm going to take one of those river cruises.  Its not really beer oriented, but that's OK as I am not a major fan of light lagers which is all I came across over there.

In the Hofbrau house I had the option of a light beer, a darker beer or a lemonade beer  :o.  I chose the darker beer and my first reaction was that it was a less-sweet version of root beer.  I still had a hoot, but the beer was a disappointment.  I found no beer I thought was interesting in my travels in Germany, Austria and Hungary.

To be fair that was before I was a homebrewer, and I didn't know that much about beer styles - I just knew what I liked and didn't find any.  So I guess one would have to put more thought and research into finding specific beers/breweries/styles than I did because it didn't happen all by itself - which I honestly expected.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 06, 2014, 03:02:11 PM
I have to second the "Beer Drinker's Guide to Munich". There are more things to do besides beer drinking in that city. You can also go to some wonder breweries outside the city by rail - Ayinger, Andechs, Hofbrau Tegernsee, Weihenstephaner.

Steve - Salzberg has an Augustiner brewery that is fantastic, the Helles is perfect.


Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 06, 2014, 09:06:59 PM
They sell sodas, waters, Radlers, Spezi, etc in the Getränkecenters too, and some have wine, though not a whole lot.

The Hofbrau Helles was solid. Not amazing, but better than most of the blonde ales/whatever you can find in most brewpubs in the US. We just had the one liter then left. My friend was getting annoyed at the bad service, so I didn't want to stay any longer than that.

There's a brewery called "Unertl" I'd never heard of before. I don't think it's exported to the states. My friend said it's the best weizen in Bayern. I think Schneider's Tap 7 "User Original" is slightly better, but Unertl is still very good. I'd definitely grab some if you see it. 

So far I've really enjoyed Munich. It's really easy to get around by the subway and suburban trains. It reminds me of New York, but cleaner, cheaper, less-crowded, and with friendlier people. So I guess nothing like New York. . .

The Innenstadt is pretty crazy. It's kind of like Time Square. It's where all the tourists go, and it's expensive. Once you get a few blocks away from the touristy parts it's very quiet, clean, and a lot cheaper, too. A dinner may be 10-15 euros in the Innenstadt, but next door in Maxvorstadt it's more like 7-8, and if you keep going to Neuhausen it's cheaper still.

I've been using the ATMs from the Hypovereinsbank. I exchanged some money in O'Hare before I left, just to be safe, but it ended up costing me 13% due to the fees and bad exchange rate. The HVB ATMs give me exactly the exchange rate you see if you google "usd to euro," with no fees or anything. I haven't used any others, so I don't know if that's typical or not.

I really haven't been drinking all that much. The Viktualienmarkt is rad. If you're into good seafood, chocolate, and cheese, that's a pretty good place to go. Some of the produce there was really good too, if you can cook. I've been picking stuff up in the city and cooking at my friend's house most nights.

If you like parks, there are a ton of those. It's also pretty rad to just walk around and look at all the weird old buildings. I think the S7 (suburban commuter train) goes to Aying. I should make the trip down there next week when my friend goes back to work.

As far as restaurant etiquette goes, you need to ask for the check. You say "Bitte, kann ich zahlen" or something similar. The lady comes over, gives you the total, opens her change purse, and gives you your change. There are probably a lot of different opinions on tipping here, but according to my friend tipping isn't necessary, but if the service was good, 10% is reasonable. If the service was great, maybe leave 20%.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 06, 2014, 09:43:54 PM
What you said about Munich holds for most big cities including NY, well Munich is pretty clean. Munich can be fairly crowded and busy in the summer, remember you are there off season. It is still a big city, but not so many tourists. A Swedish friend said if you set on the famous square looking at the famous building it will cost twice as much as a place where you can not see the famous square or building. Held true all over Europe.

We always use the ATMs. The exchange bureaus at the airports is the worst way to do it. Convenience has a price. Deutche Bank or Commerzbank are what works well for us.

Viktualienmarkt is good. If you see any other street markets that happen about 2 times a week in town, check them out. Good fresh food, and usually snacks and sandwiches for cheap.

Tipping, it is customary to just round up. 10 or 20% is what tourists do. The servers are paid a good wage.

If you go to Aying, the place for Ayinger beer is Leibharts. It is near the church you can see from the edge of town. There are signs to the brewery, but I don't think they have a taproom. There is the Ayinger hotel, but they didn't seem to want out type in there - it goes for about 250 Euros a night or so. There is also a neat brewery called Forschingsbrauerie in Perlach between Aying and Munich.
http://forschungsbrauerei.de/





Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 06, 2014, 10:46:52 PM
Tipping, it is customary to just round up. 10 or 20% is what tourists do. The servers are paid a good wage.

Like I said I'm sure there's a range of opinions on what the custom is, even among natives. My friend grew up in the DDR and has lived in Munich for the last 20 years or so. He told me it's not strictly necessary to tip at all, but unless the service is bad, he usually leaves 10%, and more if the service is outstanding.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: ajk on February 07, 2014, 12:39:26 AM
Others know way more than I do about Munich, but I'll post my experiences anyway because I like talking about it.

Favorite biergartens:


Favorite places to eat/drink in the city:


Favorite places to visit just outside the city:


If you like to bike, I recommend Mike's Bike Tours.  They speak English (most of them as a first language), and you can do guided or self-guided tours of the whole city.  I did both (and you get a discount for repeat business).  On my own, I rode up to Nymphenburg Palace, stopped at Hirschgarden, toured the trendy Westend neighborhood, checked out the Oktoberfestplatz, rode down the Isar to a popular swimming hole and took a dip, and then finished things off at the Aumeister Biergarten in the English Garden.  Then it started pouring down rain and everybody went for cover.

Here are some photos (you're getting off easy with just four).

Ayinger: (http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a591/crt0/IMG_3106_zps90326463.jpg) (http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/crt0/media/IMG_3106_zps90326463.jpg.html)

Mackerel at Hirschgarten: (http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a591/crt0/IMG_3130_zpsd44265ac.jpg) (http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/crt0/media/IMG_3130_zpsd44265ac.jpg.html)

Tegerensee: (http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a591/crt0/IMG_3197_zps4d9c2ea4.jpg) (http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/crt0/media/IMG_3197_zps4d9c2ea4.jpg.html)

Aumeister biergarten in the rain: (http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a591/crt0/IMG_3193_zps5d418fb8.jpg) (http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/crt0/media/IMG_3193_zps5d418fb8.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 07, 2014, 12:51:07 AM
Great pictures ! I'm very envious.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2014, 12:57:42 AM
So you can get a beer at the Ayinger brewery? Did you need to be on the tour?

Edit - were you on the tour with some other Indianapolis people? You can't get into many of the German breweries unless you are on an organized tour.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: ajk on February 07, 2014, 01:04:47 AM
So you can get a beer at the Ayinger brewery? Did you need to be on the tour?

You know, it could be that you have to be on the tour.  They have a nice brewpub-like area, though, that seems like it could serve a lot of independent parties.  If you're in Aying, I'd check it out, even if you're not doing the tour.  The tour is good, though; we got Jahrhundert straight from the lagering tank.
(http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a591/crt0/IMG_3102_zps482df714.jpg) (http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/crt0/media/IMG_3102_zps482df714.jpg.html)

Nateo, how great for you to be having such a lengthy stay there!
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2014, 01:12:43 AM
So you can get a beer at the Ayinger brewery? Did you need to be on the tour?

You know, it could be that you have to be on the tour.  They have a nice brewpub-like area, though, that seems like it could serve a lot of independent parties.  If you're in Aying, I'd check it out, even if you're not doing the tour.  The tour is good, though; we got Jahrhundert straight from the lagering tank.
(http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a591/crt0/IMG_3102_zps482df714.jpg) (http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/crt0/media/IMG_3102_zps482df714.jpg.html)

Nateo, how great for you to be having such a lengthy stay there!

Yeah, you were on the tour with some folks I know (Sandy and Agatha, you were in some of their facebook posts).

A guy in our club has a picture when he threw a log of Beachwood into the Schlenkerla firebox to smoke the malt. He was on a big tour. Another guy I talked to was in Bamberg last fall and did not get a tour. That guy was Matt Bynildson, he was talking about being there and even asking Herr Trum. I't didn't work. Those Germans like to have things all set up.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 07, 2014, 01:17:13 AM
Wow, no clout for Matt !  That's pretty rigid !
Title: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: ajk on February 07, 2014, 01:24:51 AM
Yeah, you were on the tour with some folks I know (Sandy and Agatha, you were in some of their facebook posts).

Well, I know I was on the tour. I wasn't that drunk (yet)!

Quote
A guy in our club has a picture when he threw a log of Beachwood into the Schlenkerla firebox to smoke the malt. He was on a big tour. Another guy I talked to was in Bamberg last fall and did not get a tour. That guy was Matt Bynildson, he was talking about being there and even asking Herr Trum. I't didn't work. Those Germans like to have things all set up.

True. I'm a little surprised, though, given how brewpub-like the place is.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2014, 02:13:20 AM
Yeah, you were on the tour with some folks I know (Sandy and Agatha, you were in some of their facebook posts).

Well, I know I was on the tour. I wasn't that drunk (yet)!

Quote
A guy in our club has a picture when he threw a log of Beachwood into the Schlenkerla firebox to smoke the malt. He was on a big tour. Another guy I talked to was in Bamberg last fall and did not get a tour. That guy was Matt Bynildson, he was talking about being there and even asking Herr Trum. I't didn't work. Those Germans like to have things all set up.

True. I'm a little surprised, though, given how brewpub-like the place is.
The taproom is one thing, getting into the brewery up the hill is another.

I have been in the Spezial brewery, bkut that was after 3 or 4 nights there, and another American had a tour set up as he had been there for more than a week. We were able to tag along.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: ajk on February 07, 2014, 02:33:09 AM
Yeah, you were on the tour with some folks I know (Sandy and Agatha, you were in some of their facebook posts).

Well, I know I was on the tour. I wasn't that drunk (yet)!

Quote
A guy in our club has a picture when he threw a log of Beachwood into the Schlenkerla firebox to smoke the malt. He was on a big tour. Another guy I talked to was in Bamberg last fall and did not get a tour. That guy was Matt Bynildson, he was talking about being there and even asking Herr Trum. I't didn't work. Those Germans like to have things all set up.

True. I'm a little surprised, though, given how brewpub-like the place is.
The taproom is one thing, getting into the brewery up the hill is another.
Oh, sorry, I had circled back to talking about Ayinger again.  Yes, it was pretty clear the Schlenkerla brewery tour was a very, very special thing.  I don't think Sandy made it on that one, which was a shame.
Quote
I have been in the Spezial brewery, bkut that was after 3 or 4 nights there, and another American had a tour set up as he had been there for more than a week. We were able to tag along.
A Spezial tour hadn't been arranged for us, but I would have enjoyed that.  I did like their tap room, and I loved the biergarten.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2014, 02:44:49 AM
Yeah, you were on the tour with some folks I know (Sandy and Agatha, you were in some of their facebook posts).

Well, I know I was on the tour. I wasn't that drunk (yet)!

Quote
A guy in our club has a picture when he threw a log of Beachwood into the Schlenkerla firebox to smoke the malt. He was on a big tour. Another guy I talked to was in Bamberg last fall and did not get a tour. That guy was Matt Bynildson, he was talking about being there and even asking Herr Trum. I't didn't work. Those Germans like to have things all set up.

True. I'm a little surprised, though, given how brewpub-like the place is.
The taproom is one thing, getting into the brewery up the hill is another.
Oh, sorry, I had circled back to talking about Ayinger again.  Yes, it was pretty clear the Schlenkerla brewery tour was a very, very special thing.  I don't think Sandy made it on that one, which was a shame.
Quote
I have been in the Spezial brewery, bkut that was after 3 or 4 nights there, and another American had a tour set up as he had been there for more than a week. We were able to tag along.
A Spezial tour hadn't been arranged for us, but I would have enjoyed that.  I did like their tap room, and I loved the biergarten.
As I understand it, the Spezial Keller up the hill is the sister's place. The brewery and tap belong to Herr Merz. When the old man died he left the brewery to the son and the Keller up the hill to the daughter, and it has been somewhat a strained relation since. I have to say that the wife and I love both of them.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 07, 2014, 02:52:49 AM
Wow, no clout for Matt !  That's pretty rigid !
I think it had to do with no reservations. Matt was touring as I understand it. That is the way it is in Germany, you need reservations.

It was a conversation at Eccentric Day at Bells. Matt was the guest brewer this year. I had talked with him a few times before, so had no problems chatting him up again. It was a long rambling talk about Germany, the NHC, the automotive industry (I am a recovering automotive engineer), California, Firestone Walker and Pivo Pils (love it), Kalamazoo, and Bells. It was a good day!
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 07, 2014, 01:16:01 PM
When we went to Hacker-Pschorr, we just stuck our heads in the door to the brewery, and asked if we could look around. The guy working there gave us a brief tour, and then we hung out and talked about brewing for a while. It was pretty rad. Patrick (my friend) said that probably wouldn't have worked if they were busy, but it was around lunchtime and there was hardly anyone there.

The open fermenters were really cool to see, but the rest of the brewhouse was modern.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 10, 2014, 07:15:28 AM
Went to Augustiner Keller by accident yesterday, by Hackerbrucke street. Watched some people play Eisstockschießen for a while in the biergarten, and they had a hand-made crafts market in the bierhalle. It was pretty cool.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: AmandaK on February 10, 2014, 01:53:50 PM
Well, looking at the pricing for Munich during Oktoberfest... It would be as much as 7 months of my house payment. Jesus. I think we're staying in America.

I hope to get there someday.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: gmwren on February 10, 2014, 02:30:18 PM
Oktoberfest is fun, but I've had more fun at the local beer halls. The locals stay away from the Theresienweise with good reason. Lots of Italian young men running around trying to pinch women's butts, drunk English soccer hooligans trying to dance on the tables and Japanese tourist taking pictures of it all. Due to the crowds, you must have a seat to get a beer. It's best to tag team a table for your group so you can get food and drink and still get up to see the sights and most importantly, use the bathroom.

If you have the time, visit the Cannstatter Volksfest just outside of Stuttgart. They consider themselves to be the worlds second largest beer fest and it has a much more local flair.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 11, 2014, 08:45:02 AM
I don't really want to go to Oktoberfest. I'm not an agoraphobe or anything, but I'd rather have a quiet beer with friends than get black-out drunk with a million people. I mean, if I'm in the area, I might go (once).

It's definitely cheaper to go in the off-season. I found a one-way plane ticket for $600. I've been staying with a friend, which makes it cheap too, but there are cheap-ish hotels in the suburbs if you don't mind the train. The big hostels are actually kind of expensive, if you want a single or double room. There's an OK hotel in Maisach that's 25 euros a night for a single room. Even if you have to spend 8 euros a day for a train pass, it's a better deal than the hostels in the city. Plus I just like taking the train.

I went to Andechs yesterday. There are tour busses that can take you to the monastery, but I suggest taking the walking path (Pilgerweg). It's a really nice walk through the forest. It's maybe 4km, and it's uphill, so going there felt like it took a while, but coming back went fast.

I hung out with a retired Swiss army guy, and this group of older people shared their picnic lunch with me. Apparently Andechs is where all the pensioners hang out. It was really cool to hang out with them. That kind of thing is why knowing German is helpful. The day-to-day stuff you can get by fine with no/limited German, but it's harder to make connections like that if you can't talk to each other.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: mabrungard on February 11, 2014, 01:18:42 PM
Has anyone been there for Fruhlingsfest? I understand its the spring counterpart of Oktoberfest.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: gmwren on February 11, 2014, 01:37:38 PM
The spring festival is kind of scaled down, but again the Cannstatter Wasen is a great place to go. Located near Stuttgart in Bad Cannstatt, it is less touristy than the Munich fests and is the largest of the spring fests.

Where I lived in the Rheingau Wine region, the normally closed to the public wineries would open their doors to the public and serve special wine dinners. The goal was to travel to all the ones listed in a passport, get a stamp from each, and submit them for a raffle to win prizes.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 11, 2014, 01:56:11 PM
I know some guys from work that used to go now and then. They had business in Stuttgart and would hit both that gmwren mentioned. They liked the beer better, as it is Starkbierseit, so bigger was better for them.

The Rheingau has fond memories for the wife and I. We lived in Wiesbaden, and that is wine country, not beer country.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 20, 2014, 05:48:15 PM
Bonus London edition!

So I went to visit a friend in London. I know a week is hardly enough time to make a decision about a place, but here are my initial thoughts: I found a bunch of "craft beer" pubs here, but they were all super trendy, and crazy expensive. Like 6-10 pounds per pint, and quality was pretty middling, compared to "craft" beers in the US. But, maybe of the dozen or so I tried, I just got all the bland ones.

Also, a lot of the pubs are owned by chains now. Nicholson's pubs are decent, as far as selection and price (more like 4-5 pounds per pint), but my favorite were the Samuel Smith pubs. Many of them have the Old Brewery Bitter on cask/hand pump, and they all seem to have the Extra Stout on nitro. Their Dark Mild was good too. The pubs seem to be the stereotypical "British pub" of my imagination: 19th century styling, dark wood, and at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese the front door is on a narrow alley, and you can sit in the basement alcoves.

I have been pretty impressed by the ciders here. I had a handful of them at one of the craft places, and they were really good, although most tend to be pretty sweet.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 20, 2014, 06:13:05 PM
Bonus London edition!

So I went to visit a friend in London. I know a week is hardly enough time to make a decision about a place, but here are my initial thoughts: I found a bunch of "craft beer" pubs here, but they were all super trendy, and crazy expensive. Like 6-10 pounds per pint, and quality was pretty middling, compared to "craft" beers in the US. But, maybe of the dozen or so I tried, I just got all the bland ones.

Also, a lot of the pubs are owned by chains now. Nicholson's pubs are decent, as far as selection and price (more like 4-5 pounds per pint), but my favorite were the Samuel Smith pubs. Many of them have the Old Brewery Bitter on cask/hand pump, and they all seem to have the Extra Stout on nitro. Their Dark Mild was good too. The pubs seem to be the stereotypical "British pub" of my imagination: 19th century styling, dark wood, and at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese the front door is on a narrow alley, and you can sit in the basement alcoves.

I have been pretty impressed by the ciders here. I had a handful of them at one of the craft places, and they were really good, although most tend to be pretty sweet.

I went to Craft Beer near Farringdon Station a couple years back, and did not remember prices like that. Yow!

Euston Tap was pretty good, you could find some US beers on tap there, I drank the real ale though.

I remember the prices per pint about like my town in MI, except a little better when you were getting 20 oz. pints vs 16 oz. it would be sad to see those prices when we go back.

There is a guys in Burrough Market that sells cider from his farm in the new Forrest. You can get varietal ciders like ones made from Kingston Black.

Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: nateo on February 20, 2014, 06:18:24 PM
I got a head-flu yesterday, so that's put a damper on my drinking. Hopefully I'll rally enough to make it down to Borough Market before I leave on Monday!
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 20, 2014, 06:26:02 PM
I got a head-flu yesterday, so that's put a damper on my drinking. Hopefully I'll rally enough to make it down to Borough Market before I leave on Monday!
Foodie paradise. Buy enough for a lunch.

The Rake is a new craft bar. The Market Porter is on Stoney St. By the Market, great selection of ales, but it can be crowded. Not far, across Bourough High St is the. George Inn, where Shakespeare is said to have put on plays. A ways south is the Royal Oak on Tabard St, a Harvey's Pub. Their line of beers should be tried.
Title: Re: Initial thoughts on Munich
Post by: raphi on December 06, 2014, 10:39:33 AM
I don't really want to go to Oktoberfest. I'm not an agoraphobe or anything, but I'd rather have a quiet beer with friends than get black-out drunk with a million people. I mean, if I'm in the area, I might go (once).

It's definitely cheaper to go in the off-season. I found a one-way plane ticket for $600. I've been staying with a friend, which makes it cheap too, but there are cheap-ish hotels(found at hotelscheap.org (http://)) in the suburbs if you don't mind the train. The big hostels are actually kind of expensive, if you want a single or double room. There's an OK hotel in Maisach that's 25 euros a night for a single room. Even if you have to spend 8 euros a day for a train pass, it's a better deal than the hostels in the city. Plus I just like taking the train.

I went to Andechs yesterday. There are tour busses that can take you to the monastery, but I suggest taking the walking path (Pilgerweg). It's a really nice walk through the forest. It's maybe 4km, and it's uphill, so going there felt like it took a while, but coming back went fast.

I hung out with a retired Swiss army guy, and this group of older people shared their picnic lunch with me. Apparently Andechs is where all the pensioners hang out. It was really cool to hang out with them. That kind of thing is why knowing German is helpful. The day-to-day stuff you can get by fine with no/limited German, but it's harder to make connections like that if you can't talk to each other.

I was at Oktoberfest once, but its definitly not the only reason to go there(I mean, it was fun, really, everybody  who likes beer should go there once). But as you mentioned, the Andechs monastery is a nice place, and there are several old monasterys, churches and really beatiful old castles and ruines in the area, since Munich has allways been a rich and important city back in the days.