River Surfing, Biergartens and Old Friends in Munich, Germany

In the summer of 2019 my best friend and I went on a journey around Europe together. Our first stop was Dublin, Ireland and our second was Munich, Germany. We were there for four days and spent most of the day exploring and the night exploring the Biergartens and recreating our own Oktoberfest.

Where We Went

Marienplatz & Rathaus-Glockenspiel – when you see pictures of Munich it is almost always of this building. It’s a beautiful gothic building with one tall tower in the middle. Once a day the clock on the building plays a song ands the small characters move around. A bunch of people gather in the square to witness this daily. There is also some great shopping in the area with a lot of the most popular European/ German stores anything from Oysho to Pull & Bear to Adidas and Birkenstock.

River Surfing in Englischer Garten – think surfing is impossible in Munich since it’s inland? I thought so too until I got to Munich and saw the river surfing. There is a river that runs through Englischer Garten if you follow the river for a while you will see a group of waves about 1 meter high. Experienced surfers can be found there riding the waves. It’s really interesting to watch the surfers walk along the concrete bank of the river throw down their boards and jump onto them. They then ride the front wave for however long they can hold on. One of the men riding the wave was particularly interesting to watch he had great control he could lie down on the board with his hands behind his head and do all sorts of tricks all while keeping perfect balance. After watching the river surfers we walked to a nearby Biergarten and had a liter of beer and some snacks.

Where We Drank

Hofbräuhaus – this is the most famous beer hall in Munich. When I think of German beer I think of that HB logo on the mugs. It is a huge hall with long wooden tables. They have these huge liters of beer, pretzels and of course lots of people in lederhosen. Every few minutes while we were there they would ring a bell and people would clap or slam the tables while the band played music. It is a great place to go to have an experience that feels really authentically German.

Augustiner-Keller – speaking of authentically German there is nothing as authentic as the place where Oktoberfest is hosted. This Biergarten is amazing it’s outside with long tables. We ended up overlapping our time there with a few people I knew from college (shout out to Nick and Hannah) so we met them there and had a great time. After a liter of beer we ended up on the playground that was there seeing how fast we could go on the swing. It was a great night and so fun to see people I know in Europe hearing about their adventure and telling them about ours.

Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm – this is another great outdoor Biergarten we went right after watching river surfing and it was a great place to hang out on a beautiful, sunny day. We got liters of beer and Katie got a frankfurter and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. It was a great way to spend an afternoon after seeing such a cool thing like river surfing.

Where We Ate

Spago Ristorante – it was hard to find a lot of places that were open surprisingly since we were there during the week. We ended up eating a roll or pastry every morning and then getting dinner at a place near our hotel. There was a great Italian place across the street that ended up being good with my allergies and had the most delicious pasta. We went there two of the nights we were there and would probably go back if we visited again.

Max Pett – This is a vegan restaurant at the end of the block where we stayed. It was good but a little strange it had a lot of different flavors but ended up being a good experience overall. I got a piece of apple cake for dessert when we were leaving that ended up being my favorite part. It is not very often that I am able to eat sweet things like cake or cookies so it was a good treat.

Where We Stayed

Centro Hotel Mondial – we booked this hotel off Hotwire it ended up being small but nice. We had two twin beds that were kind of pushed together into one bed (there wasn’t much space for them to be apart). We had a great balcony which kept the room cool with no A/C. I don’t know if I would stay there again but it was nice for the time that we did stay there.


We really liked Munich it was a little break the constant partying of our trip through Europe. I think if we did it again though we probably would’ve added another party city since that was the point of our trip. The architecture and scenery in Munich are beautiful and we got to buy some German apparel (Birkenstock’s) for less than in the US and see some great friends.


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