My first trip to Munich was simply a stop over that lasted less than twenty-four hours. I went back a few weeks later, however, because I fell in love with this city. Part of the reason I did so was because of Mike’s Bike Tours.
Mike’s Bike Tours were so highly recommended by a friend of mine that even though my train arrived less than an hour before the tour was supposed to start, I rushed to check in at my hostel and then literally ran almost two miles to the starting point of the tour, just to make sure I didn’t miss my chance.
I was impressed from the very beginning: even though I was running a few minutes late, they still let me join the tour without any fuss, and as I walked up to the group they were already laughing together like they had known each other for longer than the last three minutes.
Our tour guide, PJ, was originally from Ireland so his English was of course perfect, but he had also been living in Munich for the last three years so his knowledge of the city was more than adequate. It was the perfect blend for a tour guide. He was funny, energetic, and very personable as he led us through the city on high quality bicycles. I felt safe on the German streets, even though I hadn’t been on a bike in years and had never used one for transportation like we did on the tour.
We were taken to the traditional historic stops and learned the stories behind them such as the Good Luck Lions and Shirkers Alley, both at Odeonsplatz. We also had a long ride through the Englischer Garten that let us get an idea of how modern day Germans spend their free time, which involves surfing in land-locked Munich — those Germans, so inventive!
© Scott Slomback – Flickr.com
The bike rental was included in the price, but lunch was not. We stopped at the Chinese Tower beer garden, which costs less than twenty euro and has options for everyone. While Germany is not particularly known for being vegetarian friendly, there were plenty of meat-free dishes including salads, different types of potatoes, Bavarian pretzels, and for the non-vegans a delicious cheese and peppers dip.
Of course it wouldn’t be Germany without beer. Because Germany is so relaxed about their drinking laws, we were able to have a variety of draft beers available right there in the park. They even offered a Radler, which is a delightful mixture of lemonade and beer that helps cover up the hoppy taste associated with most beers. It’s perfect for someone who normally doesn’t drink beer, and delicious even for someone who enjoys beer on a regular basis, but wants a drink that is a little more hydrating after all that bicycling.
I had less than twenty four hours in Munich so even though I missed out on the more popular and traditional tours of Dachau Memorial and Neuschwanstein Castle, I still left with a great appreciation for the city, having enjoyed myself more than I thought possible, and ready to return for another go at this wonderful Bavarian city.
Author Bio: Charlene comes from Canada and is currently exploring Europe. Keep an eye on the travel blog Charlene contributes to, My 30s Travel Blog to hear more about her European adventures.