A city break in Munich without breaking the bank

We asked writer Lana Nikolajeva, who has recently visited Munich, to give us her tips for visiting this great German city.

Having just come back from Munich, I can promise you that it’s a city worth seeing: the architecture, the food and the general atmosphere are all amazing. It’s not the cheapest European city, so I will give you some tips to make sure you don’t break the bank!

When to visit
Try to go off-season, or at least avoid Oktoberfest (22nd September to 7th October 2018); prices tend to rise significantly during this time, and you can get much of the same experience outside of Oktoberfest without paying the high prices.

For example, airline ticket prices around Oktoberfest are often roughly double what they would be at other times of the year.

Where to stay
When I’m going on a city break, what I look for in a hotel is a central location with good transport links, cleanliness, a private bathroom, and free WiFi. I am out for most of the day, and all I really need the room for is sleeping.

Using the price comparison sites you can narrow down your selection and also apply a price limitation. You can get a good basic room with a private bathroom in the centre of Munich from about 40-50 euros (35-45 pounds) per single room per night. It is also wise to book in advance and this usually brings down the price quite a bit.

Food
A lot of local beer gardens and halls will allow you to bring your own food as long as you buy the beer. Munich has a large population of students (the current estimate is 100,000) so bars and cafes close to the universities tend to be cheaper than the more touristy areas.

You can also enjoy delicious German bagels: they come with every filling imaginable, sold on almost every corner, and prices start from as little as 75 cents.

Neuschwanstein Castle
One of the main reasons people come to Munich is to cross Neuschwanstein Castle off their bucket list. This fairytale castle is around 100km southwest of the city by road, and takes just under two hours to reach.

You can get various tours to take you there, which cost around 55 euros for the transport. Entrance fee to the castle then costs 13 euros, or for roughly double this you can get a combination ticket that lets you also visit other places.

Some tours also include stops at the Linderhof Palace and the traditional German area of Oberammergau, but you can get a day Bavaria ticket from as little as 23 euros, and this will allow you use all public transport for the whole day.

Don’t be late getting to the castle: a group of 65 people goes into this mighty building every 5 minutes, and if you are more than 4 minutes late you may be refused entry.

Other places to visit 
There is an abundance of places you can visit for free in Munich; take a stroll from the royal Nymphenburg Park, enjoy the beauty of the English Gardens (watch out for topless sun lovers as it’s legal in the park), and visit amazing churches like Frauenkirche and Asamkirche in the old town.

For football enthusiasts, Bayern Munich football club has matches, tours, and experiences. In addition, many museums in Munich only charge an entrance fee of one euro on Sundays, which can also help to stretch your budget.