A Basic B Abroad: Munich 

Oh, Munich! This place actually might have stolen my heart. We spent 5 days here and while there weren’t as many attractions as our other stops, I found this city to be the best! It was easy to navigate, the people were friendly, and the city was absolutely beautiful. The main reason we stopped here was to go to Oktoberfest, but we also got to tour the Bavarian Alps, and see Dachau, the concentration camp near the city.

Oktoberfest

We went on the Friday of the 2nd weekend of Oktoberfest (Italian Weekend). I would highly recommend going during the week, or on a Friday. For reference, we got there at 8:30 (Doors to the tents don’t open until 10), but we probably would have been safe getting there before 9:30. It was crowded, but we had no problem getting a place at table in the Hofbrauhaus tent. This tent is quite rowdy; it seemed like most of the American students who were studying abroad wound up here.

Beer is served in a Mass, which is a liter glass, with the equivalent of 4 AMERICAN shots worth of alcohol. My only advice is to PACE YOURSELF. Have a beer, eat a pretzel or sandwich, then maybe have a Radler before your next mass. There are people walking around with foods inside the tents so it’s easy to grab food. It’s cash only too, so make sure you get plenty out before going. For reference, I had about 80 euros with me (and I barely spent any as we ended up at a table with a bachelor party….they bought all our drinks….hehehe).

Also, don’t forget that Oktoberfest is actually a festival. There is also plenty of food and rides outside of the beer tents to enjoy. I would recommend doing the Ferris wheel, as it gives you a great view of the city.

The City of Munich & Beyond

The next day, we explored the city. Marenplatz is the town center, with plenty of churches, restaurants and stores to explore. I think we went there nearly everyday for food. Then on Sunday, we got to take a trip to the Bavarian Alps to see the Neuschwanstein castle, which was Disney’s inspiration for the Beauty and the Beast castle. See photos below.

Finally, on Monday, we went to visit Dachau. I don’t have much to say other than that I will ever forget the feeling in the air at that place. It was hauntingly beautiful as we were there on a balmy 70 day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but the atmosphere, it was heavy. I would definitely suggest stopping by, but it’s a bit of a day trip as it’s outside the city.

Tips for Munich

  • Please stay with Laura and Kevin (and Mimi and Cooper!) Laura was THE BEST, seriously I want to be her friend. She gave great tips and advice for what to see and where to go. Plus their place is a quick bus ride away from Marenplatz. Also, coming home after a busy day to see Mimi and Cooper was so great. If you stay with them, please give the cats a scratch for me!
  • If you’re a girl heading to Oktoberfest, stop by Moser Trachten for a traditional Bavarian dirndl. Your dress should hit around your knee, any shorter and everyone will know you’re a tourist. Tie the apron on the right if you’re in a relationship and left if you’re single.
  • Download the MVG Fahrinfo Munchen App and pre-buy your day passes for the buses and trains. This made life SO much easier; although, you don’t have to show your ticket to get on or off the buses…
  • For the tour of the Bavarian Alps, please do book with Mario at Pure Bavaria Tours. He was  fantastic tour guide and we stopped at a cheese farm on the way back home, ugh I still think about that yummy cheese from time to time.
  • On our last night, we ate at hans im glick, a restaurant in Marenplatz. It was  burgers a fries kind of place and after being in Europe for 10 days, it was exactly what I was dying to eat.

And that’s the end of my trip. We flew back to London and then out of Heathrow to the States. I’ll never forget all the amazing things I saw on this trip and I honestly can’t wait to see where I’ll go next…

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A Basic B Abroad: Amsterdam

After 3 days in London, we were off to Amsterdam. We stayed in uptown, where Vondelpark and the Rijks reside. While in Uptown, we enjoyed a stroll through Vondelpark as well as a few hours in the Rijksmuseum. I would highly recommend going to see the famous art museum; however, we spent about three hours there and only got through 1 and 1/2 floors.

Sights around Amsterdam

Unfortunately, on the 2nd day, I got food poisoning and very much did not enjoy getting lost in Amsterdam. The city, specifically downtown, is quite confusing with canals; however, it is extremely magnificent and I often find myself thinking about the beauty of the winding canals around the whole city.

FIOS BENCH ❤ (see my Longchamp, white Converse & Starbucks…basic AF)

Of course we found the Fault in our Stars bench, like did you think I would thousands of miles across the world and not stop at the bench where Hazel and Augustus sat?! We also stopped by the floating flower market, ate stroopwafel and finally found the Anne Frank House. Would highly recommend pre-buying your tickets online, as we stood in line for over an hour.

Other Tips:

  • If you’re traveling to Amsterdam, I would either go with a tour group or pre-plan the heck out of this trip. We wasted so much time wandering around, literally lost. It haunts me the number of things we probably didn’t get to see or do because we were wandering around trying to find a place or attraction.
  • Take a canal boat tour, we did ours at night and it was so beautiful to see the city all lit up!
  • Tulips are not in season in the fall, if that’s what you wanted to see (major bummer)
  • We didn’t participate in the, err, coffee shops, but if that’s what you’re into, they’re literally everywhere. Can get pre-rolled or loose. Whichever you fancy.
  • We stayed at the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel, would definitely recommend. They do city walking tours and have a decent free brunch to start your day!

A Basic B Abroad: London 

Last month, I embarked on a 10 day trip abroad to London, Amsterdam and Munich. It was very busy and jam packed with touristy stops, but it was beyond memorable. I’ll be writing a short recap of each city and today I’m starting with my three days in London.

London Bridge

Oh London, such an amazing city, with the perfect mix of old history and modern culture. We stopped by Buckingham palace, Big Ben, Regent Street and took many trips on the tube. While it was awesome to see all the sites, London reminded me of NYC, it was just another city with big buildings and thousands of things to do. I would definitely return if I was ever back in the neighborhood as there were many places I didn’t get to see (Carnaby Street! sketch!).

My favorite part of London was when we had drinks in the bar on top of the Shard. It was a tab minimum of $30 per person to hold the table, but that view was WORTH it. It was a very ‘fluffy’ place so if you’re not into snooty, maybe don’t grab drinks there. There is a viewing room with an admission cost, if you still want to see the incredible view from 72 floors above London.


Other tips:

  • We stayed at “The Wombat,” seriously, nicest hostel ever. We stayed in a six bed dorm and we had our own bathroom and lockers. The breakfast was delicious and there was a storage room to keep our bags after we had checked out. 9/10 would recommend.
  • We went to The Comedy Store Players in Piccadilly Circus; it was an improv comedy show at the comedy club where Mike Meyers started and honestly, I almost died laughing. 10/10 would recommend.
  • Download the metro app to plan out your tube route (seriously a lifesaver). Also if you’re going to be there multiple days, get the day passes, almost always worth it.
  • Pro Tip: When in doubt, find a Starbucks. Seriously, this coffee chain is EVERYWHERE, plus they have free WiFi and bathrooms. Oh, and coffee. What more do you need?