When I see ads for "FREE Tour", i pay attention. And boy am I glad I did!
This tour meets in front of the Glockenspiel and the guides will give you the whole history of it as the story unfolds above you. That alone is worth it in my opinion. I've done a few of these free tours in other cities, and all have been great! This was by far my favorite one though. Our guide really fd off our energy and humor. He was also super helpful in pointing out landmarks as we went in case we wanted to come back to spend more time somewhere we visited, after the tour.
These tours truly are free. You tip your guide at the end based on what you think it was worth. Seriously it could easily be worth $100 in my opinion. We learned so much history and so many weird stories, from the Glockenspiel, to the only remnants of the war, to seeing a museum for free as well by being told to "Just peek in the windows as we walk by!" Which of course we all did, whilst being met with stares from people inside looking at us like we had 3 heads).
We also got lunch (pay your own) at a local beer garden where our guide told us which booths to go to based on our tastes. It was very appreciated. I highly suggest doing this tour when you get into town if you have a few hours. Things will make so much more sense and you'll get a sense of where you are in the city! And don't forget to tip your guide, and don't be afraid to ask questions! They're seriously awesome!
No trip to Munich could be complete without a stop here! The pretzels the beer, the brats, all amazing!
Word to the wise, don't sit down at a table with a table cloth on it unless invited. That's for the locals, and is frowned upon. Fortunately there was a group that thought us charming (ok probably more hilarious) that we knew how to polka, and proceeded to do said dance in front of the band, which they loved... but again, maybe because 2 girls were dancing, who knows. They didn't speak much English, us not much German, but we still had a blast!
If you get the bratwurst in the pot of water, which I recommend, i was literally slapped and the fork knocked out of my hand. I guess you are supposed to pick it up with your fingers and slurp the meat out of the casing... Delicious, but weird, but whatever. You can't really go wrong with any beer, I recommend the Dunkel Weissen (yes a dark light beer, delicious!) And you can never go wrong getting a pretzel the size of your head. Ever.
Does this area get crowded well before 11am and 12noon? Yes. Is it mainly tourists and gawkers? Again yes. Is it worth it? Definitely!
Make sure you check the time that it's been going off, as I've heard it sometimes changes with the seasons, and will go off twice in a day, other times its just at 11am. I highly suggest doing the Free Tour that meets and leaves from here, or at least have someone that knows whats going on tell you about it.
The music an dhte bells are gorgeous in themselves. But what really gets you is the story going on in the little windows. And they are literal stories. There's a knight joust, and a party, and all sorts of different weird things, that all have a place in Bavarian history! It really helps to truly bring it alive if you know a little bit of the backstory, but even if you don't its amazing to see.
This is your typical Hostel in Europe. It's a great price, it's clean, it's secure, its literally in the middle of freaking everything!
It's not too far of a walk from the main train station, but it's just far enough if you have a lot of luggage. They have their own bar, and game room, and televisions downstairs. Checkin went pretty smoothly, and the staff speak great English!
We stayed in the cheapest Hostel rooms, 6-8 bunks with lockers, and they'll loan you a lock if you need it. This room had its own bathroom, which is better than dorm style restrooms for the whole floor, which they also had. Our bunkmates were a little rowdy one night and came back drunk, but I can't fault the place on that one.
There are also family rooms, and single or double rooms with private bathrooms if thats more you style, and you prefer the more Hotel like feel. The building itself was really quite to both outside noise and from room to room. It had plenty of places to just hang out or get quiet time if you needed it as well. They only had wi-fi in the lobby are though, and they have computers you can use for a small fee per minute or per hour.
They also rent bicycles, if you need, andhave transportation nearby going every direction. Just ask for help if you're unsure. There is also a GREAT free tour that starts in the area. I recommend doing that first to get the low down of the area. It's way helpful!