Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

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July 2005

Home Sweet Home

Who needs a holiday when you live in Munich?

Beautiful weather… check! Culture…check! Good food…check! Plenty of activities on offer…check! So why bother to go on holiday at all when you live in a city that is actually an ideal destination for a summer holiday?

Last year I found myself in a strange situation. I had a long break from work, and no money to go anywhere. My initial thought was, “how depressing.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a great time I could have right here. Munich may not be as exotic as Thailand, or as hot as South India, but there’s no denying that it is a fantastic summer city. When the sun comes out (notice that I say “when” and not “if”—ever the optimist!) the place really comes alive, and there is nowhere better to have a fun-filled summer, even on a tight (so tight that it’s practically non-existent) budget.

Between boating on Starnberger See, walking in the mountains, going to free summer concerts, hanging out at Tollwood, making new friends in beer gardens, visiting exhibitions as well as a hefty dose of sightseeing, I ended up having one of the best summers ever. And I even looked like I had been on holiday—my British milk-bottle-white skin went a darker shade of white from all the outdoor fun. Plus, for the first time in my life, I got vaguely fit from all the cycling and walking I did (although my healthy pursuits were somewhat counterbalanced by liters of beer, hearty beer garden food and the endless ice cream I insisted on sampling). Well, I was on holiday!

Whether you’re into sporting holidays, cultural holidays, naturist holidays or relaxation holidays, Munich and its environs have it all. OK, almost all. You’ll have to make do with a lake, park or the banks of the Isar instead of a beach, but if that’s your biggest problem, you’re not doing too badly. Once you close your eyes, let the sun warm your body and the sound of lapping water relax your mind, you won’t care where you are. And, after the terrifying TV program I watched about sharks the other night, I for one would be happy never to swim in the sea ever again.

Admittedly, this holiday-at-home idea works best if the place is your adopted home and not the place in which you were brought up. I would be distraught if I had to take a holiday in my hometown, which is just south of London. I don’t want to be too rude about the place, after all, my family and friends are happy enough there. But let’s just say, in the nicest way possible, it really earned its place in a recent book called Crap Towns: The 50 worst places to live in the UK. When I tell people where I am from, the usual response is, “oh, I think I passed through there on a train once.” It’s probably in your best interest just to pass through. Anyway, back to the point…

Taking a holiday at home is a great way to remind yourself of what you have. It’s easy to get bogged down by daily routine and become complacent about the place in which you live. And it is practically impossible to find the time to do all the activities and sightseeing you would like to. A holiday at home is a good chance to change that. By the end of your break, you will be reminded of just how good you have it here.

For those people who are still in denial about being on holiday in Munich, why not visit the Chinesischer Turm in the Englischer Garten and pretend you are in the Far East, or hang out in Italian restaurants and gelaterias and pretend you are in Verona. Alternatively, you could tip a bucket of water over your head, have your wallet stolen and breathe in lungfuls of dust, and pretend that you are in my hometown.

The advantages of taking a holiday at home mean that you:
• don’t have to worry about the fact that you have packed what turn out to be horribly inappropriate clothes—you can just go home and get changed.
• don’t have to send postcards, which you always beat home anyway.
• don’t have to buy an entirely new “holiday wardrobe” (or is that just me?!)
• don’t need to be concerned about losing your passport.
• don’t need to beg a friend to look after your plants/pets/kids in your absence.
• don’t need to buy trolley loads of suntan lotion in fear of running out and having to pay an outrageous € 20 per tube while you’re away.

Convinced? See you by the Isar! <<<

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