Munich : More than just a Beer and Sausage capital!

Munich’s new town hall facade {Rathaus} |Marienplatz

So we had our  trip to Munich last Saturday.It’s the first city we explored ever since we’ve moved to Germany. I am writing this post to document our adventures in this  attractive urban gem while taking Little Miss Natalie on another escapade just a day after she had her 2 yrs old shots! She’s such a jetsetter!

You see, there’s so much difference in the way we’ve traveled before compared now  that we had a child. From the things we need to bring,(Goodbye to 1 handbag!) to timings of the trains and trying to fit into her nap times and at same time looking into kid friendly sights.I’m telling you, it’s no joke having an overtired,cranky and whining toddler along in a trip.The thing is now, we don’t felt like a tourist  anymore which is very unlikely than last year when we visited the Mosel Valley & Trier. It’s like we have all the time in the world to go from A to B without the rush. My daughter has been such a great travel buddy and If I could sum up this trip in 3 these words, It is :  Green , Relaxed, and  Fun!

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Alter Botanischer Garten |Munich


We wanted to enjoy the city as much as possible as well as letting our Little Miss N enjoys her time as well.For parents, you know what this means—Play yards, playground and more play times! Munich has a lot to offer for all ages. I was even more surprised by the amount of tourists I saw in Munich, but I understand why.It’s packed and why not, It’s a beautiful city.

Grüss aus München


So How did we do it with a toddler tagging along with us?

Do : Make time for Playtime and more Play times. More outdoors and wide spaces, =  Fun!


Munich is a Green cosmopolitan, with  Kid-Friendly Parks and Gardens

Just a 5- minute walk away from the  Central station we immediately went to a Park, It was a nice one, & of course  with playground for kids. The  Alter Botanischer Garten’s playground is clean, with plenty of space to run around and has plenty of rides, slides, swings and the whole park is dreamy for parents too.It has plenty of benches and greens. I noticed that even their Rockers are made of wood and they have a giant water pump with spacious sand play pit. This park has a beautiful fountain and well-kept.There are more fountains to enjoy as we walked further along the city gate- Karlstor and Stachus  {or  Karlsplatz} . The architecture of the  Rondell buildings around it was impressive. There were already 3 buses lined up full of tourists in front of the Justizpalast  so we’re glad  that we are there early.

Richard Strauss fountain | Munich

Marvel into the city’s rich Heritage and beautiful Architecture

Anyone visiting Munich could never missed the interesting  fountains along Kreuzviertel ‘s Brunnenbuberl and the Richard Strauss Fountain.Don’t miss the intricate details. It’s so nice just to sit and enjoy the sun while watching the waters splashing and gushing. I had a hard time keeping my daughter away from these fountains because she loved it.

Brunnenbuberl Fountain | Munich

Do you want to have a real  taste of Bavaria?

Do : Climb the  306 steps of St Peter’s Church does not cost a cent and is well worth it for the views of the city from the top.

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Sitting wild boar  | Hunting & Fishing Museum in Munich

Indulge in the sacred Churches dated from 1180’s.

Then you will be pleased that Munich is more than just Oktoberfest and sausages.Believe it or not but with a very active toddler that we keep chasing around, we managed to visit  ( and was Amazed!)  4 iconic churches within 3 hours or so. We never regretted it because it was all worth to see. You need to see it by your own eyes why St. Michael’s church (Michaelskirche) , which is the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps is one notable piece of architecture. From outside ,the facade is very impressive and the interior altar is even more stunning.

View of the altar and magnificent ceiling of St.Michael’s church | Munich


Then we went to St. Peter’s church (Peterskirche), the oldest inner city church built during the Romanesque period. Just in time that there is an ongoing mass inside so we went inside to listen and lighted some candles. The mass is in German so its quite an experience for me. Outside,the line for the tower of St. Peter is very long since its full of tourists so we skip to climb it but we would love to do it some other time.

Having a toddler along with us didn’t stopped us from going further to view the interior of the famous Cathedral of our Lady (Frauenkirche), or locally also known as “Münchner Dom” which is the city’s most famous  emblem. Frauenkirche is also named  Der Teufelstritt. Have you heard about the old tale of the Devil’s footprint at the porch of this church? It still can be seen as of today and one of its attractions. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the interior of this church, for me there is no ‘Wow’ effect-like I’ve had with the ‘Asamskirche’.Maybe because I have seen a better one, I must say that even the Organ loft  of the Liebefrauenkirche in Ingolstadt is as magnificent as what the Frauenkirche has.

Close-up detail of the ceiling in Asam’s church |Munich

For a breather we hop on to see the busy ‘Viktualienmarkt’.You can see so much of Bavarian food stalls which sells everything from yummy breads & rolls, hot sausages and cold cuts,cheese, wine, exotic spices, souvenirs, and so on. You will find Bavarian Schweinshax’n (pork knuckle) and Speck (smoked Black Forest ham) and local cheeses on the open-air stalls. We saw families just lounging on the pavement having a quick bite and enjoying the summer sun.

Marienplatz | Munich

Around 11 am we managed to reached “Marienplatz” ( St. Mary’s square )  which is the heart of Munich. It was busy…and beautiful.The square is far much better than in pictures I’ve seen in internet. The new Town Hall is the center of attention as usual. We looked forward to seeing the  Carillon or the ‘Glockenspiel’ which has a distinct musical of dancing statues . The Schäfferltanz or Cooper’s dance, is originally performed in 1517 at the Marienplatz to commemorate the end of the plague.

Marienplatz and Glockenspiel | Munich

Being in this square is quite an experience. You’ll see lots of tourists flocked to admire the beautiful architecture of the facade of the both New and Old Town Halls. Visible from the square is the ‘Mariensäule’–the large column of St. Mary  at the center of the square that was erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of the Swedish invasion. The statue is topped by a gilded statue of Virgin Mary which was sculpted earlier, in 1590 by Hubert Gerhard.


Do: Get there in time for the Glockenspiel dance make  an infamous selfie in front of the new Townhall . Goodluck in finding a good angle.

Learning from a tainted piece of History in the Olympic Park


We had a pit stop to get some things that fancy us while sightseeing then we hop on to U3 to get us to Olympic Park. We booked the tickets for the Sea Life online and opt for an afternoon visit ( its cheaper!) .I was impressed by this huge park. Not only that its beautifully designed along side with the BMW HQ but the fact that it  one of the city’s prime sports for relaxation, sports, dining and entertainment.Think of it as New York’s Central Park — with better buildings.The ‘tent-like’ structures seen above from the Olympic Tower is one of the best views I have ever had in my life from a Tower. The weather was so nice that we even see the Bavarian Alps!

Do : Get into the  Tower. The best views are up there! Don’t miss out the best Rock Museum right up there before the open air lounge of the Tower.

Sea Life | Olympic Park in Munich

My daughter loved the Sea Life, and so do we. The marine life inside is quite impressive and the whole experience is quite unforgettable for us. You can actually touch the mollusks, shells and other sea creatures. Once we had enough, she had the chance to chase the ducks outside,lounging beside the lake. The whole park is perfect for families, picnics on a sunny day or just learning something new like Zorb waterball maybe? or You can even stop for a dip in the pool where Mark Spitz won a then-record seven medals or jump off the high dive.Half day is not enough to explore this place.

Do : Climb the hill and have a magnificent view of the Olympic Park. It’s tough going but its worth it.Besides, its Free!

In the end,we called it a day. There’s still so much things to see but my daughter is already tired and sleepy and its time to get back.

Tell me, does Munich appeal to you?

Where was the last City you’ve visited? or your summer vacation perhaps? I would love to hear your story in the comments below.


My Daughter is a TCK (Third Culture Kid)

” A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture.”

A third culture Kid 

My daughter, Natalie is a TCK . ( or better understood as Third Culture Country Kid.) She was  born in Kuwait  from a Dutch father, Filipino mother and currently being raised in not-so quintessential Arabic culture  in Kuwait. In a few more months, she will be attending  a Kindertagesstätte in Germany  where she will be stomping her feet with other kids and learn ABC   with other toddlers of her same age.  At her critical stage of language development, we hope that she learn Deutsch along the way.  Right now,at 18 months, she’s exposed to a bilingual home. Since birth, we  talked to her in English, but occasionally converse with her in Tagalog, Dutch & now German. I am not so sure which language will she eventually  be able to pick-up quickly,  Smorgasborg eh?

She loved to play with other Expat Kids in the parks &  playgroups. She interacts with multi-lingual children , most of them are 2-4 years ahead of her either speaking Arabic, Lebanese, Egyptian, Kuwaiti & American. In Kuwait, seeing a TCK is quite a norm. With the booming Expat community here, it’s no wonder that there are so many half-nationalities.It’s unlikely that my neighbor in the new building are French-Italian, Romanian-Lebanese, or Filipino-American. This diversity is coming hand in hand as Kuwait grows into a multi-cultural hub for Expatriates . She is exposed to Arabic culture and the norm of childhood here in Middle East.The other night, I had visitors at home and they were utterly surprised why she is watching nursery rhymes in German and Dutch children’s books.  They asked, what will be her mother-tongue? Hilarious but the child doesn’t know. At least not yet.

This is a typical part of common early childhood of  a TCK.  A child born away from her parent’s own culture have a unique childhood, even a special one. What they call home once they grow older might be confusing ,the dilemma is real but in a way, having an Expat parents gives them the  privilege to see the world in an expanded way. At an early age, TCK have the chance to have a cross-cultural competence or cultural intelligence : the capacity to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organizational cultures. I have touched this on my post about 10 Surprising things about Parenthood in Kuwait and the challenges I have faced as I adapt on new culture along with my child.

As a new mother, I am very concerned about this fact. Myself , as the parent, is the ultimate responsible for my daughter’s early development and the path she goes along her adulthood. For now, she couldn’t decide yet for herself. That is why its very important for Expat parents to consider the well-being of their young tots and not just the financial, social & personal reasons of migrating from one place to another.  As I engrossed myself on learning more about this, I am fully aware that my daughter could face challenges ahead, (which is quite normal ) . One of the challenges that  a third culture child could face  is developing a sense of belonging, commitment, and attachment to a culture. When you moved from country to country for work, relocation or personal reasons, you dragged your child into these changes. With adults, it is a different sense of adapting to a new culture, so as with the children. What happens in their early years of childhood has a definite impact when they grow up.

Now why am I talking about this? Because this is an Expat Blog & I am sharing from my personal experience  & my thoughts on this matter. I know that soon, when my daughter grows-up, it would be inevitable for the question “Where is my Home ? ” for her not to come across with. Maybe she would even develop a love& hate relationship for the question “Where are you from? ” 

I wanted to share a relatable documentary film that talks more about TCK. Aspiring film-maker Aga Alegra and her international, multi-cultural team are now trying to explore the lives of TCKs in the upcoming documentary “Where Is HOME?” which shows us different perspectives of people who have spent a significant portion of their childhood overseas. It has an ultimate purpose of understanding why Third Culture Kids struggle to answer the question of “So Where is Home? ” and the implications this difficulty has on their personal identity.

What I have learned from watching this documentary is that TCK ‘s life can be the best life that your child could have.It doesn’t need to complicate things. When your child is exposed to early realities of life then these values can strengthen their character as they learn these things along the way. We, as parents need to guide them to have  the ability to feel at home anywhere in the world and the ability to easily connect with everyone on this beautiful planet. To pass on to our children what we have learned  to recreate a sense of community for ourselves with each move . To be there for our kids when they feel that they  are generally the odd-ones-out in each new community. We need to be on guard , to quickly find common ground in order to understand those around us so we can be a better example for our children. Remember, no matter where you go, your home is the only place your child feel that she’s accepted, belonged, safe & most importantly, Loved.

But as of now, I am ready for this ride, I don’t know yet what the future might brings to us after our move to Germany  but  I am excited for all the new things that we are learning in our Expat life, and with our TCK toddling away with us. I know there would be more challenges, but I also remind myself  there are also more fun &   that’s what makes life fulfilling. Every stamp on our passport does not mean travel, it means Life.

Can you relate on this post? How about you, how  are you coping as an Expat family and your child as a Third Culture Kid?

Do you have any unusual stories being a TCK?





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