Posts

Undoubtedly, The UK’s National Parks are among its greatest treasures. From the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Lake District National Park to the world-famous Jurassic Coast, England and South Wales are full of stunning landscapes waiting to be explored.

But UK National Parks are not just about the landscape – they are also a haven for wildlife, with an incredible diversity of plants and animals to be found in each one.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure while backpacking in the UK, or want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, then make sure you visit one of these 10 amazing UK National Parks!

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the UK’s best places to return to nature. With over six hundred miles of trails winding through the mountains and hills, it’s perfect for an exhilarating hike.

Mickledore views are highly recommended when hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The trail can be rough at times, but it is well worth the effort it takes. The Mickledore ridge is a pass-through mountain range with breathtaking views of wildlife everywhere.

Overall, it is one of the best national parks in the UK for an adventure visit.

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is a must-see for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With majestic mountains, deep valleys, and pristine rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of opportunities to spot rare wildlife in the Cairngorms National Park. The area is home to red squirrels, reindeer, ospreys, and golden eagles, so keep your eyes peeled!

Many Munros – Scottish mountains over 3000 feet – also make for great hiking trails. Be sure to take on at least one of these when visiting the park!

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe UK National Park

Duncombe National Park

Duncombe Park is one of the many beautiful national parks in the United Kingdom. It is known for its picturesque landscapes and lush vegetation. The park is also home to various wildlife, making it a perfect place for nature lovers to explore.

Since its establishment in 2020, Duncombe National Park has become a popular destination for hikers and campers. Many trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park is the newest park in the UK and is extremely popular because it is close to London. A short train ride will get you to the park. It is the best place to stargaze because of the large rolling hills that allow you to lay in peace without the lights from a city blinding the view.

Woolmer Forest, a lowland heath site, is home to many rare species and is the only place in the country with all twelve species of native reptiles and amphibians.

South Downs Way is a hiking and biking trail that is scenic beyond what you can see when driving. There is also a section of the park that has been turned into a battlefield site where you can learn about and experience what it was like to fight in the Battle of Hastings.

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park

The Lake District National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its beautiful lakes, stunning mountains, and tranquil valleys make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

But there are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from hiking and climbing to water sports and mountain biking. And, of course, no visit to the Lake District National Park would be complete without taking a ride on a steam train!

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor UK National Park

Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor National Park is a stunning area of natural beauty in Devon, England. With its ancient forests, wild moors, and tumbling rivers, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK.

There are plenty of things to do in Dartmoor National Park, from exploring the many hiking trails to visiting the historic sites. You can even go horse riding or camping in the park!

But one of the best things about Dartmoor National Park is the wildlife. With red deer, wild ponies, and rare birds, it’s a haven for nature lovers. (Do not forget to bring your camera, though)

The Peak District National Park

The Peak District - the UK's most popular National Park

The Peak District – the UK’s most popular National Park

The Peak District National Park is one of the most popular National Parks in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. Its stunning landscapes and incredible views make it the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

There are plenty of things to do in the Peak District National Park, from hiking and cycling to rock climbing and caving. You can even go horse riding or take a scenic drive through the park!

But the wildlife is one of the best things about the Peak District National Park. With red deer, badgers, foxes, and otters, it’s a haven for nature lovers.

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park

Broads National Park is a stunning park located in the UK that offers 125 miles of water to boat, swim or sail in. You can rent a boat for a day or use your own, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.

Wildlife viewing is a huge part of this park, especially if you enjoy bird watching. As with every other national park, you can find miles of hiking or biking trails offering breathtaking views you cannot see from the main roads.

Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

Sunset at the Valley of Rocks viewpoint in Exmoor National Park

If you’re looking for a taste of the wild in the UK, head to Exmoor National Park. This sprawling area of unspoiled countryside covers over 400 square miles, making it one of the biggest national parks in the country.

Exmoor is home to various landscapes, from woodlands and valleys to moors and hills. Wildlife is also abundant here, with red deer, Exmoor ponies, and otters calling the park home.

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland UK National Park

Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park is located in the northeast of England and is one of the best national parks in the UK. The park is home to various landscapes, including forests, heathland, moorland, and coastline.

The park is also home to many castles, including Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, and the Turf Knowe burial site.

If you are interested in exploring the UK’s national parks, then Northumberland National Park is one that you should not miss.

 

Have you always dreamed of moving abroad but are not sure how to do it? With plenty to discover in the British Isles, plus its proximity to European destinations, moving to the UK could be the way to live out your dreams of living abroad.

While immigration laws can be difficult to untangle, among the various routes available for individuals moving to the UK, the Innovator Visa is suitable for those with business experience. This route is designed for those looking to establish an innovative UK-based business, who have at least £50,000 to invest, and have obtained endorsement from an approved body. An application for an Innovator Visa must also satisfy various eligibility and suitability requirements.  

Here, Jessica Lee from Latitude Law discusses the two stages, and main requirements, of an application for an Innovator Visa. 

Obtaining endorsement for an Investor Visa

Before moving to the UK, an applicant for an Innovator Visa must obtain endorsement for their business idea from a Home Office-approved endorsing body. There are a number of these bodies, and many only offer endorsement subject to various restrictions, such as the location of the business, the sector in which it will operate, or application during a certain period. Some endorsing bodies also make participation on one of their own programmes or mentoring services a prerequisite, although participation on such a programme will not guarantee endorsement. A complete list of all the approved endorsing bodies can be found here

To successfully obtain endorsement, an applicant must demonstrate, amongst other things, that their business idea is innovative, viable and scalable. An innovative business will be unique and original, differing from businesses already operating in this sector. Viability will require showing that the applicant has the knowledge and skills to successfully run the business, while to be scalable, the business idea must have potential for future growth.    

The business must also be new, or where it does already exist, have not yet started trading.  

Making an application for an Investor Visa

Fulfil your dream of living in the UK with the UK Investor Visa

Fulfil your dreams of living in the UK with the UK Investor Visa

If an applicant does successfully obtain endorsement, the second stage of submitting an application for the Innovator Visa must be made within three months of the date given on the letter of endorsement.  

As mentioned above, along with obtaining endorsement, there are other requirements of an Innovator Visa application. One of these is evidence that the applicant holds funds of at least £50,000 to invest in the business. These funds must be accessible to the applicant and, if in a UK bank, have been held by them for at least three months. Whether an applicant has access to these funds will also be relevant to the business idea’s viability, as discussed above. In addition to this sum, an applicant must show they have held at least £1,270 in their account for a minimum of 28 days prior to application, as evidence they can support themselves after moving to the UK.  

An applicant must also satisfy an English Language requirement, namely an ability to read, write, speak and understand English to Level B2 CEFR. This requirement can be met if the applicant has completed a degree taught in English (although if this was completed abroad, confirmation of the degree’s UK equivalent from Ecctis must be obtained), or if an applicant has completed GCSEs, Highers or A Levels in the UK. In the absence of such qualifications, an applicant will need to sit an approved Home Office English Language test.  

A suitability requirement also applies to Innovator Visa applications, relating to the applicant’s character and conduct; examples of what might affect suitability include criminal convictions or previous non-compliance with UK immigration law. 

Partners and children under 18 can also move to the UK with those with an Innovator Visa. As evidence that these family members will be financially supported whilst here, evidence of the following amount of savings, held again for at least 28 days before the date of application: 

  • £285 for a partner 
  • £315 for one child 
  • £200 for each additional child 

A successful application will result in a grant of leave for three years.  

Moving to the UK permanently under an Innovator Visa 

Relocate to bustling London with the UK Innovator Visa

Relocate to bustling London with the UK Innovator Visa

After completing three years’ continuous residence in the UK with leave as an Innovator, it is possible to apply to settle. This application again requires an endorsement letter, although the criteria differs to those for initial endorsement. In order to obtain the endorsement required for settlement, an innovator’s business must be registered with Companies House, be actively trading, and demonstrate an ability to continue trading for at least the next 12 months.  

In addition, the business must show it has achieved two of the following: 

  • £1 million revenue in the last full year for which the business can provide accounts 
  • £500,000 revenue in the last full year for which the business can provide accounts, of which £100,000 comes from overseas export 
  • Have received £50,000 investment, spent on business development  
  • Created 10 full-time jobs (or the equivalent) that have all lasted for at least 12 months 
  • Created five full-time jobs (or the equivalent) with an average salary of £25,000 a year, which have all lasted for at least 12 months 
  • Made an application for intellectual property protection in the UK 
  • Have doubled the number of its customers in the last three years to a figure that is above the average for the type of business 

If the innovator relies on either of the “job creation” options listed above, the jobs must be for “settled” workers; that is, a British or Irish citizen; an EEA citizen who commenced employment in the business prior to 31st December 2020; a holder of indefinite leave to remain/settled status; or the holder of a UK Ancestry Visa who is also a Commonwealth citizen. 

Again, an application for settlement must be submitted within three months of the date given on the endorsement letter. Applicants for settlement must also pass the Life in the UK test and meet an absence requirement of no more than 180 days spent outside the UK in any 12 months.  

Frustratingly, dependent family members must complete five continuous years living in the UK (this can include time spent as a dependent on a different route, such as Skilled Worker or partner of a settled person). In practice, this will mean that family members will often need to extend their leave for a further two years before they are eligible for settlement. 

Dependants over the age of 18 will also need to pass the Life in the UK test, and meet an English Language requirement at Level B1 CEFR.  

Due to the strict requirements involved in moving to the UK with an Innovator Visa, it is advised that applicants seek legal advice and representation to ensure they provide all the relevant documents, meet the criteria, and make the strongest possible application for an Innovator Visa. 

Sometimes walking is the best way to see the world. If you’re road-tripping across Europe and want to make the most of your time away, exploring each country on foot is a great way to make the best memories before you return – including the beautiful country of Iceland. This article covers everything you need to know about exploring Iceland on foot, including the country’s dramatic landscape, and some of the best hiking routes to go on.

Visiting Iceland

With 24 hours of light in Summer and the chance to see the Northern Lights in the Fall, Iceland is a Nordic island nation known for its dramatic landscape of hot springs, volcanos, geysers and lava fields. It’s a must-do stop for anyone travelling across Europe, and while it’s possible to explore the country by car, walking tours offer the chance to truly take in Iceland’s breathtaking scenery.

Iceland’s Geology

The landscape of Iceland has been shaped by dramatic forces over the past 30 million years, including active plate tectonics, volcanoes, and glacial movement. However, since the country is less than 33 million years old, scientists still define it as a geologically young island!

Iceland is one of the only places in the world that has an exposed divergent plate boundary at the earth’s surface, and with 33 active volcanoes, the vast majority of the earth’s volcanic features can be seen on an island roughly the same size as Kentucky…

The Three Best Hikes in Iceland

Iceland utterly changes when you explore it on foot. Only you and your fellow hikers will truly understand the landscapes of this beautiful island that are usually hidden beyond the highway and other tourist routes. Here are some of the best hikes in Iceland:

The Laugavegur Trek

Exploring the Landmannalaugar highlands in Iceland on the Laugavegur Trek

Exploring the Landmannalaugar highlands on one of the best hikes in Iceland on the Laugavegur Trek

This is Iceland’s most famous hiking trail that leads intrepid explorers through black lava fields, colorful rhyolite mountains, black deserts and steaming hot springs – there’s a reason Laugavegur translates as the “Hot Spring Route” in English!

The Fimmvörduháls Trek

Thórsmörk, the grand finale of the Fimmvörduháls Trek

Thórsmörk, the grand finale of the Fimmvörduháls Trek

The Fimmvörduháls hike is the country’s second most famous trail and leads you along the river up into the mountains, going through breathtaking waterfalls and a thrilling canyon that is up there with one of the best gorges in Iceland.

The Kjölur Route

The old-fashioned way of crossing the Icelandic highlands

The old-fashioned way of crossing the Icelandic highlands

Also known as Kjalvegur or the “Haunted Highway,” the Kjölur Trek leads between two glaciers into the very heart of the Icelandic Highlands. Going way back, people used horses to cross the Highlands, and ever since the Vikings first settled down in Iceland there has been a route connecting Northern Iceland, and the South. Compared to the other two routes mentioned, this trek is known to be more challenging. However, with the right equipment and a good amount of hiking experience, it’s well worth doing.


Don’t miss your chance to see some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery by embarking on one of the best hikes in Iceland. This country offers some of the most unforgettable landscapes, and by exploring the country on foot, you can discover some of this Nordic island’s most sensational hidden gems.

London is one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world, with so many incredible things to see and do. However, there are plenty of other fantastic places in the south of England that are also definitely worth visiting. Many of these make easy day trips from London by train. Here are some of the very best.

Oxford (or Cambridge)

Historic Oxford, accessible by train from London

Historic Oxford, accessible by train from London

Home to a world-famous 1,000-year-old university, beautiful medieval buildings, cozy cafes, atmospheric pubs, and more Harry Potter filming locations than you can shake a wand at, Oxford is a wonderful place to spend a day.

The centre of town is fairly compact and walkable. Highlights include the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, Christ Church College,

Turf Tavern, the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean museums, as well as the Sheldonian Theatre, Botanic Gardens, and Magdalen College.

For the best view in the city, and to see why Oxford is known as the “City of Dreaming Spires”, climb the tower of the Church of St Mary The Virgin.

Alternatively, why not visit the other equally-famous university town, Cambridge. (Or “the Other Place”, as Oxonians like to call it.

Cambridge is smaller than Oxford, with slightly fewer “sights”, but an equally captifying atmosphere. Famous places to visit in Cambridge include the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Bridge of Sighs (named after the bridge in Venice), the Mathematical Bridge, King’s College Chapel, and “the Backs” – an iconic and beautiful area that separates some of the university’s colleges with the river Cam (hire a punt for the best views).

The South Downs

Head to South Downs National Park to experience English countryside just outside of London

Head to South Downs National Park to experience the beautiful English countryside

There are many excellent walks in and around London. However, if you’d prefer to spend a day hiking in the English countryside, head for the South Downs National Park. This range of hills passes through the counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Hampshire, and has some of the finest scenery in southern England.

It’s a beautiful place, with gently rolling hills, picture-postcard green fields, ancient woodland, and meadows of wildflowers. From many viewpoints, you can see all the way to the coast and out to sea.

There are many excellent walking trails passing through the South Downs. Two of the best known are the South Downs Way and the Monarch’s Way. These are both long-distance hiking routes, but several sections make excellent day walks that are easily doable on a day trip from London by train.

A classic route is from Hassocks to Lewes, via Ditchling Beacon. Both Hassocks and Lewes have a station with direct trains to/from London.

Another great option is the walk from Seaford to Eastbourne, via the famous “Seven Sisters” cliffs.

Brighton

Take a day trip from London by train and head to the coastal town of Brighton

Escape London and head to the coastal town of Brighton

Brighton is a popular seaside town on the south coast of England.

Famous for its long pebbly beach and party atmosphere, Brighton is a great place to visit throughout the year. In the summertime, the long, mild evenings draw crowds of locals and visitors alike to the seafront. Here you can enjoy friendly festival-like vibes and a drink or two as you watch the sunset over the English Channel.

Other places to visit in Brighton include the iconic Royal Pavilion and Brighton pier, complete with a traditional amusement arcade and mini-theme park. Wander through the narrow alleyways of the Lanes, an area close to the seafront that’s full of pubs, bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and independent boutiques.

Brighton is known for being a very progressive, open-minded place. Brighton Pride is arguably the UK’s most popular international Pride Festival, and the city has a large LGBTQ+ community.

There’s also a vibrant creative scene here, with a range of music, theatre, art, film, and literature festivals throughout the year.

Brighton is particularly easy to explore as a day trip from London by train. There are usually at least 2-3 direct services per hour to/from several London stations, and the journey only takes 60-70 minutes.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, just outside of London

Windsor Castle, just outside of London

Located just outside London, Windsor Castle is one of the Queen’s three official residences. It’s also the largest and oldest continually-inhabited castle in the world.

The castle is located on top of a hill and can be seen for miles throughout the surrounding area. It has many imposing towers and battlements, immaculately manicured courtyards, and more than 5,000 acres of grounds.

One of the most striking things about Windsor Castle is its size. It’s truly massive, with over 1,000 rooms. You can visit many of these, including the richly furnished state apartments (full of priceless artwork by painters such as Rembrandt), and the Royal Family’s luxurious private apartments.

The castle’s gothic St George’s Chapel has a beautiful vaulted ceiling and contains the tombs of many former British monarchs, including Charles I and Henry VIII. (For anyone interested, this is also where Harry and Meghan were married.)

If you can time your visit to coincide with the Changing of the Guard (at 11 am), this is worth seeing. A colourful and symbolic daily ceremony marks the formal changing of the castle’s guards. It’s full of pomp and tradition, complete with a marching band.

Don’t miss a walk through the extensive grounds too. The best – and most iconic – view of Windsor Castle can be seen from the Long Walk, a 2.6-mile tree-lined avenue that leads up to the castle.

Margate & Whitstable

Walk along the seafront in Whitsable - A day trip from London by train

Walk along the seafront in Whitstable

The Victorian seaside town of Margate has recently become popular again with a wave of regeneration and gentrification.

Today, the town is full of hipster coffee shops, vintage shops, trendy bars selling craft beer and natural wine, and inventive restaurants and galleries. The Turner Contemporary gallery is well worth a visit, as is Crate, an artists studio and creative space housed in a former printing factory.

Also worth checking out, the alternative-themed amusement park Dreamland has several fun rides and also hosts a range of live music.

A few miles along the Kent coast, Whitstable has a totally different feel to Margate. More upmarket, here you’ll find several smart restaurants and many fancy holiday rental properties.

Take a walk along the Whitstable seafront, past the rainbow-coloured beach houses, maybe stopping to chat with one of the vendors selling freshly caught oysters, mackerel, and other local produce. If you have time, pop in for a drink at the Old Neptune pub, a local institution located right on the beach.

It’s easy to visit both Margate and Whitstable as a day trip from London by train. Both towns have good rail connections with the capital, and the train only takes 20 minutes between the two.

Bath

With Roman origins and stunning architecture, Bath is well-worth a day trip from London

With Roman origins and stunning architecture, Bath is well worth a day trip from London

Home to an incredible ancient Roman bathhouse, the city of Bath has some of the most beautiful architecture in Britain.

The famous Roman baths were built 2,000 years ago on top of a natural hot spring. Mineral-rich water rising from the ground was channelled through an impressive system of pipes and chambers to create a spa complex with several heated rooms and thermal pools.

It’s one of the best-preserved ancient bathhouses in the world, and definitely worth a visit.

Sadly, you can’t take a dip in the Roman baths in Bath. However, the same natural hot spring water flows into the modern Thermae Bath Spa, where you can enjoy a luxurious pampering experience complete with a stunning rooftop pool.

Other sites not to miss in Bath include the Royal Crescent (a gorgeous curving street lined with butter-coloured Georgian houses), Pulteney Bridge (an 18th-century bridge lined with shops), and Bath Abbey (a beautiful medieval church).

For a great view over the city, try hiking the Bath Skyline, a 6-mile circular trail passing through ancient woodland and meadows.

Bristol

Bristol is known for its vibrant arts scene and quirky alternative culture

Bristol is known for its vibrant arts scene and quirky alternative culture

Arty, edgy, and wonderfully unconventional, Bristol is one of the most liveable cities in the UK. At only 1.5 hours away from central London by train, it makes a perfect day trip.

Bristol is known for its attractive harbour, vibrant arts scene, rich history, quirky alternative culture, and the friendliness of its locals. It’s also the proud birthplace of the famous street artist Banksy, whose works are found throughout the city.

Clifton, a smart residential area of the city, is definitely worth a visit. Here you’ll find beautiful large Victorian and Georgian houses, green parks, boutiquey shops, and independent cafés and wine bars. From the famous Clifton suspension bridge, there are wonderful views across the Avon Gorge.

For a grittier take on the city, take a walk around the Stokes Croft area, home to a range of excellent pubs, artists’ studios, and fantastic international eateries.

Planning Your Day Trip by Train

The price of your ticket can vary wildly depending on the time, and how far in advance you book. For the cheapest fares, it’s best to book as far in advance as possible. If you’re travelling between Monday and Friday, try to book “off peak” trains (i.e. departing between 9:30 am and returning after 7 pm), if possible.

It’s quick and easy to compare and book tickets online using thetrainline.com.

When planning a trip to Munich, there are the obvious famous spots, like the Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall, Marienplatz, or the vast English Garden. But if you’re looking for something more off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden gems in Munich!

I have lived in Munich for four years, and have grown to love it. The city checks a lot of boxes: lots of nature, charming neighborhoods, and a great selection of cultural events year-round. Discover what makes Munich so great with this list of my favorite places in Munich off the beaten path.

The Seehaus Biergarten

The Seehaus Biergarten in the Englischer Garten

The Seehaus Biergarten, my favorite Biergarten hidden gem in Munich!

Munich is well known for its Biergarten culture, and you’ll find them scattered throughout the city. But my favorite Biergarten is in the middle of the English Garden next to the Seehaus. From the Biergarten tables, you have a beautiful view over a small lake and into the dense green that makes the English Garden an oasis in the middle of the city. 

Not only is the scenery unbeatable, but they serve a variety of classic Biergarten food, including Hax’n and Steckerlfisch. And of course, you can pick up a fresh beer right from the tap. Or, if you’ve had your fill of beer, they have an area where you can enjoy cocktails and wine under the Linden trees.

Gärtnerplatz

Hang out at Gärtnerplatz while exploring Munich off the beaten path in the alternative Glockenbachviertel

Hang out at Gärtnerplatz while exploring Munich off the beaten path in the alternative Glockenbachviertel

Nestled between the Viktualienmarkt and the Isar River is the neighborhood known as Glockenbachviertel. While Munich has a reputation for being conservative, Glockenbach is a welcoming and lively neighborhood full of hidden gems in Munich.

Here you can find swanky cocktail bars, grungy dive bars, and hip boutiques. The center of Glockenbachviertel is the circular Gärtnerplatz – grab a drink at a nearby kiosk and hang out with the locals.

Gans Woanders

Even from the funky exterior, it’s clear that Gans Woanders is one of the best hidden gems in Munich. Its name is a play on words from the phrase ‘Ganz woanders’ (somewhere else) but with a twist of using the German word ‘Gans’ which means goose.

A whimsical building houses a unique space that serves as a café during the day and a bar at night. It’s a great place if you’re looking to get off the beaten path in Munich and are looking for something different from the typical beer halls and Bavarian food.

Rosengarten

Just a small fraction of the many roses you'll see at the stunning Rose Garden

Just a small fraction of the many roses you’ll see at the stunning Rose Garden

I lived in this city for 3 years before discovering the beautiful rose garden. In fact, my first visit there prompted me to write this article about the best hidden gems in Munich!

Located near the Isar river, this manicured garden offers a great place to take a stroll and relax. There are plenty of lounge chairs and hundreds of blooming plants. After enjoying the Rosengarten, you can walk along the banks of the Isar river, where the locals love to take a dip in summer.

Neues Schloss Schleissheim

Venture to the north of Munich to explore Neues Schloss Schleissheim

Venture to the north of Munich to explore Neues Schloss Schleissheim

Inspired by Versailles, and serving as a summer residence to the Wittelsbacher royals, the Neues Schloss Schleissheim castle is well worth a visit! It’s a little outside the center of Munich, well off the beaten path. The castle features Baroque architecture at its finest and is surrounded by spectacular gardens. I’m surprised this place isn’t more famous – it took 3 years of living here before I even heard about it! 

View of the Glockenspiel from Galeria Kaufhof

While the Marienplatz Glockenspiel is arguably the #1 tourist attraction of Munich, there is a viewpoint over the famous square that is a true hidden gem. The café in Galeria Kaufhof overlooks the square and gives you a perfect view of the famous Glockenspiel.

Grab a front-row seat to Munich’s most famous attraction without dealing with the crowds. Side note – if you happen to be in Munich during a heatwave, the Galeria Kaufhof is one of the few places in the city that has coveted air conditioning!

Alte Utting

The Alte Utting boat sits atop a bridge and functions as a restaurant and bar

The Alte Utting boat sits atop a bridge and functions as a restaurant and bar

A scene that looks like it belongs in the more edgy Berlin, Alte Utting is one of the best hidden gems in Munich and my favorite place to take out-of-town guests. It’s an old ship that has been elevated onto an old set of railway tracks, a cool place to grab a drink with friends.

The Lost Weekend

The Lost Weekend is a café and event space in the middle of the student district. It serves great coffee and snacks, and will occasionally have a book reading or poetry slam. Check the schedule of events to see if something sparks your interest.

The Jaded Monkey

With a prominent beer culture, it’s no wonder that great cocktail bars in Munich are few and far between. But there are some great hidden gems, like the Jaded Monkey. Serving up inventive cocktails in a swanky setting reminiscent of a New York bar, you’ll love getting a little more off the beaten path while visiting Munich.

Café im Vorhoelzer Forum

Munich's favorite student hang out

Café im Vorhoelzer Forum – Munich’s best rooftop hang out

As a university town, Munich is full of great restaurants and bars that cater to the student crowd. This rooftop bar is a true hidden gem in Munich because it’s hard to find!

Located atop one of the University buildings, you’ll need to find your way to a back elevator. Once you emerge on the top floor, you’ll find one of the best views in Munich. On a clear day, you’ll even catch a view of the Alps!

Note: Café in Vorhoelzer Forum closed during the pandemic and re-opening is TBD. In the meantime, you can still access the rooftop and BYOB to enjoy a drink with one of the best views in Munich.

Hidden Gems in Munich, Germany

Pin Hidden Gems in Munich, Germany