The view from the top of St Lambert’s Church took my breath away. Partially from the amazing view of streets lit up below, partially from the steep climb up the dizzying spiral staircase and partially from the biting cold. Muenster is gorgeous after dark, even if we were the only ones to appreciate it on that freezing winter’s night.
Muenster may not be on the tourist trail in Germany but sometimes it’s nice to get a little off the beaten path. Not too far off mind you. Muenster has a nice mix of old and new to keep you interested during a short trip to the city. Rain, hail or shine here are my ‘must do’s’ on a city break in Muenster.
The Prinzipalmarkt is Muenster’s main thoroughfare. It’s where you’ll find all the high street shops, great cafes and small boutique stores. It’s where the locals head on the weekends for a touch of retail therapy and to meet up with friends. The buildings may not be original, they were rebuilt after the war, but the style is typical of the city and the arcades are a great place for window shopping.
Pinkus Mueller Brewery
After a hard day of sightseeing and exploring, you might want to relax with a locally brewed organic beer and the Pinkus Mueller Brewery is that place for that. Along with certified organic beer, you can try some beer cheese and other local specialities. This is the place to go for traditional German food.
If German cuisine isn’t your thing, the entire street is filled with cafes, bars and restaurants which might take your fancy.
Coffee and Cake
When the Sun Comes Out
While a visit to Muenster’s Palace and the farmers market are definitely worthwhile, you might want to think twice about it if the rain is tumbling down. These top attractions are best seen on a clear, sunny day.
The Prince-Bishops Palace
A lengthy cobblestone path leads to Muenster’s baroque Palace. It’s one of the more elaborate buildings in the city which was rebuilt after WWII and is now part of the local university. Behind the castle is Muenster’s botanical gardens which even includes an Aussie section.
Open Air Market
As is the case in most European cities, Muenster’s central open air market is the place to go for the freshest local produce or in my case a little people watching.
When it Rains
Muenster has a bit of a reputation as a rainy city but it’s not because it rains a lot but because it rains a little, often. I don’t visit many museums when I travel but when it’s raining I often seek cover in a museum (more often I head to a cafe and eat cake).
Pablo Picasso Museum of Graphic Art
Picasso’s quirky paintings are more fascinating the more I see them but the Pablo Picasso museum in Muenster only displays his prints, not paintings. It’s a huge collection of works and they have some cool temporary exhibitions like the current Willy Ronis retrospective.
Museum of Lacquer Art
When I first heard of the lacquer museum it took me a while to figure out what they were talking about but I discovered the museum consists of artwork including furniture, paintings and other decorative items which have been lacquered in ridiculously intricate designs. I imagined it would be quite boring but it was just the opposite, the Lacquer Art museum was one of my favourites on my Historic Germany trip. No photos allowed unfortunately.
Where to Stay
On this trip I stayed at the Treff Hotel in the centre of Muenster as a guest of Muenster Tourism and Historic Highlights of Germany. The hotel is situated right on the main shopping square and is a short walk to all of Muenster’s attractions. The Treff Hotel gets extra points for putting on a champagne breakfast each morning.
Visit the Historic Highlights of Germany website for more information on visiting this city and other lesser known destinations in Germany. Follow my Foursquare list to find all the places I recommend visiting in Muenster.2