27 August 2011

What You'll See in Munich Residenz

Related posts:
- What to Expect in a Munich Beerhall Experience -

If there's two places you have to see in Munich because you only have a day or less, it would be a beerhall (no explanations needed and will be featured in a blog entry of its own) and the Munich Residenz. 

The Munich Residenz is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs in Munich's city center. It is the largest city palace in Germany and is open to visitors for its architecture and room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections.

Going to the Residenz is like going to Versailles in Paris without the crowd. You'll get to see similar room decorations and architecture. While you'll miss the grandeur of the gardens, the royalty of the fountain show, and the vastness of space, this will be compensated by an access to royal collections. To give a better idea of what I'm talking about, here are what you can expect to see (click the image to enlarge):

Antiquarium - Commissioned by Duke Albrecht V from 1568 to 1571 for his collection of antique sculptures

Treasury - Showcases the jewels, goldsmith's work, enamels, crystal objects and ivories collections of Bavarian rulers 

Bavarian royal insignia

Travelling set of Empress Marie Louise of France (silver-gilt,  gold, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell and other materials; width of case 56 cm);  Martin Guillaume Biennais and workshop, Paris, 1812

Statuette of St George (gold, enamel, silver-gilt, diamonds, rubies,  emeralds, opals, agate, chalcedony, rock crystal and other precious stones, pearls; height 50 cm)




Baroque Ancestral Gallery - Over 100 portraits of members of the Wittelsbach family are let into the carved gilt panelling of the gallery.

Palace Rooms 




Court Church of All Saints - Inspired by King Ludwig I's visit to Palermo in 1823, when he was Crown Prince. After attending Midnight Mass in the palace chapel there, which is built in a mixture of Norman and Byzantine styles, he was allegedly so moved that he exclaimed: "That's the kind of court chapel I want!"


This was a very quick tour of the Munich Residenz because I only had half a day in Munich's city centre. The Residenz has a lot more to offer and I wished I had more time to savor the opulence of this palace. I promise to go back... can you blame me?

Most of the information here was taken from: http://www.residenz-muenchen.de

07 August 2011

Sydney Central YHA Hostel Review and Recommendation

Related posts:
Melbourne Central YHA Hostel Review and Recommendation

Sydney Central YHA has got to be one of the coolest hostels. I booked my four night stay in this hostel and its Melbourne counterpart, Melbourne Central YHA, at the same time...  and both hostels didn't fail me. While Melbourne Central YHA is cleaner because it is newer (don't get me wrong because Sydney Central YHA is also clean), this one is full of energy and can really make you feel the youthful hostel vibe. 

After entering this facade and registering in this reception area...


... here are the things you can expect to enjoy:

Movie Room - I was amazed with the size of this hostel's movie room. It was really spacious and even has bean bags for a cozy movie experience. This is located in the "Socials" floor which I will be featuring next.

"Socials" (Internet, Restaurant, Movie, Gaming, etc.) floor - Aside from housing the above-featured movie room, this floor also has computer terminals, laptop tables, chairs and sofas, billiards, foosball, books and a restaurant. Great chance to mingle with fellow travellers!

TV Rooms per floor - If you prefer to watch tv shows and movies near your room, each floor has its own TV room. As seen in the picture, the room is spacious and has lots of comfy sofas.

In-house Travel Consultants - If you weren't able to plan much prior to your trip to Sydney, no need to worry because the hostel has lots of travel brochures and even has an in-house travel agency where you can book tours to Blue Mountain, etc.

Rooftop -  Feel like taking a dip? No need to go out because you can do it at the rooftop and enjoy view of the city. 

Clean Toilet and Bath - Although the toilets are not as new as Melbourne Central YHA's, they are still clean and regularly maintained.

Dorm Rooms with Personal Lockers, Reading Lamp and Electric Outlet - No explanations needed but it is worth noting that they are clean (not all hostels are).

Hallways - Just a glimpse... you might actually think it's a hotel!

With clean facilities, cool amenities, and a central location... Sydney Central YHA is highly recommended! After all, it is not a three-time winner (and Hall of Fame entrant) of the Australian Tourism Awards (2008, 2009, 2010) for nothing. 

If you decide to stay here, here are some useful information:

Beds, Rooms, and Prices (as of 07Aug2011)

6 Share Femalefrom $36.00 to $49.00 per bed
6 Share Malefrom $36.00 to $49.00 per bed
4 Share Femalefrom $37.00 to $50.00 per bed
4 Share Malefrom $37.00 to $50.00 per bed
Double Private Bathroomfrom $108.00 to $134.00 per room

Getting from Sydney Airport to Sydney Central YHA 

  • The train runs from under the airport to Central Station, across the road from the hostel 
  • Cost:  $15.00 (from Domestic Terminal)  $15.60 (from International Terminal)   
  • Time: 15 minutes to Central Station 

  • Taxi ranks are located directly outside the arrivals hall
  • Cost: $25-$40 depending on traffic
  • Time: 20-30 minutes depending on traffic 

 Shuttle Bus: 
  • Shuttle buses need to be pre-booked at  www.kst.com.au. 
  • Cost: $12.60
  • Time: 30-45 minutes depending on traffic 

Getting from Central Station to Sydney Central YHA 

 Trains: Exit onto Eddy Ave, turn left, Sydney Central YHA is across Pitt St 
 Buses: Long distance buses drop off at Eddy Ave, Sydney Central YHA is across Pitt St 

Location Map