How to describe Munich to someone who has never been?

Munich and its people are very traditional and easy going. You’ll see people in traditional costumes – dirndl and lederhosen – not only during Oktoberfest season and the clocks seem to tick a bit slower in this beautiful city. On the contrary, there’s a blooming and vibrant international art and music scene. You might feel an Italian impact, since we are so close to Italy and Munich is often called the northernmost city of Italy.

Which are the places in Munich that everyone should visit?
That’s easy, you’ll just have to go to the city centre (Marienplatz) and visit the old court house and the Frauenkirche. Stroll over Viktualienmarkt and walk towards Odeonsplatz with the Residenz, the Hofgarten and Theatinerkirche.

What are the best restaurants here?
There are some great casual dining spots around the city where you just order Italian or Spanish tapas with your glass of wine. My favourite is Mezzodi in the Haidhausen quarter or the more lively Palau in the Glockenbach area. The Burger House is a good alternative. For date night I’d prefer something more fancy like French-bistro-style Chez Fritz to share a seafood platter or modern-eastern Kismet. Want to impress with the best steak in town, go to Theresa or with excellent Japanese food, go to Emiko.

And the best bar?
For great cocktails and cool designed interior: Bar Reichenbach, Bar FantomCortiina Bar
For great cocktails and wise bartenders: Goldene Bar, Barroom, Schumann’s and Pusser’s

Where to go if you feel like dancing with friends?
Call me Drella if you prefer it chic and Paradiso if you like it a bit extravagant.

Best café?
Literary salon, bookshop, art gallery, coffee shop – all in one: Lost Weekend
Sitting outside and watching people café-house-style: Tambosi
You rather wear sneakers and eat healthy snacks: Aromabar
Sweet tooth? Try out Götterspeise or Maelu for the best macarons in town
Shabby chic and crafting is totally yours? Café Marais

Pre-dinner drinks?
You might have heard of it, we love champagne and Sprizz here in Munich. Preferably before dinner, watching the sun go down over Munich. Best places: The rooftop terrace of hotel Bayerischer Hof or, for the student at heart, the Vorhoelzer Forum. For the Italien experience go to lively Bar Centrale.

Where to eat the best and typical roast pork?
With the theatre crowd in a glamorous surrounding at Spaten or in one of the many beergardens, Seehaus in the English Garden is my favourite.

The best park to spend an afternoon in?
Picnic in the huge English Garden or stroll through the Hofgarten to feel like an ancient princess.

For a little culture?
My favourite is the Brandhorst Museum, the Cy Twombly collection is a must-see. Also go to Haus der Kunst (changing exhibitions), Lenbachhaus and the Pinakotheken.

Which are the most interesting neighborhoods and why?
Glockenbach because of the modern, young and arty vibe. Stroll around Gärtnerplatz and explore the little boutiques, cafés and bars. For a more quiet place visit the beautiful cemetary Südfriedhof. And Haidhausen around Wiener Platz; chic boutiques and cafés circle surround the little market stands.

What is the best souvenir someone can buy in Munich?
Chocolate truffles from Dallmayr and pretzels.

Where is the best spot for people watching?
Schumann’s Bar and Brenner Grill.

Describe the coolest stores here…
Munich has got a few chic concept stores: My favourite stores are Slips (Carven, MSGM, Equipment) and Nicole Mohrmann. Schwittenberg (Isabel Marant Etoile, Acne Studios) is for fancy clothing and Apropos for the guys. Department store Ludwig Beck has the best beauty selection you can find in the city. If you want to opt for delicatessen, you’ll love Dallmayr. For extraordinary jewelry and extraordinary store design you shouldn’t miss House of Capulet and minimalistic jewelry designer Saskia Diez‘s pieces.
If you simply like strolling I’d recommend Hohenzollernstrasse in the student quarter Schwabing, which offers lots of smaller stores.

How to get around Munich?
The city is not very big, therefore a bike is the perfect way to get around.

Is there a hotel to recommend to friends ?
The Cortiina hotel or hotel Lux.

Where to go for a day trip outside of Munich?
The Alps and lakes are only an hour from Munich. Go to Tegernsee for a little hike, take a swim in the lake and have a cold beer at the Bräustüberl. Or explore Ettal and Ludwig II. fairy-tale Linderhof Castle.

Describe the perfect day in Munich…
Spoil yourself and start the day with an oyster-and-champagne-brunch at Dallmayr at the lively oyster bar in the food court and watch sophisticated Munich ladies in hats and fur running their errands. Stroll towards Odeonsplatz, get a coffee-to-go at Starbucks and sit in the sun on one of the benches in the Hofgarten. Watch the surfers at the Eisbach, yes, Munich is something of a surfing hotspot. Walk back to Viktualienmarkt and buy everything fresh for dinner. Enjoy the sunset and an aperitif from the Bayerischer Hof rooftop terrace before heading home to prepare dinner or to go out.

What is important to know?
1. You should make reservations in advance! It can be very frustrating to look for a table spontaneously on a weekend.
2. If you would like to try a Bavarian veal sausage make sure to do so before noon, they might not be served afterwards.
3. The Oktoberfest is fun, but honestly, highly overrated.


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