According to cachedhealth.com, the official motto of the capital of Bavaria is “Munich loves you”. And indeed, getting here, it is immediately easy to feel the benevolent cheerful atmosphere of this South German city. The capital of the federal state of Bavaria is not only and not so much a merry riotous Oktoberfest, a great football team and a Mecca for fans of powerful cars. Sprawled on the banks of the Isar River, in southern Germany, in the foothills of the Alps, Munich attracts with its majestic cathedrals with tall bell towers, sprawling front squares, old houses with richly decorated facades and flower baskets on the windows.
Districts of Munich
The historic city center (Altstadt-Lehel), or simply Altstadt, is extremely easy to find – it’s all within the famous “road loop” Altstadtring. It is here that the lion’s share of tourist attractions is located: both Town Halls, the former residence of the Bavarian kings, the National Theater, the legendary Hofbräuhaus and the Frauenkirche church. And here – boutiques of famous brands, shopping centers, a lot of restaurants and hotels. All this splendor is crowned by the ancient gates leading to the Altstadt: these are Karlstor, Isartor and Sendlinger Tor.
Maxvorstadt is both a bohemian and scientific district north of the Historic Center. Here are two leading universities in Germany – the famous University of Munich and the Technical University of Munich. In addition, Maxvorstadt is home to high-class art museums, such as the three famous Pinakotheks, the Lenbachhaus, the Glyptotek and the State Antiquities Collection. No wonder so many refer to this area as the “brain of Munich”. As a bonus, there are plenty of small designer shops, bars and restaurants.
Schwabing and the English Garden is a very trendy and at the same time charming quarter located just outside the territory of the Ludwig-Maximilian University, where small cafes, expensive shoe and clothing boutiques, a lot of specialized bookstores, galleries and restaurants await their guests. Schwabing has always been popular with artistic personalities – Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, Vladimir Lenin (yes, the same one as Ilyich) and the physicist Werner Heisenberg lived here. Looking at the shady, cozy boulevards of the area, it’s not hard to imagine why. The main points of attraction are Leopoldstrasse (Leopoldstrasse, an abundance of cafes and bars), Hohenzollernstrasse (Hohenzollernstrasse and Kurfürstenplatz, shopping), as well as the English Garden – a huge green space in the heart of the city with streams, lakes and “beer gardens” in the east of Schwabing.
Schwabing has always been popular with artistic personalities – Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, Vladimir Lenin (yes, the same one as Ilyich) and the physicist Werner Heisenberg lived here.
The Olympic quarter (Olympiagelände), built, which is already interesting, on the site of the former Munich airport Oberwiesenfeld, appeared on the city map by 1972. attracts attention with an incredible view of the Bavarian Alps. One ascent to the top of the Olympic “hill”, built from the wreckage of the Second World War, gives stunning panoramas. Add to this the BMW Museum and Exhibition Center, located within walking distance of the park, and it becomes clear that a visit to the Olympic Quarter is a must.
Neuhausen-Nymphenburg is perhaps one of the quietest districts in Munich. Take trams 12, 16 or 17 to the Romanplatz or Rotkreuzplatz stops in the center of a multi-million city, and you will not notice how you find yourself in the idyllic provincial outskirts of Bavaria. Tourists are rare here, and in vain. Neuhausen is home to the world’s largest beer garden. Well, Nymphenburg is the famous palace gardens and the elegant residence of Henrietta Adelaide of Savoy.
The area with the unpronounceable name Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt (Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt) occupies the area to the south of Munich up to the central railway station. Despite the fact that compared to the rest of the city, these two look a little dirty and untidy, here are the most gambling gambling halls, the most fun strip clubs and the most delicious authentic restaurants of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. In the south-west of Ludwigsvorstadt is the very Terezin Meadow, where every September-October, the revelry Oktoberfest takes place.. The center of Isarvorstadt is the Gärtnerplatz square, full of cafes and bars. The Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz theater is also located here, one of the best in the city. From the south-west, the square is adjoined by depraved quarters with the most haunted places in Munich, where, among other things, the Bavarian gay community has “registered” (mostly in establishments along Müllerstrasse).
Finally, the last two areas. This is Haidhausen (Au-Haidhausen) with its club area Kultfabrik and the beautiful French quarter around Orleansplatz, whose appearance has not changed, it seems, for a couple of hundred years. And the East of Munich, which unites Bogenhausen, Berg am Laim, Trudering-Riem and Ramersdorf-Perlach – for the most part sleeping areas in the east of the Isar River, where the famous Hellabrunn Zoo is located, a good beach and, a little further, on the outskirts of Grunwald, a Bavarian film studio (actually, studio and theme park).
Munich has really good shopping with a lot of shops for every taste and budget. An endless network of shopping streets runs from the Marienplatz square and further, to the pedestrian shopping arteries Kaufingerstrasse and Neuhauser Strasse. All goods are like a selection: high-quality, but often not cheap, the local society does not throw money away for consumer goods. Therefore, the best time to shop here is during the Christmas sales period or at the end of summer, when stores get rid of summer collections.
The most elegant boutiques are found on Briennerstrasse, Maximilianstrasse (where there is also a rich selection of art galleries), Maffeistrasse and Theatinestrasse. Here are the top designers from all over Europe: Jil Sander, Joop, Bogner, Max Dietl, Rudolph Moshammer. In search of interesting souvenirs and antiques, it is worth taking a walk on Ottostrasse. Well, vintage second-hand and costumes of bygone eras are on Westenriederstrasse.
Christmas market at Marienplatz
Christkindlmarkt, or Christmas market, which takes place every year from late November to late December, is perhaps the most important event for the city’s residents (after Oktoberfest, of course). For a month, the stalls on the main square of Munich are bursting with hand-made toys, Christmas tree decorations and all kinds of goodies, sweets, snacks, gingerbread and smoked meats, flavored with a fair portion of mulled wine.
What to try
The cuisine of Munich is not just a reason for a separate article, but a separate site. Dozens of breweries that have been operating since the 13th-15th centuries, the traditional salted pretzel pretzel, fragrant pork knee with eternal stewed cabbage and potatoes, finally, sausages… What sausages and sausages are in Munich (from 5-7 EUR for 2 pieces)! However, keep in mind that in order to pass for a real Bavarian, in no case eat the famous white sausages in the afternoon – locals eat this dish exclusively for breakfast. Another important nuance – a basket or rack with pretzels on each table does not mean at all that they are free. With a greater degree of probability, a scrupulous German waiter will count each eaten “salty gingerbread” and add it to the bill.
What you should know for sure: they love to eat here, and there is a lot, because the portion size is sometimes amazing.
Every autumn (late September – early October), the Theresienwiese meadow hosts the annual Oktoberfest beer festival, which has been held for almost 200 years, for which they even brew a special kind of beer – Wiesn.
Cafes and restaurants in Munich
You can try all of the above miracles in abundance in the city center, whichever restaurant you choose, it will be guaranteed to be delicious everywhere. There are two must-see places: a beer restaurant under the town hall and the Hofbräuhaus. The first one is hard to miss, as it is located on the main square of Marienplatz directly under the town hall building, inviting tourists to their chambers from any side of the building, wherever you go around. In the second, which is located two minutes east of Marienplatz, Hitler himself once treated himself to beer, and in general this is one of the most famous and really delicious establishments in the whole city.
In addition, in the capital of Bavaria there are as many as 8 restaurants that have received Michelin stars, the average bill in them will be from 150 EUR per person. In a standard pub you can have a wonderful dinner for 40-50 EUR. Cheaper – in Asian restaurants and it is better to buy takeaway food.
In general, in Munich it is difficult to distinguish a pub from a restaurant: portions are large everywhere (no, even very large), freshly brewed beer is served everywhere, the price tag is about the same. All kinds of bakery cafes stand apart, where it is so pleasant to have breakfast with fresh pastries.
Summer weather in Munich is unpredictable: the June heat can turn into a November downpour. Therefore, you should always carry an umbrella and a sweater, swimming trunks and a towel with you: there are many crystal clear lakes near Munich. In winter, sightseeing of the city can be combined with skiing in the mountains in Garmisch or neighboring Austria.