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Munich, once characterized as fundamentally conservative, has changed enormously and now is even hedonistic and quite progressive. The new, trendy neighborhoods on either side of the Isar River now offer many sidewalk cafes, alternative boutiques, florists and many other obvious signs of a gentrified area. Fashion, too, has taken a hold on these Bavarians. They are as proud of their wealth and success as they are of their traditions. These are all qualities any visitor will notice and enjoy. The "Beer Gardens" in their lush outdoor settings are sophisticated and fun. Oktoberfest is an extravaganza and another way the citizens of Munich will show you how to enjoy life.
Barer StraBe 27 (Schwabing)
Tel. +49 (2) 380.5216
Munich is a rich town so it’s no wonder that this museum is one that the locals can be proud of. The building that houses the impressive European art collection of the 14th to 18th century was built in 1825 and is impeccably maintained.
Museumsinsel 1 (Zentrum)
Tel. +49 089.2179
This very popular city museum happens to be Germany’s largest. The focus here is science and technology. There is also an IMAX theatre and planetarium.
Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer StraBe 40 (Schwabing)
Tel. +49 (2) 389.5360
This museum of modern art is huge and is a combination of four different museums. One, the State Gallery of Art, contains a handful of works by Picasso, Magritte and Beckman. There are also works that have been added more recently by Francis Bacon and Donald Judd. The second museum is the National collection of Graphic Arts. It comprises 400,000 works from Leonardo DaVinci to Cezanne. Third, there is the museum of Design, which contains 50,000 pieces. Finally there is the Architekur museum, which focuses on architecture of the 18th and 19th century.
Spiridon Louis Ring 7 80809
Tel. +49 (0) 893.822.3307
Behind the popular BMW Museum is the BMW headquarters building, with striking steel cylinders that make it an architectural attraction in its own right. The museum is as immaculate as you'd expect. Exhibits include many BMW cars, motorcycles, planes, and concept cars and, near the top, simulators and interactive displays. Classic models for car buffs to drool over include the BMX 507 (1955), and there's also a BMW 750iL (1987) neatly sliced in half lengthways to show what makes it tick. The adjacent BMW factory also does free plant tours in German and English.
Tel. +49 (89) 29.0671
In 1385, the ruling Wittelsbach family decided to erect a new palace as the Alter Hof had become too small for their needs. The main building was the first part of the royal residence to be erected. The palace grounds include numerous grottoes, courtyards, fountains, a medicine room, antiquarium, chapel and the delightful Wittelsbach fountain built by Duke Otto in 1611-23. This is where you’ll find the Crown Jewels, the State Collection of Egyptian Art, the late-baroque Residenz Theatre and the classicist Herkulessaal, a concert hall with amazing acoustics. This is a magnificent place, so give at least two hours.
Bayerischer Hof Hotel (7th Floor)
Prominade Platz 2-6
This panoramic spa on the 7th floor of the esteemed hotel is amazing and those not staying here can experience this slice of heaven for 24 euros, a virtual bargain as six million was spent to build the place. The decoration is magnificent and the pool has a sliding roof. Treatments include stone therapy, four handed massage and even chocolate massages. After spending the day getting in shape there is a bar with great views.
Monday through Friday for lunch & dinner Saturday & Sunday: dinner only. The best Italian restaurant in Munich and one of the best restaurants in the city. When you’re ready for a break from German cuisine, do not miss this delicious option. Recipient of one Michelin Star and named the best Italian restaurant in all of Germany. Reservations recommended.
Sudtiroler Stuben Platzl 6-8
Tel. +49 (89) 216.6900
German celebrity chef, Alfons Schuhbeck, has earned a Michelin star for one of Munich's best. The ambiance is old world but the food certainly not. Gourmet modern German inspired is the best way to describe this dining must.
Sebastianplatz 9 (Zentrum)
Tel. +49 (4) 522.2333
This unusual designer restaurant is home to the fashionable of Munich. The cuisine features items such as parfait of goose foie gras with rhubarb, rabbit with white asparagus and shellfish with watercress bisque. The menu, which changes daily, always features a cheese cart.
Eisbach Bar & Kuche
Marstallplatz 3 (Zentrum)
Tel. +49 (2) 280.1680
www.eisbach.eu (In German)
The scene is diverse for its clientele and food. The menu has a definite Mediterranean influence and the location, which is located near the chic Maximilianstrase shopping street, attracts an international and sophisticated crowd to this trendy spot.
ChristophstraBe 3 (Lehel)
Tel. +49 (2) 554.1966
The ambiance is gray and black with subdued lighting. The food is very inventive with dishes such as spinach cannelloni in mango and fennel cappuccino. Obviously it’s all about fusion. Another dish is tuna tartare with iced grape and guacamole sauce. But it’s the desserts that are really different. Try the melon shooter and rhubarb sorbet. A reservation is mandatory as this is a fashionable and well-regarded haunt of the locals.
Dukatz im Literaturhaus
Tel. +49 (089) 291.9600
Here’s a refreshing break from that hearty German fare. A successful mixture of cafe, bar and restaurant, this converted market hall is celebrated for its lovingly prepared French/Italian cuisine (try the tender lamb chops with olives) and homemade Gallic patisseries (apple tart to be precise). They also serve up designer sandwiches and latte macchiato in its cafe section. This spot is perfect for people watching as it is a stomping ground for the chic and intellectual.
Tel. Tel. +49.089.3619590
Closed Mon & Sun. Not only one of Munich and Bavaria's best restaurants, but one of the best in all of Germany, a rare 'true luxury' restaurant. In this two-Michelin-star place, the look is more hip Lower East Side lounge club than coat-and-tie stiff, and more Buddhist temple than temple of haute cuisine. Insider Tip: Call on Tantris's new post-10 p.m. chauffeured Phaeton limo—a free mutual back-scratching service courtesy of a carmaker.
Odeonplatz 15 (Zentrum)
Tel. +49 (089) 333.336
This optic expert store features unique designs and is definitely worth a trip for those who must have more than ordinary designer glasses. Frames are made from buffalo horn, plastic and high tech titanium.
R Wittgenstein-R. 7
Tel. +49 (089) 242.346.00
This concept store not only features well known fashion labels but also a selection of office and bathroom furniture as well as vintage design objects from around the world. There is an iPod station where shoppers can check out 30 new CD titles every month.
Stancsics Schoko Laden
PrannerstraBe 5 (Zentrum)
Tel. +49 (2) 422.4260
Every major city has its required chocolate shop and here is Munich’s best. Be sure to try pralines with unusual fillings such as coco curry or rosemary and argan oils.
Munich City Guide
For the ideal Munich information website, click on this link and then the little icon of a book. Started by an English expat, this site has been in existence for 11 years, the homepage proudly boasts. Anything useful or interesting to see is here.
It was the “Airport of the Year” in 2006.
Two blocks from the Ostbahnhof station
www.kunspark.de (German only)
Kunstpark Ost is an old factory ground that now contains about 35 nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Whatever the taste, they have the place. For example, try Natraj Temple for Trance, Keller for Independent, Mogador for Oriental, Black Raven for hardcore heavy metal, Garage De Luxe for rock or Nachtkantine for something to eat in the middle of the night. A word of warning though: show up late; often the party’s just starting at 1:00 am.
(right next to Haus der Kunst)
Tel. +49 (08) 929.4252
This legendary nightclub started as a club of US-American army officers and is now the number-one nightclub in Munich. The rich and the beautiful, stars and starlets party here; consequently it can be tough to get it, so remember to wear a posh outfit.
Tel. +49 (089) 4.902.6633
This subsidiary of the legendary Pacha club in Ibiza is rumored to be challenging P1’s number-one position. It is certainly among the most stylish clubs in Munich, with a very trendy, sexy and definitely stylish clientele - a fact that is ensured by the security and a strict door policy, which mercilessly filters out apparel that doesn't seem suitable. Inside, Pacha features the classic sound one knows from Ibiza: mostly house, funky soul and some R&B thrown in for good measure. The large outside area is relaxing, with a soothing little stream and goldfish making their rounds.
(near U2 exit Kˆnigsplatz)
Tel. +49 (08) 959.8319
Next to a lively beer garden, this trendy club always has the latest equipment and music. Sink into one of their groovy purple sofas and pretend to hallucinate (the wacky lighting will enhance the effect). The people who run this bar have an offbeat sense of humor, which might bring out the silly side of guests. Join the jumping masses enjoying the music and learn to love Euro Pop. Beware: the party doesn’t get going until about midnight.