EAT in Munich:
Secretly and quietly: This beer garden oasis is located on the highest mountain of the city (564 m) and, luckily, is missed by most. No mass processing, no packed tables, and with Ayinger beer the - subjectively speaking - best wheat beer in Bavaria. The summit has a bizarre history: After the World War II, the people in Munich didn't know where to put all the debris and, orderly as they are, carried it all to this one spot, making a mountain: The later Olympia Alm was built. During the construction of the area for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the workers met at a kiosk that evolved into a beer garden. But beware: In order to reach the source of a cool refreshment or a giant portion of spear ribs, you'll have to climb the mountain for at least 10 minutes. This won't make you fit for Olympia, yet it might be a start.
Here costly taxi rides from the restaurant to the bar and on to the club are unnecessary. In the Zerwirk, the second oldest building in Munich, you go from the bar restaurant Etage Zwo (you guessed it: it's located on the second floor) one floor down into the Crux, one of the coolest clubs in Munich. The renowned gastronomes Carl Walderdorff and Stefan Oelze , both trained in star-rated restaurants, know each other from the trendy Nage & Sauge restaurant. They applied the same successful mix of stylish food and casual ambiance to the Etage Zwo: The food is Meditarranean, international and modern with a touch of the best of Bavarian cuisine. Care for a taste? For example, there's a fantastic chicken, wrapped in bacon, and buttermilk crème with candied sesame seeds for desert. After the meal you can move on to the bar at the entry, where you ring in a long Munich night. Finally, you can slip down the stairs to rock out. What else could you wish for? Only the taxi drivers have a reason to complain.
Last meals obviously leave nothing to be desired, and such is the case in the Last Supper! Images of saints smile from wood-panelled walls, and the furnishing is rustic. What looks like a pious Bavarian tavern at first glance, is a heathen gourmet temple at the second, one where people sacrifice to the god of gluttonousness. Chef Tobis Gietz and the waiters always crack a joke, the stereo is playing Sex Pistols, and the guests are so hip that any organizer of church congresses would be green with envy. Boris Becker, Horst Tappert and the German punk band Toten Hosen have already been spotted. And even the food fills us with awe: You don't get anything a la carte, yet there are three daily changing menus for 31 euros each, which can be mixed and matched as you like. For example beef carpaccio with Parmesan cheese, duck with chestnuts and red cabbage and crème brulée. Enjoy your meal as if it were your last!
SIGHTS in Munich:
It doesn't always have to be Neuschwanstein Castle. But a little bit of castle is inevitable, and at least you can reach Nymphenburg by tram. The magnificent palace is just as much part of the Bavarian identity as beer and pretzels. The castle owes its existence to a happy occasion: The birth of Elector Ferdinand Maria's and his wife Adelaide of Savoy's heir to the throne in 1664. At the time, Munich was truly a village, and Nymphenburg was so far out on the countryside that it served as a summer residence. In the course of the years it was changed according to the prevailing style. Today, walls and ceilings are for the most part covered with extravagant baroque paintings. For its inhabitants the Nymphenburg Palace was much more than a castle to show off with. It was a place of life, love and birth - i.e. that of the famous Fairy Tale King Ludwig II in a bedroom that is open to visitors. Another attraction is the beauty gallery of King Ludwig I., which immortalized the most beautiful Munich women of his time. Today, maybe the most striking thing is the enchanting palace garden with its lakes, canals and water fountains.
Nothing may aspire to greater highs than the onion dome of the Frauenkirche - Munich continues to be well-grounded. For comparison: The Cologne Cathedral is almost 160 metres and the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt even 259 metres high. Yet the building regulations have something to be proud of, since from the top of the south tower you have a wonderful view onto the rooftops of Munich as well as the nearby Alps. Construction began in 1468. It must have been conceived as some type of Ark of Bavaria, because the giant building provided room for 20,000 standing people - at a time when Munich, with its 13,000 inhabitants, was really something of a big village. Who knows, maybe some feared the revenge of the devil? He is said to have stomped his foot on the ground, enraged that he had been fooled or out of sheer anger about the imposing house of god. The footprint, complete with a hooked tail, is still visible in the entry hall. Who knows what other mischief Beelzebub is still up to?
Imagine you're going to the cinema! You're sitting down on the leather seat but only as soon as the back rest has reached the right position. Then you'll order your dinner directly to your seat and feast until the film starts. In the new Gloria Palace in Munich you'll feel like being in a film even before the film has started. It took four months until the tradition-steeped cinema at the Stachus was completed in December 2012. After all there was a lot to renovate. The Grand Dame of German film, Ilse Kubaschewski, took great pains when she built it - but that's already sixty years ago. The Kinopolis Group therefore looked for a new concept and the first thing they did was cutting down the number of seats to half of the original number. Every guest now receives a welcome drink and a waiter is ready to take your orders in the cinema hall. They installed several separate boxes on the balcony with specially designed sofas and own footrests.
STAY in Munich:
Hotel am Markt
Black and white photographs at the reception desk remind you of the many ballet dancers and opera singers that have stayed here. No wonder: You will find all the important theatres within walking distance. You might even see one or the other artist warming up in the breakfast room. There are three main reasons to stay in this place: 1. The international audience: People that live grandly and make little to-do about it. 2. The location: The house was built in 1897 as a fish exchange near the Viktualienmarkt. At the time there was a creek nearby, from which the ware was delivered fresh onto the sales counter. 3. The prices: A double without shower is available starting at 79,- euros. If you want you can also get a 90 m² suite (2-6 occupants) with a view onto the Viktualienmarkt for 199,- euros.
Wilhelmine architecture meets avant-garde design, paired with a pinch of French lifestyle. The hotel Sofitel Bayerpost is a five-star hotel with aha experience. If you head for the heritage-protected building with its venerable façade, you will be surprised inside - by finding contemporary design at its best. In the magnificent lobby, 396 rooms and the famous Nymphenburg banquet hall, the guest finds modern classics of furniture design, simple shapes and quiet colours. The in-house restaurant Schwarz & Weiz impresses on three floors with exciting architecture and a tasteful trip through the Bavarian gourmet cuisine with French accents. Sophie's Bistro serves daily specials from the lava stone grill with ingredients fresh from the market - in summer also on the terrace.
Exclusivity doesn't always mean high prices: : In this middle-range hotel you won't even loose that comfy feeling after a hearty day at the Oktoberfest: On those comfortable water beds it seems difficult to distinguish a slight dizziness from the cosy wobbling of the bed. One thing is certain: Electronic smog cannot be blamed, since you can block off such waves via a cut-off-plug. The charming, privately run place in is located in an upscale neighbourhood near the Theresienwiese, where every year towards the second to last September weekend the Oktoberfest (Wiesn) is happening. Asside from singles and doubles they also have family rooms and apartments without kitchen on offer. In any event, you won't need one, because breakfast is so abundant and the location so central that top Munich restaurants are within walking distance. Tip for parents who are itching to discover Munich's nightlife: The hotel offers a babysitter service. Doubles start at 76,- euros a night.
SHOPPING in Munich:
The success story of Pool began in the mid-1990s when the two managers Cambis Sharegh and Pete Hannewald opened a small store on Müllerstraße. By now there are four stores based in Munich and the online store verypoolish.com - which was founded in 2009 and is worshipped by fashion lovers - that rate among the business family. Pool offers a variety of hip designers like Julius, Maison Michel Paris and Neil Barrett. Apart from high fashion for women and men there is also a sophisticated and cosmopolitan assortment of decorative home accessories, lifestyle and beauty products. The look of Pool is cool and sexy. And that does not come by chance. Co-owner Cambis Sharegh is a known house DJ with gigs in international clubs in Munich, Berlin, London and Cape Town. Furthermore he is a music producer with his own record label. Thus, it's not surprising that Pool is also a trendy address for CDs and vinyl and they also organise parties and events.
Tsé & Tsé
Even lamps, vases and baby plaids tell stories - especially when two crazy French women have created them. The Vase d'Avril, for example, the first product of the Parisian designer duo Catherine Lévy and Sigolène Prébois, who are the women behind the label Tsé Tsé: 21 test tubes that will bring a colourful spring flower meadow into your home. Or the Guirlande Cubiste, a lamp in the form of 15 hand-folded white and colouredl paper cubes with mysterious lighting effects. Everything got started with the two designers thinking about interesting objects for themselves, little crazy things that beautified their lives. To this day there is a lot of esprit and joie de vivre in their design, and each piece gives you the feeling of truly owning one-of-a-kind piece. There are only three shops worldwide that carry the entire Tsé Tsé product line. The shop in Munich also offers many other - mostly French - brands for tableware, home accessories and furniture. The great thing about it: Many of the things even fit into your carry-on luggage.
In this shop you find hip fashion for people who enjoy swirling through the air: Snowboarders, surfers, skaters and every one who catches air from one happy cloud to the next. Fans of big street wear labels from the US, Sweden, Iceland, and England won't stop raving about this futuristic-psychedelic room: Behind transparent walls with a flexible shelving systems there are coloured fluorescent tubes that plunge the decidedly ascetic interior into a changing bath of colours. The brands: Analog, Nikita, WESC, DC, Encore, Evisu, B by Burton, Arcus, Insight, Fenchurch, Albin, EVAW, LRG, Quest, Zoo York, Hurley, Vans, and others. Never heard of them? Then it's time to take a look. The colour bath alone is worth a visit!