- Local Time
In this land of bratwurst and biergartens, a new moniker for the former medieval town is being bandied about: the Silicon Valley of Germany. The tech start–up scene aside, the Bavarian capital retains an old–school cool, with its love of Christmas markets, dirndls and, of course, Oktoberfest.
Where to stay
- Stylish hotel bed at the 25Hours Hotel Munich The Royal Bavarian in Munich, Germany25hours Hotel Munich The Royal BavarianFor the trendy design
- Lobby inside of Aloft in Munich, GermanyAloft MunichFor accessible comfort
- Luxurious room at Beyond in Munich, GermanyBeyondFor the personal attention
Eat & Drink
Tasting menus at Broeding The art of simplicity guides the neo–Bavarian kitchen at Broeding – which means there’s only one tasting menu offered per night, available in five or six courses. (Score a deal from 6 to 7 p.m., when an abbreviated three–course option is just €45.) To ensure the vegetables are as local, seasonal and organic as possible, they’re grown in the restaurant’s own greenhouses.
Late–night cocktails at Zephyr Bar This small, sombre–grey bar may appear unassuming, but it’s crowded for a reason. The drinks stand out for the creative recipes and embellishments: garnishes of fresh herbs, fruits and flowers. Try a G&T mixed with Munich’s Duke gin, or ask one of the friendly bartenders to dream up a cocktail just for you.
Vegan dishes at Gratitude In a region famous for its meaty culinary heritage, Gratitude sets itself apart with organic, plant–based dishes. The menu is ever–changing, eclectic and globally inspired (think hummus topped with sprouts and falafel, and Asian–style eggplant stew over rice).
Bavarian platters at Augustiner Bräustuben The largest room in this beer hall–style venue was once a stable for horses that pulled brewery carts through Munich. Today, servers in traditional Bavarian garb deliver beer steins and hearty regional dishes, such as pork knuckle (schweinshaxe) and roast duck (bauernente). Order the mixed pan of roast meats if you can’t choose just one.
Michelin–starred fine dining at Tantris For exquisitely presented French–Euro dishes, this destination restaurant reliably delivers: Though the tasting menu may change, it has held the distinction of two Michelin stars since 1974. The over–the–top throwback decor by architect Stephan Braunfels – walls aglow in red – remains just as iconic as ever.
What to do
Cooking lessons at Alfons Schuhbeck Kochkurse What’s better than eating like a local? Learning to cook local with a top chef. Michelin–starred Alfons Schuhbeck runs classes in the kitchens of his upscale Munich restaurants, Orlando and Südtiroler Stuben. Sign up for the crash course on Bavarian and South Tyrolean cuisine to learn how to make dumplings light and the coat of a schnitzel crispy.
Cycling along the River Isar Dedicated bike paths criss–cross the Bavarian capital; follow the trail along the River Isar to ride past Hellabrunn Zoo on your way out of Munich. If you’re feeling energetic, continue toward Lake Starnberg, where King Ludwig II mysteriously drowned in 1886, or to the spa town of Bad Tölz in the foothills of the Alps.
Swimming at Mueller’sches Volksbad Opened in 1901 on the River Isar, Mueller’sches Volksbad was intended as a public pool for the poor – though you wouldn’t guess this humble intention from the ornate art–deco design. Year–round, you can swim in the warm–water pool under the domed ceiling, relax in the saunas or Roman–inspired steam bath, and soak up the bathing culture.
Contemporary art and design at Pinakothek der Moderne Munich’s Maxvorstadt neighbourhood is known as the Kunstareal (art district). Here, you’ll find the Pinakothek der Moderne, one of the world’s largest troves of modern art. It covers four museums under one umbrella: Sammlung Moderne Kunst (painting, sculpture and photography), Die Neue Sammlung (industrial design), Architekturmuseum der TU München (architectural works) and Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München (drawings and prints).
Race cars at BMW Museum From the outside, this museum resembles an enormous metallic bowl, opposite Munich’s expansive Olympic Park. Inside, car geeks can learn all about one of Germany’s most iconic brands through a series of themed exhibits. Production vehicles and racing cars are on display, along with motorbikes and aircraft engines from BMW’s early years.
Accessible womenswear at Edited Right by LMU München university, you’ll find the first branch of Edited to open in the country’s south. The German label hits the trends with fashionable women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, available at fairly accessible price points. There are six collections a year, which means fresh stock every couple of months.
Craft beers at Biervana One of the best bottle shops in Germany, Biervana opened in 2014 and proudly stocks only beer – more than 600 different brews at last count. Shelves showcase Bavarian craft producers, such as Orca Brau, Hanscraft and the cheeky Munich Brew Mafia, plus beers from beyond Germany.
Handcrafted housewares at Manufactum This German department store specializes in a wide range of handcrafted goods, including smartly designed, affordable kitchenware. You’ll also find everything you need for a picnic, such as sourdough bread fresh out of the stone oven, and specialty foods from European monasteries, such as olive oil, forest honey and organic salami.
Stylish accessories at Porsche Design Store If you only know Porsche as a performance sports–car maker, you may be surprised to see all the other sleek products it creates. At this minimalist design shop in its German homeland, you’ll find sporty apparel for men and women, sunglasses and high–end watches.