16 May 2012

Munich Travel Guide

    Getting to Town
  • The subway system has two lines from the airport to the centre of Munich. Go to the Tourist Office on Level 3 at the airport and buy a Munchen Welcome Card. It is available for 1 or 3 days, 1 or up-to-5 people, and for the inner area or all of the transport system.
  • Visit www.s-bahn-muenchen.de for details of transport and www.munich-touristinfo.de for a list of discounts at attractions.
  • Note the airport is out of the inner area so you would have to get the total area card! If you had the time, you could travel 2 stops into town on a single ticket, and then use an inner area card. Not too much hassle for us! It was 26 Euro for the two of us for 3 days.

    Somewhere to Sleep
  • Don't stay at the Hotel Atrium on Landwehr Strasse. It might be near the station, but it's not on the nicest side of town.
  • A much better location is Amalien Strasse, north of the Ring Road and near the Pinakothek. There are plenty of hotels and it's much quieter.
    Eating Out
  • There's always the beer cellars, of which there are many!
  • For a new type of pasta experience, visit Vapiano in the Funf Hofe arcade. You collect a smart card as you enter, then upstairs the chefs will cook your pasta in front of you as you select the ingredients, and then you find a seat. Top up with drinks at the bar, and pay off the card when you leave. www.vapiano.de
  • If you're out to the north of town, near the university and art galleries, a great place to eat is Cohen's, a Jewish restaurant. There's all sorts of starters, tasty mains, and a homely atmosphere. Theresien Strasse 31, phone 280 9545. Universitat is the closest subway station.www.cohens.de
  • For afternoon tea in the classiest surroundings, Cafe Luitpold at Brienner Strasse 11 (near Odeonsplatz) has been open since 1888 and has a fantastic selection of cakes and drinks. When you arrive, choose your cake in the shop before taking your seat, and then give the receipt to the waitress. There's a Palm Garden with regular tea dances. www.cafe-luitpold.de
  • There's also great places to eat in the Schrannenhalle (see below).
  • The 150-year-old market hall in the centre of the Viktualienmarkt is called the Schrannenhalle, and has lots of boutiques and craft stalls, as well as cafes and bars. Every day there is entertainment on the main stage, in a communal German sort of way. Think Butlins or informercials, I suppose.
  • It's a good place to buy gifts or just stop off for a coffee (or a wee). Open 24 hours.
  • The Viktualienmarkt has meats, cheeses, alcoholic drinks, flowers and traditional crafts.
  • Eclectic (and cheap) homewares can be found at Kehraus Outletstore, at Tal 21. Tal runs from Marienplatz to Isartor, and has lots of little shops of varying quality.
    Must-See SIghts
  • There are three Pinakothek museums, Alte (Old), Neue (New) and Moderne (Modern). Take Tram 27 up Barer Strasse, or it's a short walk from the centre of town.
  • The first two cost 5 Euro each, and Moderne is 9 Euro. On Sunday each is only 1 Euro and absoultely packed out.
  • Pinakothek der Moderne is an innovative piece of modern architecture which can be disorientating but worth exploring. It is split into sections for Design, Art, Architecture and Works on Paper.
  • The art is international and there are special exhibitions in each section of the gallery. Visit www.pinakothek.de.
  • There are three good churches in the centre to visit. Frauenkirche and St Michael's Church are to the west of Marienplatz, and Alter Peter is to the south. All have fantastic architecture and atmosphere.
  • The Olympic Park dates from 1972 and still has the original buildings. The Tower is worth a visit, with a Rock Museum and great views. Open 9am - midnight, only 3 Euro with the Welcome Card.
  • The Stadium has seen better days, and is mainly used for concerts. There is an ice rink, a swimming pool, and a park and lake to walk round. Of course there's fab 70s typography too, and Olympic memorabilia in the Tower shop.
  • On the walk back to Olympia-Zentrum station (on line U3) visit the Olympic Village, all ziggurat tower-blocks and communal spaces.
  • History? You want history? Munich has it in spades. Start with the Residence, on Residenz Strasse. There are 4 centuries of architecture, art, jewellery and royal possessions. All over town are historic buildings, including the Neues Rathaus with its famous carillon performing daily at 1200 and 1700.
  • Further out of town you have the palaces of Nymphenburg and Dachau, well worth a visit.
    Our Top Tip: Funf Hofe
  • This is a new shopping and dining arcade, made up of covered walkways between 5 redeveloped city blocks. It was designed by Herzog and de Meuron, famous for Tate Modern.
  • Best shops: Butlers for eclectic homewares and gifts, Muji for Japanese style, Manufactum for German design, Hugendubel for books
  • Best restaurant: Vapiano (see above)
  • Best art: Hypokunsthalle has a shop and cafe, and special exhibitions each quarter. It's half price on Monday evening.
  • Information at www.fuenfhoefe.de
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