What’s Doing in Munich

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WHAT TO EAT

Zum Dürnbräu

Zum Dürnbräu

My favorite two traditional Bavarian restaurants in Munich are Zum Dürnbräu and Zum Spöckmeier.  While the latter is in the heart of the inner city near Marienplatz, Zum Dürnbräu is tucked away on a tiny street bearing its name and is more sedate.  Both are excellent choices but Zum Spöckmeier may very well serve the best Kaiserschmarrn (an Austrian pancake dish) in Germany.

Tantris, a mainstay of gastronomy in the city for decades, continues to delight diners with its burnt orange and black interior, impeccable service, and nouvelle German cuisine.

Munich is also the city that invented the Beer Garden or Biergarten and my favorites include the Royal Hirschgarten, situated in a park in the western part of Munich and the largest traditional Biergarten in the world. It can seat up to 8,000 people under shady chestnut trees, serving Augustiner Lagerbeer as well as beer from Herzogliches Brauhaus Tegernsee and Schloßbrauerei Kaltenberg.  Another is Aumeister, at the northern tip of the English Garden.

WHERE TO STAY

Visitors to Munich have a choice of numerous luxury hotels.

Sofitel Bayerpost

Sofitel Bayerpost

Located on the bustling Maximilianstraße, the Vier Jahreszeiten is one of the grand hotels of Europe.  Its salon-style lobby features a mosaic glass roof portraying the four seasons (the hotel’s name, Vier Jahreszeiten, means Four Seasons) and it has served as the temporary home for heads of state and royalty since its opening in 1858.

The Bayerischer Hof, originally built in 1841 at the request of King Ludwig I, is a massive family-owned hotel that is well-placed on the Promenadeplatz in Munich’s city center.

The brand new (and rather aptly-named) Sofitel Bayerpost, is housed behind the classical Wilhelminian façade of the former Royal Bavarian Post Office (Königlich-Bayerischen Post) that dates back to the 19th century.

The Charles Hotel

The Charles Hotel

The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte property, opened in 2007.  Going against the trend, it is in a new cool white stone building that still manages to blend in with its surroundings, such as the 19th-century Justizpalast and the almost secret Alter Botanischer Gärten (Old Botanical Garden).

The Mandarin Oriental Munich’s unassuming entrance belies the elegance found inside.  Originally the Hotel Rafael, it opened in 2000 in an 1875 building that now features a rooftop pool and deck with super views of the city (there’s a bar up there as well).

GETTING AROUND

Munich has one of the best public transportation networks in the world, which is a good thing because parking spots are far and few between.  You can get anywhere using the U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (commuter rail), Straßenbahn (street car), and bus or a combination thereof.  The service is clean, efficient, and inexpensive, and on the honor system.  Passengers purchase single-trip tickets and validate them before entering the system or purchase passes valid for anywhere from one day to a month.

GETTING THERE

Getting to Munich is easy.   Lufthansa, Germany’s flag carrier, operates non-stop flights to the city from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other gateway cities.  United and Delta offer non-stops from Washington (Dulles) and Atlanta.  Swiss offers connecting service through Zurich and other airlines including Air Berlin, Air France, and KLM, offer service through their hubs in Düsseldorf, Paris, and Amsterdam respectively.

It’s also easy to travel by car to Munich.  Germany’s extensive Autobahn (highway) system makes driving to the city equally easy.

Click here to continue to Page 4Virtual Tours of the City and BMW Museum

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