Long Weekend in Munich

Munich

© Shutterstock

munich

Munich

© Shutterstock

Friday

From the famous Glockenspiel at Marienplatz to a visit to the Dallmayr Delikatessenhaus and an enjoyable close of the day at Broeding restaurant.

Many roads lead to the Bavarian capital, but you should be aware that arriving by plane means a further 45-minute journey into the city centre on the less-than-attractive S-Bahn (suburban railway). An alternative is the air-conditioned Lufthansa Express Bus, which also delivers visitors to the heart of the metropolis. If you are feeling energetic and fit and do not have much luggage to carry, you can take a nice walk past the famous Karlsplatz (which is known as 'Stachus' in Munich) to our weekend retreat – a lifestyle hotel belonging to the Hyatt Group – called Andaz. Contemporary design is foremost here and is conveyed elegantly, not least through natural wooden floors and handmade sofas. Luxury and casual comfort are not mutually exclusive. A good independent alternative is the Platzl Hotel, which combines Bavarian style with a high level of comfort. 

After a short breather we explore the city centre. The Marienplatz, with its famous town hall including the even more famous Glockenspiel, is only a few minutes' walk away. Important: Be there shortly before 5 pm (from March to October, otherwise always at 11am and 12pm) to hear the 43 bells chime on time. For an afternoon snack, why not head to Café Glockenspiel, just a few metres away. Here you can enjoy the view over the city and the Marienplatz as well as excellent cakes from the in-house patisserie, while the 'blue hour' slowly envelops Munich. 

After a short stroll through the city and possibly a visit to the legendary Viktualienmarkt or the Dallmayr Delikatessenhaus (tip: in the associated two-star restaurant Alois you can enjoy the fine food provided by chef Christoph Kunz at lunchtime and in the evening) we take the tram and make our way to the Neuhausen district. Here, in Schulstraße, is Broeding restaurant, long an insider's tip in Munich gourmet circles. The New York Times and Michelin Guide have given it enthusiastic reviews for its daily-changing six-course menu. A reservation is recommended, particularly at weekends. 

Saturday

On Saturday, after a visit to Feinkost Käfer and a shopping spree, we have the choice between two top culinary venues: Tantris and the Atelier in the Bayerischer Hof hotel. 

Saturday starts with breakfast overlooking one of the most beautiful places in the city: The Cotidiano at Gärtnerplatz, from where you can admire the lavishly-renovated State Theatre. Afterwards we stroll through the hip Glockenbachviertel, which stretches west of Gärtnerplatz and is home to cafés, boutiques and interior design shops. Then the tour continues to the museum quarter in Maxvorstadt. The Pinakothek der Moderne is a particularly worthwhile destination: in addition to its impressive architecture, the building, in exposed concrete, boasts a comprehensive collection of modern art and changing exhibitions covering a wide range of topics.

We have our midday snack on the terrace of restaurant Ella, which is attached to the Lenbachhaus, a museum that is also well-worth visiting, and offers a great view of the Königsplatz with its magnificent architecture. A stroll to Feinkost Käfer follows our refreshment stop. In the main store in Prinzregentenstraße the choice is difficult, but a good souvenir from here are Bavarian Weißwürste sausages sold in cans.

After our souvenir stop we continue towards the premier shopping street in the city, the Kaufingerstraße. In the elegant department store Oberpollinger you will find all the well-known luxury brands, as well as fine stationery, design objects and luggage. 

We set off again after a short rest and head for the temple of Munich culinary art (which is also a must for design fans): The Tantris in the Schwabing district, which opened in 1971, is one of the best restaurants in the country. German culinary history was written here, first by pioneer Eckart Witzigmann, then by Heinz Winkler, followed by Hans Haas and now under Benjamin Chmura. Gourmets can be sure of what to expect as, since 1974, the restaurant has always been awarded at least two stars. Haas announced his retirement in December 2020, but under the new chef you will still enjoy top cuisine and of course the legendary wine cellar with around 35,000 bottles.

The number one restaurant in Munich today is the three-Michelin-star Atelier in the luxury hotel Bayerischer Hof on the river Isar. It took head chef Jan Hartwig just three years to cook his way up to the Olympus of top cuisine, but in November of last year he handed the reigns over to Anton Gschwendtner. The cooking style is difficult to generalise, and it's hard to pin down to one genre, but the brilliance of the cuisine is breathtaking.

To round off a lively day, head to the Distillers Bar in the heart of Schwabing, where the cocktails are created with spirits from the adjacent distillery. Especially recommended is their Monaco Mule made with the in-house vodka, infused with ginger beer and finished with orange bitters. If you feel like bar-hopping, you should move on to the Goldene Bar, which is located in the Haus der Kunst. 

You can eat and drink a little later in the Grapes Weinbar in the city centre. It is open until two o'clock in the morning – this cosy venue serves exquisite wines and hot food long after others have shut.

Sunday

Breakfast with Weißwurst sausage, a stroll in the park of Nymphenburg Palace and a short visit to the tranquil Hackenviertel conclude our weekend in the Bavarian capital. 

The last day is going to be typically Bavarian. A traditional breakfast of Weißwurst in the Schneider Bräuhaus with a folk festival atmosphere thrown in because of the brass band playing in traditional costume (only on Sunday mornings). However, such a meaty breakfast is not for late risers: sausages are only served until twelve o'clock. 

The Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl at the cathedral is also typically Bavarian. A hearty breakfast calls for a little exercise which we take, after a short tram ride, in the huge park of the Nymphenburg palace. This was once the summer retreat of the Wittelsbach dynasty, and even today descendants of this noble family still live in parts of the enormous castle.

On the way back we make a short stop at the café Schreibwaren am Schloss, where excellent cakes and a sumptuous hot chocolate are served. We spend our remaining hours in the Bavarian capital strolling through the so-called Hackenviertel around Sendlinger Straße. Here, in Damenstiftstraße or Hackenstraße, you can get an impression of what Munich must have looked like in mediaeval times.

Not to be left out, is the English Garden with its beer gardens full of locals enjoying the fresh air. In the old botanical garden in the heart of the city we spend the last moments of our stay under the shade of chestnut trees and let our delightful weekend come to a pleasant end. 

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Falstaff Nr. 04/2018
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