There is more to Munich than beer and brats, but if 24 hours is all the time you have to enjoy one of Europe’s finest cities, then by all means go for the gusto and dive right into all the local specialties. For those with a desire to go beyond the usual, Munich has much to offer in terms of cultural events and fine dining. And, some of the best boutique hotels can be found there. No major changes have been made since my last visit quite some years ago, and I like it that way. Navigating the city is easy by foot and everything you need to have an exceptional visit is within walking distance. Please enjoy my take on where to eat, drink and stay in Munich..
Boutique Hotel Great for Fun or Business
Mandarin Oriental Munich (Neuturmstrasse 1 80331 Munich) is a small, luxury hotel with only 73 rooms, half of which are suites. As a guest of the hotel I appreciated the low-key vibe that comes along with being in a more intimate property. There are loads of open space and light in the public spaces, yet a warm and cozy lobby bar makes it feel oh so comfortable. It’s the little things that make an otherwise ordinary room special. The MO Munich has generous sized lighted closets with wooden shoetrees and built in television screens into the walls in the bathroom. I love that plugs were built into each side of the bed frame, allowing right and left sided sleepers the luxury of choosing where they want to keep their cell phones/alarm clocks plugged in.
My “east meets west” double room had two comfy beds, a large living and desk area and a kick-ass bathroom. I adore heated towel racks and separate showers and bathtubs. Most of all, I appreciate fluffy towels. There is nothing worse than scratchy hotel towels; it was just the opposite at the MO. One of the best parts of my stay was the breakfast in the morning. There’s just something so cool about eating eggs with warm pretzels and honey right off the comb and washing it down with a nice local beer to impress a gal. It was one of the most fun breakfasts I can remember!
Staying at the Mandarin Oriental A well appointed Munich bedroom with wonderful baths
Breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel guests can scoop some honey right off the comb
Beer for Breakfast
Foodies Celebrate Munich with Great Options
Open air markets are a particularly fun way to get a foodie fix in Munich. “Markplatz” is the area where dozens of vendors set up temporary shops to sell everything from meats and fish to fresh fruits, cheese and arts and crafts. Most locals call it the “Viktualienmarkt” or victuals market.For an off the beaten path but traditional local meal, try the Zum Dürnbräu restaurant (Dürnbräugasse 2, 80331) where German ladies in lederhosen have been serving thirsty folks frothy beer and salty pretzels since 1487! The wiener schnitzel was out of this world and the atmosphere was as good as it gets for enjoying a relaxing dinner celebrating what makes Munich so special.
A beer garden in Munich
Author, Priscilla Pilon
The Oompha Pa Band at Hofbrauhaus
Cafe Munich -Outdoor cafe Parisian style
Gorgeous ceilings look over the traditional beer garden at a Munich Hofbrauhaus
Bistro MO (located in the Mandarin Hotel) is the perfect spot for a healthy and delicious business lunch or casual dinner. Even in the dead of winter, the large glass windows add light from the outside, filling the restaurant with a bright and cheery ambiance. I could go on and on about my sumptuous lunch of lobster bisque and quail salad, but it would make you want this very meal and their menu changes with the seasons so it may not be available now. Rest assured that Executive Chef Simon Larese will come up with something fabulous for you when you visit. Of course for the spur of the moment diners, there are plenty of European cafés about town and one need not make a reservation. Just plop down in any open chair, either inside on a typical cloudy day or fight the crowds for an outside seat in the sun and warm up while people watching. You will love it!
Beer or Not to Beer, Munich has it all
The biggest tourist trap in all of Munich is for sure the legendary Hofbräuhaus (Platzl 9, 80331 Munich) “brown house” as it was first knows because it only served brown beer. Like many an alcohol, the monks in Monasteries were creating the best beers. The Duke of Bavaria was dissatisfied with the local brew and commissioned a group to start their own place for local beer. With a famous monk for as their brew master, the original house was for the court only. It was many years before the public was welcomed in and now it is considered a right of passage for visitors to sit at the old wooden tables, listen to Oompa Pa bands and sips some suds. The outside beer gardens in the back are filled to the brim during Oktoberfest. Inside there is much to see; from the brightly colored ceiling art to the old metal light fixtures. Try to go during off peak hours and seasons to enjoy the building and it history.
The outdoor markets at Viktualienmarkt have a gigantic area with wooden tables and benches for people to grab food-to-go and a pint or two and sit down to enjoy in large and small groups. Six breweries in Munich take turns serving their beer, which is a fun concept. No matter the weather, people gather in a casual fun spirit in this place..
Dinner at Zum
Wiener Schnitzel from Zum Restaurant
The fresh fish market in Munich
Sick of beer?
Try one of the many beautiful and tasty cocktails made by professional mixologist, José Hernandez, the bar chief at the lobby lounge and Mandarin bar. The wine selection is also super, very international and robust. If exclusivity is your thing, I recommend the Rum Club located just outside of the hotel. Hotel in-house guests can enjoy a great Cuban cigar and a bottle of their favorite libation in the comfort of a private hip lounge. An added bonus, members can store up to two bottles of alcohol per year in private bottle lockers.
Whether you have 24 hours or 24 days, there is so much to see, do, eat and drink in this Bavarian gem of a city. For more information, please see the German Tourism Travel Site.