Laptop meets Lederhose — while memorable and to some extent true, this oft-repeated statement doesn’t do the Bavarian capital justice. Munich has a population of more than 1.3 million, making it the third largest city in Germany. And with more than 4,300 people per square kilometre it has the highest population density in the country.
Minga, as the Bavarian capital is known to locals, was first mentioned in 1158 as Villa Munichen. However, the first settlements on the Petersbergl hill date back to the eighth century. Today, Munich is one of Germany’s leading business, media and cultural centres and one of the most affluent cities in the whole of Europe.
Alongside the diverse architecture, thriving shopping streets and business centres, the city’s green lungs are also worthy of particular mention. Stretching from the city centre to the northernmost outskirts, the English Garden (established 1789) covers an impressive 3.7 square kilometres, making it even larger than Central Park in New York.
Art, culture & events
The Atomic Café (Neuturmstraße 5) has long since established itself as the place to be in Munich. Affordable drinks, the beats of soul away from the mainstream and the cosy atmosphere attract visitors in droves to the Neuturmstraße, and guarantee an exuberant atmosphere.
The P1 discotheque (Prinzregentenstrasse 1) is familiar to people well beyond the Bavarian border. Even if you don’t necessarily get past the bouncers first time, once you have managed to get in there, you find yourself bang in the middle of a high-class disco surrounded by stars and starlets.
Expect a more relaxed atmosphere in Café Cord (Sonnenstrasse 19). You can get in here even if you are wearing a T-shirt and trainers. The music programme changes daily: amongst other things, Munich’s musicians offer an insight into their very own hit parades
The Augustiner Keller (Arnulfstraße 25) is a long-established institution in Munich. The “Augustiner” is without doubt the most typical of all Munich’s beer gardens. Right next to the city centre, its old chestnut trees afford shade for almost 5,000 people.
No less well-known and just as original is the Hofbräuhaus (Platzl 9). The vaults of the beer hall are traditional, and full of tourists from all over the world. Waitresses dash backwards and forwards serving up the hundreds of roast pork and duck dishes consumed every day – not to mention the amounts of two-pint tankards of beer…
Much less Bavarian yet practically an institution in its own right is Tokami (Theresienstraße 54). Well-known for its authentic Japanese cuisine, the restaurant serves up sushi, hot meals and exquisite desserts daily between noon and 2.30 p.m. and again between 6 p.m. and midnight.
A tasteful setting and a new five-course meal every evening await you in Broeding (Schulstraße 9). The restaurant seats 40, and its good reputation means that it is wise to reserve.
Designer fashion can be found alongside traditional loden and national dress at Lodenfrey in Maffeistrasse, for example.
Not far away, the shop of the former purveyor to the court and Germany’s oldest shoemaker Eduard Meier in Residenzstraße offers first-class footwear for him and her.
Lots of little boutiques bearing jewellery, accessories and clothing line the street between Stachus and Marienplatz: the shopping temples of Karstadt and Kaufhof are also at home here.
To the north of Marienplatz and the Town Hall, you can find exclusive ingredients, expensive clothing, presents for (dear) friends and high-class furnishings aplenty.
Last but not least: the Viktualienmarkt (victuals market) in the old town is a feast for the senses and, in fact, an essential part of any trip to Munich. Deli stalls boast regional specialities and many an exotic speciality, small bistros and butchers’ invite you in for a snack and to tarry a while