The first time I ever visited Munich was 18 years ago and I was almost nine at the time! The only thing that I vaguely remembered was the Olympic Park and the BMW building! So this time it was a good opportunity to be re-introduced to the city and its beauty. The weather was (mostly) generous to us, as I strongly believe that any city looks more beautiful when the sun shines.
What I liked more about Munich was its parks. When I saw on the map how huge the English Garden is, I was astonished. I wished that I could walk ALL through the park, but I had to be content with the small part that I visited. It was Sunday, it was sunny and that means that the park was full of people strolling, biking, jogging, walking their dogs or sunbathing. Some friends told me that some people preferred to sunbathe in their birthday suit, but the people I saw were covered up (or at least their private bits)! In the park there is a lovely beer garden, by the Chinese Tower which is SO ideal during such a sunny day!
The second park that I loved (and also visited he same day) was the Olympic Park. It is located at the North West corner of the city and it is fairly large (but not larger than English Garden. It has a few hills that were created from the soil produced by the excavations for the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Hall and the Swimming Centre. It also features an Aquarium, 5×5 football court and mini golf. If I had more time I wanted to climb up the highest hill which was 564m high! The sight of so much grass and people strolling or sunbathing was so attractive, I wanted to dive into the grass!!…but BMW World was awaiting me…
The BMW building is consisted of 3 cylinder formed buildings actually. In front of this building there is another, cup shaped one, which is part of the BMW Museum and across the street is a modern glass building with a “double cone” on one corner, which hosts the BMW showroom. The “double cone” hosted a presentation/exhibition of the new BMW Z4 roadster. The motto of the presentation was “An Expression of Joy” and one of the video clips playing involved an Z4 creating an abstract painting with its wheels (you can watch the clip here ). The show room also had a couple of computers where you could make your own drawing and email it. So I made a lovely abstract drawing (what else could I do with a touchpad?!) and mailed it to myself!!!
The BMW Museum also amazed me. The design and presentation of exhibits was soooo fine. The walls were white and lighted from the inside (which actually doesn’t make them walls but Plexiglas panels) and a very relaxing music was playing on the background (the kind of music you hear when doing yoga). It didn’t follow the typical chronological order of appearance, but it was separated it parts such as company history, car motors, motorcycles, design + innovation and of course cars from the 30s until today.
Apart from the parks, the other sites that I loved were the gothic buildings that the city has. I am a big fan of gothic architecture (especially churches and stained glass), so I was more than amazed when I saw the City Hall at Marienplatz. I was also lucky as I was there when the clock stroke 5 p.m., and a marvelous “show” from the figures that were located just under the clock started. The Frauenkirche is one of the churches located at the town center. It is a large and high church (as all medieval ones) and at first sight I thought that it didn’t have stained glass windows. But the pillars were just hiding them!! I took some very lovely pictures of them and I was more than content!
Food & Drink
When in Munich, you must absolutely visit a beer house (or beer garden in spring and summer). The most famous one is the Hofbräuhaus (HB) which originates from the 16th century. I prefer their weiss (= white) beer, but they also have other varieties as well, such as beer combined with lemonade. Apparently weiss beer is a Bavarian specialty, which is highly convenient for me as the only beers that I like are HB and Franziskaner (which also has a beer house in Munich)
If you want to taste more sophisticated (a.k.a pricey) dishes then you should visit “Schuhbeck’s in den Südtirolen Stuben”. Apparently Schuhbeck is a famous chef with a couple of cookbooks and a TV show! The menu had very few dishes but they were all delicious. Its was just one of the occasional times that I have a 3-couse meal.
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of german clothing brands. Do not get me wrong, they have nice clothes, but I haven’t found something young, fresh and a little bit eccentric; a high street brand like River Island in the UK. Though the one shop that is my latest favorite is NewYorker ! Especially the “brand” Fishbone has some cool t-shirts to wear either alone or with a cardigan.
City Center, Am Platzl 9 80331 München
Platzl 6 + 8, 80331 München
Kaufingerstr. 22, München 80331