EAT in Munich:
Here costly taxi rides from the restaurant to the bar and on to the club are unnecessary. In the Zerwirk, the second oldest building in Munich, you go from the bar restaurant Etage Zwo (you guessed it: it's located on the second floor) one floor down into the Crux, one of the coolest clubs in Munich. The renowned gastronomes Carl Walderdorff and Stefan Oelze , both trained in star-rated restaurants, know each other from the trendy Nage & Sauge restaurant. They applied the same successful mix of stylish food and casual ambiance to the Etage Zwo: The food is Meditarranean, international and modern with a touch of the best of Bavarian cuisine. Care for a taste? For example, there's a fantastic chicken, wrapped in bacon, and buttermilk crème with candied sesame seeds for desert. After the meal you can move on to the bar at the entry, where you ring in a long Munich night. Finally, you can slip down the stairs to rock out. What else could you wish for? Only the taxi drivers have a reason to complain.
Last meals obviously leave nothing to be desired, and such is the case in the Last Supper! Images of saints smile from wood-panelled walls, and the furnishing is rustic. What looks like a pious Bavarian tavern at first glance, is a heathen gourmet temple at the second, one where people sacrifice to the god of gluttonousness. Chef Tobis Gietz and the waiters always crack a joke, the stereo is playing Sex Pistols, and the guests are so hip that any organizer of church congresses would be green with envy. Boris Becker, Horst Tappert and the German punk band Toten Hosen have already been spotted. And even the food fills us with awe: You don't get anything a la carte, yet there are three daily changing menus for 31 euros each, which can be mixed and matched as you like. For example beef carpaccio with Parmesan cheese, duck with chestnuts and red cabbage and crème brulée. Enjoy your meal as if it were your last!
In the Westend, Döner and Falafel have been shaping the gastronomic scene for a long time. With one weighty exception: The Augustiner Bräustuben are an important Bavarian remnant for locals, tourists and many Zuagroaste (migrant workers - including from many other parts in Germany). At night up to 500 people sit along wooden tables and benches. It's not an insider tip, just as the Munich Hofbräuhaus isn't, yet it's more down-to-earth and a real experience: Whether it's the waitresses' harsh service, or the Gamsbart-hat wearing card players, or the fair-value Bavarian specialities. The daily special starts at 5 euros, and even the vegetarian choices are surprisingly plentiful. According to the locals, they also brew the best beer in town. Tip: The pollack with herb mayonnaise is the best far and wide - and for 6.70 euros certainly one of the most affordable.
SIGHTS in Munich:
The greatest treasures of art history are on display. We just need to open our eyes, pause for a moment and marvel. Let's start our tour with the Alte Pinakothek: You can admire more than 700 masterpieces of European artists from the 14th to the 18th centuries are on display, including famous ones such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Dürer, Rubens, and Rembrandt. Head on to the Neue Pinakothek, a unique collection of European art from neo-classicism up to art nouveau, the romantic Caspar David Friedrich, impressionists like Manet and Monet or the pioneer of expressionism, Vincent Van Gogh. Finally the Pinakothek der Moderne, which, in reality, is four in one: Visual arts, graphic arts, architecture and design of the 20th and 21st centuries under one roof, one of the biggest and most surprising museums of its kind worldwide. Art is not simply hung on the walls. It turns into a happening, something that is searching for a dialogue with the observer. In the Neue Sammlung of the design museum you can sail from time island to time island, docking at the avant-gardes of the 20s and 30s, dropping by the Pop Art design of the 60s and experience post modernism and purism.
Imagine you're going to the cinema! You're sitting down on the leather seat but only as soon as the back rest has reached the right position. Then you'll order your dinner directly to your seat and feast until the film starts. In the new Gloria Palace in Munich you'll feel like being in a film even before the film has started. It took four months until the tradition-steeped cinema at the Stachus was completed in December 2012. After all there was a lot to renovate. The Grand Dame of German film, Ilse Kubaschewski, took great pains when she built it - but that's already sixty years ago. The Kinopolis Group therefore looked for a new concept and the first thing they did was cutting down the number of seats to half of the original number. Every guest now receives a welcome drink and a waiter is ready to take your orders in the cinema hall. They installed several separate boxes on the balcony with specially designed sofas and own footrests.
For a long time it was the uncontested hip neighbourhood of Munich. Then came (supposedly) the yuppies and drove the artists out. Nevertheless, it continues to be the best place to party. On warm summer nights every one who feels like some fun meets on the steps in front of the Gärtnerplatz theatre or in the green spaces, drinks beer and enjoys the City. If you want you can start your party night with an opera or a musical in the Staatstheater - or simply join one of the many in-bars to warm up for a full night of clubbing. For example the hip Café King, which is located in a former filling station, or the cosy Holy Home. 30 years ago, the Glockenbach was one of the poorest working-class neighbourhoods in Munich, and many apartments stood empty. Then came the artists, lesbians, gays, students and immigrants. In the Mylord rather opposites types such as Freddy Mercury, the Bavarian heavyweight politician Franz Josef Strauß and the filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder had loud parties (even if not necessarily together). The yuppies and real estate speculators have long discovered the district, and many of the crazy birds of former times have been driven out. Some may regret that. Yet it's no reason to ring in the end of alternative culture in Munich.
SHOPPING in Munich:
In this cosy concept store you can, with good conscience, stock up on precious things to wear, decorate your house with and pamper yourself. The leitmotif is the principle of sustainability: Furniture from plantation teak wood, or clothes by the Natural Wave Label of shop owner Oliver Wiesent. The fashion is anything but boring. Linen is combined with silk, and the classic natural colours with hearty orange and red. Aside from his own, Wiesent also offers other sustainability labels, such as the Spanish EseOEse & Yerse or the Scandinavian Brittinger. If you want, you can ride on the eco wave right in front of your doorstep, since, aside from fashion, furniture and natural cosmetics, you'll also find kitchen ware, home accessories and handmade semi-precious stone jewellery.
apartment20 hits the young Munich fashion scene on the head. With so much success, few manage to resist. In this cult shop you find not only top labels such as colcci, Nolita, Sonja Kiefer, BLC, Gaultier, D&G, Dior, Tom Ford and many more. No, it also brings real glamour and metropolitan flair to Schwabing, which sometimes battles a somewhat provincial image. Many, mostly German, celebrities have been seen, including Basti Schweinsteiger, Ricky Martin or Olli and Simone Kahn. Many people don't know that apartment20 is one of the top-selling fashion temples in Europe. Its founders discovered event culture when most others were still decorating shop windows: Before Christmas you can peek at a real Christmas strip on display, and year-round there are live DJ presentations and video installations of aspiring young directors. Tip: Once a month the shop sponsors gay events in the Kloster Club and every fortnight a club night in Two Rooms. Free tickets for these events are available in the shop.
The success story of Pool began in the mid-1990s when the two managers Cambis Sharegh and Pete Hannewald opened a small store on Müllerstraße. By now there are four stores based in Munich and the online store verypoolish.com - which was founded in 2009 and is worshipped by fashion lovers - that rate among the business family. Pool offers a variety of hip designers like Julius, Maison Michel Paris and Neil Barrett. Apart from high fashion for women and men there is also a sophisticated and cosmopolitan assortment of decorative home accessories, lifestyle and beauty products. The look of Pool is cool and sexy. And that does not come by chance. Co-owner Cambis Sharegh is a known house DJ with gigs in international clubs in Munich, Berlin, London and Cape Town. Furthermore he is a music producer with his own record label. Thus, it's not surprising that Pool is also a trendy address for CDs and vinyl and they also organise parties and events.
STAY in Munich:
Whether in the King Ludwig or Empress Sissi room - in this guesthouse kitsch is part of the programme. The baroque furnishing blends in perfectly with the renovated Wilhelminian-style houses around the Gärtnerplatz and the Glockenbachviertel, for many the chief party district in Munich. This is where the creative and individualist, the crazy and rare birds live. The neighbourhood, which used to be something of a gay bastion not so long ago, has turned into a haven for a colourful bunch of people with the highest birth rate in the city! The retrograde flair of the guesthouse, however, should not cover the fact that the guest can expect all the comfort of the (post)modern age, including wireless Internet and satellite TV. Tip: The two tower rooms on the second floor are particularly spacious and therefore ideal for families. Doubles start at 110,- euros a night.
The hotelier is an advocate of the theme hotel idea, but with a soft touch: In the Advokat the guest receives personal attention and his inner self is caressed. After the Admiral, which was his first, extremely successful boutique hotel in an old-fashioned, cosy style, he opened the Advokat in 1996 in the look of the sixties: polished travertine flooring, half-curtains at the wardrobe, and globe lamps. The creative class, in particular, appreciate this: Actors, theatre directors as well as people working in the fashion and publishing industry are regulars. In 2006 the Sightsleeping®-jury of the Bavarian Marketing GmbH awarded the hotel's lobby a prize for its loving design. And Vogt won't skimp on endearing little gestures: for example the bedtime reading next to the bed (and not a bible!) or shining red apples on the pillow. Doubles start at 150,- euros a night.
Hotel am Markt
Black and white photographs at the reception desk remind you of the many ballet dancers and opera singers that have stayed here. No wonder: You will find all the important theatres within walking distance. You might even see one or the other artist warming up in the breakfast room. There are three main reasons to stay in this place: 1. The international audience: People that live grandly and make little to-do about it. 2. The location: The house was built in 1897 as a fish exchange near the Viktualienmarkt. At the time there was a creek nearby, from which the ware was delivered fresh onto the sales counter. 3. The prices: A double without shower is available starting at 79,- euros. If you want you can also get a 90 m² suite (2-6 occupants) with a view onto the Viktualienmarkt for 199,- euros.