Posts tagged ‘München’

Fotoeins Friday: sunny wave at Stachus in München

Fotoeins Friday: Glühwein returns with a hot punch

Germany urban G-E-M-S, München, Munich, Germany,

Germany’s urban G-E-M-S: München

Gems: precious stones, sparkly and shiny on sight, cool to touch, and generally very expensive to own. To view these jewels in a museum or gallery, for example, the approach would be done quietly and carefully, behind a variety of security screens.

“Hidden gems” at a given location describe special or unusual activities, sights, or restaurants visitors may not initially be aware. Truth is, “gems” are known to residents, they’re easily accessible, and they’re out in plain sight. As long as you’re paying attention, those “hidden gems” can become something entirely different.

I’ve converted “gems” into acronym G-E-M-S: a Green space (Grünanlange), a place to Eat (Essen gehen), a Museum, and something Special (Sondertipp) to discover. I’ve described urban G-E-M-S in Frankfurt am Main, Köln (Cologne), Hamburg, and Berlin.

München (Munich)

At one time I protested:

There’s nothing wrong with the raging keggers and oom-pa-pa at Oktoberfest or the beautiful city that is München. But there’s a lot more to Germany than Oktoberfest. Besides, there’s always the months-long Karneval on the Rhein …

It’s only fair to show some love for München (Munich)!

Munich is the capital city for the state of Bavaria and is Germany’s 3rd largest city with a population of 1.4 million. It’s easy to feel at home, surrounded by the distinctive Bavarian ambience (“bayerische Gemütlichkeit”) that’s relaxed, friendly, and cozy.

You’ll see the ubiquity of the state’s blue-and-white-diamond flag; drink plenty of beer in big glass mugs; eat Brezeln, Sauerbraten, Haxen, Weisswurst; and like some residents, dress up in Lederhosen or Dirndl, even outside Oktoberfest season. You’ll visit Marienplatz to see the Glockenspiel play at the Neues Rathaus, attend Mass in the beautiful churches, examine the produce at the farmers’ market at Viktualienmarkt, shop to your heart’s (and credit cards’) extent at Fünf Höfe or Maximilianstrasse, and yes, you might even drink some more and party hard at Hofbräuhaus.

But when I’m in the “Millionendorf” (village of millions), I’m always looking for something else, something more …

Green space : Englischer Garten

Englischer Garten, English Garden, Muenchen, Munich, Germany

Gentle breeze at the English Garden (HL)

There are many green spaces throughout the Munich area, but the English Garden is a big part of that conversation. With an area reaching over 400 hectares (4 million square metres), there’s more than enough space to find a corner to call your own and spread out for an afternoon. When I’m in town, I’m on a train to Münchner Freiheit for a bite or a coffee, and that fuels my slow meander through the park. If you like people-watching, you’re sure to find surprises and spontaneous moments, from the northern reaches, to the Kleinhesseloher See, down to the river-surfers at Eisbach creek.

Website: English Garden.
Transit stop/station: U-Bahn Odeonsplatz, U Universität, U Giselastrasse, or U Münchner Freiheit.

Eat : Schnitzelwirt im Spatenhof

Schnitzel mit Pommes/Fries, Wiki

Schnitzel example with a wae nibble (Eikus89 on Wiki)

I love schnitzel. I may never find that perfect veal Wiener Schnitzel I once had in Vienna. But discovering this restaurant in central Munich satisfies my Schnitzel cravings. At Schnitzelwirt im Spatenhof, they offer schnitzel made with veal, pork, or turkey; they also have fish and vegetarian versions. Meat that’s pounded thin, lightly breaded, and fried just right is a serious art, and these folks are serious about schnitzel in all its glorious forms.

Website: Schnitzelwirt im Spatenhof.
Transit stop/station: S-/U-Bahn/Tram Karlsplatz (also known as Stachus).

Museum : The Three Pinakotheken

Alte Pinakothek, Muenchen, Munich, Germany

Classic afternoon glow, Alte Pinakothek (HL)

I’ve set foot in Munich dozens of times, and I always come “home” to the Pinakotheken. The Old, New, and Modern Pinakothek contains, respectively, collections of European Art from the 13th- to the 18th-century including Old Masters paintings, European Art from the 18th- and 19th-century, and “modern” and contemporary 20th- and 21st-century art. The Pinakotheken form a part of the large Kunstreal or art district in Munich. Do take note of the different days the three Pinakotheken are closed, but don’t forget that all three are open Sundays with the New and the Modern Pinakothek each charging a special Sunday-admission price of 1 Euro.

Website: Pinakotheken: Old, New, Modern.
Transit stop/station: U-Bahn Theresienstrasse. Alternatively, tram 27 or bus 100 (stop “Pinakotheken”). Bus 100 is known as “Museenlinie”, or Museum line, serving major museums between Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof.

Special : Gärtnerplatzviertel (Isarvorstadt)

Staatstheater, opera house, Gaertnerplatz, Muenchen, Munich, Germany

State Theatre at Gärtnerplatz (HL)

People of all ages come here for the cafés, shops, boutiques by day, and they’re still here for the pubs, bars, and restaurants at night. You’re at the Gärtnerplatzviertel (Gärtner Square Quarter), whose central point is Gärtnerplatz (Gärtner Square) and the Staatstheater (State Theater). There’s just as much activity in neighbouring Glockenbachviertel (Glockenbach Quarter). The Isar is just steps away to the east, if you want to relax by the river’s edge. Rainbow flags fly proudly with the active gay and lesbian scene centred here, too. It’s a great neighbourhood to hang out and chill with friends in a fun, welcoming, and engaging environment.

Website: Gärtnerplatz (in German).
Transit stop/station: S-Bahn Isartor, or U-Bahn Fraunhoferstrasse.

Mapping the G-E-M-S

With the location of the city’s primary train station (Hauptbahnhof) indicated, the map below shows the locations for Munich’s G-E-M-S:

  • G: Green Space (Grünanlagen) – Englischer Garten,
  • E: place to Eat (Essen gehen) – Schnitzelwirt im Spatenhof,
  • M: Museum – The Three Pinakotheken,
  • S: Special (Sondertipp) – Gärtnerplatzviertel, in Isarvorstadt.

Local transport authority: Münchner Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund (MVV), available in English.

Approximate trip durations to Munich by train are 6.5 hours from Berlin, 3.5 hours from Frankfurt am Main, 6 hours from Hamburg, about 4.5 hours from Köln, and just under 2 hours from Salzburg, Austria.

To see how the city provides fantastic examples of hotels, beer, and great food with some glamour, check how Leah spends a glorious 24 hours in the Bavarian capital.


If you’re looking for something like Oktoberfest, the entire summer brings people out to their local “Biergarten” or “beer garden”. There’s always one Biergarten in every city, town, and village, with reasonably priced cold beer and tasty food, with family and group gatherings, as well as neighbourly talk and chatter about the comings and goings about their local or national Fussball-Mannschaft (football side).

Germany’s Urban G-E-M-S

(population source, Deutsche Städtetag)

I made all of the photos, except for the photo of that tasty Schnitzel. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

Please don’t forget me

Street art in Munich (click me)

Is this about a flight of fancy, a wish that we should not be forgotten? A fine example of street-art? Or is this a plea, both poignant and provocative? One can see where someone had tried to remove at least one butterfly and break up pieces where the girl’s dress lies. This photo shows that whatever the artist’s (or the cleaner’s) intentions were, the work remains in our minds, and there, the image cannot be destroyed.

  • Location: Outward-facing wall, southwest corner of Isartalstrasse & Kapuzinerstrasse: Isarvorstadt-Ludwigsvorstadt, München, Germany.
  • Particulars: I made the photo on 12 March 2011, with the Canon EOS450D camera, EF 50mm/1.4 lens, and the following settings: 1/320s, f/4, ISO100.

This post is originally published on Fotoeins Fotopress (

Christmas Markets, part 2 : Munich Marienplatz

With two weeks to Christmas (10 Dec 2010), I’m continuing my series on Christmas Markets, which will eventually take me to Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, and Prague.

One of the main and most popular Christmas markets in the Bavarian state capital is found in the Altstadt (Old Town) at Marienplatz. The market here is spread out in front of the Neues Rathaus, and this year’s giant of a Christmas tree hails from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, if the signs nailed to the trunk are true. There are stalls offering Christmas decorations and tree ornaments; candied hearts with declarations of love (“ich liebe dich”); scarves, hats, and mitts for bipeds or quadrupeds; roasted nuts; grilled steak or, of course, the humble Bratwurst; fried potato pancakes; and the ubiquitous Glühwein.

Glühwein (mulled wine) is heated red-wine with spices, e.g., cloves, citrus, cinnamon, sugar, etc. At any given Christmas market, Glühwein can be had from any number of countless stalls. You can often order Glühwein “mit Schuss”, which is an extra shot of rum or liqueur. Not only do you pay for the Glühwein, there’s also a modest deposit for the mug in which the hot grog is served. After finishing your drink, you can keep the mug as a souvenir of your visit to the market, or you can return the mug from the original booth or stall and get your deposit back. It’s easy to see how over time your cabinets become filled with Glühwein mugs which change annually and can be different from one market to another (or even, one stall to another).

Over a number of sessions were a few Glühwein and a few Wurst consumed (or destroyed), as far as I can remember. Walking through the markets at any time day or night can be problematic, if one stumbles into the market either hungry or cold with the warm delicious smells of food and drink wafting through the air. But rest assured that with a few euros jangling in your pocket waiting to be freed, it’s always good to know the invitation to consume and partake is always open.

Marienplatz by day
Marienplatz by day
Muenchner Kipperlmarkt
Marienplatz Weihnachtsmarkt
Chorus at Marienplatz Weihnachtsmarkt
Marienplatz by night
Marienplatz by nightMarienplatz by night

Photos above were made at Munich’s Marienplatz with the Canon EOS450D camera and the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.

Appearing initially on Posterous on 10 Dec 2010, this post has moved and now appears on Fotoeins Fotopress (


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