With all of my four day flips I endeavor to take in a broader view of the city that I’m visiting, and Munich or München to my german friends was no exception.
As a European gateway, it’s an 8-hour flight from Toronto and a relatively easy and painless overnight flight, although for those less seasoned the day of arrival can see you a tad exhausted given that it’s an six-hour time difference.
The jet lag can be excruciating and disorienting after an overnight flight so I always endeavor to snatch between 4 – 5 hours on the flight, hence I always travel with noise canceling ear phones, and eye shades to take out as much of the distractions as possible.
Another of my flight preparations is to determine the best route to my hotel, whether it’s by train, bus or taxi. For these short four day adventures, I rarely book a car, as parking tends to be very expensive and difficult to find.
Munich, like most European cities has a fabulous transit system and downloading the transit app in advance proved to be an excellent start to a great weekend. The S-bahn is a mere 40-minute commute into the heart of the city from the airport as I’d booked a cool little boutique hotel a mere 3 blocks from the Central Hauptbahnhof (main train station).
Now couple this with only taking carryon and I was in and out of the airport in less than 15 minutes and onto the train and into the city. Now some might say I’m a little extreme in the way I travel but given these trips are short and sweet I don’t want to waste a moment if I don’t have to. 🙂
After arriving at the hotel, I checked in and deposited my bag in my room. Quickly assembling my camera, and waterproof cover I headed out into the drizzly lunchtime rush. Fortunately for me the weather was only a short hiccup as it stopped after about an hour.
As part of my weekends away I generally also take in an art gallery or two and this was no exception, as a part of my Friday afternoon was taken up with visiting the Brandhorst museum adjacent to the University. Some interesting Warhol’s adorned the walls of this small by impressive gallery.
In the evening, I met up with an ex-work colleague (from my old Accenture days – got to love a global company) for dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant away from the downtown hustle and bustle. As a bonus, Karen was willing to be my tour guide for the weekend and so after a fabulous meal we agreed to meet the next day around noon for a cycling tour of the city.
After renting bikes near the Odeonplatz we rode toward the English Garden which is larger than Central Park in New York and is an absolute treat, providing some 78 km of paths and trails for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
On our bike ride through the English Garden we visited the Japanese Tea Room, checked out the surfers on the Eisbach (Ice Brook) and stopped in to grab a bite to eat at the Seehaus which includes a lovely beer garden…just sayin!
What? Did you say surfers? Yep, there were a handful of intrepid surfers in full wet shits surfing on the waves in this narrow and chilly Eisbach watched by about 40 or so onlookers. Apparently, the way the water shoots out from under the bridge and into this small tributary creates about a 3 – 4-foot swell which isn’t bad considering you’re a long way from the nearest ocean. 🙂
After lunch we continued cycling to the northern part of the city to visit the Olympic Park, which was home to the 1972 summer games. The beautiful and timeless architecture that was created for the games is still as breathtaking today as it was back then, just stunning!
A full afternoon of cycling (30 km’s in all) around the city and I was ready for some food so we grabbed a bite at one of her local haunts…yes, just so happened to be Italian. Sipping a glass of awesome Tuscan red (yum, my favourite) rounded out an awesome day of exploration and took the edge off my jellied legs.
So here are a few tips for your next trip to München:
Indelible tip 1: Try something different and rent a bike! I would highly recommend cycling into the English Gardens to enjoy the many attractions the park has to offer – from the great little eateries and beer gardens to the shady groves of Elm and Oak trees, in fact a perfect place for a picnic!
My advice is to make up a hamper at the Viktualienmarkt (victuals Market) as its the cities main farmers market and so full of organic and fresh fare. Delicious by the way!
Indelible tip 2: For a fantastic Italian meal head over to Bianco Rosso Nero on (Hochbrückenstrabe 4) ask for Mario or Dino who are the owners. After talking to them over dinner I discovered that Dino splits his time between Munich and Tuscany. Hhhmm – sounds like a fabulous way to live your life, albeit he’s stolen my plan of living half time in Italy.
You’re going to love this little restaurant as it only has seats for 10 people max…so come hungry and enjoy the intimacy of this truly special gem.
Indelible tip 3: For the best city views you have to climb the clock tower of St Peters which is across the square from the Marienplatz which is one of the most famous of landmarks in the city. This medieval church had to be rebuilt after WWII, as did much of the city center, however that also included rebuilding the tight and dizzying stairway to the clock tower which provides you with stunning views of the city just as it was designed back in the 12th century when initially built.
The site itself has had a church or monastery on this spot since the 8th century which is pretty amazing considering that the city was founded in 1158 – so, yes, you could say this is a holy place.
Next time I’ll fill you in on my Sunday adventure during my four day flip…
p.s. For more information on the apps I use for my trips leave a comment and I’ll share them with you.