With Octoberfest in full swing, I figure this is the right time to tell you guys about our recent trip to Munich. We were here for just a stopover after our trip to Innsbruck, with just one day to spend before our plane would take us back home to Berlin. Shortage of time is no reason for us to not give it our best shot at exploring the city, so we could help you prepare for your next trip tothe Bavarian capitol. After all, Octoberfest isn’t finished until October 2nd….
Our Shuttlebus from Innsbruck took us to Munich airport, from where we hopped on the subway, which took us directly to the center of town. Before arriving, we had made sure to have asked all our friends – real ones and Facebook ones – for their thoughts on what we should see or do while here. Tips came pouring in and we knew we wanted to check out all of them. That is, right after checking into one of Munich’s nicest hotels – the Louis.
On previous trips to Munich, I had stayed at Munich’s other design hotel, the Cortiina (Ledererstr 8), which by the way sports a lovely bar, and was curious to find out what the Louis (Viktualienmarkt 6) had to offer. Apart from beautifully designed furniture, the many nice touches like the fresh flower on our desk or the cute origami feaures in the lobby had us sold to this place from the get-go.
And I’m not going to lie, cute receptionists help, too…
I had come to Munich twice before, and on one occasion a friend introduced me to what I would now add to my favorite restaurants of all time – the Fraunhofer. Now, when I come to Munich, this place is always my first port of call, so of course we came here for dinner. Located at Fraunhoferstraße 9, this spot is rustic yet cool, with a great mix of people and – oh my god – really good food. I’m talking real bavarian soul food like pork roast and sauerkraut with potato dumplings.
If you have more than one day in Munich and would like to try out different restaurants, why not check out the popular Kull (Marienstraße 4) or the Brenner (Maximilianstraße 15) for great food and athmospheric interior.
After dinner, we decided to let the night unfold quietly with just a last drink at one of the bars nearby the Fraunhofer, a popular neighborhood called the Glockenbachviertel. Trachtenvogel (Reichenbachstraße 47) is a popular choice around here, but was closed on the Monday night we were here for. We therefore headed over to Zephyr (Baaderstraße 68) for a glass of wine and a few more of the day’s last giggles.
9am, next morning
We got up bright and early to have enough time left to see lots of Munich. We knew it was going to be a good day when it started with this amazing international breakfast at the Louis Hotel
I would tell you what I ate, but most of it was so outlandish, that I remember no names. There was some grilled pineapple, semolina pudding, some type of a summer roll, melted chocolate, salmon and freshly made eggs any style. All in all, quite the paradise for vegans and lovers of organic food. (If you come to Munich and don’t end up staying at the Louis, I would still recommend you come here for the breakfast. Comes in at a steal for just €19,95).
Now was the time to worry about the serious part of the day – the not so tough part – shopping. We rule at shopping, needless to say, and have perfected the art of finding the best shops within a short amount of time. We therefore split up to ensure that within 4 hours we would check out all the tips our friends had given us and maybe discover a few more on top of that.
First stop: Alexa’s at Utzschneiderstr. 10
This lovely vintage place has been a favorite of mine since my first trip to Munich. A small shop, run by the charming Alexa, features awesome and affordable vintage finds such as dresses, bags, hats, shoes and even jewellery. Alexa is always up for a bit of bargaining and I hope she won’t mind me telling you guys that I got a €35 bag for just €25.
Right now, Alexa’s is full of dirndl dresses, therefore all the girls come here to get decked out for Octoberfest. Definately a fab adress if you want to stand out with your dirndl of choice. Fun fact: when I walked in here to ask Alexa about her shop, the Germany chief editor for Cosmopolitan Carolin Schuler was here to buy her Dirndl for Octoberfest.
Decidedly our favorite shop we came across that morning was Kauf Dich Glücklich (Reichenbachstraße 14), a place that we know from Berlin and that can be found in 8 German cities, always featuring a lovely mix of clothes shopping and coffee-cake goodness. We scored some seriously great shoes on sale, which we still congratulate each other on almost daily (don’t we, Nina?).
Shopping is exhausting and therefore a great excuse to make frequent stops for coffees, second breakfasts, lunches, more coffee, cake, … you get the picture. Having asked various shop girls for their favorite lunch places, we narrowed it down to a top 3 ( we eat a lot but not that much).
Very popular and mentioned by many was a place called Aroma (Pestalozzistraße 24). The food here is at least as good as the athmosphere with friendly baristas serving a fantastic lattes with your aromatic couscous salad. If you prefer hot food, they’re also offering some great homemade soups.
Another good lunch place that also offers great breakfasts and dinner, is a place called Frenzy (Fraunhoferstraße 20) sporting some dreamy and colorful interior along with good-looking barstaff. There is a full cocktail menu here, should you want to come by later in the evening.
With our Aroma lunch being small enough to finish the mean by stuffing our faces with an extra large piece of cake, we headed over to Daylesford Organic (Ledererstr.3) for dessert. This originally British chain excells in organic food and dishes up a mean scone with cream and jam.
Continuing our tour through Munich, we went for a stroll along the infamous Vikutalienmarkt near our hotel. The market opens every day, exept holidays and sundays, and is a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike. Whether you come here to buy your veggies for the week, are looking for fun souvenirs or just want to sit down for a pretzel and a beer, you have come to the right place.
Our stroll led us past a couple of great concept stores such as one called Sunday in Bed (Rumfordstraße 6), selling everything for and around your bedroom. Be it new sheets, comfy pyjamas, books or scents you need for a good night’s sleep, this place is guaranteed to privide you with all of the above. Bring on the sunday.
If by now you still don’t think that Munich is a mekka for hedonists with its lovely hotels, great shopping possibilities and amazing food, we’ll now seal the deal by introducing you to 3 more places that excell in al things cakes and sweets.
One place we stumbled across, that deserves some of your time and calorie intake is Chocolaterie Beluga (Viktualienmarkt 6 – dangerous proximity to our hotel), a haven for chocolate in all shapes and consistencies. Have a sit down, grab a coffee, tea or a hot chocolate and enjoy the odd piece of Belgian chocolate, or maybe one of the delicious cakes.
We could just about walk past Beluga without indulging in what they had to offer, but only because we knew we had to try the cheese cake at Cafe Wiener (Innere Wiener Straße 48) in the heart of Glockenbachviertel, where a gorgeous homemade, organic piece of cake and a cappuccino will set you back less than €5.
At this stage, there was not much more thinking about food, but we still did not want to miss a peak inside our friend’s favorite cafe Götterspeise. This place is actually more than just a coffee&cake sit-down spot, because it actually doubles as a store for specialties in wine and chocolate. We really like these guys girls because they engage in anything from art over seminars (chocolate seminars – how great is that?) to charity. Götterspeise is located at Jahnstraße 30.
When the end of our lovely 24 hours in Munich had arrived, we grabbed our big shopping bags, swung them inside a cab and drove to the airport to catch our flight back home. I’m sure there is a whole lot more to Munich than fabulous shopping and good food, but sometimes that is all a girl’s got time for…
all photos by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk and myself
See you at Octoberfest, Munich!