Munchen musings

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAYARE ALI
Published Aug 13, 2017, 12:26 am IST
Updated Aug 13, 2017, 12:26 am IST
Munich is now a great travel destination with a mix of architectural wonders and a thriving nightlife.
An arial view of Marienplatz (The New Town Hall) and its surroundings
 An arial view of Marienplatz (The New Town Hall) and its surroundings

The World Economic Forum has rated Munich as the 4th best city in the world to live in. And it’s not hard to figure why. As your flight descends into this Bavarian town, you feel as though you have landed into a modern day fairy tale land. Munich is incredibly pretty but it’s not the vacuous kind of beauty which leaves you bored after a while. There is immense character in this city that has stood the test of time and the onslaught of the World Wars.  But instead of finding run down buildings that tell a sad tale, the architecture has been restored without tampering with the pre-war architecture. So you will find an open courtyard that leads into a modern and hip building in the heart of Munchen, as the Germans identify it. 

The best way to explore any city is by opting for the hop-on hop-off service, which takes you on a wonderful, adventurous ride as you are enamoured by the scenic beauty of the landscape. Like the service suggests, you can get off at designated destinations and partake the local experience before boarding another bright red Double Decker to another hotspot. Depending on the season, you can opt to sit on the upper deck and get an elevated view while you carefully listen to the English translations on your earphones.  While most Indians tend to visit Munich largely for business purposes, that is gradually changing now. The well-planned city with its lusciously green beer gardens and placid lakes offers the kind of serene ambience that makes for a refreshing holiday. 

 

OIdeaonsplatzOIdeaonsplatz

The Seehaus in English Garten is located alongside a beautiful little lake and is a more upmarket garden where people turn out in casual chic to sip on chilling beer and delicious Bavarian delicacies. It is not uncommon to find families spreading a picnic basket and basking in the outdoor ambience. The concept is wonderful, people from varied cultures and nationalities are found sitting next to each other in a college-like setting on extended long wooden steel with a wooden dining board too. It is a fab way to bond with complete strangers and share your experiences in a sunny outdoor ambience. You will find many such beer gardens in the city and you can explore as many as you wish. For those who assume that Munich is only about lakes and gardens, make no mistake. There is a throbbing nightlife with hip pizza bar lounges like  Hugos, where the party begins close to mid-night and the delicious truffle pizza on the menu is a must try.

The city centreThe city centre

If you are a foodie, there is a plethora of options to choose from. Tantris is an upscale restaurant that’s known equally for its architectural elegance as it is for its lip-smacking food. The exquisite presentation of world cuisine and delectable flavours make it a must visit experience even if the pricing is steep, almost 70 Euros per head.   The Spartanhause Der Oper offers a rustic ambience with traditional food. The Bavarian Plate, a sampler of German meats, is a must try on their menu as is the chilled Riesling and Escalope of Schnitzel. This is a relatively inexpensive restaurant where you can get a meal for fewer than 30 euros.

While you can never quite get satiated with food experimentations, Munich is also a shopper’s paradise from ultra expensive designer standalone stores to mid-level high street wear and uber chic boutiques.  The Hoffstatt is a humongous luxury mall with glass exteriors and marble flooring and every single person is impeccably dressed up in trendy designer wear. You just have to head to the City Centre replete with malls like Riem Aracaden and Kaufingertor Passage.  The Munich City Centre may appear like a maze to the first time traveler but it is easily navigable and offers splendid sites like the Neues Rathaus (new City Hall) and Mariansaule (Column of Mary). In fact, the hop-on hop-off service will take you through the famous Odeonsplatz square and Fraunkenkirche, a stunning 14th Centuary Church of Our Lady.  Munich is truly a quaint mix of history, culture and architecture and ideally, one should stay for at least a week to be able to do justice to one of the most charming German cities.

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