Tips on Munich
- Munich is Germany’s wealthiest and most expensive city. Heowever, we found the prices reasonable and comparable to most other major European destinations.
- The annual Oktoberfest beer celebration always starts 16 days before the first Saturday in October each year. (www.oktoberfest.eu) If you intend to visit Munich at this time book early as there are 7 million extra visitors in the city. Look out for gay Sunday celebrations at this time.
- Try the local beers especially those brewed in or around Munich. The cloudy wheat beers are absolutely delicious and something a little different.
- Staying at a hotel close to the main railway station (Hauptbahnhof) is very useful for all transport connections. We stayed at Hotel Excelsior very near the station and we can highly recommend it.
- Visit museums on Sundays when admission to most state museums is free.
- The Hop On Hop Off bus at 20€ is good value and takes you around the city in a couple of hours to see all the main sights including BMW World, Olympic Park and Nymphenburg Palace. Catch the bus outside the railway station (Bahnhofplatz) in front of Karstadt Department Store.
- We can recommend two day trips (booked on Viator.com), Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial and Royal Castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. Both were outstanding value and very well organised. The day tour to the castles took us through some of the most stunning countryside we saw in all of Europe.
- There is an excellent metro called U-Bahn which costs 6€ for a day ticket. For example, you can visit the English Garden on the U-Bahn 3 or 6 and stop at Universitat station.
- Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) in the centre of the city is a very beautiful building and everyday at 11:00 am, noon and 5pm in summer the mechanical dancers in the tower come out when the clock chimes the hour. For a great view of the city take the lift to the forth floor and for a small entrance fee you can catch another lift to the ninth floor for a superb view all over Munich.
- Maximilianhöfe, Munich’s luxury shopping mile, has many designer shops and fine restaurants for a day of retail therapy.
- Viktualienmarkt, the town market behind St Peter’s Church is the place for buying and eating good food. Try the seafood vendor for a simple plate of fish and chips with a beer in the outdoor eating area. If you are staying in an apartment it is also a great place to buy fresh vegetables and meat.
- Tap water is of a high quality and safe to drink.
- For budget snacks like fresh rolls, bagels, salads, coffee and cake try Scoom and Yorma’s which are both found around the railway stations and scattered around the city. Excellent coffee will cost you 1.20€ and a fresh chicken and salad roll 2.50€.
- For something completely different to eat try some Afghani food at Bamyan Narges (Hans-Sachs-Staße 3). The atmosphere, decor, friendly service and delicious food made this one of our favourite meals in Münich.
Tales on Munich’s Gay Scene
- Munich gay scene is not Berlin but it has a good number of small bars, clubs and venues that many cities would be proud to have. We tried several bars around and near Muller Strasse area. Our favourite, Krafttwerk Bar, was a busy, fun, lively bar with very mixed aged groups. The place has both indoor and outdoor drinking and eating areas. The bar was highly decorated for Halloween and the waiters made a big effort to ‘camp up‘ the celebrations. Drinks were very reasonably priced and the DJ pushed out some good tracks.
- We also tried Bar Rendezvous. The mainly young crowd and their admirers sang along enthusiastically to a variety of German songs. Some waltzed around the bar and drag queens added to the loud upbeat atmosphere. A cosy, packed, fun bar that was friendly and good for a first drink.
- We dropped into Bau which has the reputation for being the best bar in Munich. Maybe because it was before 12 midnight, we found only a few people there. Bau has a front and back bar as well as a cruising area downstairs and it has the reputation for being a popular meeting place for guys who like denim, leather, uniforms or sportswear but unfortunately we saw very few of any of these on the night we visited.
- Edelheiss is the oldest gay bar in Munich. A small, quiet cosy bar with a mostly mature all male clientele. Basically a bears bar, Edelheiss has stood the test of time and for a relaxing drink and to meet other bear types it is a great choice.
- Munich has a number of cruise and fetish clubs. M54 Suanaclub is located close to the main bars just a few metres down from Bar Rendezvous.
- On our last night we found Nil Bar. This is a large modern looking bar and packed with men mainly between 30 and 50. The bar is located at Hans-Sachs-Straße 2 (opposite Bamyan Narges Afghani Restaurant). This is a lively, friendly, modern bar and very popular throughout the week.
- Unfortunately, we learnt about a popular gay place to stay, Hotel Deutsche Eiche, shortly after we arrived and had already settled into our accommodation. Above this hotel is the biggest gay spa in the city. By all accounts the hotel is very well run, reasonably priced, has a great breakfast and the bonus is having lots of gay men as regular clientele. This hotel is certainly on our list of must do’s for our next visit.
The Englischer Garten
- The English Garden (Englischer Garten) is a vast park very close to the centre of Munich. Its borders stretch from close to the city centre to the northern suburbs of Munich. Its original founder was Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814). A brilliant physicist and inventor, Thompson’s legacy to Munich is one of the largest urban public parks in the world. The informal landscape of the garden was popular in Britain from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century, hence the name The English Garden.
- On the Saturday afternoon we visited the garden, the mid Autumn sunshine created a beautiful light. The grass was emerald green and the orange tones of the turning leaves were spectacular. One of the best features of the garden was the small streams running through the park which people lazed by while picnicking or relaxing. The park is filled with tens of thousands of people on the weekends. Some walk, others ride bikes. However, a number of people come to relax and drink in the beer gardens by the lake or near the huge Chinese tower.
- By the way it is legal to sunbathe nude in The English Garden. It was too cool when we were there to see anyone with their gear off. However, being nude in the park is quite popular. On sunny days it is nothing unusual for a businessman in a suit to strip off and take a few rays during his lunch time. The official area for nude sun bathing in the park is along one side the Eisbach which is the small river that runs through the English Garden (near the horse sand track). However many push the boundaries and the area down from the zoo is also popular, along with other discrete areas in the park. The park is well worth spending a few hours in and we suggest you pray for a ‘hot’ day when you decide to visit. Then you will be assured of some delicious German eye candy.
- We loved our short visit to this very beautiful, friendly German city and we will be returning to explore it more fully in the very near future.