Perfect Weekend in Munich
Despite the popularity of the annual Oktoberfest celebration, Munich isn’t all beer gardens and lederhosen. The Bavarian capital is also home to palatial parks, internationally lauded fine dining, and a budding art scene.
Courtesy Pinakothek der Moderne - In Pinakotheks der Moderne's collection of 20th and 21st century art, design, graphic, and architecture works, you can find masterworks of German expressionism, modernism, and surrealism from artists like László Moholy-Nagy, Otto Dix, and Max Ernst.
Day 1: Art & History
For your morning caffeine fix, head to Man Versus Machine, Munich’s best, uber-modern coffee shop (think baristas that take 10 minutes to froth the perfect milk for your latte). Using single-source beans roasted on site, they serve up perfectly balanced espressos in a modern Scandinavian interior.
Spend the rest of the morning museum-hopping in the Lehel district. For modern art, head to Pinakothek der Moderne. For contemporary, the nearby Haus der Kunst houses the city’s largest collection, in addition to regularly hosting parties for the art-world elite. Pop in for a lunch of filling salads and light dishes at Nage and Sauge and, in the evening, check out a burlesque show at the Theater Drehleier, featuring local talent and international stars. But be warned! In this intimate, underground theater, the audience is often pulled into the act.
Day 2: Shopping & Nightlife
Start the day with a trip to the Viktualienmarkt, a large farmers' market in the center of the city. Stalls are laden with fresh produce, flowers, and every type of Bavarian cheese. Graze through the market, trying local specialties like Weißwurst with sweet mustard, hot pretzels, and chilled glasses of foamy Pilsner. You can also stock up on local delicacies like wild mushrooms and Bavarian jams—the latter make perfect gifts.
For more contemporary finds, check out uber-hip Cheers From Downtown, which stocks the latest in apparel and accessories from independent German designers, like wooden sunglasses from Cheesy as well as cheeky tanks from FYFY. The nearby shop Soda is a magazine-lover’s paradise, with an extensive collection of fashion, design, and lifestyle magazine, ‘zines, journals, and paper crafts.
Courtesy Kismet - Vegetarian-friendly North African and Middle Eastern fare meets inventive cocktails and an impressive wine selection at the modern and chic Kismet.
Getty - Get lost exploring the extensive grounds of the enchanting Englischer Garten, one of the largest urban parks in the world.
Day 3: Englischer Garten & Beer Halls
Start the day off early at the Englischer Garten, Munich’s largest public park, which is equal parts beautifully manicured lawns and curated wilderness. Without leaving the park, you may take tea at the authentic Japanese tea house, surf the waves on Eisbach, the park’s artificial river, or sunbathe the local way (completely au naturel) on the Schönfeld meadow.
Laze away the rest of the afternoon at one of the dozens of beer gardens, like Zum Flaucher, along the Isar River. Sidle up to one of the long tables and chat with the locals while gripping a glass stein of one of the legendary local brews.
Credit: Conde Nast Traveler