Munich: A City full of Tradition

How to make the most of it

Recently Munich has undergone major changes – so why don’t you experience it yourself on a city break to remember. If shopping is the main purpose of your trip, you definitely have to start exploring Munich in the Maximilianstrasse, Munich’s undisputed luxury shopping high street. Although bulk purchases in its noble boutiques might be out of your budget, you can at least get a look at the latest fashion and later buy your new outfit elsewhere.

The shops and department stores in the pedestrian zone offer first and foremost young, trendy fashion. A good example is the new 4000 square metre Benetton Megastore. The shopping area “Fünf Höfe” is another very appealing alternative, combining a number of different shops, restaurants and cafes with culture (such as art exhibitions) and modern architecture: shop passages are arranged around five inner courtyards in the city centre. Among others, there are shops of international luxury designers (for instance, the Emporio Armani Megastore), modern furniture shops and the Japanese “Lifestyle” department store Muji, which opened this spring. It offers various basic commodities with an innovative, minimalistic design.

Check this out for stylish Christmas presents that are actually useful. Another brand new shop in Munich is the Lush Shop, whose soaps and cosmetics, hand-made from natural ingredients, as well as their own perfume creations make for great gifts – just follow your nose and you can’t miss it. Then take the Leopoldstrasse in Schwabing, which is an all time favourite for a nice stroll. Apart from several fashion shops, there are now lots of fast food and coffee shop franchises, but also some good restaurants and cafes. If you are looking for more unusual shops, take a look around in the smaller streets of Schwabing and Haidhausen.

If you are going to Munich during the pre-Christmas period, don’t miss the Munich Christmas markets. Warm yourself with a cup of delicious mulled wine and indulge in Lebkuchen or Bratwurst, while soaking up the Christmassy atmosphere of the Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz or the Schwabinger Weihnachtsmarkt. The Tollwood Winter Festival on the Theresienwiese does not only offer handicraft from all over the world, but also a unique air, a broad array of cultural activities for adults and kids as well as exotic food. Take your time to explore the market, see a concert or street theatre, have an organic curry or just watch the other visitors.

Relax from all the shopping in the Hofgarten, the English Garden or in the magnificient parks of Nymphenburg Palace. And if all the walking and shopping nonwithstanding, you still have some energy to spend, why not rent a pair of skates and get on to the ice rink at Stachus, directly at the beginning of the pedestrian precint. Or plunge into the nightlife right away. The hippest bars and restaurants can be found in the Glockenbachviertel and in Schwabing. Then you have the difficult decision, whether you should have an Ethiopian or Polynesian dinner or simply go for Italian or Bavarian food. You will vow never again to call Munich a “village”…. when, while sipping on your Wei_bier, you start talking to someone next to you, you might muse if, after all, cosmopolitan village is a suitable word for this mixture of internationalism, modernism, tradition and familiarity, which can be found everywhere in Munich.