A local Munich guide: great museums, taverns (obviously) and a Christmas treat | Munich vacations


Judith Csiki is an art historian and curator at Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne, focusing on contemporary art from the Middle East and East Asia


One of my favorite restaurants is Schumann Bar, which offers classic cocktails and a reduced five- or six-course canteen-style menu, including a Bavarian potato salad and steak. Even late at night, when the kitchen is closed, they serve a “TV plate” with German bread, cheese, ham and pickles. In summer, you can sit at the front, facing the busy Ludwigstrasse, or at the back, facing the Hofgarten, a lovely retreat that was part of the former royal residence.

Bratwurst Glöckl, near the Frauenkirche Cathedral, serves traditional dishes, such as Kaiserschmarrn (soft grated pancake with raisins soaked in rum). Even if you just want a beer they have one of the so called last ones Stehausschank (standing bars) in the city center. And Soy, across from Massmannpark, serves great Vietnamese vegan food.

Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. Photography: Rainer Viertlböck


The Kunstareal – arts district – is an area with exceptional museums such as the Glyptothek (Greek and Roman sculptures), the Lenbachhaus (Munich painters), the Brandhorst Museum (contemporary art), and of course the three Pinakothek museums. In the Alte Pinakothek you will find great works, such as Albrecht Dürer’s self-portrait from 1500. While the Neue Pinakothek is being renovated, it also houses works by Gauguin, Klimt and Van Gogh.

The Pinakothek der Moderne presents works by Adnan, Beckmann, Claerbout, Flavin, Neshat, Sander and Palermo. As both universities are nearby, there are many cafes and restaurants in this area, as well as the English Words’ Worth and Munich Readery bookstores.

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For a Christmas experience, the Bayerische Nationalmuseum has a world famous collection of nativity scenes made in the Alps and in Italy between 1700 and the beginning of the 20th century.


Beyond the Kunstareal district and the universities, the Glockenbachviertel, south of the city center by the Isar river, has many cafes and small shops, and is known for its vibrant nightlife and pub culture. I also love Giesing – home of the TSV 1860 football team and a lot of Boazn (small local pubs) – and the Westend, with its multicultural community. If you like vinyl, check out Black Wave Records.

Green area

Munich is blessed with many beautiful parks, such as the Nymphenburger behind Nymphenburg Palace with all its pleasure palaces. And there’s the Englischer Garten, which runs through the northern half of the city along the Isar River. If you’re starting at Ludwig Maximilian University, there are two ways to go: Head north to the ‘wild’ side of the English Garden, where you can walk through the fields with grazing sheep.

Munich's guide to travel

Head into the park and turn south, and it’s busier, with attractions such as the Monopterus (Temple of Apollo), Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm, and the famous man-made wave popular with surfers just around the corner. of the Haus der Kunst. Also in the southern half of the city, people bathe in the Isar and enjoy a barbecue on the banks in an area called Flaucher.

Night life

I like spending time at the Favoritbar – a simple bar with a storefront near Munich’s main shopping street, Kaufingerstrasse – and the High bar, a colorful cocktail bar that plays a lot of hip-hop. Kafe Kult is a metro concert hall a little further from the center, while the Blitz club hosts international DJs.

To stay

The Splendid Dollmann boutique hotel (double from 150 € room only) is furnished with antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a bar, a pretty garden and is convenient to the Englischer Garten, the main sights and museums.


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