Munich is a metropolis; but in many places, it feels so much more relaxed. On the move, all the time savouring cuisine and art, through “Little Paris” and an inspiring neighbourhood that is much more beautiful than its name would suggest
Munich Neighbourhoods: Discover Our Tips
SPONSORED STORY You really can’t overlook “Ella” at all. The restaurant, situated in the “Lenbachhaus” Art Gallery, looks like a giant gift box wrapped in golden paper, complete with stripes. The chic-looking cube also offers something elegant inside. Owner Michael Hausberger has also been in charge of the kitchen since it opened ten years ago.
In addition to creations such as stuffed porcini mushroom gnocchi with sage, king oyster mushrooms and Belper tuber, there is also a unique view of the Propylaea: through the giant, neoclassical gate adorned with ancient Greek references, you can see the city’s “Königsplatz” square, which is framed by two other buildings sporting a temple look, the “State Collection of Classical Antiquities” and the “Glyptothek”.
Maxvorstadt: Art, Velvet and True Greatness
More “marble grandezza” can barely be imagined. Nor more “Blauer Reiter” (Blue Rider) than next door in the “Lenbachhaus”. The Tuscan-style villa is home to the world’s largest collection of works by the group of artists comprising the famous Gabriele Münter, Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. “Ella” is also ideal for a first date: if you have nothing to say to each other, this location will be sure to make up for it.
Cosmopolitan flair with space at “Königsplatz” square, enticing little escapes to both the left and right: past the historic garden of the “Lenbachhaus”, where the water splashes in the fountains, past the geography students enjoying their lunch break in the small nearby park, you dive into the quiet, long streets of the “Maxvorstadt” disctrict. At the beginning of the 19th century, it was here that the first expansion of Munich took place under King Max I Joseph.
“Ludwigstraße” – with its opulent buildings based on Roman and Florentine models – is just as much a part of the district as are the numerous museums: the “Pinakotheken”, the “Brandhorst Museum”, the “Lenbachhaus”, the “State Collection of Egyptian Art” and the “Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism”. The “English Garden” Park adjoins to the east, and is always just a few minutes’ walk away, while to the north, Maxvorstadt merges into the legendary “Schwabing” district, the bohemian neighbourhood that gained fame in the time of the Prince Regent and became a cult in the wild 1970s that continues to this day.
“Café Jasmin” is also a cult favourite. The velvety green fixtures and chandeliers all date from the 1950s; even the building is listed. The food, on the other hand, is fresh, as is the live music that can be heard here regularly. Breakfast is served until 4 PM. After all, Maxvorstadt is Munich’s student district: 120,000 students are enrolled at the two universities in the neighbourhood – all studying, living and partying here.
The “Preysinggarten” is not a garden at all, but it feels like one – even when at the tables on the pavement. Just as in many places in the Haidhausen district, you can expect a village idyll rather than the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city centre. The pub, with its own cosy outdoor area, has been in existence since 1893, and the high arched windows and cast-iron columns in the interior have survived to this day. Bavarian by tradition, cosmopolitan like the residents of this popular residential and nightlife district, which is also reflected in the menu: Thai curry and venison goulash enjoy equal popularity here.
Speaking of tradition: Emperor Charlemagne was still roaming the empire when the name Haidhausen first appeared in a document in 808, far earlier than Munich’s Old Town. Not quite as old, but still from the 19th century, are the small hostels on Wiener Platz square and in Preysingstraße, which are almost reminiscent of doll’s houses. Winding streets that are characterised by cobblestones, old craft businesses, owner-managed shops, cafés and lots of greenery on the streets and in the courtyards often make you forget that you are in the centre of Munich with its near 1.5 million inhabitants.
Five minutes’ walk from the “Preysinggarten”, on the other hand, you wouldn’t be surprised if the Eiffel Tower suddenly came into view in the city’s skyline of churches: In the so-called “French Quarter”, the streets even bear the names of French cities, and the green spaces on the elongated “Bordeauxplatz” square and around the fountains on squares “Weißenburger Platz” and “Pariser Platz” were modelled on French designs.
The streets with their tall house façades branch off from the narrow roundabouts like rays emanating from stars. The beer culture, on the other hand, is typically Bavarian. The city’s first beer gardens were once built on the high banks of the Isar river above the beer cellars. What remains in Haidhausen is the “Hofbräukeller” beer pub on “Wiener Platz”.
Schlachthofviertel - the Slaughterhouse Quarter: Living in Colour
An Cruise steamer that has found its last harbour just across the way: the “Alte Utting”, which carried passengers across Lake Ammersee during its active days, has become the landmark of a district where everything is a little different and more electric. In this very quirky bar, you can enjoy the view over the “Schlachthof” quarter, from the old “Südbahnhof” railway station to the “Grossmarkthalle” market hall.
One floor below, on a street corner, is the “Gruam”, the smallest club in the city. The frog-green exterior look is also worth seeing during the day. From here, you should continue your tour of the neighbourhood through “Tumblingerstraße” to see more graffiti – the colours and shapes on the Open Wall are sure to leave your head spinning.
Especially at “Bahnwärter Thiel”, a cultural project, where a thriving cultural centre has been established from discarded tramcars, underground carriages and shipping containers.
What remains impossible elsewhere is possible in the “Schlachthof” quarter, since the cattle trade and large parts of the meat production have since moved on. With clubs and pubs and “bricks reloaded” – because the historic industrial architecture made of bricks, some of which is 150 years old, has also been given a new lease of life. In the “Wirtshaus am Schlachthof” pub, for example, which became famous through Ottfried Fischer’s TV cabaret. Or in the new “Volkstheater” venue.
If you fancy working up an appetite in between, the area around the “Grossmarkthalle” is the place to be. “Thalkirchner Straße” is one of Munich’s most delicious streets. Whether it’s Japanese fine dining, Italian or Mexican restaurants or a craft beer bar – Munich is suddenly a cosmopolitan city once more!
Discover even more of Munich’s lovable city quarters here …