City Guide Munich

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Cosiness and Luxury

Issue 04/2010


Text Ilona Marx Photos Andy Rumball Illustration Roman Klonek

For a long time now Munich has not simply been regarded as a popular German travel destination. According to Monocle magazine founder and lifestyle expert Tyler Brûlé, it is also the city with the highest quality of life in the world. During a visit to a beer garden on a balmy late summer’s evening with a litre of fresh draught beer in one hand and a pretzel in the other, one quickly comes to the very same conclusion: Munich is simply wonderful. Over a cappuccino on one of the numerous Mediterranean-style terraces, life is approached in a much more relaxed way than in any other large German city.

The English Garden seems to stretch all the way to Lake Garda, which is emphasised by the very popular, and also freshly interpreted Italian cuisine on offer in the Isar metropolis. But also the authentic Bavarian fare is enjoying more popularity here than hardly any other local cuisine in Germany – among both locals and tourists.

And what would Munich be without the charm of its opposites? Without the luxury and delusions of grandeur, which manifest around the Maximilianstraße, where the most expensive designer boutiques await their well-heeled clientele in a density that is unique worldwide? And without the traditional Bavarians, who indulge in their favourite pastime – drinking beer – at the Viktualienmarkt and in the countless breweries during the year and in late September on their ‘Wiesn’, which is how they refer to the famous Oktoberfest? By the way: the people of Munich consume on average a substantial 162 litres of beer per year and per head. And they are sure to knock back a large proportion of this during the first two weeks of October.

But let’s get back to the fashion. After all, it can also manage without Munich’s reputed ostentation as a considerable (and increasing) number of local designers is proving: Marcel Ostertag, Patrick Mohr, Miriam Schaaf, Ayzit Bostan, Hannes Roether, Haltbar, Akindofguise, Saskia Dietz, Michael Wagner, Patrick Muff and Werkstatt:München – the long list of top-class and internationally successful Munich fashion creators is showing that it’s not only possible to live well in the Bavarian capital, but also work well there too. One reason for this is certainly the lovingly cultivated tradition of craftsmanship, which offers the city’s creatives inspiration on the one hand, and a variety of local production opportunities on the other.

Particularly in the Glockenbach district, in the Maxvorstadt, the Westend and the Schlachthof areas the long-established craftsmen workshops can be found mixing with fresh store concepts and small yet fine restaurants and cafés. Berlin photographer Andy Rumball and J’N’C editor-in-chief Ilona Marx roamed the streets of Munich on the eve of the 200th Oktoberfest and tracked down the best locations.

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