Munich, The Warm Heart Of Bavaria

Munich is the capital and warm “heart” of Bavaria. This cosmopolitan city has been called one of the most livable cities in Europe with reason.  It is friendly and sophisticated, traditional and trendy, historic and modern, and holds one of the largest parties in the world, the famous Oktoberfest beer festival.

The New Town Hall Dominates The Marienplatz With The Frauenkirche Domes Off To The Side
Almost Life Size Figures Of The Glockenspiel

Tourists as well as locals gravitate to the Altstadt, the old town and gather in the pedestrian only Marienplatz with the imposing Neues Rathaus, the new town hall dominating its center. People love to gaze up and watch the Glockenspiel with its mechanical, almost life size figures and listen to the 43 bell carillon. From the square, you can see the twin copper clad onion domes of the famous Frauenkirche,  the Cathedral of Our Lady which is the symbol of Munich.

At one end of the square is the  Altes Rathaus, the old town hall with its colorful turrets. There is an interesting antique toy museum in the tower.

The Altes Rathaus

Within a few minutes walking distance from the Marienplatz,  is the famous Hofbrauhaus beer hall that everyone enjoys stopping at for at least one mug of beer. You can sit in one the large interior rooms or when the weather is nice enjoy the outdoor beer garden.

The Large Hall Of The Hofbrauhaus

In the same pretty square as the Hofbrauhaus, there are colorful and beautifully decorated buildings with outside cafes where you can linger in nice weather.

The Beautiful Square Where The Hofbrauhas And Schuhbeck’s Orlando Are Located

Celebrity TV chef Alfonso Schuhbeck has his Michelin star restaurant on the square and it is excellent. He also a more casual restaurant and terrace at the historic Orlando Haus which my husband and I had not tried until this visit. We enjoyed sitting outside for a light lunch of  inventive salads accompanied by glasses of beer and wine.

Cold Terrine Of Head Cheese, Horseradish Mousse and Field Greens
Breast Of Duck Salad With Roasted Pumpkin And Mushrooms

Because the Altstadt is where everyone likes to be, it is nice to stay in a hotel nearby. One block away on the fashionable Maximillianstrasse is one of my favorite hotels in Europe, the Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten, which means Four Seasons. The hotel was built in 1858 as a showcase hotel to accommodate visitors to the city as well as royalty and guests of King Maximilian.

The Lobby Of The Vier Jahreszeiten

Walk into the lobby and you will see why it is called the living room of Munich. I love to sit there and enjoy a cup of tea, cappuccino or glass of Champagne and watch all the comings and goings. There is also a wonderful piano bar off the lobby with so much atmosphere that you can’t resist sitting in one of the red leather chairs under the fringed brass lamps, listening to the piano music while having a pre dinner apéritif or cocktail.

The Atmospheric Piano Bar

Having dinner in the hotel’s restaurant Vue Maximilian is always a lovely experience. The menu has regional specialties as well as innovative new dishes, most using local produce.

Allgauer Cheese Brûlée With Caramelized Apples, Field Salad With Pumpkin Oil
Fried Poultry Liver, Thyme Sauce And Grape Risotto
Duck Breast With Orange Pepper Sauce, Stuffed Cabbage And Celery Puree
Cream Brûlée With Pistachio Ice Cream

After a full day of sightseeing, it feels good to go to your room for a good night’s sleep. The rooms in this tradition hotel are all decorated differently and in very good taste.  I especially loved the warm and inviting colors of our beautiful room.

The Very Comfortable Sitting Room
The Extremely Comfortable Bedroom

After breakfast from the extensive buffet, we got an early start on a day of sightseeing. A favorite stop is always the Viktualienmarkt which is just a three minute walk from the Marienplatz. Just look for the tall Maypole which can easily be seen from a distance.

The Maypole At The Viktualienmarkt

If you are a foodie, this wonderful 200 year old open air market should be high on your list of places to visit. Fresh meats and sausages, seafood, fruits and vegetable stalls are just part of your choices. Beautiful flower stalls where flowers are organized by colors are also prevalent. There are also stalls that sell deli items and cooked meals. Buy something to eat and take it to the markets’ popular beer garden. By a beer and sit shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others at picnic tables under the canopy of old chestnut trees.

The Viktualienmarket Beer Garden

I love that Munich is all about saving the old, but still looking to the future in all ways.

Saving The Old, But Building The Future

You can find every famous designer clothing boutique on the Maximillianstrasse but still find stores that sell the must exquisitely made traditional clothing that you see people wearing anytime during the week…holiday or not.

In one of the towns on the outskirts of Munich, we enjoyed a local festival where many of the people were dressed in traditional Bavarian clothing. I think the whole town turned out for the music, traditional dances and a market that was being held.

Folk Dancing In Traditional Bavarian Dress

One of the reasons I enjoy Bavaria is the strong ties that the people have to their traditions, rich culture and their joy of life. At its heart and soul is the lovely city of Munich.

To learn more about what you should see when visiting Munich, you might be interested in my previous articles.

Munich, More Than Beer and Sausages

A Foodies Tour of Munich

Munich is an alive and friendly European city that has stolen my heart. I’m sure that if you get a chance to visit, you will feel the same way.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

139 thoughts on “Munich, The Warm Heart Of Bavaria

    1. Hi Mandy, We love visiting Munich and always stay at the Vier Jahreszeiten. The hotel really tries to make everything perfect. Foam seems to be very popular in most of the restaurants that we visited in both Austria and Germany. I think the chefs are trying to lighten up traditional sauces that can sometimes be very rich.

  1. This is very timely – I was discussing Munich with some friends on the weekend and they said that it was a lot of beers and sausages, which you’ve shown in this post (and your earlier posts) that there’s so much more to Munich. What a wonderful place !

    1. Hi Carolyn, I agree with you that Munich is a wonderful city to visit. Munich and Germany as a whole has wonderful food…people will be pleasantly surprised if they visit.

  2. I worked for a client who had an office in Munich and I had many trips there – didn´t get to see much (so thanks for the photos) but I have very many happy memories of the wonderful people, food and buildings. Oh yes, and a massive hangover after Oktoberfest 😦

    1. Hi Tanya, I’m glad that you agree with me about the wonderful people that live in Munich. It if a wonderful city to explore. We avoid Oktoberfest because of the crowds…always going right after it is over. Thank you for your comment…I’m glad the photos brought back happy memories of the time you spent there.

  3. Thanks for a trip down memory lane. Few years back my husband and I visited Munich and went to many of the places you mentioned. Would have loved to spend more time there but when on vacation there are limited days. You sure are eating well, every dish looks sumptous..

    1. Hi Norma, I’m glad to hear that I brought back good memories of your trip to Munich. We have been to Munich more than any other European city and there is still so much we haven’t seen. We have been eating well…the food was delicious.

    1. Hi Alida, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. Munich really is a fun and interesting city to visit. And yes…they do have great beer.

  4. What an amazing trip you’re having! On my honeymoon, we stopped in Leavenworth, WA and it looks like this…to increase tourism they built it to look like a little Bavarian village, complete with German music piped throughout the town. Even the Starbucks and McDonalds are built in the Bavarian style! Weird,right? 🙂

    1. Hi Amy, We really are having a wonderful trip. I’m glad you have enjoyed following the adventure. I’m looking forward to photos of Leavenworth…it must have been a fun place to visit.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, Munich is a beautiful town to visit. Don’t you love the lobby of the Vier Jahreszeiten with the stain glass dome. You should see it at Christmas…they have a tree that reaches almost to the top of the dome. It is a great place to relax and people watch.

    1. Hi Smidge, Isn’t nice to know that some of the places that you love visiting remain the same. Thank you for your nice compliment…the food was a good as it looks.

  5. You are seriously making me rethink my travel ideas. Every time I have visited Germany or Austria I have enjoyed it tremendously, yet neither place is really on my list of places to revisit-I seem to prefer other destinations. Yet…the photos you have posted from this trip have just been wonderful and so very inviting. Thank you so much, Karen.

    1. Hi Victoria, Every time that my husband and I start to plan a trip, we think about going to places we have never been. Then we start thinking about the beautiful scenery and delicious food and our favorite countries keep coming to mind. I really think you would enjoy going back to Germany and Austria…I know we enjoy both of the countries.

  6. Munich is one of my absolute favorite German cities – is so stunning – specially the Alte Stadt.
    Bonn, Dusseldorf and Cologne is 3 other cities I always want to go back for … MORE of! Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburger is even more lush …. I love Steigenberger Hotels http:/www.steigenbergerhotelgroup.com/ hotels. – your photos are so professionalism and brilliant.
    Thanks for taking me back to Munich after all those years. Such a friendly and beautiful European city.

    1. Hi Viveka, I do love visiting Munich, I’m glad that you enjoyed touring the city with me. Thank you so much for your compliment about my photos…that is very kind. Would you believe I have never been to your other favorite German cities. I guess I’ll have to plan another trip. LOL. I have stayed at the Insel Hotel in Konstanz that is a Steigenbergerhotel twice.

      1. We do have to go to the northern parts of Germany as I know it has so much to offer. I so appreciate all your lovely insights into planning our next trip.

    1. Thank you Adventurer, for your comment. As much as I have traveled in Germany, there is still so much I haven’t seen. I keep thinking about Berlin…everyone says it is a great city of visit. So many wonderful places in the world to visit but so little time.

    1. Hi Eva, Thank you for your nice compliment. I think the whole world has changed as far as cooking goes…just like we do in our own homes. I’m sure that you have seen that in your travels as well.

    1. Hi Eri, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. Isn’t Munich a lovely city…it is one of my favorite European cities to visit.

    1. Hi Uru, I’m glad that you enjoyed to photos…thank you for your nice compliment. I do hope that you get the opportunity to travel to Germany and visit Munich. I know that you would enjoy the visit.

  7. More great shots Karen. I’ve been thru Munich a couple times but never spent any time there. In my younger days, I wish I had made it to an outdoor biergarten during Oktoberfest.

    1. Hi Larry, Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Perhaps you will get the chance to visit Munich again. I think you can get the feel of Oktoberfest just by visiting one of the outdoor biergartens on any weekend. Big crowds and lots of fun but not so hectic that you can’t enjoy yourself.

    1. Thank you Boleyn, for your kind words. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. Munich is such a great city to visit not only for its beauty but for the many great restaurants.

  8. Oh my goodness, how did you ever stop eating? That food looks so good & beautifully presented. I think I’m going to plan my next vacation just following along in your footsteps – everything you’ve posted makes me want to grab the passport & go.

    1. Hi Diane, I’m happy to know that you have enjoyed the posts about our travels in Austria and Germany. I know that if you followed in my footsteps you would have a delightful trip. There hasn’t been a place that I wouldn’t go back to time and again. All the food was terrific…just as good as it looks in the photos.

    1. Hi Adin, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos that reminded you of your time spent in the Marienplatz enjoying the Glockenspiel. I can assure you that the food was as delicious as the photos suggested. I hope you stop by again.

  9. We have German beach friends..that go to Munich regularly..they travel..all over the world..like you:-)
    They actually live in Germany..
    Thanks for all the photos and info:-)
    They make it all more real to me:-)

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog. I’m glad that you enjoyed and related to the post. Perhaps you will get a chance to visit this lovely area sometime in the future.

  10. I love the picture of the glockenspeil – but head cheese? Duck? Chicken liver? OMG – I LOVE all those! Of course, I always thought it was because I was a country girl – but now I know it’s because I’m “European”! Sounds more elegant, doesn’t it? Thanks again for taking us along!

    1. Oh Kelli, You had me laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes. When I first started reading you comment, I thought…Oh No! I can now see that you enjoy being adventurous with food and appreciate all the great food that is out there to discover if you just give it a chance. Yes…I do think that your tastes are very European. Thank you for your delightful comment. I’m glad that you have enjoyed following our adventure through Austria and Germany.

      1. I’m glad you got a kick out of it. My dad’s best friend was an Italian man who immigrated here with his wife after WW I and he could speak 7 languages including his own, but could read none of them. However, Mr. Labrocca made head cheese and made the most exquisite duck I have ever had! And Lord-y, except for his think Italian accent – that man was country! 🙂

    1. Hi Chunklet, Isn’t the architecture of Munich beautiful. Everywhere you go in the Alstadt, there is one wonderful building after the other. Thank you for your comment.

  11. I was hoping you’d share Munich with us, Karen. You’ve got such a knack for photography that I looked forward to seeing the city through your eyes. You certainly didn’t disappoint and your narrative gives us a good understanding of the area and people. You should work for the Bavarian Tourism Council.:)
    As always, Karen, thank you for taking the time to share your holiday with us.

    1. Hi John, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m flattered that you think that the Bavaria Tourism Council would like my posts. In the real world I don’t think that would happen. I just love this wonderful region of Germany and like to share it with my readers. Munich is one of my favorite European cities to visit…I’m happy that you were looking forward to a post about it. I really do appreciate all your kind words.

  12. Karen, I have an age old crush on Munich. You’ve captured her well – and it’s nice to see that she’s still looking good, after all these years! Continued happy trails !

    1. Thank you Spree, for your nice comment. It sounds like you love Munich as much as I do. After all the years that I have visited, it still calls me back for another visit and never disappoints.

    1. Hi Meg, I’m glad you agree with me about the charms of Munich. It is such a fun and alive city to visit. Thank you for your nice compliment…I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos.

  13. The Europeans of old certainly built the most beautiful architecture. I just love the painted ceiling in the old hall. It’s fabulous the citizens of today are preserving their past xx

    1. Hi Charlie, I have to agree with you about the beautiful architecture that you see in Europe. The painted ceiling in the beer hall is lovely. I enjoyed the old tower that was saved between the two modern buildings.

  14. My ex was Austrian and his family returned there often. This is all like I remember them talking about and the pics I saw. His mother brought back my son tiny lederson when he was just 1 yrs old. I still have it!

    1. Hi Linda, I can just imagine your young son in the tiny lederhosen. When we were staying at the Jagdhof in Austria, there was a young boy we met that worn lederhosen to dinner each evening.

  15. Thank you for the wonderful tour of Munich. Our next European excursion will be to Germany…and you’ve made me even more excited about planning this trip. What a wonderful resource 🙂

  16. It looks like a magical city that blends the old and the new beautifully, as you’ve pointed out and illustrated through your photos. The food looks lovely too…I’d forgotten about head cheese, which was popular in my family growing up. I didn’t like it when I was younger, but I haven’t tried it for years.

    1. Hi Barb, Munich does have a wonderful blend of old and new. I think that is what makes it such an interesting city to visit. The head cheese on the salad was prepared so nicely…with a flavorful gelatin that held the meat and vegetables together.

    1. Hi Nami, We have visited Munich twice during the month of December…the city is beautiful then. They have a great Christmas market in the Marienplatz. The duck salad was delicious…I loved the combination of the roasted pumpkin and mushrooms with the duck.

    1. Hi Tandy, Munich has so much to offer to anyone who visits the city. We enjoyed our adventure in Austria and Germany…I appreciate you following along.

    1. Hi Laura, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Unfortunately we won’t get to enjoy the Christmas markets this year. We have spent Christmas in Germany and Austria twice and it is indeed a wonderful time to visit.

  17. I’m loving your posts, Karen, and am taking notes that I can refer to when I plan my next European trip. I go every other year and next spring will be in France for a month, but after that I think Germany will be my destination. I’ve been there several times but not to many of the places you mention. Christmas in Bavaria is a is magical experience.

    1. Hi Cathy, I’m glad you have enjoyed the posts on our adventure through Austria and Germany. I think you would enjoy any of the places that we have been to this year or last. I do love spending Christmas there…it truly is magical. It is the way Christmas is supposed to be.

    1. Hi Emil, Thank you for your nice comment. I can’t imagine anyone going to Munchen and not having a wonderful time. Pull out those Lederhosen and turn the music on.

    1. Hi Susan, Munich is a lovely city and we enjoy visiting it very much. We love staying at the Vier Jahreszeiten as it is not only beautiful but it is so convenient to the lovely old center of the city. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post…thank you.

    1. Hi Ducky, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post…thank you for your nice compliment. It has been two years since we spent Christmas in Austria and Germany…that is a wonderful time to visit. We did eat some delicious food during our stay in Munich.

    1. Hi Pumpkin, I keep returning to Munich and still there is so much that I haven’t seen. I agree with you…it just gives us a reason to plan another trip. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…thank you!

    1. Hi Geni, I hope that you get the chance to travel in the future. Munich is definitely a wonderful city to visit if you plan a trip to Germany…the entire Bavarian region is beautiful.

  18. More great photos! I’d love to have a glass of champagne in that lobby – what a wonderful looking place. And the food looks great. Someone commented on the foam – I’ve been noticing a lot of foamy dishes in your travels. Keep ’em coming – they’re fun to look at! Thanks.

    1. Hi John, I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos…thank you. I have been known to have a glass or two of Champagne in the lobby…they always give a little bit of something with it. My husband and I were just talking about the foam a little earlier today. The foam disappears quickly and you are left with a wonderful light but flavorful sauce.

  19. I feel like I know a little bit about Munich, although I have never been. I have many friends and some family who have traveled for Oktoberfest, and they just rave about the city. I loved the folk dancers, and think that I, too, would be very interested in the blending of “old and new” that you describe. I know I would love the open air market! 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and feel that you know a little more about Munich now. You would love the open air market that I wrote about last year…what a wonderful selection of the finest foods. I love how the city has saved the old but is very modern as well. Thank you for your comment.

  20. I remember being 12 years old in front of the Glockenspiel and my darling Dad telling me to shut my mouth ere a fly flew in 🙂 ! Ashamed I did not remember that the Hofbrauhaus actually had ‘that fancy’ a ceiling, but we did share the very same hotel on all our visits to te Bavarian capital . . . lovely food!!!! I’m afraid these days I am one of Victoria’s ‘mob’ and look in other directions when making travel plans – oh, yes, perhaps one should reconsider 🙂 !

    1. Hi Eha, I have enjoyed learning of our common love of the places we have both visited over the years. I’m afraid a lot of people only think about traveling to the romanticized countries that are featured in films and books such as Italy and France. There are so many wonderful places that should also go on the “must visit” list.

    1. Hi Laura, Thank you for your compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I know what you mean about how beautiful the countryside looks from the air. I love flying in and out of the Munich airport…not only an easy airport to travel through but as you say…seeing the sights from a bird’s eye view. I do think you would enjoy a trip to Germany.

  21. Hi Karen, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of the places you have mentioned and it is so nice to see them again through your blog! Such beautiful pictures! Now, about the food photos: How do you have the patience to take such perfect pictures when I’m sure you just want to “dig in”? What amazing food! (and really, gorgeous pictures) Thanks for sharing! Dana

    1. Hi Dana, Thank you for following along on our travel adventure and your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Since most of my blog posts are about travel, food and recipes, I feel that readers enjoy learning about food that is served wherever I am visiting. There have been many times that I have starting eating a dish and realize that I forgot to take a photo…even with the camera sitting on the table. LOL.

    1. Hi Joanne, I think that you would enjoy Munich…there is so much to see and do there. Munich is a good city to use as a starting place for visiting the beautiful region of Bavaria.

  22. What a beautiful place to visit! We are going to Great Britain after the first of the year and I would dearly love to travel over to Germany for a day or two. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful travels!

    1. Hi Jen, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I know that there are many flights in and out of London. We flew on British Air from Heathrow and it is an easy flight.

    1. Thank you Lacey, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of Munich. I do hope that you get a chance to visit your friend while they are living in Munich. I know you will love it. You will get to see it with someone that is living there…that will be great.

  23. What a lovely virtual tour of Munich! I love Munich too. I have been there a couple of times & am in love with this wonderful city! You captured it very well! Lovely pics too! Excellent food dishes too! MMM! Keep on travelling & enjoying yourself on the way! 🙂 Dining & wining too! xxx

    1. Thank you Sophie, for your lovely compliment. I’m glad that your enjoyed the post and photos. I totally agree with you about Munich being a wonderful city to visit.

    1. Hi Donna, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. I enjoy sharing the places that I enjoy traveling to…it gives you an idea of cities that you might like to visit as well. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi Rita, It is nice to know that I brought back nice memories of your time spent in Munich during Oktoberfest…you must have had a great time. Munich really is a beautiful city…especially when the sun is shining brightly.

  24. Wow, you photos are fabulous. Brings back sweet memories of our trip to Munich a few years ago. I was not a food blogger then but this time if I visit Munich again, I will definitely take lots of food photos.

    1. Hi Quay Po, Thank you for stopping by to visit and your lovely compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed my photos of Munich and that they brought back memories of your visit there.

    1. Hi Ladyfi, The architecture in Munich really is quite lovely. If you ever have a chance to travel to Germany, I would put Munich on the list of wonderful cities to visit.

    1. Hi Helen, That is funny but so true…we often don’t visit the places that are nearby our homes as much as we sometimes should. I just love Munich and know that there is so much still waiting to be seen.

      1. Libkuchen is one of my favorites. We were in Munich two years when the Christmas markets were in the Marienplatz and they were so much fun to visit. We just left Munich and arrived home yesterday…hopefully to return again another year.

  25. Karen, so you had a chance to dine at one of Alfons Schuhbeck´s famed restaurants – I only “met” him at a cooking show/booksigning (I should rather call this a “stampede”, I could not believe my eyes when I saw the crowds surrounding Mr. Schuhbeck) in Cologne last year but never had a chance to enjoy his food but I do own a few of his cookbooks. He is a real “star” around here. And Munich is so absolutely wonderful – I should visit again soon!

    1. Hi Andrea, We had a chance to eat in Schubeck’s main restaurant two years ago for lunch and it was wonderful. We thought that our salads at his Orlando restaurant were imaginative and good. We have shopped at his spice store twice for things I find hard to get at home…this year it was salts.

    1. Hi Carol, I’m glad you have enjoyed my posts…happy to be your travel guide anytime. My husband and I find ourselves returning to Munich and Germany often. It truly is a great country to visit. Thank you for your nice compliment.

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