Munich's Best Kept Secrets

Five experiences you should try to really get to know the spirit of the city

  • Munich
  • Munich
  • Munich
  • Munich
  • Munich

Although most people associate it with Oktoberfest, Munich is so much more than beer and bratwurst. This vibrant, cosmopolitan, and livable German city is so rich in history, architecture, and culture that it takes a lot to get to know it properly. If you don't have much time on your hands, our suggestion is to skip the busy tourist trail and go straight to the heart of the city's true spirit, by trying these five essential experiences. We are pretty sure you'll be amazed.
1. Attend the tea ceremony at the English Garden
Most people have been to the beautiful English Garden in central Munich, one of the largest urban parks in the world and a 900-acre green oasis with shaded paths, brooks, ponds, swans, and beer gardens. Yet not many have managed to attend the tea ceremony at the Japanese teahouse, a small and somewhat surreal corner of Japan in the heart of the park dating back to 1972, when it was built as a gift from the city of Sapporo on the occasion of the Munich Olympic Games.
The Japanese tea ceremony takes place every second weekend of the month from April to October (see the full calendar here), and it is a great occasion to see the interior of the building, decorated in traditional Japanese style with tatami floors, rice paper sliding doors and scrolls of Japanese writing. 
2. Ride (or watch people riding) the Eisbach wave
Since you're in the English Garden, don't miss the chance to do or watch some urban surfing on the southern border of the park, the one facing Prinzregentenstrasse (and pretty close to the Haus der Kunst museum). Every day, even in winter, around 100 surfers patiently wait their turn in a queue to surf the Eisenbach wave, a continuous wave rolling through the Eisenbach, a channel of river Isar. Besides offerig quite a unique spectacle in the heart of the city, these surfers are also very expert: known as E1, the Eisenbach wave is deemed very tricky, and given the limited  width of the channel, you need to be ready to ride it as soon as you hit the water.
3. Forget about bratwurst at Prinz Myshkin's vegetarian Biergarten
The Biergarten is a quintessential part of the local culture in Munich, so we are not suggesting that you should avoid it. But of course, there are many different ways to live the experience, so why not try Munich's first vegetarian beer garden? Powered by Prinz Myshkin, the city's most beloved (and yummiest) vegetarian and vegan restaurant (whose main location is in the heart of the old town), the garden restaurant at Prinz Myshkin Park Hotel, north west of the city center, is a great alternative to your regular Bavarian-style Biergarten, and the perfect place for drinking beer (and wine) al fresco while indulging in some truly delicious "flexitarian" food.
4. Meet all The King's beauties at Nymphenburg
Not far from Prinz Myshkin's garden restaurant is the Nymphenburg castle, once the sovereign’s summer residence and now one of the city’s main landmarks. Besides the sumptuous halls and majestic architecture, the castle houses a quaint painting collection called “The Gallery of Beauties”, originally intended for the Festival Hall Building of the Munich Residenz. The gallery was commissioned to Joseph Stieler by King Ludwig I (reigned 1825-1848), who asked him to paint portraits of some of the most beautiful women in Munich - not only women of the court, but of all social classes. Hence, in the gallery the portraits of Baronesses and Princesses hang side by side with those of dancers and shoemaker daughters: what a great way to find out what “beauty” looked like in the 1800s!
5. Climb to the top of Olympiastadion for a breathtaking view of the city
There is no better way to get an idea of a city than being able to see it from above. Time to get a decent view, then! Head to Olympiapark, but instead of taking a lift to the top of the Olympic Tower like most people do, try something different. The roof of the Olympic Stadium may not be as high as the Tower, but the Flying Fox experience will definitely take your breath away. After climbing to the tent roof at a height of 35 meters, you will get strapped in, jump, and fly across the whole stadium hanging on a rope, getting a good adrenaline boost and a sensational view of Munich.

Author : The Slowear Journal


Munich  | culture  | food  | beer  | unusual destinations  | Olympic Stadium  |

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