April 11, 2011 12:53 PM   Subscribe

Visiting Germany -- Munich, Garmisch, Frankfurt -- your favorite places to stay, eat and see!

We are headed to Germany in a few weeks and the tentative plan is to hang out in Munich for a few days then down to Garmisch and then back up to Frankfurt. We will have our 6 month old daughter with us. We are looking for interesting architecture, beer and wine experiences and I'd love to visit a cheese maker if possible. We will have a car once we leave Munich.

Lastly, if you had a place you stayed in any of these cities that you loved, please lay it on me! Anything else that we can't miss?
posted by amanda to Travel & Transportation around Munich, Germany (11 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
We stayed in the Villa Oriental in Frankfurt and it was really, really nice.
posted by mckenney at 1:22 PM on April 11, 2011

when in Munich, do go to the Spatenhaus for lunch or dinner. An ancient brewery in the centre of Munich which is now a restaurant with a lovely atmosphere & wonderful food, also frequented by locals, which always is a good sign.

Also, many interesting museums, large and small, in a relatively small radius - your timing is good, and you will probably be able to see the Vermeer exhibition at the Alte Pinakothek, but also check out the Neue for some interesting modern art.
posted by helion at 1:23 PM on April 11, 2011

You've got to visit the German Museum, the Old Pinakothek, the New Pinakithek and the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.
posted by jfricke at 1:29 PM on April 11, 2011

Wherever you go, you have to try a currywurst - basically a hot dog with spicy tomato sauce. I'm craving one right now. You'll find many vans around each city selling them.
posted by hnnrs at 1:29 PM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Seconding viktualienmarkt and maybe spatenhaus! Food in the hofbrÀuhaus is atrocious. My personal fave is the augustiner brauhaus in the landsberger strasse! Walk through town to the opera and maximiliansstrasse and during the day grab a snack at vinzenzmurrs which youll find at every street corner (almost) in the center!
posted by freddymetz at 2:21 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Deutsches Museum, but you'll need to make two trips to see the whole thing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:33 PM on April 11, 2011

There's an amazing German restaurant called Zum Adler and if you want good German food while in Frankfurt go there. It's not a tourist spot at all, very much a local place to get food. Their Biergarten is beautiful - one of the nicer ones in Frankfurt.

Also, Cafe Liebfraunberg in Frankfurt has amazing local food and it's right in the heart of town, you can get some intense breakfast there, and awesome coffee and very, very German deserts. I highly recommend going there, you'll definitely walk by it if you walk around downtown Frankfurt.

If you want to see cheeses and some local food market stuff in Frankfurt, go to the Kleinmarkthalle when you walk around the Downtown area.

Have some Apfelwein while in Frankfurt.

In Munich, go to the Biergarten in the Englischer Garten, and have a huge Bretzel, and beer. There's one by the lake and one by the Chinese tower. They're both good. Spend a good amount of time walking around that park, it's beautiful. I hope you guys have good weather!

Let me know if you have any other questions about Frankfurt, I'm from there.
posted by carmel at 4:20 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

For architecture in Munich, I recommend a leisurely stroll around Schwabing. (U-Bahn stop: Schwabing. Pretty easy. Walkable from Odeonsplatz too.) Get off the main street (Prinz-Regenten-Strasse, I think?) and wander around the side streets. Lots of beautiful art deco buildings with elaborate and colorful decorations. Here's one website that describes a walking tour; there are probably others, too.

There are also many fabulous, can't-miss churches in Munich. My favorites are the stunning white interior of the Theatinerkirche on Odeonsplatz and the rococo ridiculousness of the tiny Asam-Kirche near Sendlinger Tor.

The Jewish center at Jakobsplatz, near the City Museum, is a very new piece of architecture that is very simple but very meaningful. There are three buildings: a synagogue, a community center, and a museum. You can't go in the synagogue; the museum is okay. They're all built from the same stone; the stone symbolizes closed-off-ness and guardedness, while the glass symbolizes more openness. Check out how the stone and glass are used in the three different buildings.

Schloss Nymphenburg is kind of a pain to get to but quite a sight to see. The Residenz is also great if you are interested in architecture and it has a good museum.

My favorite Munich museums are the New Pinakothek, the Pinakothek of the Modern, and the oft-overlooked Bavarian State Museum (Bayrisches Staatsmuseum). Sadly, the wonderful Lenbachhaus is closed right now. Personally I found the Alte (Old) Pinakothek stunningly boring; it's all pictures of martyrs and Mary With Child. If there's a Vermeer exhibit, though, that's probably cool. Also: the Pinakotheken only cost 1 Euro on Sundays.

Munich has a fantastic number of beer gardens. I really recommend checking out something other than the big English Garden ones; they can be a really hectic, touristy scene. The Hirschgarten is close to Schloss Nymphenburg. Zum Flaucher south of the city center is nice. There are many others too. Oh, definitely check out the Research Brewery! They specialize in creating unique beers while still keeping to the Reinheitsgebot.

If you want to do a brewery tour, the Ayinger Brewery in Aying south of Munich is terrific. However, the tours are only in German, so I don't know if that works for you. The Weihenstephaner Brewery north of the city might be big enough to offer tours in English.

In Garmisch, I really recommend hiking the Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge). It's pretty great. Also pretty flat; shouldn't be strenuous to do while carrying a baby. I think it costs a couple of Euros but I thought it was worth the small fee.
posted by mandanza at 5:22 PM on April 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

Err, just kidding, there's no U-Bahn stop called Schwabing. Sorry, brain fart. The proper stops would be Munchner Freiheit or Giselastrasse. On the Leopoldstrasse. Ugh, I actually lived there three years ago but apparently I've forgotten all the street names and train stops.
posted by mandanza at 5:25 PM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Fantastic suggestions all -- loved the street meat recommendations!
posted by amanda at 7:24 AM on April 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thought I'd come back and post. We just returned and there were so many things to see and do in Munich that of course we couldn't get to them all. We had a lovely spring day in the Englischer Garden and really enjoyed the beirgarten under the Chinese Pagoda. Also loved the surfers surfing the Garden canal -- awesome!

Ended up doing the BMW Welt and museum (which was free that day - yay!) -- great architecture and pretty amazing exhibits.

We didn't picnic as much as a liked since we were traveling with my father-in-law and had our infant so we were drawn in to restaurants as often as not. However, I loved the Viktualienmarkt and picked up cheese there and sausage which we ended up not tucking in to until we went up to the Andechs Monastery for the beer and the views. Fantastic!

We made it out to Nymphenburg which was pretty fantastic and loved our snack in their Palm House cafe.

Didn't manage to find a currywurst until we got to the village under Castle Neuschwanstein but it was delicious! Excellent recommendation and I would never have tried it otherwise. My traveling companions were like: "You're ordering what?"

Also, Neuschwanstein is a must-see for its frivolous exterior beauty and location but we really enjoyed Linderhoff for the grounds and it's size -- very manageable castle, I think. We did not make it out hiking as I really liked the sounds of the canyon hike -- our dogs were barking! Did not do the Zugspitze as it cost $48 Euro per person! Just weren't in the mood to spend so much.

Reading back over this list, I wish we had another three days -- it was a fun city and we had a great time. If you want to meet a bunch of Germans just walk around with a cute 5-month-old strapped to your chest and you'll have made all sorts of friends.

Thanks again!
posted by amanda at 11:01 AM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

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