If Amsterdam, Stockholm and Brussels have already won you over, Munich is sure to charm you, as well. You’ll find a bit of that stereotypical German rigor throughout this wonderfully maintained city, especially on their public transport (designed to ensure comfort for everyone). But you’ll also find a sense of collectivism and family, as well as a certain joie de vivre on every street corner and garden in the Bavarian capital, quickly adopting its lovely and nonchalant lifestyle. Here’s our family city guide…
Fresh off the plane or train (the TGV from Paris to Munich takes about 6 hours), children and luggage in tow, you’ll probably want to snag the nearest taxi. But the metro in Munich is quite an experience. There are elevators and ramps to accommodate travelers with bikes or strollers, and cleanliness is an expectation, not a luxury. Take advantage of it, as your time in Munich may very well turn into a cycling holiday (you can rent bikes from your hotel, or by the hour at the city center – complete with helmets and bike seats for little ones). With more than 1200 kilometers of impeccable bike paths, Europe’s cycling capital is yours to explore…
Louis Hotel: design, comfort and a fabulous rooftop in the heart of Munich (Altstadt district).
Just minutes from Marienplatz, the town hall square and epicenter of the city, the Louis Hotel awaits you. Ideally located next to the lively and colorful Viktualienmarkt market, this warm and refined hotel offers everything your family could ever need: spacious guest rooms with an elegant blend of Nordic and Mediterranean influences, breakfast/brunch offered until 2pm on weekends, bicycles available, and a rooftop bar where parents can enjoy cocktails in the evening.
Louis Hotel, Viktualienmarkt 6, 80331 Munich.
To discover in the Altstadt district:
- With endless fruit and vegetable stands, flowers galore, classic charcuteries and a big, beautiful biergarten at the center, the Viktualienmarkt is absolutely worth a visit. You’ll surely leave with some Bavarian souvenirs, like Lebkuchen (German gingerbread cookies in adorable, little shapes)…
- Brenner, for a family-friendly brunch on the terrace. The staff will even take care of the kids while you enjoy your meal.
Brenner Grill, Maximilianstrasse 15, 80539 Munich.
- For a romantic dinner or get-together (without the kids), Koi is a must. We love the decor and cuisine at this ultra-chic, Japanese restaurant, with a special evening menu of hot and cold tapas that are sure to satisfy.
Koi, Wittelsbacherplatz 1, 80333 Munich.
Live the sweet life on the streets of Schwabing
You’ll find a charming, London village vibe among the swanky streets and alleyways of Schwabing. Adored by affluent young families and thirty-somethings, this district is home to some of the trendiest cafes, restaurants and boutiques in Munich. Much smaller (and less touristy) than Viktualienmarkt, Schwabing’s Elisabethmarkt is a must-visit on Saturday mornings, when florists and gardeners, tradesmen and sommeliers all open their stalls. For breakfast or an afternoon snack, stop by Brotzeiten (the spot with pastel and plaid covered cushions adorning the chairs). This healthy cafe/restaurant is perfect for keeping an eye on the children while they enjoy the market’s playground.
Brotzeiten, Elisabethpl. 9A, 80796 Munich.
To discover in Schwabing:
- After a stroll down Georgenstrasse and Seestrasse Street, take an artistic break at Kinderkunsthaus – the most adorable children’s workshop you’ll ever see – where the kids can learn all sorts of painting technique, digital animation tricks and DIY tips that are sure to impress. Learn more about Kinderkunsthaus
- For a fairly inexpensive lunch, try the delicious bagels and sandwiches at Occam Deli, a cozy spot just by Englischer Garten.
Occam Deli, Feilitzschastrasse 15, 80802 Munich.
- For a dinner for two, try Seerose (a charming, authentic Italian trattoria) or Cochinchina (a modern, Vietnamese kitchen). Both restaurants also have terraces for guests to enjoy in the summer.
Seerose, Feilitzschstrasse 32, 80802 Munich.
Cochinchina, Kaiserstrasse 28, 80802 Munich. Cochinchina.de
Green Spaces & Biergartens
Bike rides and biergartens are some of the most classic activities Munich has to offer (especially when your trip to the biergarten includes a pretzel-beer appetizer). Get lost among the vast and varied bike routes and pathways of Englischer Garten. Then take a break from your outdoor adventure by the lake, beneath the trees or in one of the kid-friendly biergartens we’ve recommended…
A helpful hint? Sunday is sacred in Munich. Most businesses are closed, with the exception of some restaurants, museums and the zoo. For brunch, choose from Brenner downtown (where there is an entire floor dedicated to childcare, so you can enjoy your meal in peace) or the charming, equestrian atmosphere of Reitschule in Schwabing (where you can dine on their spacious, outdoor terrace and watch the horses in summer, or inside their quaint, English-style dining room during the colder months).
Brenner Grill, Maximilianstrasse 15, 80539 Munich.
Café Reitschule, Köninginstrasse 34, 80802 Munich.
Translated by G.W.