Bristol Business News Travel – 48:00 hours in Munich

March 9, 2017
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As a major centre for media, finance and manufacturing, Munich is a popular destination for business travellers. And with direct flights from Bristol Airport, it’s easy to tag on an extra night’s stay to combine a work trip with a little sight-seeing. In the latest in our 48 Hours In series, Bristol Business News travel editor Anne Gorringe takes a look at what Munich has to offer.

CITY FACTS: The capital of Bavaria, Munich is Germany’s third largest city with a population of around 1.4m. The home of BMW, it has great and plentiful art galleries and museums, world-class conference facilities and, of course, beer gardens.

GETTING THERE: Daily, direct flights from Bristol Airport to Munich with bmiregional start from £98 and include 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating, complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks and speedy 30-minute check-ins. www.flybmi.com

GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT: The S-Bahn metro from the airport is fast, cheap and frequent. But, remember to ‘authorise’ your ticket in the little blue machine on the platform before you travel from Flughafen Munchen to Central Station. Tickets costs €2.95 (£2.50) one way – or you can get group tickets for up to five people.

WHERE TO STAY: The newly revamped four-star deluxe Maritim Hotel has impressive conference facilities, including double rooms with adjoining lounges which double as meeting rooms. It’s conveniently located within walking distance of Central Station and has a rooftop swimming pool. It’s also known for its spectacular breakfast (including serving up the city’s traditional white sausage). Low season, two-night breaks include dinner and welcome drink and start from €239 (£203) per person staying in a double room. Email info.mun@maritim.de or tel: +49 89 55235-860 www.maritim.com 

GO WINDOW-SHOPPING IN YOUR LUNCH HOUR: Take a stroll along Munich’s most famous shopping street Maximilianstraße, where you’ll find all the chic designer shops. But, not on a Sunday – as all the shops are closed in this, mainly, Catholic city.

POST-MEETING DRINK: Look out for the special tankards, kept in pretty, wire lockers around the walls of the room at the Hofbrauhaus (Beer Hall), pictured right, near the city’s main town square. Each comes with its own, individual lock and belongs to the regulars. Some tables too are reserved for locals, but it’s also a popular tourist haunt with great beer and a stunning interior complete with domed, painted ceilings – all just a stone’s throw from the main square.

WHERE TO EAT: Take a break from the traditional ‘Kaffe und Kuchen’ – the local German tradition of relaxing over a slice of cake and hot, fresh coffee – and go for a burger at Hans Im Gluck at 24-26 Sonnenstrabe. The funky décor includes trees which seem to grow up from the floor. It’s actually a burger grill and offers something just that little bit different from the Austrian-inspired food available at many of the traditional eateries. It’s also great for late night cocktails. Tel: +49 89 55999966.

TAKE IN SOME CULTURE: Be amazed by the masterpieces at Alte Pinakothek. The art museum has the largest collection of Rubens paintings in the world and tons of masterpieces by great artists of the 14th to 18th centuries.

ENJOY AN OUTDOOR BEER: Relax at Karlsplatz (Stachus). A popular inn and beer garden stood here in the 18th century. Underneath is the main pedestrian area of the city, with nice shops and restaurants, which are perfect to take a break from meetings.

ENJOY THE VIEW: Save some energy to walk the 299 steps to the top of St Peter’s Church tower and admire the view across the city. On a good day, you can see the Alps. It’s hard to believe that this lovely building, with its painted ceilings and stunning white interior, pictured left, was rebuilt after it was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombs in the Second World War. It’s just 200m from the main Marienplatz square.

FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RESISTANCE: See the golden cobblestones that pave the route of the Viscardigass pedestrian alley near Odeonsplatz in memory of the resistance against Hitler in the lead up to the War, pictured below. Hitler had insisted passers-by salute a monument near here and the only way to signal disagreement was to take the long way around and down the alley to avoid it. The alley was nicknamed ‘Drueckebergergasse’ or ‘Deserter’s Alley’. The golden cobblestones now set into the ground commemorate the brave Germans in the resistance party (known as the White Rose) who took the ‘right path’. Check out the tourist board website at www.muenchen.de/int/en.html 

BE LUCKY: Rub the nose of the brass lion that stands guard outside the former royal palace on Residenz Strasse. According to legend, it’s guaranteed to bring you good luck and, judging by how shiny and polished the nose is, plenty of people have tried it. The former palace is open to tourists and close to some of the city’s most magnificent buildings including its opera, the Nationaltheater. The lion itself is a symbol strongly connected with Bavaria and Munich and is even the logo of Bayern Munich football club.

WATCH SURFERS RIDE THE WAVES: Be amazed at the sight of surfers riding the wave on the river in the English Garden. The ‘garden’ is actually the biggest city park in the world – larger than Hyde Park or Central Park – and is a little piece of paradise between the River Isar and the city centre. In summer, enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the two beer gardens – but be careful not to wander into the nearby nudist area. The special wave machine on the river allows surfers to perfect their standing technique all year round. Best spot to see them in action in their wetsuits is from the Hirschanger Bridge.

ORDER A CUSTOMISED BMW: Discover the history of cars at the BMW Museum at the Olympic Village. The Olympic Park and BMW’s factory are must-sees. You can even don a harness and take to the air on the ‘flying fox’ across the Olympic Stadium to see it from the air. http://www.bmw-welt.com/en/

DON’T MISS: If you’re in Munich on a Sunday, explore the museums and galleries to your heart’s content. There’s a special, cheap, €1 (85p) entrance ticket on Sundays. Sunday morning is also a great time to wander through Marienplatz, pictured left. Get there just before 11am, grab a coffee and then stand to hear the chimes and watch the dancing. The Old City Hall with its toy museum, St Peter’s Church, the new Jewish Cultural Centre, the open-air market and the Hofbrauhaus are all close by.

TOP TIP: The weekend is the perfect time to take a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ bus tour around the city. There are two routes – one which goes the Olympic Village – and both start from the Central Train Station. Buy a 24-hour pass and start your tour on a Saturday afternoon. You can then use it on Sunday morning to visit more sites. www.citysightseeing.de

NEED MORE INFORMATION? See Munich tourist board’s website www.muenchen.de/int/en.html

Anne Gorringe travelled to Munich with bmiregional. www.flybmi.com

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