JOIN US IN AN INTERVIEW WITH MELANIE BIANCA FUSS FROM MUNICH, GERMANY !
Melanie is a 28 years old local of Munich. She is a German and English Content Creator who loves to discover new places and has a weakness for unusual restaurants, cafés and dishes. She is always looking for incredibly colorful places on earth to share on her travel and lifestyle blog and thinks herself fortunate to present her actual hometown Munich to us!
Bavaria is the largest state of Germany situated in the south-east of the country. It is bounded to the north by the states of Thuringia and Saxony, to the east by the Czech Republic, to the south and southeast by Austria.
Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria and it’s full of rich culture. After Berlin and Hamburg, Munich is Germany’s third largest city and the second most visited. The word München (in German) comes from the word Mönch which means ‘monk’. In the 12th century the Duke of Bavaria allowed monks to start a marketplace which became successful and led to its expansion into a huge city. It became a symbol and is even represented on the city’s coat of arms. At the Neues Rathaus (new town hall) decorated with gargoyles and statues stands Münchner Kindl, the monk-child mascot of the city.
Located on the banks of the Isar River and at the foot of the magnificent Alps (about 50 km north of the edge of Alps), Munich is world famous for its Oktoberfest beer festival. Number of tourists visiting Munich annually is two times more than the population of this city. Munich is also home to the German car company BMW and has a large museum dedicated to the manufacturer.
Please tell us something about you and your connection with Munich. As a local, what do you think distinguishes Munich from the rest of Germany ?
I’ve always lived not far away from Munich, but calling it my home since 3 years from now. Munich is a pretty cute and not such a big town as Berlin f.e., so you’ll feel very fast like a “local” when travelling to the capital of Bavaria. You’ll also get to one of the most amazing castles (Neuschwanstein Castle, Oberschleissheim, Schloss Linderhof) and nature places (Königssee, Chiemsee, Eibsee) within 1 or 2 hours from Munich.
Munich is different from other megacities as it does not have skyscrapers. Although there are many iconic buildings in Munich, structures above 99 meters are strictly prohibited.
Munich is also the city which hosts Oktoberfest. It is a two weeks folk festival running from sometime in September to the first Sunday in October. Locals however call it Wies’n. Other than Oktoberfest, the Munchener Fruhlingsfest is a Spring Festival held in the last weeks of April. It the best place to try beer, famous Bavarian sausages and a lot of other national food.
Which is the most convenient and favored transport of your city?
It’s the metro. Munich has a well developed public transport system. It consists of a network of underground (U-Bahn), suburban trains (S-Bahn), and trams that takes you anywhere within a short period of time. Shuttle bus and renting bikes are also good ways to explore Munich.
Buying Munich Day Tickets is a great way of exploring the city and surrounding areas. These tickets allow unlimited travel on U-Bahn, S-Bahn trains, trams and buses from the time you start using it until 6:00 am the next day. Day Ticket Group is a good option for families in which up to five adults can travel together for the same price. To know about various options available, click here.
Which are the top three places to visit in your city?
For me, it’s the Law Library – one of the most gorgeous libraries in the world! It is located inside the Neues Rathaus or the New Town Hall at Marienplatz. Most impressive in the 30 foot high hall are the gold plated wrought-iron spiral staircases and balustrades that reflect Munich’s floral art nouveau style. Don’t forget to book an exclusive guided tour when in Munich – the interior really is out of this world!
Why not doing a bit of train station hopping when in Munich? My favorite one is definitely Marienplatz or St. Mary’s Square – just look at the amazing symmetry and colors! I also love the Marienplatz, as it’s perfectly centered and the starting point for so many gorgeous places within the city center like the Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady), Odeonsplatz, the Viktualienmarkt and the Hofbräuhaus. Under Marienplatz, you will find one of the biggest underground as well as S-Bahn stations. Another train station that I can totally recommend is the “Westfriedhof” station.
My third highlight would be the Residenz. Residenz is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria located next to the Odeonsplatz. The Wittelsbachs family, ruled the state of Bavaria, with Munich as its capital, for 738 years. Take enough time inside the gorgeous building to discover the art treasures inside the largest palace in any German city centre. The rooms are exquisitely decorated with furniture, paintings, tapestries, treasures and religious devotional items.
If you’re a sucker for perfect symmetrical architecture just like me? Head to the former Nokia Siemens Networks Headquarter at the St. Martinstraße in Munich and you’ll experience this very cool building. Henning Larsen Architects, a Copenhagen based firm, won the international architectural competition for the design of this building that unites tradition with the future. Situated in the heart of the city, this structure is ideal for looking up and taking a few snaps.
If you have time, you can also explore the Englischer Garten which is among Europe’s biggest city parks. It is heavily influenced by Asian architecture. The Eisbach (ice brook) is a manmade river in Munich at the entrance of the Englischer Garten. A manmade wave has been created on one section where surfers can ride a standing wave about 1m high.
The Botanical Garden, Tierpark Hellabrunn, Schloss Nymphenburg, Olympiapark, Stachus and Allianz Arena which changes colour based on the football team playing there are a few more places you can explore.
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from your city ? Would you recommend renting a car for day trips or using public transport?
Canola flower fields are a typical spring sight all over Germany. The most beautiful ones are located inEching, not far away from Munich itself. It is a municipality in the district of Freising, in Upper Bavaria If you want to take a few cute pictures with your significant half or portraits like I did, this is the perfect place in nature for you!
I would definitely recommend to rent a car- it’s pretty easy in Germany and you’ll get to drive the world-famous Autobahn (the highway system in Germany). As said above, the beautiful lake sides are just as amazing as exploring the Bavarian forest or even Austria and Switzerland – you’ll get there from Munich within a few hours!
Visit the Bavarian Alps. The distance between Munich and Bavarian Alps is 83 km. The road distance is 103.1 km. Schloss Neuschwanstein, one of the most beautiful castles in the world, located in the Alpine foothills is one of Bavaria’s most popular tourist spots. It was built for King Louis II of Bavaria in 1869–86 and drained the Bavarian treasury for its extravagance. The great irony is that the castle was built as a private refuge for the king, however, it is now flocked by tourists all year round.
Which according to you are the must try local dishes of Munich? Any suggestions on popular local places to try them?
I’ll recommend to try the different Biergärten in summer – just enjoy your time with a big Brotzeitplatte (snack plate) or a typical Bavarian dishes like roast pork or white sausages (Weißwurst) with pretzels (Bavarian Brez’n).
There are six major breweries in Munich – Augustiner Brau, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Hacker-Pschorr Brau and Paulaner Brauerei that are bound by the German Purity law. As per the law, nothing other than barley, hops and water be used. These are considered as the breweries with the best beer in the world.
You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice creams with uncommon ingredients and crazy flavors like pizza, Augustiner beer or guacamole and that’s pretty much the same thing, huh? “Der verrückte Eismacher” is located in the Frauenhoferstraße 42 – enjoy the madness!
If you want to try everything within a very short time, you should visit the restaurant Bapas. It serves bavarian specialities in Tapas size ! Also, don’t forget to buy your breakfast at local bakerys – we‘ve got the MOST incredible bread varieties in the whole world!
Where to head for shopping in your city? Are there any popular weekend/night/flea markets which tourists must visit?
The city center is as good for shopping in the summer as our big malls in wintertime – you’ll get everything you’re searching for! The Viktualienmarkt is Munich’s oldest market and is located near Marienplatz. In the middle of the market beer from all six Munich breweries is served.
Tip: If you’re visiting Munich in winter, there are a LOT of typical and non-typical christmas markets around town.
MIRA Munich shopping center is not a very well known and a true hidden gem! Big shopping centers like Olympia Einkaufszentrum (OEZ) are also popular. A very special kind of event named Tollwood where you can get a lot of local crafts and art is happening twice a year.
Anything that one must bring home from Munich?
Bavarian beer mugs, cookie cutters in the form of the pretzel and National Bavarian costumes or Trachten (Dirndl for women and Lederhosen for men). You will see people sporting Trachten in Oktoberfest. Soccer jerseys of FC Bayern München.
Where should one head for nightlife in your city?
Theres a big party mile from Maximiliansplatz to Sendlinger Tor which is called Feierbanane (party banana) because of its arrangement of clubs and bars. I’m a big fan of the night club called Call me Drella – if you ever spot me inside, just say hi!
Please suggest places from where one can get the best view of the city?
Want to get an 360 view of the city and a perfect first look at the Marienplatz? Chose the viewpoint of St. Peter’s church – it’s really not that expensive (1 to 3 Euro) and one of the coolest spots to see Munich from above all year around! You have to go up 306 steps but the view from up there is insane and you can also see the Alps in the south.
The Olympia tower in the Olympia park has the viewing platform at a height of 190 metres. On a clear sky day it offers brilliant panoramic views.
Would you suggest any events in your city to drama, music or art lovers? Where can one spot street art in the city?
Munich is home to 61 theatres, four symphony orchestras and 36 museums.
We have many important theaters here in Munich, to name some – Deutsches Theatre, Residenz Theatre, Münchner Kammerspiele, Prinzregenten Theatre, National theatre, etc. You can also visit concerts every day in other locations like Backstage, Zenith, Olympia Halle and so on. Always interesting to watch are poetry slams.
If you’re interested in art, I’d suggest to visit our amazing museums on Sunday. Every Sunday, you’ll only paying 1 Euro entry fee for almost every museum inside Munich! How cool is that, huh? The MUCA is a museum for urban art in a former transformer station in the heart of Munich city centre. All the exhibitions are frequently changed and adapted. I got to experience an exhibition of the outstanding Jimmy Nelson. Also, if you like historical festivals, the impressive Cuvilliés-Theater would suit your taste!
If you’re looking for fun streetart, head to the Olympiadorf. The “Olympiadorf” Munich is located near the Olympiapark. It was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich which is now remembered as Munich Massacre. During which eleven Israeli athletes and one German police officer were killed. The house in which they were held hostage is now used as guest house and other buildings as student accommodation. They were originally built for the athletes to stay in during Olympics. The students are allowed to paint the two-storey house as per their taste! Olympia Einkaufszentrum is a large shopping centre near it.
Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in your city?
Ever heard of the Too Good To Go food app? You’re going to join the Food Waste Movement and get some pretty great and very cheap dishes from local restaurants in Munich that would (sadly) be thrown into the bin otherwise. I’m also a big fan of AroundMe, which helps me navigate through almost every city I’ve travelled to.
Any list of do’s and dont’s in Munich that one should respect and follow? As a local would you want to give any suggestion/tip to tourists visiting your city?
Munich citizens are VERY open-minded people – you can’t do anything wrong when being polite and interested in our beautiful city. Just enjoy 🙂
Want even more infos about Munich or meet up when visiting this charming city? Don’t hesitate to drop me a message via IG!
THINGS TO KNOW :
Visa : General required documents for Germany Visa application can be found here.
Nearby Cities : Other major cities of Bavaria are Nürnberg, Augsburg and Regensburg.
Hiking : To Garmisch-Partenkirchen, take a direct train to Garmisch (1hr, 20 mins), car via A95 (1 hr) parking at the train station. This is where the Olympic jumping takes place. Zugspitze (www.zugspitze.de) is the highest peak at 3,000 meters (on the border of Austria). In winter it attracts ski and snowboard enthusiasts and in summer is a great place for hiking.
Another good hiking destination is Berchtesgaden with beautiful mountain lakes, alpine pasture and amazing views. It offers numerous hiking trails like Grünstein and Königssee (www.salzwelt.de) in the Berchtesgaden National Park.
Note : Sunday is considered to be ‘sleepy’ day, it definitely goes to another level in Munich; almost all supermarkets, restaurants and shops are closed on this day.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING TO MUNICH OR WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MELANIE’S TRAVEL EXPERIENCES THEN BE SURE TO FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM
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To know more about Germany, check our interviews with locals of Berlin, Hamburg and Palatinate Region.