Five ideas to go beyond the ordinary in Munich

Alisa Bruno


Germany's most expensive city, home to BMW and hundreds of breweries, Munich is a city of contrasts. Here, poignant reminders of the past juxtapose with wild underground parties. Gothic churches and squares rub shoulders with the futuristic designs of Allianz Arena, and lush parks live in harmony with modern infrastructure. Want to make the most of your trip to the heart of Bavaria? Here are five ideas on how to have an extraordinary experience in Munich, outside and above it.


Regardless of whether you swear by the Sheer Driving Pleasure or lean towards other car brands—when in Munich, a tour of the BMW Welt is a must. From the legendary bubble car Isetta to the newest lineup, you will see it all on a private tour.

BMW offers four main itineraries. Like playing with cars? Play with real ones on the tour of the signature showroom at BMW Welt. Enjoy history? Travel through past, present, and future at the BMW Museum or learn about the historic models at the Classic Centre. More into tech? Peek into modern car-making on a VIP tour of the BMW plant. Are you a true fan? Then do all four! Luckily, there are a few places for a fine pit stop. BMW Welt houses EssZimmer, a 2-star Michelin restaurant with international haute cuisine and Bavarie offering modern Bavarian dishes. 


A far cry from the city hustle, Lake Starnberg is more than just a scenic spot. Here, Bavarian culture, history, and natural beauty roll into one. And there is no better way to explore a lake than on a boat. There are many rentals, Gastl Boote, Fishing & Boat Rental Sebald, to name a few, and the Bootsverleih Schropp is the closest to Munich. So climb aboard, open a chilled bottle of Riesling, glide through the waters, and feel the breeze ruffling your hair as you take in the views of the Alps and the serene landscapes of the lakeshore.

Sail past the Berg Schloss, a castle where King Ludwig II of Bavaria was confined after being declared insane on June 12, 1886. From this very castle, the king went on a fateful walk with his doctor the following day. On June 13, 1886, both were found dead in the shallow waters at the banks of Lake Starnberg. Today, the castle belongs to Franz, Duke of Bavaria and cannot be visited. But one can see it from the lake.

Then head to Roseninsel, the Rose Island. This small piece of land is the only island in the lake and home to a UNESCO World Heritage villa. In its glory days, composer Richard Wagner and Empress Elisabeth Sisi of Austria were among its most famous guests. Today, the Royal Villa and its rose garden are open to the public.


Like to fly high? Take your sightseeing up and venture on a helicopter ride. Most operators offer VIP sightseeing tours over Munich or the Bavarian Alps. But the best way is to enjoy the contrast and chop over both: the breathtaking views of the city landmarks and the surrounding lakes and mountains.

If you have a thing for planning your own adventures, pick your top spots and go for a tailored tour soaking in an aerial view of iconic urban sights, charming nearby towns, the Disney-like Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavarian ancient forests and lakes. Ready to soar?


Munich and beer are inseparable. This love affair dates back centuries: the first brewery was opened here in 1269. The Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516 decrees that only water, barley, and hops can be used in Bavarian beer production. And you taste this commitment to quality in every frothy pint.

There are plenty of private beer and brewery tours. So what will it be? A 3.5-hour tour of the famous beer halls and Oktoberfest Museum or a full-day crawl with visits to Paulaner Brewery, several Biergartens, a handicraft workshop and a Bavarian dance show, all with tastings? It all depends on how thirsty you are. And remember, it's not just about the beer; it's about embracing a centuries-old tradition. So 'Prost' to 'flußiges Brot', which in German means 'Cheers' to 'liquid bread'!


When the evening shadows of the city begin to stretch, the Michelin stars come out to shine. Munich has 16 starred restaurants, including sleek and chic Jan, which boasts all three stars and contemporary German cuisine. Among the options is the unpretentious Gabelspiel, a one-star restaurant tucked away in the charming, village-like Giesing neighbourhood. It is the perfect spot for those who appreciate stellar food in a relaxed and informal setting.

For the best vegan supper in town, go to Mural. Located in the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art, this swanky place has one regular Michelin star, and one green one. Their menu abounds with flavours. Their motto is, 'Eat local. Drink natural'. Their neighbours are Warhol, Banksy, and Swoon. So the stars here are not just the Michelin ones.

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