Munich is a fabulous city to explore, with a host of iconic attractions and a cosmopolitan street vibe that feels almost Mediterranean at times. The central district is extremely walkable and, in fact, for the adventurous traveller, that’s really the very best way to see some of its quirkiest attractions.
But part of really getting to know a city is being able to slide beneath its skin and blend in with the local life whenever possible. In Munich, one of the most delicious and fun ways to “make like a local” is by enjoying the social atmosphere of some of its off-the-beaten-track cafes. Here are a few places to seek out on your walking expeditions for some coffee and cake (or, more correctly, Kaffee und Kuchen) that only the locals know…
It really does feel like you could lose yourself for a few days within the relaxed and cosy ambience of Lost Weekend. This inclusive café concept goes beyond a simple coffee/bookshop to encompass a co-working space and event venue with an authentic heart and soul. This is where you’ll find the young creatives and students of the city, exchanging ideas, socialising and enjoying great coffee and literature and enjoying a range of organic and vegan delicacies. You can browse the excellent selection of books, including some hard-to-get titles and art publications, or simply grab yourself a window seat (or a seat actually in the window) and a coffee and soak up the laidback vibe.
Find it: Lost Weekend is located in the buzzing university district at Shellingstrasse 3.
If you’re looking for different, you’ll find it in the quirky Turmstüberl café. The café is located in the equally strange but wonderful Valentin-Karlstadt-Musaüm, which is set in one of the original towers at the Isar gate of the old city walls. The museum is dedicated to Karl Valentin and Leisl Karlstadt, the famous eccentric actors, comedians and avant-garde thinkers. By the time you’ve finished trying to decipher the meanings behind the collections and exhibits you could very well need a strong cup of coffee! To discover the café you’ll ascend to the highest level of the tower (more than 14 metres) to arrive at the unique octagonal “snug” with fabulous views over the city. But it’s oh so well worth the climb and you can choose from a selection of mouth-watering homemade Bavarian cakes, coffee and traditional savoury delicacies.
Find it: Located within the Valentin-Karlstadt Museum, Isartor, Im Tal 50.
Rise above the rest of humankind and commune with your spirit just that little bit closer to heaven… or just call in for coffee, cake and magnificent views over the city. Café Vorhölzer is one of the new breed of rooftop cafes and bars, but it would have to be up there (get it?) with the very best. Set atop a magnificently restored building right in the heart of the city, it’s the perfect blend of contemporary and traditional – a bit like Munich itself. Whether it’s for a summer brunch or a sublime spring sunset, relaxing on the terrace of this wonderful space is a truly joyful escape. Because it’s set within the Faculty of Architecture in the Vorhölzer Forum, it enjoys the patronage of a very creative clientele and a laidback ambience to match. Plot up on the terrace, sip coffee, nibble on a croissant and look cool and studious – you’ll fit right in.
Find it: Located in the Vorhölzer Forum, Arcisstrasse 21.
Man vs. Machine
If you’re a hopeless (and hopeful) coffee snob, Man vs. Machine is your next stop. Renowned throughout the city as among the best roasters of raw beans, they serve up fantastic espressos and filter coffees using a range of exotic blends. The baristas here are serious with a capital S about their coffee – so don’t expect to be well received if you ask for a Pumpkin Spiced Latte! The “machine” referred to in the venue’s name is the famous La Marzocco Strada, and from its shiny depths you’ll receive what could possibly be the best coffee you’ve ever had. We did say the baristas are serious about their craft, though, so expect questions like “Aeropress, Kalita, V-60 or Syphon?” But far from being intimidating, the blonde Scandi-style décor tempers your choice of caffeine fix to perfection and it’s a truly delightful (and highly aromatic) space.
Find it: Man vs. Machine is located in the Glockenbach district at Müllerstrasse 23.
How to Get to Munich
Getting to Munich couldn’t be easier even if you’re just planning a short break, with a flight from the UK taking fewer than two hours. Numerous low-cost airlines fly regular routes out of Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, including easyJet, British Airways and Lufthansa.
Once you’re on the ground at Munich Airport, the most hassle-free way of getting straight into the city with no delays is on a pre-booked Shuttle Direct transfer. Your driver will meet you at the airport and get you right to the door of your accommodation in around half an hour.
Where to Stay:
Hostel Haus International: Close to everything and with a wonderfully sociable atmosphere, Hostel Haus International is a comfy home-from-home in the centre of Munich. With free Wi-Fi, a fabulous beer garden, a games rooms and clean spacious accommodation, this is one of the friendliest places in the city.
Jaeger’s Munich: In a highly convenient location that puts everything at your fingertips, Jaeger’s Munich is just a few steps form the main city train station. With clean, modern rooms, free Wi-Fi and a bar to meet, greet and socialise, the little extras like the free guided tour welcome you to München in just the right way.
A&O München Hackerbrücke: Close to the city centre and walking distance from many of the best attractions, A&O München Hackerbrücke offers the option of hotel and hostel rooms, depending on your needs. A very social and inclusive establishment, there’s a great rooftop bar, delicious buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi throughout and regular nightly events are held in the foyer.
About Shuttle Direct:
At Shuttle Direct we’re proud of our reputation as the leading provider of airport transfers throughout Europe and North Africa. Our services are renowned as the most economical and convenient, and our friendly drivers will be there to get you straight from the airport to the door of your accommodation in Munich. Book online and we’ll do the rest.