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Naomi Kaye

Naomi Kaye

Contributing Writer, Germany

Naomi Kaye is a travel writer from America based in Munich, Germany. Kaye writes for Lonely Planet, TripSavvy, Business Insider, Kveller and more. 

Articles (7)

20 essential travel tips for every first-time Munich visitor

20 essential travel tips for every first-time Munich visitor

Sure, you might know about Munich’s great museums, foodie scene and the ridiculous amount of beer on offer. But did you know about having to carry cash? Or that shops are always closed one day of the week? Did you know you can surf here on the side of the street? Or that you can get into a museum for a euro? Well, if any of this is news to you, it sounds like you need this list. Our local writer has compiled the 20 essential things you need to know before you visit Munich. This is your holy grail. Enjoy! RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in Munich🍴 The best restaurants in Munich🍻 Best places to drink beer in Munich🏺 The best museums in Munich🏛️ The best attractions in Munich Naomi Kaye is a writer based in Munich. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

How to do Munich in 48 hours

How to do Munich in 48 hours

Ready, steady, go. We prefer to travel slow, but sometimes that isn’t an option. Munich is a tremendous city for a weekend away, with its complicated history and not-so-complicated dedication to the wonders of beer, but the sheer amount of things to do here can be a little bit overwhelming at first. Luckily for all involved, our guide on how to do Munich in 48 hours should blast the cobwebs away, or at least help ease the excitement before those cobwebs return via a beer or three too many. Munich is a city of world-beating museums, gorgeous gourmet restaurants and more, and this is the perfect way to spend a weekend there.   

How to eat like a local in Munich

How to eat like a local in Munich

When you of think of the words “food” and “Munich” in the same sentence, several world-famous Bavarian specialties probably come to mind: sausages, beer, bread, strudel, pork knuckle. Bavarian specialties are highly popular dishes, and people eat out at traditional “Wirtshaus” restaurants and get their Schnitzel and Dampfnudeln fill in beer gardens. However, Munich is one of the most diverse cities in all of Germany, and its culinary scene reflects that. The popularity and availability of cuisines from countries such as Turkey, Italy, Croatia, Japan and Argentina goes to show how native-born Münchner Kindls, tourists, and immigrants all enjoy eating foods from both their home country and from other lands. Restaurants, bars and guesthouses range from cozy and dive-y to extremely upscale, Michelin-starred establishments. Visitors have their pick from a vast range of cuisines; try lingering over a newspaper and piece of excellent pastry in a Konditorei, or sampling an IPA at one of the city’s multiple new microbreweries. Munich is a beautiful city with many parks and a gorgeous river to meander by, so don’t forget to eat some of your meals al fresco, weather permitting!

Your guide to public transportation in Munich

Your guide to public transportation in Munich

Munich has a truly excellent public transportation network, allowing riders to get virtually anywhere within the city limits sans car—including the city's top attractions. The system operates 24 hours a day, although some of the commuter trains do not run for several hours late at night. The only downside to the network is that it can be expensive—luckily Munich is also a very bike-friendly city, so many locals prefer to bike everywhere instead (you can partake too; bikes are easily available for rent). The city has many kinds of transit vehicle represented: subway system, commuter rain, streetcars and buses. Tickets are bought on an honor system and controllers make random patrols, so make sure your ticket is validated. There are also a wide variety of ticket options, including group tickets, and yes, your dog needs a ticket to ride. A tip for pregnant women: do not necessarily expect people to offer you a seat; you may have to ask, but once you do people will usually willingly cooperate.

The most beautiful buildings in Munich

The most beautiful buildings in Munich

Munich was essentially rebuilt after World War II, as large swathes of the city were destroyed during the wartime bombings. While rebuilding, the city decided to restore many of its buildings to their traditional pre-war format, unlike a city such as Berlin, which chose to embrace modernity and skyscrapers. As a result, Munich’s architecture gives a sense of traditional Bavaria with a cozy, small-town flavor. Munich also has some surviving 19th and 20th century buildings, including some lovely Art Nouveau and Jugendstil apartments, shops and homes, as well as some ultra-contemporary architectural designs that showcase the city’s more modern tastes. Munich’s architecture is an intriguing blend of the highly traditional and the recent trends in building of the past several decades, and the following buildings are the city’s ten most beautiful, in our humble opinion.

The best time to visit Munich

The best time to visit Munich

No matter the weather, Munich has great things to do both indoors and out, from park Frisbee games to getting cozy over afternoon tea. Springtime boasts beautiful flowers and Frühlingsfest (a much more laid-back version of Oktoberfest), summer offers perfect outdoor activity weather for hiking, biking and beer gardens, autumn shows off amazing foliage and possibly the city’s best weather, and winter allows for winter sports and getting into holiday spirit.

The 10 most-Instagrammable places in Munich

The 10 most-Instagrammable places in Munich

Munich is a city with no shortage of scenic vistas, natural beauty, architecture both quaint and impressive, and of course, one can’t forget to note the local costumes and food items that make for a truly Instagram-worthy snap. With Munich’s lack of central skyscrapers and one of the world’s largest urban parks, there’s a plethora of green spaces that can charm at any time of year. The traditional landmarks like the Marienplatz plaza with its famed Glockenspiel clock are always a classic, or you can opt for a close-up of your massive Milchkaffee (Germany’s version of a latte macchiato) at one of the sleek coffee spots opening in up-and-coming parts of town. The Maypole at the Viktualienmarkt A post shared by Marina Trushina (@kteshka) on Mar 22, 2018 at 12:41am PDT It’s just too classically Munich to pass up: in the center of the wonderful Viktualienmarkt—Munich’s excellent year-round open-air farmer’s market—is a large Maibaum, or Maypole, a common sight around Bavaria; but this Maypole is particularly large and attractive and is the perfect meeting point in the center of town. (By the way, traditionally Maypoles can be stolen by rival towns, and the successful thieves must have a party thrown for them in order to get their Maypole back.) Grab a fresh juice or cup of coffee from one of the nearby stands, or perhaps a wurst or a giant pickle, get in front of the Maypole (if it hasn’t been stolen!) and strike a pose. Eisbach Surfers A post shared by natieho

Listings and reviews (19)

NH Düsseldorf Königsallee

NH Düsseldorf Königsallee

The no-frills nh Hotels chain is one of the better options for a cheap overnight in Germany and with three locations in Dusseldorf, there’s certain to be a spot free in whatever part of town you’re staying. Clean and well-serviced, the branch at Königsallee boasts Louis Armstrong as a former guest and offers a late checkout on Sundays for those in town for a weekend stay. Neighborhood: Königsallee is the place to see and be seen—Chanel and Hermes are right around the corner. Fifteen minutes on foot and you’ll land in the Altstadt or at the green oasis of the Hofgarten. Nearby:K20 Kunstsammlung: For 20th century European and “degenerate” art.Fritz’s Frau Franzi: For fine-dining with a fun and friendly vibe.Et Kabüffke: For sipping a shot of the local Jager-like aperitif. Time Out tip: Take advantage of the breakfast—the buffet stays open until noon!

Lindner Hotel Düsseldorf Airport

Lindner Hotel Düsseldorf Airport

International flights at ungodly hours demand an overnight stay nearby, and the Lindner airport hotel is the ideal place to hit the hay if you’re taking off or landing in Dusseldorf. It’s got all the charms of a chain, with cookie-cutter rooms and furnishings but it’s convenience to the airport and shuttle service can’t be beat. Neighborhood: The airport is a 20-minute train ride from the city center and the area around it a warehouse wonderland. Not much by way of sights to see, the hotel is a great place to overnight before an early flight or when popping through for a trade fair. Nearby:Kaiserswerth: For castle ruins and scenic views.Brauerei Schumacher: For the oldest Altbier and a traditional brewhouse kitchen.Panorama Cruise: For a glimpse at the city’s skyline from the busy waterway. Time Out tip: There are night-flight noise rules so the airport’s proximity shouldn’t pose a problem but if car traffic is bothersome, ask for a quiet room to the back for a better night’s sleep.

Jazzclub Unterfahrt

Jazzclub Unterfahrt

It’s not every day you can catch a jazz show in an underground club that was formerly an unfinished subway station, so seize the opportunity. Unterfahrt features both local and international jazz stars in an intimate, homey space among both jazz devotees and first-timers. Have a whisky or a full meal before or during the show from the club’s restaurant and bar.

Konditorei Kaffee Schneller

Konditorei Kaffee Schneller

Give your day a sweet start by enjoying traditional Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) at the historic cult-classic Kaffee Schneller in Munich’s university district. Try a slice of the Bavarian pastry Prinzregententorte, a sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and apricot jam, with a strong espresso; or perhaps a piece of Bienenstich, a classic German concoction with caramelized almonds and vanilla cream, accompanied by a large Milchkaffee, the local version of a latte macchiato. If the weather’s nice, sit outside in the cafe garden.

Frauenkirche

Frauenkirche

Originally built in the 12th century, still serving as the parish church for the Munich diocese and sporting two iconic copper-domed towers, the late Gothic-style Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) symbolizes many things: Bavaria’s Catholic heritage, the Munich city skyline and the city’s attempts to rebuild after World War II. The cathedral itself underwent painstaking reconstruction as much of it was destroyed during the war. Make sure to step into the “devil’s footstep” at the entrance, creating a view of the interior without windows.

Bar of Bel Air

Bar of Bel Air

If you’ve never been to a bar in a former shipping container, your trip to Munich will afford you that opportunity. Located near the Ostbahnhof (east train station), Bar of Bel Air sports a terrace with a view, cleverly-named dishes (try the Oktopussy octopus salad), and an assortment of intriguing cocktails. Maybe a Tijuana Toyboy with tequila, Chambord, pineapple and lime will suit your fancy as you stretch your legs, have a bite to eat and marvel at the fact that there you’re in Munich, enjoying a cocktail while surrounded by shipping containers.

Schloss Nymphenburg

Schloss Nymphenburg

It would be a shame to visit Bavaria without seeing a castle, and the Nymphenburg palace is a particularly worthwhile—it was the summer hangout of the Wittelsbach rulers; the famous Ludwig II (who commissioned Neuschwanstein, the castle that inspired Walt Disney) was born here. Visitors can tour the castle itself (guided tours are available in English) and stroll the beautiful gardens on the grounds, or sip some tea at the rather royal Palm Cafe. If you have kids in tow, the adjoining Museum Mensch und Natur is a small but excellent interactive science museum. On your way in our out, toss some crumbs to the hungry carp in the river and you might be trailed by one of the local swans.

Lenbachhaus

Lenbachhaus

Munich has a rich history of the visual arts, and boasts numerous art museums and galleries, such as the renowned Pinakotheken trio of museums. But for a truly local glance at both Munich’s historic and modern art scenes, visit the Lenbachhaus, where you can view famous pieces from the Blue Rider and New Objectivity artistic movements, as well as works by German and international artists such as Gerhard Richter, Ellsworth Kelly and Sigmar Polke. The “Ella” cafe at the museum is chic and features contemporary Italian food.

Olympiapark

Olympiapark

Munich’s Olympic park from the 1972 Olympics has an endless array of activities to partake in. For particularly adventurous visitors, there’s a guided roof climb all the way to the top of the stadium, and even a zip-line from one building to another. A large ice-skating rink, swimming pool and a mini-golf course are open to visitors.  The Sea Life aquarium attraction is also a hit, especially with little ones. Visitors can go up to the top of the Olympic Tower for a coffee in a revolving restaurant or just have a view of the city at the observation deck. If you’re interested in local characters, the church of Father Timofej is intriguing. A new memorial to the victims of the 1972 Olympics massacre is worth a moment of quiet reflection before you wrap up your whirlwind trip.

Indisches Fastfood

Indisches Fastfood

Indisches Fastfood has a bit of misnomer going on; the adorable married couple who run the place are from Pakistan and Martinique, and as they freshly prepare each dish with care, it’s not necessarily fast, but it’s worth a wait. The restaurant is a bit of a hole in the wall, but it’s across the street from the Neue Pinakothek art museum, so if the weather’s good you can also get your food to go and eat out on the lawn. Their dal paneer is utter perfection, especially the pieces of homemade cheese. The recipe is top secret—they’ve been asked before! Time Out tip: The owners of Indisches Fastfood also make an excellent from-scratch chai masala (spiced tea) with milk. Get wired on caffeine and go check out one of the numerous nearby museums afterwards.

Cafe Josefina

Cafe Josefina

Try something special at Cafe Josefina in the Maxvorstadt district: thick, “Italian style” hot chocolate, with or without chili. It has an almost pudding-like consistency and has none of the sickly sweetness of a Swiss Miss instant packet. Savor it over reading the newspaper, accompanied by a croissant fresh out of the oven. The cafe is a cozy urban oasis run by a small but friendly staff, frequented by students, moms with small babies, and ladies who lunch.  Time Out tip: Cafe Josefina features an entirely vegetarian and organic menu, with at least one daily option that’s vegan-friendly, if you want a break from meat-heavy Bavarian cuisine.

Biergarten Viktualienmarkt

Biergarten Viktualienmarkt

The famed Munich Viktualienmarkt, a year-round farmers’ market in the center of town that features locally-grown produce, fish, meat and other culinary delights. There’s something for everybody to enjoy, from a falafel stand to a prosecco tent. A giant maypole in the center of the market, a beer garden that attracts both locals and tourists, families that have been selling their wares there for decades- what’s not to love? Order yourself a Maß of beer and a pretzel, grab a seat at a communal table, and savor the hops, the salt, and the people-watching.