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Her Munich Meanderings
...resources for the female traveller

 

Why Munich?

As a destination, Munich seems to strike a perfect balance for the savvy solo traveller -- it's extremely tourist-friendly without being overly crowded and touristy. Journeywoman found the comfortable rhythm of Munich a pleasant relief after the hustle and bustle of bigger European cities. And as we quickly learned, this is an elegant city that has a great deal to offer the travellin' woman.

New Girl in Town?

Journeywoman suggests several excellent resources to help introduce you to the city.

  • Plan a stop at EurAide Travel Services located in the Central Railroad Station's main arrival hall (look for Room 003, just three doors down from the four telephone booths along track 11). This North-American based office does a wonderful job of providing top-notch tourist info as well as booking train and accommodation reservations. P.S. Ask for a copy of their free Inside Track newsletter -- it's packed with useful material. Need to know more? Visit their website at: www.euraide.de

    The Juggler

  • Want a fabulous introduction to the city, it's people and it's history? -- Munich Walks offers half-day walking tours in English -- always an interesting way to meet other journey women. For further info on times, costs and itineraries, simply e-mail: Berlin_walks@compuserv.com

  • Munich Found is an English city magazine available at most news kiosks. Catch up on the latest restaurant reviews, theater listings, galleries and night life. It's interesting and it's very helpful!

  • Finally, there are two Munich tourist offices dispensing information on everything you need to know but weren't sure where to ask. The first is located in the main train station right across from the post office. The second is at Marionplatz, street level in the New Town Hall.

She Explores the City Center...

    The Tattler

  • First stop, Marienplatz -- a colorful outdoor pedestrian plaza located smack in the center of the city. Once old Munich's main marketplace -- today it's a major shopping and meeting place for locals, tourists and the many street buskers who earn their living here. Join the fun! Kiosk owners do a lively business selling salted pretzels and sugar-coated almonds while some real serious people-watching is going on at all the outdoor cafes.

  • Daily, just before 11 o'clock and then again at noon, tourists-in-the-know flock to the plaza -- all of them looking up at the Glockenspiel in the tower of the New Town Hall. As the clock strikes the hour, the clarion sounds and animated mechanical figures play out their mini drama. Get your cameras ready. Everybody loves the parts where the rooster crows and the Count gets thrown off his horse. A charming happening and a delightful memory!

  • More fun than a Stairmaster! Exercise those Journeywoman legs by climbing to the top of St. Peter's Church, the oldest church within the ancient city's boundaries. It's worth the effort -- on a very, very clear day you might even see the Alps.

  • Directly to the south of Marienplatz is Viktualienmarkt - a bustling open air market where a cornucopia of fresh produce awaits the discerning shopper. Choose the tasty tidbits for your picnic lunch or treat yourself to spicy knockwurst and German beer at any of the tempting outdoor food-stops. Great fun and oh-so-tasty! P.S. make sure to carry a string shopping bag -- plastic bagging costs extra and is definitely frowned upon.

Many Museums -- Several Female Favorites...

    The Gift

  • Satisfy the girl-child within by paying a visit to the very charming Speilzeugmuseum hidden away in the Old Town Hall. This tiny toy museum works wonders by evoking instant memories of childhood favorites. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Don't miss it --costs a pittance to enter.

  • On the same theme, the Stadmuseum houses a fine film museum as well as a world-class exhibit of puppets, dolls and doll houses. Take very special note of the Chinese paper playthings. (St. Jacobsplatz)

  • If the styling of a B.M.W. sets your female heart a-flutter, then the BMW Museum is a travellin' woman's absolute must-see! Easy to find --located right across from the Olympic grounds.

  • Fans of the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky will delight in his work hung at the Lenbachhaus villa. We absolutely loved "Colorful Life" and "Out For a Stroll." (Luisenstrasse 33)

  • The newly renovated Altes Pinakotek museum concentrates on artwork from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Special highlight -- look for the world's largest collection by Rubens. Hurrah, for this artist who loved his women round and robust! (Barestrasse 27 and 29).

    P.S. Important reminder -- most Munich museums close on Mondays so plan your itinerary accordingly.

There's No Space Like Green Space...

  • Think streams, lakes and bridges. Picture swans, ducklings, walkers and strolling lovers. Imagine mature trees, sunbathers, bikers, equestrians, and lots of green. Add these up and you've got Munich's Englischer Garten, a country-like retreat in the city core. There's a brass oompah-pah band that plays at the Chinese Tower, oodles of beer on tap and lots of kiosks selling German snack specialties. A perfect way to wile away an afternoon in Munich.

So Many Shops - So Little Time

  • If it's upscale shopping you're after, there are three main streets guaranteed to make your journeyshopper's heart sing --Theatinerstrasse, Maffeistrasse and Kardinal-Faulhaber-Strasse. This ritzy triad offers up fine trademarks like Rodier fashions, Charles Jourdan footwear and the likes of world-class Rosenthal China.

    The Bikini

  • After more modest purchases? The arcade at Neuhauser Strasse 5 is filled with interesting boutiques all quite reasonably priced. At Gortz 17-- there's shoes with attitude, at Cravatterie Nazionali -- it's wild and wonderful neckwear for your journey man, at Marimekko -- refreshing Danish fashion and at Art Accessories -- hand-made aluminum hair clips that are a cut above the rest.

  • Looking for lovely lingerie? Try the Peter Palmer chain and show them how smart you are by asking for a "bustenhalter" (bra) and "washe" (underwear).

  • Journeywoman found the best selection of German Birkenstock sandals at SchuhSeibel at Sonnenstrasse 18. If you're a Birkenstock-kind-of-woman, it's smart to make your purchases in Germany. This is the country they're manufactured in.

  • Want to see how German women set their tables? Kustermann has one of the largest selections of table and cooking ware. Lovely to browse! (Viktualienmarkt 8)

  • It's always fun to pop into an English bookshop to pick up a guide or two. Journeywoman recommends Anglia English Bookshop -- their window piled oh-so-high with books (Schellingstrasse 3) and Words Worth --including some gift items at Schellingstrasse 21A. P.S. Look for our city guide of choice, "Munich in Your Pocket" written by local, Dee Pattee.

Memos on Meals in Munich

  • Cafe Iwan This unassuming patio restaurant surrounded by neighbouring high rises attracts German theater actors, artists and many of the city's rich and famous. The menu is creative with a pleasant selection of salads and soups. Prices are down-to-earth and our Thai Shrimp Rice Soup was a perfect meal in-a-bowl. (Josephspitalstrasse 15)

  • Vita S. Named after Vita Sackville West, this is Munich's first restaurant especially for women. It's small and cozy with sofas artfully arranged amongst the tables and chairs. The light menu features both meat and vegetarian choices. Portraits of famous women dot the walls, while each table is named after a notable female in contemporary history. Which will it be, ladies...Marlene Dietrich or Gertrude Stein? (Morassistrasse 16)

  • For a quick snack in a cafeteria with style, there's nothing like the Movenpick chain. The food is fine, the coffee is excellent and the spotless washrooms are a perfect example of whimsy.

  • Miss the food back home? Then try Falafel, Bagels & Pastrami where the name says it all! (Barestrasse 72).

  • Brasserie Tresznjewski is an art deco student hangout that offers lots of value and excellent atmosphere for your money. Expect a selection of good salads, beer on tap, dessert goodies and a wonderful brunch menu. Be sure to bring along a dictionary or be prepared to point; menus are in German only! (Theresienstrasse 72).

    I just love veggies!

  • Veggie lovers will appreciate Bux located close to the city center on Frauenstrasse 9. There's meatless lasagna, tofu casseroles, veggie quiche and a huge assortment of salads and desserts. There's fresh juices on tap and the yummy carob mousse is a sinner's delight. P.S. You pay by weight on your plate so guide your portions accordingly.

  • Looking for an interesting take-away meal. Here's one only the locals know about. Try Zen for fantastic reasonably priced sushi rolls. This tiny little place is located at Baaderstrasse 62 or call for delivery at 201-6911.

Interested in more female-friendly Munich tidbits? Click here

 

 

 

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