52 WAYS TO ACT LIKE A LOCAL:
No. 1: Nude guys are as much a part of the Englischer
Garten as the trees are. 52 Ways Photo by dustpuppy
1. Get naked in the Englisher Garten
"Naked people," says the Sueddeutsche, belong to the Englischer Garten just as the pigeons belong to Venice’s St Marcus Square.
The newspaper recommends it to every Munich local at least once – and let themselves be photographed by gaping Japanese tourists.
2. Climb the Bavaria Statue
Make a trip down to the Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest Field)
and climb up inside the bronze statue that represents the state. Think Statue of Liberty – Bavarian style.
3. Order a "Schnitt"
A Schnitt (meaning "cut") is 250ml of beer – half the volume of a regular Munich beer glass. It’s not on any menu, but every good watering hole will serve you one on request.
Many Müncheners like to put one away just before they go home for the night.
4. Prepare a real "Brotzeit"
One of the best things about Munich’s beer gardens is that you can bring your own food and have a mini-picnic on the benches.
It’s called Brotzeit, a bread-based light meal. Head to the market and pick up some Breze (pretzels), Obazda (a cheesy spread), Wurstsalat (sausage salad) and Radi (radish).
Bung them in your backpack, make for your favourite beer garden, order a litre of beer in the mid-afternoon and you’re living like a true local.
5. Spend a night in the Englischer Garten
Though it’s supposed to be patrolled by police in the twilight hours, one Suedeutsche reader recommends spending a night in the northern sections of the city’s biggest park.
Just watch out for the deer.
No. 4: Take a home-made "Brotzeit" to a beer garden.
52 Ways Photo by germanium
6. Daydream in the Asamkirche (Asam Church)
Munich’s divinely designed church is a prime place for contemplation and daydreaming.
It’s a Rococo masterpiece built by the brothers Asam, and your eyes sure won’t run out of things to look at inside.
7. Cruise the Isar River in a rubber dinghy
Jump in somewhere south of the Old Town and let the melted mountain snow push you gently up through the city. Popular with groups of guys with beer supplies.
8. Go to the Wiesn before the Oktoberfest
In the days and weeks before Munich holds the world’s biggest party, an army of workers sets up the stalls, rides and, of course, the beer tents at the Theresienwiese.
It’s a spectacle in its own right, and best enjoyed from the temporary Augustiner Kantine stand. It’s yet to be seen if this one will be doable in the future though, as the Wiesn has been off-limits to the public during the build-up in the last few years.
9. Watch the sunset from the Hakerbrücke bridge
S-Bahns whizzing by, a forest of electricity posts and cables, train tracks gleaming red in the descending sun. A unique spot for sunset watching, to be sure. The Hakerbrücke is one stop west of the Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station).
No. 10: Maypoles are set up in most Bavarain villages -
Photo by digital cat .
10. Set up a Maypole
Blue and white-striped maypoles (German: Maibaum)
are raised in many Bavarian towns and villages on May 1 to celebrate May Day.
It’s done with much fanfare at Munich’s Viktualienmakt market near Marienplatz.
Lots of dancing and drinking goes on afterwards, one hell of a party.
11. Wash out your own Maßkrug
Those one-litre beer-bearing glasses, the Maß, rank among many a traveller’s fondest Munich memories. You can wash your own before having it filled with the amber fluid at the Hirschgarten. That’s Europe’s biggest beer garden in Munich’s west.
12. Be stymied by Munich’s public transport pricing system
Which ring am I in? How many zones do I need? Not just tourists scratch their heads over the pricing system of the Munich Transport Authority (MVV). One Suedeutsche contributor contends that every real Münchener has been caught riding without a ticket at least once, not on purpose, but out of sheer confusion.
13. Break a bench at the Oktoberfest
When things heat up inside the Oktoberfest tents the long, wooden benches rattle under the weight of dancing revellers. Boogie too hard and they can give out underneath you.
No. 18: Take a coffee at Cafe Tambosi and watch
the world go by.
14. Enjoy a big-name concert for nix from the Olympiaberg
From Madonna to AC/DC, when the really big names play Munich they play at the Olympic Stadium.
Since ticket prices are usually equally
huge, many locals climb the nearby Olympiaberg hill to take in the tunes for free.
15. Buy something at Kustermann
One of the most famous shops at Munich’s Viktualienmarkt market, Kustermann has been dishing out fine cutlery and kitchenware since 1798.
16. Buy a monthly public transport ticket
If there’s one thing you don’t need in Munich it’s a car. To make up for it, get yourself a monthly MVV ticket, a bike and strong lock!
17. Wash your wallet/purse in the Fish Fountain at Marienplatz
This is an old Munich tradition meant to make you richer. It’s usually the Lord Mayor who leads the charge on Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch), in February or March.
18. Drink an espresso at Café Tambosi
There aint many Munich cafes with a better view than Café Tambosi in the north-east corner of Odeonsplatz. Scramble for a seat, order a cuppa and soak up the city.
19. Stroll through the Viktualienmarkt in the early morning
As the sun rises over Munich’s famous market the vendors get busy setting up
stalls, arranging fruit and veg and preparing for the day ahead. Take it in and enjoy.
No. 7: Cruise the Isar River in a dinghy.
52 Ways Photo by dustpuppy
20. Take a dip in the Müllerisches Volksbad
This enormous public bathing complex is a jewel of Munich’s Art Nouveau (Jungendstil) era.
The design gleams just as it did when it was opened in 1900, so bring your togs and take a dip.
21. Lick back an ice-cream from Sarcletti
Munich’s favourite ice-cream shop sells over 70 flavours so it could take a while to find you’re your favourite. It’s at Rotkreuzplatz in the suburb Neuhausen.
22. Have someone think you’re "Schickimicki"
This is Munich’s breed of yuppie and in such a wealthy city they aren’t exactly thin on the ground. One Suedeutsche contributor says every Münchener has to have wrinkled a few non-local noses for their disgustingly rich, obnoxious behaviour.
23. Skate on Munich’s frozen ice
If locals need an excuse to get outside in the depths of winter then this is as good as any. The Klienhesslohersee lake in the Englischer Garten and the Nymphenburger Canal are the best places to strap on the ice skates.
24. Make friends with Charles Schumann
Germany’s most famous barkeep, this guy runs the famous Schumann’s American Bar at Odeonsplatz 6-7. It’s a high society hang out and Schumann has himself become an institution, having concocted cocktails such as the Swimmingpool.
25. Watch the TV series Kir Royal
A dose of classic 80s soap, this still much-loved show revolves around the life of tabloid society hack Baby Schimmerlos.
26. Host visitors during Oktoberfest
If you meet a travelling Münchener anywhere in the world make sure to get their email address so you can keep in contact and (maybe) get free accommodation for the Oktoberfest. More than a few locals have given up their couches during the annual party.
Destination Munich and Bavaria is the best, most up-to-date and entertaining travel guide to the region - guaranteed.
It gives you full-colour maps, practical information and top tips on how to get the most out of your visit.
It's 227 pages of up-to-the-minute travel intelligence and it can be yours as an eBook for less than the price of an Oktoberfest beer. (read on)
• Go from 52 Ways to the main Munich Backstory page.
• Jump from 52 Ways back to Destination Munich Home.
What to do in Munich - multi-day itineraries
Find your perfect Bavarian tour
Munich Oktoberfest photo preview