Munich is the capital of Bavaria, the large state in the south of Germany. Not far from The Alps and Austria, Munich get’s pretty cold in the winter, making it an idyllic, often snowy setting for some of the best Christmas markets in the world. I visited for a weekend in November to explore the city and do some festive shopping.
Munich was heavily bombed during the war, with he majority of the buildings and infrastructure being destroyed. It was really interesting to see that the city is still rebuilding over 70 years later; many of the beautiful old buildings, on closer inspection, have all their columns and detail painted on – they are actually completely flat fronted. The buildings which did withstand the war are a sad reminder of what happened, with nearly all of them showing very visible bullet and shell marks.
The Christmas markets have to be one of the most festive places in the world; the smell of spices and food, the glitter and colours of the ornaments (all of which are beautifully made, not a tacky item in sight).
Munich is also the home of BMW, and along with their headquarters they also have a BMW world there which consists of a museum, restaurants, cafes and displays of all their latest models. When you buy a car there you are presented with your new vehicle via a central showcase area, where you car appears via a giant lift and is dramatically paraded in front of everyone on an large platform. It’s pretty fun to see the likes of Rolls Royce’s and unusual minis up close, I even got to get into an absolutely tiny car where the whole front had to open up to let me in!
On the Saturday night we went to a cabaret and acrobatics show in a pop-up tent, complete with a four course dinner by a celebrity German chef, Schubeck, modestly names Teatro Schubeck. That’s just how they do things in Germany. Unfortunately, I don’t speak any Germany so I didn’t understand the various comedy acts which came on throughout the evening, but the Germans seemed to be enjoying them. The acrobatics on the other hand I of course did understand, and they were really amazing. It was nice to have gaps between each course, the whole experience was about four hours long. Sometimes in London it can feel like you’re being ushered along to make way for the next sitting, so it was great to take things at a leisurely pace.
Munich is a great city, with just over a million residents, it isn’t crowded and isn’t really full of tourists. It feels authentic and traditional, the food is delicious and the mulled wine even better. Price wise it isn’t cheap, but like most things you get what you pay for, so I can’t really complain!