City Guide: Munich - Where Tradition & Design Meet

Design blogger extraordinaire, Igor Josifovic shares with us his favourite spots from his beloved Munich.

The Bavarian capital Munich profits from an excellent location – it is a stone’s throw away from crystal clear lakes, the snow-capped Alps and even Italy is just a short drive away. The bustling city of 1.4 million inhabitants is often referred to as the northernmost city of Italy – and this is mostly due to the city’s unique lifestyle. Nowhere else in Germany can you observe the special mix of tradition and modern lifestyle apparent in Munich. Fashionistas rub shoulders with young locals dressed in traditional costumes (these are considered fashion items here, too), the same people will flock to the traditional beer gardens and eat local food and the next day you will see them at a design pop-up store opening, or a town art exhibit munching on petit fours and sipping champagne. Munich is the city where tradition and design mingle better than anywhere else!

Old Town

Old Town

Where to stay?

Currently, two of my favourite local hotels are the following: For the best stay right in the heart of the old town, opt for the sleek Cortiina Hotel (Ledererstr. 8). The hotel offers sophisticated design in combination with impeccable service combined with a feng shui ambiance, and is also in close proximity to the city’s most important cultural venues. No less design-savvy is the hotel Stadt Rosenheim just east of the city centre. The hotel building stems from the late 19th century and features the ‘Wilhelmilian style’. It is family run and was completely refurbished in 2010 with an interior design concept that combines traditional and modern elements – well, it is Munich as I told you!

Cortina Hotel Maisonette © Kull & Weinzierl GmbH

Cortina Hotel Maisonette © Kull & Weinzierl GmbH

Where to eat?

Inevitably, you will get hungry when roaming the streets so you might want one or two culinary tips for your city breakout. For a quick lunch snack or fresh fruits I recommend you head to the famous market Viktualienmarkt in the city centre. It is one of the oldest markets in all of Germany and boasts fresh produce from the region as well as all four exotic corners of the world. Moreover, you will find fresh blooms galore and lots of handicraft as a lovely souvenir. For a seated dinner, go to the popular restaurant Theresa in the vivid student quarter Maxvorstadt. This restaurant not only features an exquisite cuisine with a huge selection of fresh meat to choose from, but it also entices your design-savvy eye with a fabulous mix of industrial and vintage and offers a designer bowling alley in its basement. A great option for vegetarian lovers is the downtown restaurant Prinz Myshkin with its Mediterranean atmosphere and refined menu. Oh, and for an absolutely original Bavarian atmosphere don’t forget to eat at least once in a beer garden – I love the atmosphere at Seehaus in the city’s large English Garden park (and don’t miss the city surfers on the Eisbach, a Munich phenomenon!).

Theresa Restaurant

Theresa Restaurant

How about a drink?

Munich boasts numberless bars and cafés. For a chic aperitif head to the renown Schumann’s Bar, for a coffee break while shopping opt for the vibrant Loretta Bar in the Glockenbach quarter, great for after work drinks and people watching is the small but uber-famed Bar Centrale and if you’re craving coffee and cake, I recommend the adorable bar/café Hoover & Floyd with its unique interior concept which is just like granny’s home.

 Viktualienmarkt

 Viktualienmarkt

Time for design shopping!

I assume you are just like me and love to discover a city’s interior design stores and boutiques. So here are my tips for your Munich adventure: Beautiful and hand selected items for your home can be found at the boutique Ladoug, where almost every item is handcrafted and sourced from around the globe by the owner herself. Fabulous for both, interior pieces and fashion, is the pretty new Weissglut concept store in Schwabing quarter. You will find lots of Scandinavian style items and design classics there. More fashion and home items can be found in the two hip Kauf Dich Glücklich boutiques (literally translated: shop yourself happy) featuring Scandinavian fashion labels and selected home goodies. For one-of-a-kind vintage items head to Delikatessen. Your bags will be loaded!

Ladoug

Ladoug

Now if you need more reasons to come to Munich let me tell you that this is a pretty green city with parks, lakes and an alpine river, it is ideal for art lovers, too (my favourite museum is the Brandhorst museum (for contemporary art) and it has charm in every season – from summery walks in the parks to magical strolls on the numerous Christmas markets in wintertime. So, will I see you here any time soon?

Hofgarten Park

Hofgarten Park

Photography & Words by Igor Josifovic / Happy Interior Blog taken from the Autumn issue 2013 of Heart Home magazine.