Fake Questions from Make Believe Readers: Volume 1

munchen

Yes, it’s an unoriginal gimmick but I still have a few months of optimism left before this site becomes a mess of cynical listicles and discount airfare redirects – enjoy the content while it lasts. Let’s get on with it.

Q:  You mentioned in an earlier post that you used to live in Germany.  What is your favorite German city and what city would you recommend for a first time visitor?

Preston T. Wellington – Juarez, Mexico

It’s a good question.  Germany is a large country with many distinct regions.  When prospective tourists inquire about France, Italy or England, the recommendations are obvious; not so with Germany.

It is hard to go wrong with Berlin – it’s a metropolitan city with a wide range of cultures.  The museums are expansive and impressive.  Quintessential German cuisine can be had throughout the city but there are thousands of restaurants representing nearly every accepted food culture.  Our best meal in Berlin wasn’t in a bierhalle or from a currywurst stand, it was from a small, modern Korean restaurant loaded with German hipsters.  Berlin is a truly great city, one of the most impressive capital cities in all of Europe, but it would not be my choice as a vacation destination in Germany.

Munich, the jewel of Bavaria, is a resplendent city of historic culture and 21st Century engineering, and my favorite city in all of Germany.  It’s almost unfair to compare Bavaria to the rest of Germany as the two are different in a myriad of ways that we won’t waste time with here.  When you picture a stereotypical German in your mind and think of a man wearing lederhosen holding a liter of beer, or a buxom blonde in a tight fitting dirndl, you are actually conjuring the image of a Bavarian.

For the culinarians and food obsessed out there, Munich is a living celebration of all things pork. For the drunkards, the beer is plentiful, cheap and delicious.  For the historians, there are churches from the Middle Ages and walking tours of the “capital” of Nazism.  For the nature lovers there are manicured parks and massive outdoor spaces.  For the manic depressives, Bayer Pharmaceuticals is based in the region.

Munich will definitely be the topic of future discussions on Travel Pedant so Preston and the rest of you are going to have to come back to get the full story.  Here are a few recommendations for the impatient:

Day:  The Viktualienmarkt is a sprawling outdoor market in the middle of Altstadt, Munich.  One could easily spend an entire afternoon walking from booth to booth sampling the foods and surveying the artisan crafts for sale.  A visit to the Viktualienmarkt is not complete without trying a tart Bavarian pickle and a freshly baked, lightly salted bretzel (pretzel).  If you get thirsty during your visit there is a large beer garden in the middle of the market where Germans and tourists gather to drink half-liters of the local brew.  If you hang around the beer garden long enough you might find yourself in the middle of an impromptu sing along.  Just mime some German sounding words and wave your beer over your head, no one will realize you don’t know what the hell you’re saying.

Night:  The Hofbrauhaus is a unique experience in that it closely replicates the atmosphere of an Oktoberfest tent without the oppressive odor of stale beer and vomit.  Unfortunately the Hofbrauhaus has the tendency to be an overcrowded chaos in the evenings as all of the tourists, including the Germans, descend on the bierhalle for the raucous party.  Instead, try the Augustiner Bräustuben for a similar bierhalle atmosphere without the hideous crowd.  One warning however, the baskets of fresh pretzels they deliver to the table are not free.

Hotel:  The Hotel Adria is a perfectly fine hotel that will not send you into the throes of bankruptcy.  Typical rates are less than 150 Euros per night and the room is spacious considering the “quaint” nature of most German hotels.  If you’re filthy rich, why not stay at the Mandarin Oriental Munich?  Then again, if you’re rich you probably didn’t get that way by sitting around reading third rate travel blogs.

Many thanks to Preston for this week’s question.  In the unlikely event that Preston survives the summer, I sincerely hope he gets the opportunity to visit Munich later this year for Oktoberfest. It’s never too early to book your hotel.

If you are an actual human being and you have a question for Travel Pedant, feel free to send an email to travelpedant@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter @travelpedant.

 

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  1. Stephen says:

    Ha, very creative!

    I was actually trying to figure out cool alternatives to Hofbrau last time I was in Munich, so I’ll have to look out for the Augustiner place next time I’m there.

    Reply
    • CM says:

      Much appreciated. The next time you’re in Munich you should definitely check it out. Until then you can decorate your basement like an old dungeon and it will have a similar feel. Cheers.

      Reply