48 HOURS:BARCELONA

by Edward Wilkinson-Latham

Travel Editor

SHARP for Men Magazine

48 HOURS IN MUNICH

Shadowed by the Bavarian Alps, Munich is a cosmopolitan and innovative city with a balanced work-life philosophy that makes it one of Europe’s most alluring destinations. It celebrates its biggest annual festival with Oktoberfest, when the city’s beer halls and gardens come alive with beer-swilling antics, lederhosen and plenty of German oompah-pah.

GET YOUR BEARINGS

9:30 Munich’s old town lies between Hauptbahnhof Street and the River Isar and contains most of the city’s tourist sites. Public transport is excellent; Straßenbahnen (Tram) or U-Bahn (Subway). Inner district €4.80 All zones €9.60

10:00 CHECKING IN

The Hotel Bayerischer Hof has been run by the Volkhardt family for over 160 years. Guests have included Hollywood legends and pop stars, all drawn to the stylish elegance and relaxed ambience of this luxury hotel. There are three excellent restaurants, six incredibly diverse bars and a spa to pamper yourself. Promenadeplatz 2-6 T: 89 2120-0 From €247 Tram: 19

11:00 WALKING TOUR

The Altstadt (Old Town/historic center) covers a pleasant stretch of about four kilometers. From Marienplatz, highlights include the impressive Gothic town hall and Michaelskirche (St. Michael's), the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps and second in size to St. Peter's in Rome. U-Bahn: Karlsplatz

13:00 FINE ART

One of the highlights of the museum quarter is the Alte Pinakothek which houses one of greatest art collections in the world, ranging from the 14th-18th centuries, including works by master painters Rubens, Titian and Raphael. Barer Straße 27 T: 89 238 05 216 Tues-Sun 10am-5pm €7.50 U-Bahn: Konigsplatz

15:00 LATE LUNCH

Weinhaus Neuner is Munich's oldest wine-house and dates back to the 15th century when was awarded the esteemed title of "Purveyors to the King of Bavaria". Their lunch menu offers Bavarian specialties such as home-smoked beef, while the wine cellar has over 100 different vintages from around the world. Herzogspitalstr. Mon-Sat 12 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 12 pm T: 89 260 39 54 Fixed-price lunch 20€

16:30 SHOPPING

The small designer and vintage boutiques around the streets of Glockenbach and Gärtnerplatzviertel are ideal for finding suits, hats, vintage leather goods and accessories, while Maximilianstrasse is the place for high-end boutiques and luxury items. If you are a fan of outdoor gear then Schuster’s is reputed to be the best outdoor equipment shop in Germany. Rosenstraße 1-5 Innenstadt T: 89 23 7070 U-Bahn: Marienplatz

18:00 COFFEE & CAKE

The Café am Beethovenplatz dates back to 1899 and offers serious caffeine along with gorgeous pastries and homemade jams. The interior is decorated with ornate stucco, wooden paneling and parquet floors and regularly features live piano and small classical ensembles. Goethestraße 51 T: 89 5440 4348 Mon-Sun 9am-1am U-Bahn: Goetheplatz

21:00 DINNER TO REMEMBER

Mark's Restaurant at the Hotel Mandarin Oriental is an award-winning restaurant with a Michelin star and the prestigious VARTA Chef's Hat award. It specializes in superior Mediterranean cuisine and together with the beautiful table linens, fine crystal and china, this is a true gourmet dining experience. 1 Neuturmstrasse Mon-Sun 7pm–11pm T: 89 29 09 80

24:00 AFTER DINNER DRINK

Schumann’s is known for its international visitors and rip-roaring nights. The interior is clad with green marble and when the party crowd descends its like a wild night in a frog tank. Mon-Fri 5pm-3am, Sat-Sun 6pm-3am Odeonsplatz, 6-7 T: 89 22 90 60 Metro: Odeonsplatz

2:00 CLUBBING

Munich’s club scene is making some creative types think twice about Berlin. The Kultfabrik and Optimolwerke district has more than 30 clubs and bars. Some put on Ü30-Parties where you have to be over 30 to get in. Those crazy Germans!

DAY 2

11:00 BRUNCH

Built in 1888 Cafe Luitpold has welcomed many artistic patrons such as Ibsen and Kandinsky. The palm garden solarium is a fine place to start the day, but bring sunglasses. Briennerstrasse 11 T: 89 24 28 750 Mon-Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 8am-7pm U-Bahn: Odeonsplatz

12:00 PARK LIFE

It may look a little peculiar, but at the southern edge of the Englischer Garten (English Garden) beside Kleinhesseloher Lake, surfers queue to ride an artificially created wave on the River Eisbach. If you’re not a surf dude try renting a rowboat and paddle leisurely around the lily pads. Boats hire: €8.00 per half-hour. U-Bahn: Ostbahnhof

14:00 BATH HOUSE

Beside the River Isar on Rosenheimer Strasse is one of Munich's real highlights. The Müllersches Volksbad was the city’s first public bathhouse and was opened in 1901. Set in a grand construction of Art Nouveau and Baroque architecture, it offers sauna and Turkish steam bath treatments. The beautifully restored Jugendstil swimming hall has high vaulted ceilings and mahogany changing cubicles. You’ll never bath amongst such decadence again. Rosenheimer Str. 1 Daily 7.30am–11pm T: 89 23613434 €3.00 for a swim, €40 for full treatment.

17:00 THE BMW MUSEUM

The BMW Museum has an amazing display of its technical innovations over the last century, with more than 400 vehicles including historic cars, racing models, motorcycles and prototypes. Am Olympiapark 2 T: 89 38223307 Tue-Fri 9am-6pm Sat, Sun 10am-8pm €12 U-Bahn: Olympiazentrum

20:00 OKTOBERFEST

Germany's biggest annual event is nothing less than a sixteen-day orgy of beer-swilling with an estimated 6 million litres consumed. Tipsy brass bands toot out a tune while buxom blonde girls serve out the liquid fun and excited locals mount the tables dressed in lederhosen and start slapping each other’s thighs. If you’re feeling strong, try a game of hakeln, an alternative to arm wrestling in which Bavarian men lock fingers and try to pull each other across the table. Wunderbar! U-Bahn: Hauptbahnhof www.oktoberfest.com

EWL©