Where to eat, stay and explore in Munich

The once-fusty Bavarian capital brims with energy, globetrotting cooking and hip ’hoods, writes Emma Sloley.

Marienplatz city square
The Flushing Meadows
Occupying three floors of an austere 1970s post office building in Glockenbachviertel, a former red-light district, this 16-suite boutique inn with a rooftop bar is emblematic of Munich's new-found cool. The airy rooms are a contrast of industrial motifs and artistic whimsy; 11 of the suites feature the work of local creatives.
Fraunhoferstrasse 32,
Bedroom at The Flushing Meadows
Lenbachhaus museum
This storied 1930s art institution has an even more striking façade featuring tubes of gold-hued alloy that seem to glow. The collection features works by the Blue Rider group, an influential band of German Expressionists that included Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky. Esteemed restaurant Ella has an outdoor terrace that's popular on warm days.
Luisenstrasse 33,
Veganism isn't the first thing that springs to mind in Munich, but this fine-diner leads a growing trend in meat-loving Bavaria. Choose a four- to eight-course menu with vegan and vegetarian options inspired by the city's farmers' markets and featuring artfully plated and deliciously complex flavours. Unusual pairings include pear and parsnip curry and cauliflower roasted with chanterelles and passionfruit.
Frauenstrasse 4,
Timeless Old World traditions are upheld here: red velvet drapes, wood-panelled walls and attentive waiters in white waistcoats. Yet this place near Odeonsplatz manages to be on-trend at the same time with its short menu, unadorned tables and bistro vibe. Start with a cocktail - many flirt with sake and Campari - then order Wiener schnitzel with potato salad or a pumpkin risotto.
Odeonsplatz 6-7,
Little Wolf
Reflecting the current obsession among the city's chefs with American soul food, Little Wolf - dedicated to Chicago blues singer Howlin' Wolf - serves the likes of house-smoked ribs and brisket, jambalaya and pastrami in a charming, elbow room-only space reminiscent of a classic American diner. There are even booths fashioned from old San Francisco cable-car seats.
Pestalozzistrasse 9,
Lenbachhaus museum's façade
English garden
Cycle or walk in the Englische Garten's 364 hectares, where you can witness (or partake in) nude sunbathing, beer drinking and river surfing. This last one can be seen on the Eisbach, a stretch of the Isar River that flows through the park, on which a challenging artificial wave attracts experienced surfers year round. Order an ale and people watch at beer garden Chinese Tower, named for the adjacent pagoda built in 1789.
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Bike sharing
Munich is a supremely cycle-friendly city with dedicated bike lanes lining most streets, and its popular bike-share program makes touring a breeze. Download the app ( and find a station - they're everywhere.
Airlines flying one stop from select Australian cities to Munich include Lufthansa, Thai, Etihad, Emirates-Qantas and Qatar.