Longer days, the bright neon green of new foliage, unpredictable weather, a layer of pollen resting everywhere. Spring is definitely here.
A city adapts itself over the seasons – the ‘wake up’ after winter being the most profound. Spring is therefore generally fresh, bright and cheery and Munich does not fall short of putting on a good show.
On this note, here’s my brief list of how to embrace Munich in the spring:
1. Spend an evening at the Frühlingsfest
Nothing says Munich better than another excuse to dust off the Dirndl, drink a few too many Maß and bop around on top of a beer bench to funny Schlager music. Frühlingsfest, boasts a small-scale version of Munich’s Oktoberfest on the Therisienwiese – but is not short of the classics: Bier, Hendl (rotisserie chicken), candied nuts and a Ferris wheel.
Round a group of mates for an after-work delight or plan a day of it – lederhosen mandatory.
2. Enjoy a Weißwurst Frühstück in the Biergarten
Head to one of Munich’s many Biergarten, sit under the blossoming chestnut trees and order yourself a traditional Bavarian breakfast: a pair of Weißwurst with sweet mustard, a salty Brezel and a locally-brewed Weißbier.
Here are some of my favourite Biergartens throughout the city:
3. Stroll through the Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden, located on the parklands of Nymphenburg Palace, literally come to life during spring and is definitely worthy of a long stroll. The garden is large and showcases a variety of spring blooms – including Tulips, Hyacinth, Irises and Ranunculus. Visiting in May and you can spend hours enjoying the ethereal peonies that border the central yard of the garden or get lost amongst the maze of Rhododendrons. Some of my favourite areas of the garden also include the native Australian plants in the green house, the croaking frogs hiding in the lotus ponds, the native flora nestled on the small alpine mountain and the abundant vegetable patch (which may just surpass the variety offered in my grandparent’s backyard).
And to top it off, you can even enjoy coffee & cake hour in the sun among the roses.
4. Take a bike ride along the Isar banks
Munich is a bike riding city and prides itself over its ever-improving bike infrastructure. Don’t let the myriad of bike riders deter you from throwing a blanket and a few brötchen in your basket and peddling along the awesome bike tracks along the Isar. The track is well maintained, relatively flat and one could easily get carried away and end up in Wolfratshausen – a pleasant town located a good 30km south of Munich’s centre.
The city portal provides some good bike routes: http://www.muenchen.de/verkehr/fahrrad/mvv-radltouren.html
5. Grab yourself an obligatory Eis
Embrace the German love for ice cream and pick yourself up a 1€ scoop of the creamy stuff from one Munich’s many ice cream dealers. The ratio of ice cream stores to people is more than required which means one should exercise a little caution over where the euro scoop is spent – there are unfortunately too many sub-par dealers!
Some of the most popular ice cream parlours in Munich include:
Ballabeni Ice Cream – Theresienstr. 46 80333 München
Bartu Eismanufaktur – Sendlinger Str. 29 80331 München
Der verrückte Eismacher – Amalienstr. 77 80799 München
Eiscafe Al Teatro – Reichenbachstr. 11 80468 München
And for really good frozen yoghurt: I love leo – Frozen Yoghurt – Rindermarkt 2 80331 München (with two other stores)
Keep your eyes posted for the newcomers ‘True & 12‘ to be opening this spring (Rosenheimerstr. 14 81669) – I’m sure their handmade ice cream will be a hit!
6. And for the inevitable rainy days – visit Munich’s museum of Egyptian Art
Take a tour through antiquity in Munich’s latest edition to its collection of museums, and situated amongst Munich’s museum royalty – the museum of Egyptian Art (Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst). With a large portion of the building situated underground, the building not only exudes architectural finesse but sees the visitor transported to the temples and princely graves of the ancient sites. Rich with objects and statues of marble, stone and gold, the museum is the first museum outside of Egypt solely dedicated to Egyptian art.
7. Set up a portable BBQ along the banks of the Isar and grill a few Würstchen
It is well-known that Germans (akin to the Aussies) have an undeniable passion for firing up the BBQ. For most apartment dwellers however, this means making the city’s green spaces one’s backyard. Portable BBQs are a dime a dozen and with a few beers, brought along on the bike trailer of course, it is too easy to let the day take its course without stress. All along the banks of the Isar (where prohibited) groups of all sorts fire up the coals – creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere. Keep an eye out for the nudist zones and don’t forget to clean up your mess!
8. Buy yourself a pretty scarf
A bright, pretty spring scarf should be on everybody’s list of spring purchases. They come in handy for the cooler, rainy and less pretty days but are most functional when it comes to the windy days, where the pollen fills the air, invading all crevices and causing unpleasant inflammation, watery eyes and bouts of uncontrollable sneezing.
9. Smell the lilacs in bloom
Sorry if you belong to the allergy-sufferers category but the sweet smell of the Lilac’s butterfly-esque blooms is just mesmerising. Dotted all throughout the city its not hard to simply stop and enjoy nature’s free perfume.
10. Enjoy an evening of royalty at Nymphenburg Palace
Not only to be admired for its rich royal history and scandal, the Nymphenburg Palace in the heart of Munich opens its doors to the public for classical concert evenings. Spring’s schedule includes the classic, Vivaldi and his Four Seasons – could it get any better!?
Enjoy – don’t forget to pack your lightweight quilted jacket!