Germany Christmast Markets in Munich 2015

Most of us are not so excited to see the winter to come because of the amount of layers and jackets we are going to put on. However, there is one thing that for sure we all look forward to when the first morning everything got frozen – The Christmas Market. Something is so traditional but never goes out of trend.

I can’t count how many countries I have visited to see the Christmas Market. There are something similar but each still has its own cultural touch. As many as I have been, the German Weihnachtsmarkt still gets its first prize. Having lived in Germany for quite awhile, it is no longer new to me but I always feel like a kid again when all these Christmas markets spread all over places with full of beautiful Christmasy decoration. I wondered, from the K town to this southern hood, will it be any difference?

I took a walk through the city and checked out some of Christmas Markets still being set up. At Residenz Museum, the market was the earliest bird opening and everything was set for the season to come. Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz is supposed to be the biggest market in town and I would imagine how beautiful it will be under the cathedral. For those who are like me, excited to bring out those skaters to ice-skate, Karlsplatz has set up for you a small ring so that you can ice-skate in this outer space.

All Christmas Markets will be opened on the 27th of November. For more information about all the Christmas Markets, click here.

5 tips before you go:

  1. Wear warm because there will be no heating system and the markets are held outdoor
  2. Be careful of pickpockets – it is easy to get mugged in the crowd during this time of the year
  3. Be aware that Glühwein is pretty strong. Don’t underrate it!
  4.  Bring cash! There is no card payment available at any huts
  5.  Don’t eat too much at home because you might get yourself full with all the delish German treats but still don’t expect that you can fill your tummy there because it could get crowded that you are not able to get food and some are quite pricey.

Enjoy!

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Dutch VS. German | Not the same

After living in both two countries, Germany and The Netherlands, which are literally neighbours to each other, I could not stop myself giggling from the irony of how the Dutches and Germans could be quite different from each other. You would supposedly think that these two are similar because they are basically next to each other geographically and have almost the same culture as other Western European countries. However, here are some points that you would see the difference between these two that you would not expect before you come to visit.

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Punctuality

In fact, it is crucial criterion to both Germany and The Netherlands that you come ON TIME on a meeting. We have long-while known about how punctual the Germans are because of their inflexibility and seriousness on certain tasks. If you have met a German, you know he never keeps his date waiting. He would either come 2 minutes earlier or exactly on time (I really mean by time-ish). In contrast, the Dutches most of the time come 2 minutes later. For them, more or less 5 minutes are still considered on time.

How they spend money

This point discussed is based on what I have seen while living in both countries as well as interacting with these two people while travelling. They both certainly manage very well to save money. They would work the whole year or more and live in a small budget to take a small holiday or travel for a certain amount of time. It is quite different to see how they both spend money on holidays or many other things in general. As the Germans, after working hard for years, they save the money and spend good amount of money on their luxurious holidays in resorts or travelling for a long time (This does not refer to travellers). They would probably book a suite or a resort for a stay in Thailand or Indonesia to enjoy their hard working earnings. As the Dutches, they are really good at saving. They hardly go over their budget for a holiday and they even still save money while travelling. Their money strategy thinking is sharp and on point.

‘Showing-off’

I am not sure if ‘showing-off’ is the right word, but let’s just keep it that way for now. What I mean is how they show their personal livings to others. It is the interpretation for a good living. Of course, it is not applied to every single individual, only general speaking.

If you have visited The Netherlands, there is one thing you will never miss – apartments/houses with big windows. You would wonder why someone would like to have their houses seen in public. Apparently, for the Dutches, it’s a pride if you have a fine home, nicely decorated. It shows that you have a good quality shelter and how good your earnings are. In Germany, people seem to care more about their cars in this case. They would choose to have periodical payment to pay off their good brand car.

The language

Dutch and German languages are Germanic languages so certainly they have some similarities. However, these two countries have the love-hate thing with the language of each other. The Dutches would never be bored of making fun of the German language by speaking like Hitler, and the Germans would never stop complaining about how harsh the Dutch accent is that it sounds like you are having something in your throat.

As being able to understanding both languages, it is funny sometimes if I try to translate some certain words that they are written the same but having a totally different meaning. But somehow I find that the beauty of languages.

Relationship with football

Quite an intimating topic for both Germany and The Netherlands! Since they are so close to each other, they are pretty competitive when it comes to football. At this point, football is a pride for Germany and they take it seriously. They always try to be in the list of all championships and they always proudly mention that they are from Germany because of their football team. They could give aggressive opinions about it because of their pride. On the other hand, even though it is a pride of the country, the Dutches seem to be more friendly and open about it. The pain of losing Germany sometimes during the World cup has gained their competitive attitude but they take it as a friendly communication. Or at least, that’s how I have seen it.

 

NOTE: All the information above is not bias and not based on fact. It is just the irony of how I have seen after living in both countries. Please do not take it serious or find it offensive. Any comments is welcomed!

Germany: The 5 best cafés in Munich

A good cup of coffee is not only about how the beans are roasted or where they are from. A good cup of coffee needs to be made with love and care, by someone who is passionate about coffee, served with style and enjoyed at a great atmosphere. At least, that’s how I judge my coffee. I love coffee and want to have it perfect. The concept of the café is always in the back of my head as well.

As I always say, you deserve to have coffee at its best! Here are the top 5 cafés in Munich for you:

Mahlefitz

Address: Nymphenburger Str. 51, 80335 München
Website: www.mahlefitz.de

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With all of my criteria, Mahlefitz got them all on point. The place has a great space to either hang out or work. The interior is simple but definitely they have it right. You would probably feel how stylish it could be, too stylish for a roaster, I must say, but isn’t it what we’re looking for? Mahlefitz has been topened since February 2014 but already got high attention from coffee nerds in town. The idea of combining production and café has turned Mahlefitz the coolest roaster in town.

The location is not on the way to  most places but in the end, if you want a good cup of coffee and a good place to enjoy it, does the location matter? Coffee needs time and love. Take your time to drink that coffee because it is a fine cup of coffee which is made with passion and served in the chic-ish café.

Design concept: ☆☆☆☆☆
Coffee: ☆☆☆☆

Man Versus Machine

Address: Müllerstraße 23, 80469 München
Website: www.mvsmcoffee.com

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Maybe it’s not stylishly appeared as Mahlefitz but if you ask me where you can get the best coffee in Munich, so Man vs. Machine it is! The coffee is phenomenal and divine. You will not regret any single sip you get, guaranteed! Located in a great quarter, Glockenbach, Man vs. Machine has always been attractive to most coffee nerds since it first opened. What you can expect from this roaster is skilled baristas that will bring you every cup of coffee with full of pleasurable enjoyment. The interior here is not something special but the space is neat and hippy. It is absolutely a pleasant space to hang out with friends catching up some good chats. And don’t forget the banana bread (great with butter on the side).

Design concept: ☆☆☆
Coffee: ☆☆☆☆

Standl 20

Address: Elisabethmarkt, Elisabethpl. Stand Nr. 20, 80796 München

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Located in a unique place – in the middle of Elisabethmarkt, Standl 20 is definitely the coolest chick in the area. The concept is slightly small with only a few seated tables inside but you could enjoy your cup of coffee outside as well when the weather is beautiful. What counts is the atmosphere of a market which you wouldn’t experience often when you visit a café.

Say hi to Toni – the owner of this small coffee hut – when you are around. That man has found his passion for coffee and for bringing you the best of it.

Design concept: ☆☆☆☆
Coffee: ☆☆☆☆

Stereo Café

Address: Residenzstraße 25, 80333 München
Website: stereo-cafe.de

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A stunning well-designed café appears in the middle of the city. That we don’t find often in big cities but Stereo has pull off to stand out from most cafés in the city centre. The place is located on the second floor of the Stereo clothing shop that you can easily reach by walking from Odeonsplatz. You might even feel a bit intimating by its charming interior and its delishly pretty sweet treat stand.

The coffee here is nothing to compared with those I mentioned above but for sure it is the finest if you seek for a coffee in the city. I know how frustrating it is to not able to get a good cup of coffee when you are in the city centre. Therefore, Stereo café would definitely save you ass in this case. And their baking is absolutely worth to die for.

Design concept: ☆☆☆☆
Coffee: ☆☆☆

Vorholzer Forum

Address: Arcisstraße 21, 80333 München
Website: www.vf.ar.tum.de

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It is in doubt to be one of the best cafés in Munich because of the poor service and the barista’s lack of knowledge about coffee. For most of my experiences in Vorholzer, it is hard to tell when you will have the good coffee (by luck I would say). However, this place is damn fine café with the unique location, on top of Faculty of Architecture in TU that you can look over Munich. You just have to enter the building, turn left at the main hall and take a lift to the top floor. It has been known by students living here because Vorholzer provides you a great space to hang out and some good snacks for the tummy.

The coffee is served alright in my personal opinion but definitely not skilled enough for my criteria. But is it a good place to check out? Yes! I would still recommend you to pay a visit, as long as you don’t order Cortado.

Design concept: ☆☆☆☆
Coffee: ☆☆☆

Germany: Breakfast at Miss Lilly’s

Miss Lilly’s Restaurant & Bar

Website: www.misslillys.de
Address: Oefelestraße 12, 81543 München
Tel: +49 (0)89 55062195


 

We are living too fast that we forget about the most important meal of the day – breakfast. It’s true that we don’t have the time to get it sometimes, especially to be seated to have breakfast. Grasp some bread, Butterbrezen or just a quicky müsli… But Miss Lilly’s Restaurant & Bar defenses the idea that ‘why breakfast must to be in the morning’. Therefore, they have offered a great deal for you, who say no time for breakfast, to have breakfast anytime during the day from 9:00 until 17:00. Quite a deal that got my attention but there are more!

It was just a usual stroll for seeking for good coffee in town. I crossed over the Isar and found myself in a totally different area which is more urbanised. Somewhere in the corner of Humboldtstraße, a white café/restaurant pops out with the elegant look and sneakily shows the cute interior through the big windows. Then I felt it was a must to check out, purposely. Whenever I go to check out places, the first glance is the most important. I want to first interpret the vibe, the atmosphere, the interior, then comes the food. That sounds weird but I believe if the place has good taste in design would do better job in their food (not always true, but just the first glance, did I just say?).

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With the wild inspired, Miss Lilly’s got the cosy atmosphere from those wooden houses but still keeps it chic and tasteful. The place is decorated simply with wooden lamps, small plants and, my favourite corner, with mounted deer head. You are set in different moods in each corner of the place but still pleasant and delightful.

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The whole-day breakfast is definitely a good offer and certainly it is a good spot in town to have a slow and delicious one. From the simple breakfast with Croissant or Pancakes to special ones with a bigger portion you can find them here in Miss Lilly’s. You must think it is nonsense to go out for things that you can easily grab on the way. Think again when you pay a visit at Miss Lilly’s. They prepare great portions for you with deliciously fresh products that your mouth won’t stop watering. And hey, it is a cool place, why would you say no?

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Germany: Ladoug – More than just good interior

LADOUG INTERIEUR

Website: http://www.ladoug.de/
Address:Müllerstraße 30, 80469 München
Tel: +49 (0)89  24 214 990


Having been opened for 6 years in Munich, Ladoug has caught some eyes because of its creativity of interior and the uniqueness of each piece of product. For those having the interest in interior design, this is a must-see spot in Munich. And even if you don’t know anything about interior, it would probably open your eyes and you might get hooked. Especially, you can ask the shop owner – Andrea Douglas – who can provide all informational about interior design.

The first impression I got from Ladoug must be the cosy atmosphere it gives. Many people have called this place ‘a little living room’ and they certainly do not lie. Would you imagine feeling at home in a shop? Well, is that what IKEA always trying to create for us? At Ladoug, you are about to experience only one showroom but the feeling is real. That ‘living room’ is snug with full of great products which each product is catchy and original. There is no certain style because it is changed whenever there are products walking out of the door but the chicness stays.

“I have lived with interior design and it was my dream to have my own shop” – with full of passion Andrea shared.

You walk into a place and you know it’s good if the person puts their heart in it. At least, that’s how I see it. Andrea has worked all her life with interior design and her passion showed me precisely through her work on the shop. All products are hand-picked by her own taste from all over the world. Some are from France, some are from Italy, or Morocco, or Vietnam. Everywhere, you name it! Besides that, she creates her own piece of art as well.

Take a look and let Ladoug impress you!

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Germany: Munich’s Local Favourites

We – as tourists/travellers – know a city, a place through many platforms like Tripadvisor, travel books, blogs, etc. In the end, all sources are mainly reviewed by other travellers. What/how do we really know about a city? As my mission, I walked up to some people at Viktualienmarkt to ask their favourite things to do and to see. I kinda chose the place purposely because that is where you find least tourists around in the centre but at the same time easy to spot locals.

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Apparently, our knowledge about Munich is just as much as locals’, as I suppose. For most Münchner, Englischer Garten is the most favourite place to be when they have free time to chill or simply the day is beautiful. I could guess why. The garden is so huge that it could numb your legs if you want to make the whole round. Anyway, it certainly a relaxing place to hang. I walked along the stream of the Isar running through the garden and felt how silence could get me. So quiet and refreshing. On those sunny days, the sun light goes through leaves and makes the water surface sparkle.

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One not-so-surprising thing that I was told is sitting at the Biergarten – the second favourite place for locals to spend time at. We have known the German so well that it is something we can never miss out, especially when we are in the region of beer – Bavaria. Two well-known open Biergartens are (1) at the Chinesischer Turm which is located in the Englischer Garten and (2) where I was standing – Viktualienmarkt. On a nice weather day, people go out to Biergartens to have some good time with some good beer. The place could get packed quickly and some people have told me that it could be just as busy as the Oktoberfest. People squeeze in to get a spot to stand or sit to sip their German beer and eating the Pretzel. Oh, how typical!

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Museums are mentioned quite many times during my chats with the locals. Even though they live in the city but they never forget to check out museums here every now and then. Based on different interests, if you like art, Pinakothek is what you should look at, or if you are interested in science and technology, Deutsches Museum is perfect for you.

What is your favourite things to do in Munich? How do you turn yourself a local while living in a foreign country?

 

Germany: Top 5 Spots To Photograph In Munich

Word-of-mouth has spread all over about the charming Munich but you wouldn’t say it till you see it in real. I have spent 2 months living in this city and still have goosebumps sometimes whenever I think about myself living in this city. It is too cool and chic but still has the charm of an old city. There are the new and the old but they blend in which surprises many people visiting here.

Photographing in Munich is fascinating because there is always something new even though I have crossed by one place several times. There might be too much to take photos of (even though there is never enough), thus, I’m sharing with you top spots to take photos of in the lovely Munich.

1. Hofgarten

It definitely takes the first place of the most beautiful location in town. It has been chosen to be the wedding photograph location for many couples. The Italian designed garden is photogenic in every corner that you can always take the best shot even if you are no photographer.

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2. Isar River’s under-the-bridge

You want some stylish photos? Take a walk from Fraunhoferstrasse to the Isar River. Under the bridges have several graffiti works that create a very energetic frame. Also, the light which is coming through brings out the natural effect.

Photos by @Banditbloggers

Photos by @Banditbloggers

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3. Englisher Garten

The name has come up many times as on of the biggest gardens in Europe. It stretches out through the whole city centre to all the way up north of the city. It could take you the whole day to walk around it. However, the garden has several spots that make you linger your feet around. During the summer, the Isar runs along the garden and makes the walk even dreamier. Some places you might find yourself lost in a forest or some kinds. It’s time to take the camera out for some wild shots.

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4. Ludwig-Maximilian-University

This oldest University of Germany would surprise you by its architecture. Details of the architecture are unique and photogenic. The light is coming in from different directions – roof, main entrance, windows… The spectacular thing is each window leading you to a different picture. Some are amazingly magical.

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5. Viktualienmarkt

Looking for something playful? This open market is a cool location to get some of those shots. The place is so cheerful with full of people sitting outside sipping some fat-ass beer in the summer or Christmas decors being all over. If you want to get some colourful shots, Viktualienmarkt is definitely the one-location for you.

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Are you about to be in Munich? Would you like me to capture you with this beautiful city? Then:
Book your Vacation Photographer in Munich

 

Germany: The Flushing Meadows Hotel – A Performance of Interior Design

THE FLUSHING MEADOWS HOTEL & BAR

Website: http://www.flushingmeadowshotel.com
Address: Fraunhoferstrasse 32, 80469 Munich
Tel: +49 (0) 89 552 791 70


Pleasure, comfort and relaxation are some criteria that people look for in every accommodation. Maybe there is only one difference between us – either luxury or affordability. However, there is a place would win over either you look for any of those because they do not only satisfy your expectations in a hotel, they also make you feel at home in many ways in a new land. There it is, in the heart of Munich, hidden somewhere along the Isar lake, The Flushing Meadows Hotel.

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Unique

Sometimes you just want to be present but The Flushing Meadows seems to prefer to be hidden. You might cross by the hotel many times but you would not recognise that there is such a cool accommodation above you. Entering the silver door and getting to the 4th floor, there The Flushing Meadows has been hiding.

They are a comparatively small sized hotel in Munich but they provide you much more than a place to sleep. With 16 rooms offered but they all pull out their own uniqueness. Each room that you might stay would tell a different story. The Flushing Meadows offer you 2 different kinds of accommodation – Loft Studio and Penthouse – and for sure, in any room you are about to enter would wow you. ‘Munich’ is the main statement of the accommodation. Many Münchner (Munich’s people) have joined hands to decorate the rooms – no matters if it is an influencer, a celebrity or just a local person from Munich. That’s one highlight that The Flushing Meadows has lured my attention.

Flushing Meadows - DJ Hell

Room designed by DJ Hell

 

Room designed by Christophe de la Fontaine & Aylin Langreuter

Room designed by Christophe de la Fontaine & Aylin Langreuter

An Art Piece

Now comes my favourite part!
I got a chance to visit some rooms which were not being used at that moment. By then, they blew my mind. The interior is amazingly ‘wunderschön’ that if you are a person who is into design, you would be bounce off the walls. Every room has a  breeze of freshness and tastefulness with great pieces of design products. I jumped off the chair when I saw Rietveld designed chairs standing in the room 306, decorated by Norbert Wangen – a designer from Vienna.

With a different theme, different taste from different people, being in The Flushing Meadows’ rooms feels like being in an art showroom. It could be just me but I was so fascinated and felt like I was staying in the room in Bauhaus again.

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Hospitality

Maybe you would always expect to have a good service in hotels so everyone must be friendly. Partly true! However, it is more important that you feel at home and that is what you would find in The Flushing Meadows Hotel. In most hotels, besides the rooms themselves, the space that you normally get is either a formal lounge or a dining area. But it is something you would find differently in Flushing Meadows. When you first enter the hotel, what you see is an open bar. There is no lobby and the space is likely small and the bar has turned into a cosy living-room which is just like a home. There – the couch, the fireplace and a plus with a terrace which has a view of  St. Maximilian Cathedral. Their main objective is to create an atmosphere for travellers to ‘feel themselves at home’.

Just as my observation, staff is more like families to each other. And that creates the home-like feeling! It is great just to sit there for hours and being surrounded by great people. Most people working there that I have met are open and friendly. You could certainly have a chit-chat with them and they could be your ‘temporary friends’ during your stay (well, you never know what that relationship could turn into). DSC_0629

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Creativity

The bar is open for everyone, not only for guests staying at the hotel. In the evening, the bar turns into a great space for everyone to hang out and enjoy some delish drinks. The atmosphere in the evening is not much different from during the day except for having more people. Then, it looks like a house party but in a more classy environment.
Why do I say CREATIVITY? That is what something you are about to find out. The drink menu is fascinating with some cocktails you might have never tried, or you might have but nothing like this. Most cocktails are original but with a touch of creativity and personality. It is best to ask them what you should order because they would make for you the drink fits your taste perfectly.

I got a chance to have a chat with Robin, the Bar Manager, who will turn your drinks into the most delightful experience. He is just in his 20 and and currently managing the bar at The Flushing Meadows. You wouldn’t expect that he is still a student in his Chef’s uniform. He has worked there since the start (September 2014) till now, started as a waiter and now a Bar Manager. With all the knowledge about bar keeping, he has mastered the creation of drinks. Thanks to Robin, I had a pleasant visit at the bar and delight cocktails that I find them as drinks with a touch of science and art.

Robin - Bar's Chef

Robin – Bar’s Chef

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Thai Basil Smash Cocktails


Here are some photos I took during my visit.

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Experience: ☆☆☆☆☆
Concept: ☆☆☆☆☆
Price: ☆☆☆☆

Special thanks to The Flushing Meadows Hotel for a great visit and pleasant experience!

In collaboration with Banditbloggers