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Things to Do in Munich
Sarah N Walker
Fun things to do in Munich when you are tired of the "Sights".
See an English film
Expats here are spoiled. We have a cinema of our own and several other venues to see films in their original version (OV/OmU). If you are in the mood to see a film, the two URLs below link you to the largest 'Kinos' with English films. Just make sure you sit in the reserved seat on your ticket!! Germans are serious about this and will ask you to move if you are in their spot. even if they arrive 15 minutes late. Avoid the embarrassment and choose your seats at the 'Kasse'. You can check for schedules online or in a newspaper such as the Münchener Merkur, or visit the following websites. Tickets can be reserved on a non-binding basis, but you have to arrive 30 minutes beforehand to pick them up. (See Resources for web links.)
Go swimming at the lovely Volksbad
Take the Tram 18 to Deutsches Museum, S1-8 or Tram 17 to Isartor.
This is a charming public swimming pool, just one of Munich's many high quality Schwimmbäder. Located along the east bank of the Isar, just across the bridge near the Deutsches Museum, the bath is over 100 years old, but well-kept and recently updated with newer showers, changing rooms, and locker security. There are two pools: a smaller warmer one (30 C) and a larger cooler one (27 C). I love to float on my back in the warm pool and admire the sunlight and decorative view above. You can also take advantage of saunas and other 'wellness offerings'. Prices depend on what services you purchase. but for a private changing booth you will pay in total just under 5 euro. If you don't have a swimsuit, you just might find your size (for sale) on the racks in the reception area. There is also an indoor and outdoor café at the pool. It is called STOR, and they serve great pieces of cake and decent coffee-the reward after a nice swim. (See Resources for web links.)
Wave at prostitutes
Locals know that the otherwise nice, commercial Hansa Strasse between the (Mittlerer Ring and Westend Strasse near Heimeranplatz) turns into the place of business for certain (aforementioned) evening service providers. It's different here than in the USA-these ladies can legally solicit customers by parking along the road and in driveways and turning on the fluorescent (pink) tube lamps in their cars. If you drive by (I don't think I would walk), you will probably get a big smile or two. If you find it culturally educational, you can continue west on Hansa/Elsenheimerstr. to Landsbergstr. and take a left. On the right side of the street over the length of a few blocks is a similar arrangement.
Play chess in the park
Just around the building on the grounds behind and east of the Glyptothek is a popular spot for local chess players (mostly older men) to play life-size games. The whole grassy area in Königsplatz (between the two Neo-classical museums) is a great place to soak in the sun and do some people watching.
Try Munich's (reputedly) best ice cream
Nymphenburger 155; U1 to Maillinger Sr. or Rotkreuzplatz
Most locals will cite the family-run Sarcletti's (established in 1921) as the best ice cream maker in Munich. On a hot sunny day (like during the summer of 2003) lines can form far out the building and into the sidewalk. Although some complain that the price per scoop is higher than the average 70 cents here in Munich, I thought my choices of were well worth whatever I might have paid. Rumor says there are over 60 flavors, including green apple, Sachertorte and Carapino (caramel with pine nuts!). Last time I was there I had sesame crunch and it was unforgettably delicious.
Paddle your toosh across the Kleinhesseloher See
Take the U6/U3 to Münchener Freiheit. Head east down Feilitzschstr. towards and then into the park.
You can rent paddle boats here by the hour and people-watch from this man-made lake providing Munich residents with plenty of leisure activities for over two hundred years. There are three little islands, however you are strictly forbidden from getting out of your boat and walking on them. I cannot find information on prices nor hours.
Go ice-skating at Marienhof
This is only a winter option, but if you are bored, rent skates there and enjoy the atmosphere. Around the corner might be the Christkindlmarkt (on Marienplatz, four weeks leading up to Christmas) and next to the rink you can get a nice Glühwein (muddled wine) to warm you up. Don't forget that like everything here, you have to pay a deposit (Pfand) of probably 1 euro for the mug. You will get it back when you return the goods.
If you visit during the month of June, you can pick your own strawberries on many fields along the city's edges. Fields rotate each year, so there are no exact addresses I can provide, but take the normal roads (no Autobahns) and head out into the outskirts-towns to try around are Martinsried, Gräfelfing and Grünwald. Just keep your eyes open for the signs. In April and May you can cut your own flowers and in some places in July you can get blueberries and raspberries. If you don't feel like picking, you can usually purchase freshly picked ones, and buy homemade Limes ("lie-mees"---like Polar Limes, sold in stores).
Dodge wild pigs in Forstenrieder Park
You can walk or ride a bike through this large park in southwest Munich. In the far east side there are supposedly wild pigs that are often visible to visitors. I haven't been that far into the park because I limit myself to the west side, but I plan to at some point, to satisfy my curiosity. According to locals, these animals can be impressively large. If you do go by bike, you can continue south all the way to Lake Starnberg from a road passing through the middle of the park.
Sarah Walker Photo Essays: Photo essays on Munich, Berlin, rural Germany, Bavaria, Austria, Vancouver, New York City.
www.slowphotos.com/photo/showgallery.php?cat=3085: Photos - My Munich, the beautiful city I live in.
www.cinema-muenchen.de: Cinema (located on on Nymphenburger Str. at Stiglmaierplatz/U1)
www.museum-lichtspiele.de: Museum Lichtspiele (just half a block past the Deutsches Museum)
www.swm.de/privatkunden/pages/mbaeder_volksbad.htm: Swimming at Volksbad. Try this website for opening hours, special events and holidays.
© Sarah N Walker, 2004
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