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Trip 2007: Munich

Radler and Dark Radler

The very first thing we decided during planning is destination, which is Prague. Then next thing we figured out is the flights. We figured we can be a little flexible on the dates (that was 4 months ahead) and we knew it should be open-jaw ticket (no point going full cycle back to Prague) and we also know we would be going west (Prague is enough Eastern Europe experience for us the first time.) Soon it became clear that Munich would be a good final destination, about the right distance from Prague with Austria in between. And then we switched it around, landing Munich first and having Prague as final destination, mainly because there is more direct flights from Toronto to Munich (I would hate to miss connecting flights at the beginning of the trip; not so much for coming back home.) Even though we didn’t choose to visit Munich until we bought air tickets, I think we enjoyed the time there better than Salzburg or Vienna.

Unlike most other places we visited, we stayed in a hotel that is in a suburb of a big city. The hotel is actually in a business office park, with people driving to work or taking the bus; so it feels very much like North America. To get there from the airport, we figured it would be best to take airport express train to a station close to the hotel, and then take a short taxi ride. It worked out very well, even though there were only a handful of people in the small station we got off. Language wasn’t a huge issue, as a lot of people there know some English. Being in a business park, the hotel is designed mainly for business people, but it was quite new and we got a good rate. The only issue is to get to city center; it requires a 20 min bus ride, and then about 10 min subway. All in all, it wasn’t too bad, and I would recommend this hotel, but only if they offer this good rate again.

Munich is where we had our only fine dining of the whole trip. It kinda happened by mistake; the book suggests a cafe that is on ground level of a department store, but the department store was actually closed by the time we got there, and only the restaurant upstairs was open. I knew even the cafe was supposed to be a little more expensive, and so when I took a quick glance of the restaurant menu, the price didn’t jump out at me like it should. So we proceeded to get our table, and then of course by then it was too late to turn back. We figured we might as well enjoy the meal, got some wine, and ordered full 3 courses dinner. The restaurant was quite nice, this being fine dining after all. The food was good, but we all agreed desserts were outstanding. In the end, after paying the bill, we knew we could not afford another fine dining in this trip. Hence we ended up mostly looking for cheap eateries, just to keep it closer to our budget. Here is the list of places we visited in Munich:

  • HofbrÀuhaus am Platzl (Beer Hall, reviewed in all books) – one book says it’s the world’s most famous beer hall. It is a huge beer hall, with tons of people (both locals and tourists), and a brass band playing music; a real festival atmosphere. Of course beer was good, and they serve some inexpensive food, like pork knuckle.
  • Restaurant Dallmayr (Continental, reviewed in Frommers) – this is where we had the fancy dinner. I think Frommers is mistaken to state two $$ for the price.
  • Sushi & Soul (Japanese, reviewed in Frommers) – cool looking place, and we got a good deal for early-bird dinner. Food was ok, except everything seemed salty, including sushi rice itself. Maybe that’s how the locals like it.

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