An Insider's Guide to the Chicest Places in Munich

Courtesy Dallmayr

From Europe’s most exciting opera house to the best bartender in town, here's what you need to do and see in Munich.

Yasmin and Christian Hemmerle, the designer couple behind their namesake jewelry house, offer up the German city's hidden treasures––from Europe's most exciting opera house to the best bartender in town.

Bayerische Staatsoper

The couple always take visitors to see an opera at this stunning venue dating to the 1600s, which will celebrate renowned music director Kirill Petrenko’s last season this year. “It’s the perfect place to be moved by some of the world’s best Baroque operas,” says Yasmin. May’s repertoire includes groundbreaking productions of Wagner’s early Romantic opera Tannhaüser and Puccini’s Turandot. 

Dallmayr Delicatessen

Once a supplier to the royal court, the family-owned Dallmayr has been the top spot for Bavarian specialties since 1700. From the first floor delicatessen’s 19 departments (coffee, sausages, wine), to the Michelin two-star restaurant and champagne bar upstairs, the gilded space feels like a world unto itself. “Make sure to pick up some sweet mustard and weisswurst,” suggests Christian. 


The Bayerische Staatsoper. Marc Müller/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Spatenhaus an Der Oper

“We celebrated our engagement here on Yasmin’s first visit to Munich,” says Christian of this venerable restaurant on Max-Joseph Platz. The first floor feels like an old Bavarian home, with a menu of traditional dishes like roasted pork with braised apple, red cabbage, and potato dumplings, while upstairs a series of four small, ornate rooms offer fine dining and views of the opera house across the street. “For Bavarian food at its best, order the schnitzel with cucumber salad followed by Kaiserschmarrn, a dessert of pancakes with apples,” says Yasmin. “It’s indulgent but divine.” 

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Mayer’sche Hofkunstanstalt

“The level of craftsmanship in their mosaics is incredible,” says Christian of this 172-year-old stained-glass and mosaic studio. Although the main workshop is closed to the public, objects by the artists can be purchased at Wunderkammer, a new shop in the same building that’s accessible by appointment. Along with restoring historic stained-glass works, the company executes high-profile commissions of public art around the world.

Schatzkammer––Residenz München

“With its endless collection, every time you visit you can discover something new,” says Yasmin about this section of the museum in the former palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Schatzkammer holds over 1,200 pieces of jewelry, gold, enamel, and other precious objects that were acquired by centuries of Bavarian rulers.

Schumann’s Bar

This wood-paneled restaurant and bar by the Hofgarten is manned by perhaps the country’s most famous bartender, Charles Schumann. The 77-year-old, who has modeled for Comme des Garçons and Hugo Boss, is still on-hand most nights to oversee a daily changing menu. “It’s our second home––we are here all the time for coffee, a quick lunch of entrecôte, or drinks,” says Yasmin.


Christian and Yasmin Hemmerle. Courtesy Jens Bruchhaus/Hemmerle

Hemmerle

Despite having begun as a traditional medal maker in 1893, the brand is one of fashion’s most avant-garde and in-demand jewelers. Christian, the great-grandson of one of the founders, runs the company with his Egyptian-born wife, Yasmin, out of an elegant boutique on Maximilianstrasse. Each of their one-of-a-kind pieces, rendered by 22 in-house artisans, uses unexpected materials like anodized aluminum and moonstones and can take up to 500 hours to make.


Portrait of Alexander Sakharoff (1909), by Alexej von Jawlensky, at the Lenbachhau. Courtesy of Lenbachhaus München; Florian Holzherr

Lenbachhaus

Foster + Partners transformed this 19th-century Italianate villa into a modern museum in 2013. And for Yasmin, “the way it articulates the old with the new has been a design inspiration for us.” The couple often stop in to see the large-scale permanent installation by Olafur Eliasson that hangs from the atrium’s ceiling. Lenbachhaus is home to the world’s largest collection of works by artists of Expressionism’s Blaue Reiter movement, including pieces by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. 


The Penthouse Garden Suite at Bayerischer Hof. Benjamin Monn

Bayerischer Hof

While most grande dame hotels in the Bayerischer Hof’s league are all about tradition, Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt’s recent addition of 29 rooms and a penthouse has given the property a stylish edge. “It now reflects a more modern Munich,” says Christian. “His aesthetic is so serene, and he knows how to celebrate the beauty of imperfection.” Instead of a meal at the Michelin three-star Atelier, the designers prefer the Garden, its more casual sibling. “It has a wonderful terrace that still feels calm even when it’s busy,” says Yasmin. Rooms from $408.

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