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by Evie Andrews

This article was written by Kenz Meadows, Lead Editor of Squarely Magazine. Squarely is The Square Club’s lifestyle magazine; as a member of Bristol’s Best Co-working space, you are able to pick up a complimentary copy! Find out more here.

Best known for the annual Oktoberfest bacchanal, Munich is a patchwork of old and new. The neon signs for gambling halls above an independent Birkenstock shop, monastic breweries and a world famous Glockenspiel just round the corner from the H&M make knowing where to look a bit of a headspin. But knowing where to go is a much easier task to manage. The rich tradition of monastic brewing and the beerhalls Oktoberfest celebrates are just as delightful an experience without the nearly six million international tourists the festival reliably draws each year.

Of course, the guidebooks will tout the most renowned beer halls like the Hofbrauhaus, that are sure to be on everyone’s list. While the beer halls still largely employ table sharing, seating multiple parties at the same table, walk-ins are not typically something this particular hall accommodates–not even in the off season. So, reserve your steins well in advance.

I spoke with Membership Manager, Pelin Yüksel, at our reciprocal Famtain Club, in the heart of the Altstadt–or Old City. A native to Turkey, she had an outsider’s perspective on Munich and how the club fits in to the city’s social scene. “Munich is very business-oriented — I think people have a hard time turning off and having fun. In response, Famtain focuses on being a social club–presenting opportunities for our members to relax, enjoy themselves, and socialize outside of an office environment.” And if you’re foregoing your office watercooler for social engagement, you could do worse than the Famtain. It drips with lush colours, delicate hand-painted wallpaper and extremely inviting furnishings. I could have easily overstayed my welcome. The restaurant has a revolving menu of seasonally appropriate dishes, offering fusion cuisine with effortless expertise.

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As regards to Oktoberfest, Yüksel is pleased to offer our members all the same access to amenities their own members receive. However, if the beer halls are hard to get into during the off-season, they’re impossible to reserve for the festival. Book now. Better yet, book yesterday. And be sure to reach out to the Famtain Club when you do, it doesn’t hurt to have an in when arranging your own autumnal jaunt.

If, like I did, you feel compelled to brush up on your high school German speaking skills, I would recommend really committing to it. Nearly everyone in the city spoke enough English to reveal my German for the exercise in futility that it is. While plenty of nations embrace and admire tourists making the effort to speak the local language, I did not get the impression this was one. I would absolutely recommend getting out of the city for an afternoon. I took the train out to Hoehenschwangau, grabbing fresh pretzels and bottles of beer at a stop along the way. Watching the countryside roll by you, warm salty baked good in-hand, is enough to make anyone seriously consider a rural Bavarian lifestyle change.

While the castle was impressive, I was disappointed by the tour at Neuschwanstein Schloss. The quark donuts from a stand down the hill from the castle were ample consolation after the expensive English audio tour though. Back in Munich, the museum I enjoyed most was the Alte Pinakothek. The expansive collection was home to more than a few masters even I, a novice in fine art, was surprised to see in person. My highlight from the trip was absolutely the food, but specifically the food purchased off the cornucopia of vendors in the Viktualienmarkt. Don’t miss the pickles. Seriously.