Visiting Munich – Some tips and links for photographers

UndergroundI have gathered together information that I think will help photographers visiting Munich. The main aim being to make your visit more enjoyable, productive, safer and cheaper.


Travelling around

First and foremost the public transport (MVV) is super, efficient and cheap. Some think it is expensive, but renting a car and paying parking is far more expensive and time-consuming.

MVV Plan for local trains (S-Bahn) and underground (U-Bahn) – I suggest you download this to your phone/tablet, or print it.

Which ticket to buy, how it works and the like can be a little daunting. I will expand this section once I have “pictures” of the machines and tickets so I can explain.


Toilets/Restrooms

At the railway stations the toilets are often “pay as you go” 🙂 so to speak. There are other options.

Department stores almost always have customer toilets, although you will be “badgered” by cleaners looking for “change”. I suggest Karstadt, Kaufhof Galleria, Oberpollinger.

In addition Hospitals provide toilets to visitors. There is a major hospital near Sendlingertor (to the west along Lindwurmstr). These are both free and disability and limited mobility friendly!!!

Also restaurants have free toilets, but if you are not a patron expect to be charged. Sometimes you will need a key or a token to use the toilet. This is especially annoying for disabled or limited mobility people as they can’t go directly, where they NEED to go… 🙂


Food and Drink

There are several aspects that make or break the watering hole of choice…

  1. Good Prices
  2. Smoking place (Important for me)
  3. Quiet for picture review/email or backups
  4. WLAN
  5. Clean

I have done my best to give you my “suitability” for each with the numbers in brackets where I think its ok.

Great places – Centre of town.

Karstadt, between Main Station & Stachus/Karlsplatz (1, 3, 5)

The restaurant on the top floor of the department store Karstadt near the main station is clean, easy access, has good prices and has plenty of space. There is a bar for beer and other alcohol, the restaurant has Asian, Mediterranean, Bavarian, Salads and many other different foods. Coffee, Ice-cream and cakes also makes it suitable as a place to take a short break too.

Coffee fellows, between Main Station & Stachus/Karlsplatz (1, 3, 4, 5)

This coffee house is like a basic cafe downstairs, but upstairs they have a variety of different seating arrangements from lounge chairs with coffee table, through to desk with more upright chairs. Internet and this environment is suitable and used by the digital savvy to email, surf or work. Just as appropriate for photographers to scan through the pictures or planning the next place to visit.

Nordsee, between Main Station & Stachus/Karlsplatz (1,5)

A sit in “canteen” with take away window. Specialising in fish, including fish burgers an the like.

Hugendubel, Bookshop at Stachus/Karlsplatz (1,2,3,5)

Hugendubel is a wonderful bookshop. It ended up being my source of entertainment for the first few years before I could communicate or understand German, they sell English Novels. That aside, they have a little coffee area on the ground floor with a small (4-5 tables) courtyard nestled in the middle of the building. This is quiet and secluded. Great to take a load of the feet and review the images in peace.

I will add more as time goes on.

Places I AVOID!

Guglhupf, near Marienplatz. The toilets are very smelly! (Fails #4 and 5)


Shops

Monday to Saturday most of the main shops are open from 9am through to 8pm. There are some exceptions both with stores and also on certain days. However the larger department stores will normally be open at these times.

To see the logos to identify them in the street click company name and their site will load in a new window.

Toiletries: DM, Rossmann or Müller

Clothes Cheap: C&A, H&M, (KIK, AWG tend to be outside the main towns in out of town shopping areas and villages.)

Clothes Quality: Karstadt, Kaufhof, Oberpollinger

Shopping for Camera Gear, replacement parts or photography theme

BOOKS:

there is an Oxfam bookshop near Marienplatz which often has second-hand Photography books at good prices. Some in English. I did a video on this some time ago. But I don’t buy a book and go to Guglhupf as I did before because of the toilets…

Memory Cards, Batteries etc., :

There are cheap electrical stores in Munich. Saturn, Media Markt and Conrad. Whilst they are sometimes cheaper they have each disappointed me in the past. I still use them occasionally, but I prefer the “pro” shop SAUTER.


SAUTER

SAUTER is special. No, I’ll try again. Sauter is Very Special! This is the photographers dream store.

Munich would be missing something without Sauter. The people there are “service” through and through, their knowledge is great and the selection is the best I have found. Prices “CAN” be a little more than other places, but small and justified insofar as the selection, skill and availability is not matched elsewhere.

Service Experience

A little experience to put it in context. For company work we bought a Nikon D610 and the 35mm f 1.8 new. When I went in to collect it I had told the sales person I wanted to “try it” that day. He checked it over, and pre-charged the battery overnight for me to use the next day. I was up and running the moment I left the shop. In addition he guided to the SD card that was enough and not one that could do more than the camera could make use of. The SD card issue alone saved me more than going to a “cheap” alternative.

Second Hand Magic

Sauter also has my “dream” window and cabinet. Sauter sells secondhand gear. Cameras, Lenses, Tripods etc etc., Including my passion, Nikkor AIS manual lenses from the 80’s and older.  This is where I picked up Nikkor 50mm f1.8 €99, Nikkor 28mm f3.5 €99, Nikkor-Q converted 135mm f3.5 €49 and more…

They have secondhand Nikon, Canon, Leica, Panasonic, Sony and more. Digital and Analogue, 35mm and Medium format from Mamiya, Hasselblad etc. They also sell FILM and PROCESS IN HOUSE…! Not sure of the turnaround times for film, I will check next time I go in and update here.

Street Photography & other Workshops

I’m not really into workshops, but others are. Sauter also runs workshops, but they are in German. They even have street photography workshops running around Munich.

Opening times: 10 am – 7.15 pm Monday to Saturday.


I hope that this gives you a good start to get the best out of your visit to Munich. If anyone has specific questions that I have not covered, if I have the time I will be glad to answer and include in later revisions.

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