Because the Bahnhofsviertel is largely Turkish, you’ll find great Turkish coffee available at many of the small eateries and Turkish cafes in the streets directly south from the Hauptbahnhof. But, just a bit further south nearer to Sendlinger Tor, you’ll find one of Munich’s best brews at Man Vs Machine Coffee Roasters—a sleek and trendy cafe that puts all of its work and energy into making top quality coffee.
The central square in front of Hauptbahnhof station, Karlsplatz Stachus, is one of Munich’s largest and the colonnaded buildings that make the half-moon plaza are certainly beautiful. However, the secret tip is that the U-Bahn station at the same plaza is especially beautiful. The underground shopping mall features a unique ceiling of a seemingly endless array of white bubbles.
The Augustiner-Bürgerheim is one of those classic Bavarian restaurants—a rather plain restaurant serving simple Bavarian dishes alongside the local brew: you can’t go wrong with a stein of Augustiner! Meals are of the typical meat-and-potatoes variety, but don’t let that deter you: the food is delicious and you really can’t miss this kind of authentic German experience when in Munich. It can be loud and boisterous inside, but that’s all part of the kitschy fun.
Just south of Munich’s central train station Hauptbahnhof, the Bahnhofsviertel is actually just a small jungle of streets that are part of the much larger Ludwigsvorstadt borough of Munich. In-the-know locals call the area Bahnhofsviertel or even Little Istanbul. The area, predictably, is heavily populated with Turkish supermarkets, bakeries, cafes and small restaurants and it’s just that international flair which has made the district so popular. Independent venues such as City Kino (an art-house cinema with a beer garden—remember: this is Munich, after all!) and Café Marais (a cafe located in a former haberdashery that still sells furniture and jewellery alongside their top-notch paninis and coffee) keep the area especially unique.
When visiting Little Istanbul, though, it’s, of course, worthwhile to try the local Turkish cuisine. There’s a mix of quick takeaways and small eateries along Goethestraßse, but don’t miss Altın Dilim for its Turkish coffee and baklava. Or, plan to stay for a meal (just make sure to save room for dessert, too!). The Bahnhofsviertel butts up against Munich’s Old City with its picturesque, cobblestoned streets, but at the edge near Sendlinger Tor, you’ll find plenty of cool bars and late-night places for long nights—much more vibrant than the nearby Altstadt (Old Town). Munich’s many gay bars are in the area, such as the tropical-themed Café Nil, but head to Jaded Monkey bar for some of Munich’s best cocktails in a classic setting.
Or, for something a bit more divey, plan to spend a long night at X-Cess Bar in the Bahnhofsviertel—a somewhat trashy and kitschy bar with a lively and fun vibe. You never know what might happen when at X-Cess whether you suddenly become the DJ for the night or you end up dancing on a table, it’s just good casual fun.