For Thomas G. Jefferson, affectionately called T.J., Munich feels like home. Fluent in German and familiar with the social and cultural intricacies of Bavaria (the southernmost state of Germany, of which Munich is the capital), Jefferson is focused on his international assignment in this city of 1.2 million as a market manager for Rolls-Royce.
Munich, compared to the rest of Germany, “is more laid-back, more diverse, and more cosmopolitan,” says Jefferson. Its location-situated at the foot of the Austrian Alps with the Isar River running through the center of the city-contributes to “a high quality of life.” Hiking, biking, and golf are favorite pastimes during the summer, and Jefferson has become an avid snowboarder in the winter. “Bavarians are more independent and free-spirited. They work hard, but they really enjoy their free time.”
Jefferson says language was his biggest hurdle when he first arrived. He has since mastered the language and found the people very accepting in social and professional exchanges.
Automotive, chemicals, and technology are strong industries in Germany. Munich is the world headquarters for BMW Group and the electrical equipment manufacturer Siemens AG.
Five hours north of Venice, east of Zurich, west of Vienna and south of Prague, Munich is perfectly situated to see the best of Western Europe. Jefferson chauffeurs us through some city attractions.
AROUND TOWN : MUNICH
- Bayerischer Hof (Promenadeplatz 2-6, www.bay erischerhof.de) “is tastefully fitted with French and English furniture and boasts high-end shops, a theater, a jazz club, and a rooftop swimming pool/sauna. Marble, antiques, and oil paintings line the walls.” There are three celebrated restaurants and a roof garden available for dining.
- Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski (Maximilianstrasse 17, www.kempinski-vierjahreszeiten.de) “This hotel has presidential apartments where royalty and heads of state have slept. Its rooms are decorated in 1970s style and are appointed in tasteful individuality. Its restaurant is one of the best in the city. The suites are palatial and [there is an] elegant rooftop pool.”
- Mandarin Oriental (Neuturmstrasse 1, www.man darinoriental.com) “The interior of this Neo-Renaissance building is considered to be one of the finest in Germany. The elegantly styled rooms feature works of art and the hotel’s service is polite. The first thing you notice in this gorgeously restored villa is its ceremonial staircases; the next is its high-powered clientele.”
Kafer Schanke (Prinzregentenstrasse 73) is one of the city’s most famous and celebrated delicatessens where traditional Bavarian dishes are served.
- Snowboarding & skiing “There are countless mountains within a two- to four-hour drive from the city. Well-known resorts include the Kitzbuhel, St. Anton/Lech, and St. Moritz. It is also possible to ski at smaller Bavarian mountains less than an hour from downtown.”
- Hiking & sailing “Munich is surrounded by numerous lakes: Starnberger See, Ammersee, Tegernsee, and Chiemsee. Each beautiful lake has panoramic views and is frequented by hikers and sailboats all summer long. It is very easy to escape the city, embark on a day trip, and feel like you’re in another world in 45 minutes.”
The euro is the currency used throughout Germany. At the time of publication one euro