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Test of travel guides about Munich: Dumont direkt München

Dumont direkt München Guide

Dumont direkt München Guide

The tiny Dumont wirht the big plan

Dumont direkt München promises 15 city walks through downtown Munich. Besides, there are also tips for pubs and bars and a few trips across the country. What the mini-guide can offer at a price of € 9.95, and for whom it is suitable, can you read in our review.

München direkt – The main part if the guide
The main part of Dumont direkt are 15 Citywalks. They mainly lead through the inner city of Munich with its main sights (Marienplatz, Frauenkirche, Viktualienmarkt, Maximilianstraße, etc.). Furthermore, they also describe famous sights which are a bit out of the inner city like Castle Nymphenburg, Olympiapark or the district of Schwabing). Well… the citywalks are not really walks with a fixed route but more “district infos” or information of the surroundings of sights. Those are described with a mini-map beneath it (e.g. of the Olympiaparks). The texts are short, concise, and usually not longer than two pages. And as a plus you get shopping and dining tips. The dining tips are a bit pricey.

Some descriptions are a bit short, so the target group of this guide is clear: people who don’t stay long in Munich and / or have limited time and only want to have a general idea.

Even more Munich – The appendix for those who want to see more
Directly after the main part is sort of an appendix called “Noch mehr München – Even more Munich” and three trips to the sourrounding area of Munich (countryside). In this part very popular attractions are described (very short) by category such as parks or museums. And also the three trips (including a trip to the Andechs monastery) fit on one and a half pages. Especially the descriptions of the countryside excursions are very short and you have to make some preparations in advance for not to getting lost, because the directions are only data about how many kilometers or hours you have to travel or walk (e.g.. 4h from Hellabrunn Zoo). But where you have to go exactly you will not even find out in the folded map, which is glued on the last page, showing only the inner city.

Tips for tourists
Like every tourist guide the “Dumont direkt München” has a part about basical infos such as festivals, weather, history, etc.. Those are really nice, because the do not only contain statistical data for the purists, but also backgroundinformation about for example the “Weißwurst” (white sausage), the Föhn (warm wind from the alps) or about the traditional clothing.

There is also a part in this guide about “accomodation- food- shopping- going out”. Here you’ll be given a cross-section about the corresponding scene. One thing which was noticed is the fact, that the part about Bars & Pubs seems to know only two categories: Precius bars like Schumanns & Co. or completely alternative pubs like the “Schwabinger 7”. So the “golden mainstream” is missing.

All of the photos in the book are well done and sometimes offer also cool rough scenes (and not only those summer-sun-happyfeeling-photos). For example an elderly man, cycling through hevavy snow with a frozen mustache.

In the back, there is a folded city map glued to the last page, showing the inner city in detail and some detailed mini maps to other sights like castle Nymphenburg or Olympiapark. Furthermore you can find a map for the S-Bahn. It’s good that the map is glued to the last page, so it can’t get lost. Nevertheless I’m a friend of printed maps (which also could have been done here). Folded maps are somewhat unhandy, beacuse you have to fold it out every time, hoping that there is no wind or rain. Beneath the “citywalks” are mini mpas , but they only show the described area. Tourists who don’t have a feeling about local connections can’t use these mini maps in a bigger context. Luckily there is a map of the old town in the book cover but with less detail.

A wonderful mini-guide for tourists who are visiting Munich only briefly and want to have a look at the “basics”. Really nice is the small size and the beautiful harmonious description of text and corrsponding pictures. Only criticism is the map and the subject of orientation. Sometimes reference is made to tramway and bus to get to a place, but you do not have a full tramway plan (trams are not shown in the S-Bahn plan and appear only on the fold-out map of the downtown area) and bus stops or information about the buses is missing completely. But this is not only a problem of this guide 😉

One Comment

  1. Nice post
    I must provide you with comments and feedback amazing write up. One rarely meets a “walking encyclopedia” such as yourself and it was fascinating to learn about Munich in such a pleasant way. I left Germany in the mid-1990s and there are certainly substantial gaps in my historic knowledge, that call for revision.