Munster is half of the twin cities called Munster-Osnabruck, in the north of Germany. I like it because it is peaceful and less crowded; and of course, the bicycles!
I am told that there are over 100,000 bicycles in Munster, which means every citizen has at least two! Though the place has taxis and buses, cycles are the best way to get around, and the best way to relax after a hectic day. Munster is a historical city and there’s a lot to see: Many old churches like St. Paul’s, built in the 13th century; the astronomical clock (1540), the palace (1767), the botanical garden (1802), the famous town hall in the market, and of course, the famous Munster University (1780) and its Bible Museum. And guess what? All you need to go around these places is a cycle!
I love to cycle in Munster because of the flat landscape; I have pedalled over 12 miles at a time and never felt tired or bored. It isn’t difficult to park them; there are many parking places, very secure, covered as well as open air. One caveat. There’s a popular saying in Munster: “Either it rains or the church bell rings. If both occur at the same time, it’s Sunday!”
Munster has a number of good quality hotels but business travellers tend to pick Movenpick, a four-star just 15 minutes walk from the historic city centre. However, I have been staying in Eichenhof, a small family-run hotel around 10 minutes drive from the airport, for many years. They take good care of you.
Although it is a small city, Munster is blessed with a variety of restaurants, American, European, Asian, even Indian. Two of my favourites are Fischbrathalle and Schlaunstrasse, ethnic German restaurants that serve wonderful German cuisine, especially fish preparations, with nice salmon and tuna. For Chinese, Hong Bin II is popular. New Corvo serves moderately good Indian food.
There are quite a few night clubs and bars. Try the Alex, a five-star night club in the middle of Munster. I like it because it is not as noisy as others.
There are many shopping arcades, but my favourite is Konigs Passage in the downtown area, where you can find everything — a hair cut, theatre, fashion outlets, whatever. They are a bit expensive but some of the big brands have a lot of sales around Christmas and New Year where one can get value for money. (Co-ordinated by Prince Mathews Thomas)
(This story appears in the 25 September, 2009 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)