Welcome back to the latest #ExperienceOfTheWeek series. This week, we’ve had a very special guest – Paul Riedel, a Munich based Brazilian-German author who also happens to work as a certified tour guide across the Bavarian region, Germany. If you want to learn something more about travel from the artistic point of view, follow Paul’s story in our recent interview below.
Q1: Hi Paul, how are you doing?
Hi there! Perfect as ever!
Q2: Tell us more about you and your Art Tours. Where did the idea come from?
I’d been doing city and museum tours for over 30 years and since 2010 I rearranged my program. Having a focus on the arts gives the visitors a better overview of what they are visiting. In some cases, people go on a tour expecting to hear about some theme and get deceived, because of the delivered perspective. Analyzing from the art point of view, this is easier to follow and make visitors also easier to remember what they experienced.
Q3: You’re based in Munich, which is a very popular destination, especially in autumn. I bet there are dozens of things to show to fellow travelers. How do you combine art with your tours around the city?
We should have now Oktoberfest, but skipping a year is not bad. Let me tell you about Third Reich and the Art and Artists involved in it. If you hear about many (self-named) generals, ober-this-and-that, in the end, you will probably not remember even Hitler’s name.
In my tours, I go for what people in this era lived. We talk about the movies from Leni Riefenstahl, the camera perspectives. We speak about Heinrich Hoffmann and his camera. How it was possible to photograph and the concept of marketing used by the nazi party. Art and beer? Yes, rich families can spend money on artists and many lived from this money. This you may hear in my tours and I promise you nobody forgets the storytelling.
Q4: Apart from private tours and experiences, you also do art yourself. Do you create customized paintings for your clients?
Yes, and in some cases, people ask me for a birthday or wedding painting based on the event. My paintings are over the world. Some of the delivered paintings from this year are in California, Alabama, Lion in France, and Brussels.
Q5: Do you offer tours also outside Munich?
I offer day trips to cities around Nuremberg, Regensburg, Augsburg, or Salzburg, where I sing songs from The Sound of Music. I’m far from the range of Julie Andrews, but even close friends from her were on my tours and joined me in some songs.
Q6: Today, many travelers create their itineraries on their own, especially if they travel to world-known cities such as Munich. What are the 3 must-visit stops in the city that you’d recommend to the fellow travelers?
Marienplatz with the famous Glockenspiel is a must. Odeonsplatz has many occasions that this was a central part of the regional history and the many castles from King Ludwig II. People normally visit Neuschwanstein, but I personally prefer to visit the castle where he grew up Nymphenburg and Hohenschwangau. Those castles are almost unknown and so people can delight more the castle instead of being hushed through corridors.
Q7: The travel industry is in uncharted waters right now but we all hope travel will rebound soon. What does the situation in Munich look like right now? How was your summer season this year?
I’m one of the few lucky guides with a good client network, but the new ones had almost zero guests. Some companies even closed some tours, others just closed completely announcing that they will be back in April. Attractions like Eagle’s Nest are completely closed and the castles like Neuschwanstein (the Disney inspiration) are reduced to one-third of the normal audience.
Q8: Last but not least, do you have any secret spot around the city that you’d take your friends to see or experience? Tips from a true local are always worth it 🙂
I have two special tours. One drawing the monuments in the city and the other is a foto-safari. On those tours, I avoid the main spots and bring people to enjoy the city like locals and spend more time understanding the local culture. The foto safari is in the castle Nymphenburg, where the finest porcelain from Bavaria is produced and our actual Duke lives.
Book some of the most popular experiences by Paul Riedel here:
Munich Art and Culture – The beginning
Paul’s Private Tour in Munich old City
Paul’s Bavarian Beer and Food Event
From Munich: Castle Neuschwanstein by train with a small group
Paul’s Private Tour in the Alte Pinakothek Munich