Munich is the capital of the German Free State of Bavaria and probably, and unjustly, most famous for its annual Oktoberfest celebration. This fascinating city has a lot more to offer than huge beers and huge pretzels though, so check out the city´s beautiful architecture, cultural activities and great nightlife. It's the heartland of traditional Germany and you;ll get a taste of the Deutsch life.
- The Weisswurst, a tasty white sausage, is traditionally eaten before noon, a tradition going back to a time before refrigeration.
- The Hirschgarten is the largest beer garden in town and was founded in 1780. It still is home to deer from which its name is originally derived.
- Munichs native name, “München”, derives from the German word for monks, which is “Mönche”.
- The park “Englisher Garten” near the city centre is larger than New Yorks Central Park.
- The Oktoberfest has been held on the “Theresienwiese” during the last two weeks of September into the first week of October since 1810.
Things to DoThere is a lot to see and do in Munich. Of course, there is the aforementioned Oktoberfest, an important part of Bavarian culture that includes 17 days of beer celebration. The Oktoberfest attracts many tourists each year and is an excellent opportunity to drink and be merry while getting to know the locals and sampling some wonderful authentic German beer and cuisine. Munich in general is a food lovers paradise, with a wealth of culinary delights on offer including Weisswurst, pork roast with dumplings and red cabbage, hot apple strudel with vanilla sauce, and many fine cakes. Munich also has some of the best beer in the world, brewed to the strict German purity laws since the Middle Ages. There are plenty of beer gardens strewn throughout the city, as well as cafes, in which coffee gradually gets replaced by wine and spritzers as the after-work crowd start to trickle in.
Wander through the city and you will notice a stunning mix of architectural styles including Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Contemporary. The city centre area looks pretty much as it did in the 1800s thanks to the high quality restoration of buildings damaged in WWII. The 80 museums in Munich are of an outstanding calibre, even said to rival those in Berlin. The most renowned of these internationally acclaimed museums are located in the Kunstareal in the area Maxvorstadt, including the Alte and Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne. The German Museum is the largest technical museum in the world, and the BMW Museum pays homage to the famous motor car manufacturer.
On the outskirts of the city you can explore Bavaria’s royal past by visiting the Nymphenburg Palace, Blutenburg Castle and the Schleissheim Palace, which also has some wonderful museums and art galleries where you can learn about Bavaria’s royal history. You may also like to pay a visit to the Olympiapark which was the site of the 1972 Olympics. These impressive grounds are a fascinating and beautiful location to explore so try to devote a full morning or even a whole day to it, it will be worth it. The park is particularly popular with the locals and hosts many cultural, social and religious events throughout the year.
If you´re looking to round off your day with some nightlife, you will not be disappointed as Munich has over 6,000 licensed establishments, with the main quarter for student and more bohemian types to hang out being the trendy Schwabing district. A popular area for nightclubs and parties is Haidenhausen, with some of the hippest places these being Kultfabrik & Optimolwerk. Both are former industrial compounds that now host bars, clubs and pubs that are open all year round.