Munich is much more than BMWs, beer and sexy accents (although those elements are still important and present). Munich is a city of style, which can be seen in the funky, chic streets of Haidhousen. It is also a city of high culture, as evidenced by the Deutsches Museum, and a city of history, which shows itself in so many locations, most notably in the medieval Isartor City Gate.
On top of all that, Munich has a hell of a nightlife that almost makes Berlin hang its head in shame. It is an adult playground of pure decadence. Excellent beer and nightlife are teemed with rich food and a constant flow of tourists and locals alike, all revelling in the beauty of this vibrant and picturesque city.
Munich will have you exploring the most magnificent specimens of historical Bavarian architecture and enriching museums by day and then trawling the streets for a post-clubbing Bratwurst by night.
By the way, you haven’t experienced Oktoberfest until you do it in Munich. We’re talking PARTY CENTRAL, with all the busty wenches, messy tourists and drinking games your liver can handle.
Munich’s Top 10
10. Viktualienmarkt A popular, touristy market that’ll see you doling out the cash on everything from gourmet produce to souvenirs.
5. Hofbräuhaus This brewery is what beer dreams are made of. Come sober and leave… not so sober.
9. Residenz A castle filled with the jewellery, art and furniture of Bavarian royals. Fancy stuff.
4. Frauenkirche This Catholic cathedral is the biggest in the city and gives you an incredible view all the way to the Bavarian Alps.
8. Kaufingerstraße Probably the richest strip in Munich. Peer into Prada and gasp at Gucci while the plethora of BMWs and Mercs cruise by.
3. Englischer Garten A massive park that will keep you occupied for a day and then some. You can even go surfing on the River Eisbach. No joke.
7. Tierpark Hellabrunn Munich’s zoo is fun for everyone, young and old.
2. Oktoberfest Does this really need explaining?
6. Münchner Stadtmuseum Take a tour through the city’s history and then make your way over to the musical instrument and puppetry sections.
1. Marienplatz The central square of the city is home to dozens of sights as well as great places to eat and drink.
- New Town Hall – With its gothic-style facade and huge tower, it is a striking piece of architecture with an incredible clock.
- Old Town Hall – Has been in its position for more than 800 years.
- Isartor – The most easterly of Munich's three surviving gates that used to form part of surrounding walls of the city dating back to the 14th century.
- Peterskirche – The oldest church in Munich and full of historical legends.
- Munich Residenz – Former royal palace turned 600-year-old museum.
Munich Art & Culture
- Hofbräuhaus – A world-famous beer hall right in the heart of the city.
- Munich Bavaria-Filmstadt – Amongst the largest TV and film studio complexes in all of Europe.
- Marienplatz – A bustling public square full of cultural delights.
- Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady – The largest church in Munich, with twin towers that dominate the city skyline.
- Alte Pinakothek – Home to more than 800 European masterpieces and one of the world's oldest art galleries.
- Maximillianstrasse – A glamorous shopping street running right through the heart of the city.
- Viktualienmarkt – Traditional-style market offering a wide range of both local and exotic produce.
- Loden Frey – The specialist department store that customers flock to from far and wide to pick up top-quality gear.
- Ingolstadt Village – Just out of town but housing internationally famed brands and labels in more than 100 boutiques.
- Fünf Höfe – A modern arcade packed with stores of diverse products that you must see.
Gay & Lesbian Munich
- Gaertnerplatz – The main area for the Munich gay and lesbian scene, full of trendy bars, shops and restaurants.
- M54 – A popular gay sauna, which is a great place to meet friends new and old.
- Camp – A gay club and the sole men-only establishment in the city.
- Bau – A popular place to hang out.
- Cafe Glück – Geared toward both gays and lesbians, but is usually populated mainly by females.
- Olympic Tower – Its revolving restaurant at the top offers truly spectacular views.
- Munich Zoo – A wonderful day out for children and adults alike.
- Olympic Park – A popular leisure area with an abundance of recreational facilities.
- English Garden – A large public park right in the centre of Munich.
- Starnberg Lake – Just 20 minutes from the centre of Munich is a huge expanse of water presenting a great day out right on the doorstep.
- Allianz Arena is a truly staggering development with the stadium changing colour to match whoever plays.
- EHC Munich is the local hockey team based at the Olympic Ice Rink.
- The BMW International Open is a major golfing event that attracts an international field of players to the Munich Eichenried Club.
- The DAV climbing centre is Europe’s largest indoor and outdoor climbing facility.
- Nordic walking is a very popular pastime.
Munich LocalCity Centre
The city’s hub offers countless things to see and do. Start by checking out the touristy goodness of the Marienplatz, including the Glockenspiel with it’s jolly, dancing clockwork characters and the golden shimmer of the Mariensäule. Next, make your way to some of the most ornate churches in the city, including the Asamkirche and Frauenkirche. Once you’re done witnessing the spectacular architecture, hit up the Residenz for a dose of royalty and then end with a visit to the Deutsches Museum, one of the best scientific museums in the world.
This tranquil area is not as tourist-heavy but still provides some gems. Neuhausen is home to the world’s biggest beer garden, Königlicher Hirschgarten, so why not start your day with a beer breakfast? Hey, you’re on holiday.
Next on the menu should be the gardens of the biggest Baroque palace in Germany, Schloss Nymphenburg. While you can head into the palace itself, there aren’t many rooms available to visitors so the beautiful gardens are the best place to explore. Next to the gardens you’ll find the Museum Mensch und Natur, a smallish museum packed with modern exhibits.
If you’re after some cute souvenirs for Mum, try the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory close to the palace. It offers beautifully crafted porcelain goods.
This is the district for the young and hip. The main streets are packed with bars, clubs, game halls, stylish stores, restaurants, cafes, cinemas and a bunch of other entertaining spots. The areas of Ostbahnhof and the famous Kultfabrik are the places to go if you need a good club. But if restaurants, cafes and low-key bars are more your thing, head to Optimolwerke. Classical music toot your horn? The Gasteig will make you happy.
This trendy neighbourhood will see to all your hipster shopping needs thanks to the nearby university and all those annoyingly cool kids. There are also a bunch of cute little coffee shops and higher-end stores, too. For a more relaxing day, get to the Englischer Garten, a beautiful garden that’s nearly twice the size of Central Park (woah!) and filled with walking trails, flourishing greenery and, of course, a beer garden called Chinesischer Turm. Those crazy Germans love their beer!
Munich Eat & Drink
Acquarello A big ol’ mural of the Italian countryside on the main wall goes perfectly with a purely Italian menu. They also do cooking classes.
Tantris This place has five dining areas, but the main one is dark and sexy. Enjoy refined Euro cuisine and then grab a cocktail at the elegant bar.
Baby! This bar/lounge/club is great for a chill, a drink and a dance. Expect plenty of house and electro beats into the early hours.
Geisel’s Vinothek Conveniently located next to the Train Station wine lovers will adore the mind-boggling selection of wines at this rustically chic restaurant serving Mediterranean eats.
Schumann’s American Bar The rich and famous often come here for an expensive cocktail (or 10) and a bevy of shenanigans. Visit the icon now and make your friends jealous later. The waiter with slicked-back grey hair is Charlie Schumann himself.
Königlicher Hirschgarten This is part restaurant and part MAMMOTH beer garden that can accommodate over 8000 bums. Enjoy Bavarian tunes while you down a few too many beers. Hirchsgarten
Boettner’s Decked out in Euro-classic furnishings (and some cool wall sculptures) and serving up modernised Bavarian eats, it’s a winner! Pfisterstraße
A sleek, sexy and slightly pretentious club that hosts big DJs and some of the hottest babes in Munich. Singles, this is your ultimate playground. Paris Hilton digs it, but we’re not sure if that’s a recommendation or not.
Waldwirtschaft Coolest name ever. Hit up this 2500-seat beer garden if you want a celeb sighting along with your beer and bratwurst.
Café Glockenspiel This renowned café set right on Marienplatz serves great coffee, pastries and light lunches. It gets really packed so head in early. City Centre
Munich, the capital city of the Bavarian region of Germany, is situated on the Isar River. Located north of the Bavarian Alps, this city is the third largest in Germany and is home to many exciting attractions. It has a long, rich history overflowing with culture and art that can't be missed when visiting Bavaria.
- Bavarian State Opera
- Neue Pinakothek
- See the Greek Temple in the Englischer Garten
- Tour the magnificent Residenz Munchen (Munich Residence)
- Visit the Munchener Tierpark Hellabrunn (Munich Zoo)
As Munich is close to the Alps, the climate is considered to be continental. The city experiences a great deal of precipitation due to its high altitude. Winters are quite chilly and last from December through March; summers are a great time to visit with comfortable temperatures of about 73°F (23°C).
Stadtgründungsfest celebrates the founding of Munich back in the 12th Century and is a fun-filled day of parades, music and dance, markets and a helluva lot of beer and sausages. 18-19 June.
Tickle your funny bone at the Munich Comic Festival in late-June (it’s a biennial event so make sure you check first). The Künstlerhaus am Lenbachplatz hosts exhibitions, as well as a stack of comedians who’ll be sure to have you slappin’ your thighs.
Late-June to mid-July welcomes the Tollwood Summer Festival, a fiesta that brings a bunch of musical performances from all different genres, cabaret, circus and dance to open-air stages and tents in Olympic Park. Come along to see some big international names, as well as smaller, lesser-known artists.
Bring out the feather boas and rainbow flags for Munich’s Christopher Street Day each July. This two-day party is all about fighting for the gay rights and equality and is always a fun and rowdy affair. Both native and international musicians and DJs keep the party going.
Oktoberfest in early October is the biggest festival in the city. Each of the major breweries has their own tent filled with beer (duh), entertainment, hot barmaids, food and hoards of (mostly) happy drunks.
When To Go
- Avoid Munich’s summer and its winter for their extreme temperatures and head over in spring (May and June) and autumn. September and October are great for pleasant weather and the famous Oktoberfest.
- Winter average: -4°C (25°F)
- Spring average: 15°C (59°F)
- Summer average: 29°C (84°F)
- Autumn average: 9°C (48°F)
What To Miss
Avoid getting too messy as a result of an over-enthusiastic sampling of the city’s beery delights. Chase with a glass of water and you should be on the right track!
The stations in the city are often refuges for homeless people and petty thieves, so keep your eyes peeled for shifty characters and try not to act too much like a clueless tourist.
Getting There & Around
The Franz Josef Strauss International Airport is easily accessed by suburban train lines, trams and buses. There are also taxis and hired cars that can be used to reach the airport and city, as well as surrounding areas.
When traversing Munich, visitors will find the city to be pedestrian friendly, especially in the downtown area. Cycling is also suggested as an alternative to motorized transport since the city has safe, well-marked bike lanes.
Postcard-perfect Munich is a cosmopolitan city of 1.3 million people. Second to Berlin in tourist allure, the famous Biergarten capital is a vibrant university town that unites the folksy charm of old Bavaria with the Autobahn pace of modern Germany.
Munich has enough history per square block to exhaust the most dynamic tourists. As a foremost hub of culture in Europe, with more museums and festivals than most, even the most cursory of visits to Munich can load the itinerary. Set amid the beautiful confines of Upper Bavaria, the Alps, and the rivers Isar and Würm, the city is a complete destination.
The Marienplatz has been the central square of Munich since 1158, a fine destination to glean a vivid grasp of the city and take in some fine attractions. Among the most important are the Old and New City Hall, Church of St. Peter and a popular pedestrian retail and restaurant zone.
The Frauenkirche, the principal city church, was built between 1468 and 1494, with several renovations since. The massive cathedral can hold 20,000 and contains many prominent works of art and royal tombs.
The Isartor City Gate is one of the most historic landmarks in Munich. The large stone wall dates back to the 14th century.
The Baroque and Renaissance Justice Palace is impossible to ignore. The marvellous court house dwarfs most landmarks in Munich and offers a great visitors tour.
Nymphenburg Palace, from a purely architectural standpoint, is by far the most impressive attraction in Munich. With treasures too numerous to name, from period furniture to art and sculpture, the grand palace sits on a lake and beautiful tract of parkland.
Munich is a remarkable museum city, with the Deutsches Museum at the very heart. The foremost science and technology museum in the world is on a small island on the Isar.
The party in Munich begins with Oktoberfest. The celebration of German beer and folklore takes place over 16 days in September and October, with crowds in excess of 6 million for the annual event.
The Munich Carnival features weeks of parades, music and general revelry in anticipation of Ash Wednesday.
The Spring Festival is the emphatic annual break from winter, with a market and fair on the Theresienwiese.
Held every other May, the biennial Opera Festival is one of the paramount celebrations of classical music in Europe.
The Winter Tollwood Festival warms the citizenry of Munich in cold December, with a slew of festive affairs on Olympia Park.
More Info On Climate
While most guides cite spring and fall as the best seasons to visit Munich, the stark truth is that if you can take a little winter cold and summer heat, any time of year is ideal.
- Winter (November to February) -5-6°C
- Spring (March to April) 0-13°C
- Summer (May to August) 7-23°C
- Fall (September to October) 4-19°C
More Info On Getting Around
The MVV system is one of the best ways to get around the city with buses, trams, the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn for all your travel needs. Buy a multi-ticket to get more bang for your buck.
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