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Munich Travel Guide

Munich Travel Guide

Munich is a city unlike any other in Germany and is the heart of Bavarian Gemutlichkeit, the joy to be found in companionship. This beguiling city is also home to enough cultural and historical attractions to captivate even the most experienced of travellers:

'We're here for the beer!' could well be the motto of those who holiday in Munich, a perennial favourite with tourists, which hosts the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival every year. There are many more reasons to travel to Munich, however, besides sampling its renowned brews and enjoying its friendly beer halls, oompah bands and buxom barmaids. The nightlife in Munich will delight but it isn't all this historic city has going for it.

The Bavarian city epitomises traditional charm, in some respects to excess, and there is a lot of old-fashioned hospitality going around. But there is also a sophisticated side to Munich, which has numerous impressive museums and art galleries as well as designer stores and top graded restaurants. The city boasts some breathtaking historic architecture and has no shortage of delights for culture vultures and those who enjoy traditional sightseeing. Those who like to buy their way through new cities will also be very happy with the shopping in Munich.

Best time to visit Munich

The busiest time for travel to Munich is during late September for the beer festival, which attracts about six million people every year, but weather-wise the peak tourist season is summer (June to August), when temperatures are warm and mild, though there are frequent thunderstorms. Winters are cold and snowy. The city's proximity to the Alps makes the weather rather unpredictable. Read more on Munich's Climate and Weather.

What to see in Munich

-Visit the impressive Alte Pinakothek Gallery to see the work of the old masters.

-See the hall of beauties and stroll the lovely grounds of the Nymphenburg Palace.

-Test your knowledge of science and technology at the Deutsches Museum.

-Admire the historic buildings of the Marienplatz.

What to do in Munich

-Enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant at Munich's Olympic Park.

-Take a sobering tour of the Dachau Memorial Site, the first Nazi 'death camp'.

-Arrange an excursion to the charming alpine village of Berchtesgaden.

-Explore the beautiful scenery and picturesque towns of the Romantic Road.

Beyond Munich

Munich is a great base for exploring the Bavarian Alps, a paradise for hikers, climbers and skiers. Resorts like Garmisch-Partenkirchen are extremely popular with winter sports enthusiasts, and the striking scenery of lake-side villages like Chiemsee attracts many visitors. Munich is also a doorway to the Romantic Road, which winds past fairytale villages and castles up to Frankfurt. Stuttgart, which has numerous attractions of its own, is also close to Munich.

Getting there

The Munich International Airport is situated 18 miles (29km) northeast of the centre of Munich, and frequent commuter trains service the airport. Get more information on Airports in Munich.

Did you know?

-80 percent of Munich's old town centre was destroyed during the war, but much of it has been lovingly restored.

-Munich was founded in 1158 on the lucrative trade route for salt.

-Munich consistently tops opinion polls on the best places to live in Germany.


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Munich silhouetted by the Alps © German Tourist Board

The Bavarian city of Munich, centre of southern Germany, is one of the country's favourite tourist destinations, offering a unique combination of modern flair and traditional charm, all mixed together with a heavy helping of Gemutlichkeit, the special German term for hearty, happy, healthy togetherness.

Traditionally the city, famous for its breweries and beer halls, conjures up images of jolly red-cheeked men in lederhosen downing steins of beer served by buxom, blonde waitresses. There is plenty of this fun to be had, but Munich and the Bavarian region has plenty more to recommend it to visitors than the excellent beer. The city has numerous great museums, art treasures, hi-tech industries and gems of Gothic and Baroque architecture. It is also the gateway to the Bavarian Alps, drawing winter sports enthusiasts from near and far.

Munich itself was founded in 1158 on the River Isar, and acquired its name, Munchen (home of the monks) from its first monastery. It was the monks that started the beer brewing tradition for which the city is now world famous, particularly since it started celebrating an annual beer festival in 1810. Today close on six million people visit the Oktoberfest every year, and consume more than five and a half million litres of beer during its two-week run.

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