Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar and North of the Bavarian Alps, this is a city packed full of culture.
Munich is the third largest city in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg, with a population of 6 million calling it home.
Well known for its Oktoberfest, great food and varied culture, Munich is as a great choice of weekend city break as it is if you are looking for a week packed full of fun and sightseeing.
The city is home to some incredible Bavarian architecture, stunning manicured gardens and a host of museums.
Wander down Marienplatz, Munich’s main shopping street enjoyed by the city’s travellers and residents alike and at Christmas time take in the twinkling fairy lights and festive displays. You’ll also find that Munich is a beer drinker’s paradise with plenty of beer gardens offering cold Steiners to enjoy in the ambience of the city’s famous beer gardens.
For the foodies, try some sumptuous Bavarian delicacies (hello Weißwurst!) or considering the Maxvorstadt neighbourhood, home to some excellent fine dining options.
Things to do in Munich
Munich is a city that can often be forgotten when thinking about visiting Europe, but as you can see, is a hive of activity that really does have something to offer everyone.
Oktoberfest and the Beer Halls
Oktoberfest and the traditional Bavarian Beer Halls and gardens are an integral part of Munichs culture. If travel timings allow, make sure you visit the Incredible Ocktoberfest festival, dating back to 1810 which is held each year towards the end of September and beginning of October.
The event now attracts 6 million people and lasts for 5 days. It’s not just beer you will find here, you will discover fairground rides, traditional bands and singers, stalls, as well as traditional German cuisine, that will keep visitors entertained for days.
If you are not fortunate enough to visit during the festival then definitely schedule a visit to one of the cities numerous Beer Halls, probably the most famous of which is the Hofbrau Haus, which has entertained guests such as Mozart. Or the Chinese Tower which can seat over 6000 people, situated in the stunning English Gardens.
The Munich Residenz
From a small castle in 1385, the Munich Residenz has slowly been developed into a stunning palace with far reaching buildings and gardens and lays claim to being the largest city palace in Germany. Located in the west of the city, the rooms of the palace hold incredible works of art from the renaissance period through to neoclassicism. You can even visit the Royal Treasury holding the Royal jewels and pieces collected from Ancient Egypt.
Wonder at the numerous Baroque styled rooms throughout that are said the rival those of Versaille. It’s worth remembering here, that your ticket price will not only give you access to the rooms and museum but also includes an audio tour that is helpful for all non- German speakers.
The English Garden
This is an impressive Urban space, if you are thinking small park-type garden then think again.
The Gardens boast being over twice the size of Central park in New York. One of the most popular things to do inside the gardens is visit the 6000 seater (yes you read that right!) Chinese Beer garden in the centre of the park.
You can also climb up the Monopteros monument and get some great panoramic views of the city and grounds. The parks lends itself to several of its own traditional festivals including Japanfest, the traditional Christmas market in December and in July, Kocherlball, a festival that has roots dating back to when the domestic servants of the town met before work to dance, wearing traditional Bavarian costume. We should probably mention too, that sunbathing in the nude is completely legal here and a liberty taken by many.
When to visit Munich
Munich has something to offer if you are travelling in all seasons, but strongly consider the end of September through to the beginning of October to coincide with Oktoberfest (dates vary slightly each year).
The warmer summer months of June, July and August are great if you want to experience the Beer gardens and English gardens, but may be a little too warm if you are planning on sightseeing all day with temperatures typically topping 24C.
However, if you decided to wrap up warm and explore the Christmas markets you may be lucky enough to get some snow during the colder winter months, ensuring some really magical pictures of the city.