Munich Guide

Munich, the capital of Bavaria State, is home to some 1.5 million people who regularly demonstrate their passion for the region’s traditions. Never is this better demonstrated than at the world famous Oktoberfest beer festival, which sees Lederhosen-clad Bavarians drinking vast amounts of beer and devouring sausages like they’re going out of fashion.

However, there's more to Munich than this stereotypical image, and the city is one of Europe’s major cultural centres, boasting a vast amount of museums, theatres, opera houses and historic buildings. It is also one of Germany's most scenic cities, located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps.

How to get to Munich

Munich International Airport is located around 28km northeast of Munich city centre. Both buses and trains leave regularly from the airport to the city centre’s main station (Hauptbahnhof), which is shared by Munich’s rail and bus systems. The journey time on both means of transport is 40-45 minutes.

Munich can also be reached by long-distance buses and trains from London, Paris and many other European cities. The largest bus operator from the UK to the continent is Eurolines, with buses departing from Victoria Coach Station. British Rail also has four daily scheduled trains to Munich, with a journey time of around 9 hours and including a ferry connection.

When to visit Munich

Munich is a place to visit all year round, with plenty of outdoor attractions to enjoy in the warm summer months and pretty Christmas markets during the snowy winters.

September and October see the city begin to take on a new aesthetic dimension, with the trees turning yellow and red, whilst the world famous Oktoberfest and several other festivals arrive on the horizon.

For those who don’t enjoy excessively hot and dry weather, Autumn may be the best time of year to visit Munich. The days will be sunny and warm, though rain is also fairly common.

In winter, temperatures fall way below freezing point, the air is crisp and fresh, and a slower, more peaceful atmosphere takes hold of the city. Visitors should come in winter for the famous Christmas markets as well as the chance to ski in the nearby mountains.

Spring is eagerly awaited as the city emerges from its winter lethargy, with the days becoming longer and warmer, and flowers coming into bloom. This is also the perfect time to visit before the crowds arrive in the summer.

Things to do in Munich

Attractions and Activities


The focal point of Munich is the Marienplatz. This pleasant, twelfth-century square is a popular meeting spot and can be reached by a brisk ten minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof train station. The square is home to the Old and New City Halls, as well the Marienplatz U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, making it convenient for heading off to other parts of the city.

A short way from the square is the impressive St Peter Church, which offers one of the best viewing platforms in the city.

The Nymphenburg Palace draws over 300,000 tourists each year, and boasts finely manicured grounds, a gold leaf laden interior, and stunning ceiling frescoes adorning the three storey tall stone hall.

Munich is land locked but the authorities have played around with the Eisbach River, in the north east corner of the delightful English Summer Gardens – the largest urban park in Germany -  to make it accessible for surfers and swimmers. If that doesn’t grab your interest, you can head further into the park to enjoy a drink and a giant pretzel in the beer garden.

Radius Tours, located in the central train station in Munich, offers a great selection of daily guided tours in and around the city.

Museums and Galleries


Art lovers will enjoy the the Pinakothek der Moderne museum, located on an island in the Eisbach River, which houses one of the best Dali and Picasso collections in Europe. This museum is also an impressive architectural site in itself, with its combination of dark glass and concrete.

Shopping


Shopaholics visiting Munich are in for a treat, with international designer stores sitting alongside traditional Bavarian craft shops. Neuhauserstrasse and Kaufingerstrasse, in the city centre, are the main shopping areas and are littered with department stores and global chains. Meanwhile you can find smaller, more exclusive boutiques around Maximilianstrasse and Theatinerstrasse.

Eating Out


Munich is full of traditional Germany restaurants offering local Bavarian dishes including grilled pork, bratwurst and pinkelwurst sausages, dairy-based food and hearty winter stews. In the north of the city centre is an excellent restaurant called Tantris, which boasts 2 Michelin stars, and offers a 5-course taster menu.

Nightlife


For nightlife, Munich has a range of bars and clubs to suit most tastes. The area around Münchener Freiheit in Schwabing is the best-known nightlife district, with a vast number of bars, cafes, restaurants, jazz venues and dance clubs. In recent years, a large number of trendy new bars have opened up on the streets around Gärtnerplatz.

To experience Munich’s famous beer culture, one of the best venues in the city is the Haufbrauhaus beer hall, established in 1589. This vast watering hole serves up giant 2 litre beer glasses, as well as traditional Bavarian music and a buzzing atmosphere.

Day trips and Excursions


For a fascinating, if emotionally draining excursion, about 15km
northwest of Munich and easily accessible by public transport, is the
former concentration camp of Dachau.

What’s on in Munich

April – May


The traditional Dult market-cum-fair takes place on Mariahilfplatz square and draws locals on the lookout for the odd gem amidst the bric-a-brac.

May-June


The Pentecost Festival at Munich's Theatron presents young rock and pop talent from the local area, Germany and abroad. Several bands perform each day in a festival atmosphere and the steep auditorium provides wonderful lake views.

July


Munich Christopher Street Day in fact stretches over two days and is one of the biggest street parties in Germany, bringing Pride Week to its climax. More than 70,000 spectators regularly attend this event, taking to the streets in lederhosen, feather boas and high heels to watch the 30,000-strong parade.

October


A sixteen day beer festival in downtown Munich, Oktoberfest is arguably the most famous beer festival in the world. Eight million litres of beer are drunk, with more than 100 square acres of beer tents erected to cater for the thirsty throngs hunting the amber nectar.

 

Munich Web Sites



In our travels around the web, we found these Munich web pages useful:

Bavaria Limousines chauffeur and black car limousine service has 16 branches and is the leading exclusive ground transportation provider in Germany.
The oldest independent English city life portal. All you need to know about Munich!
Taxi & Transfers company offers fixed-rate transfer service between Prague and other Czech and European cities.
Ludus Tours offers packages to the world's biggest brewfest in Munich, Germany. Hotels, beer tent reservations and much more!
Located directly inside the main Central Station
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