Munich is a truly beautiful city and is the capital of the Bavaria region. It’s Germany’s third largest city and is just a few miles from the foot of the northern Alps and is close to the border with Austria. The centre of the city is dominated by the Residenz – this was formerly the home of the kings of Bavaria.
Munich was founded about 1158 although its said that there was a settlement of Bavarian Monks here in the 8th century. Munich is also called München which translates as ‘Monks’.
This city has something to offer everyone with a whole host of historical as well as modern interests and not forgetting its many parks and green spaces, museums, shopping, nightlife and beer gardens.
It’s the home of the Oktoberfest – a folk and beer festival which is famous throughout the world. If you’re holidaying in Munich during late September-early October, be sure to try the special Oktoberfest brew.
Munich is a great starting point for your German holiday as it’s within easy reach of the Alps, Neuewachstein Castle and many picturesque Bavarian villages.
Getting there to Munich
How to get to Munich:
As one of the top destinations in Germany, Munich is served by the Franz Josef Strauss International Airport. The airport is situated about 30 km northeast of Munich but has an excellent train service to the city, which takes less than 40 minutes.
If you’re exploring Germany then going by train is a great experience. The Munch Hauptbahnhof is Munich’s main train line. The S-bahn lines S1 to S8 all stop at the underground beneath the station. The U-Bahn lines U1, U2,U4 and U5 also stop at the train station. With 4 tram lines stopping outside Munch Hauptbahnhof you have a great range of public transport options for getting into and around the city.
Top attractions in Munich
Munich’s best bits:
Munich – the capital city of Bavaria is a cultural city with lots of theatres, museums, art galleries and operas. It’s also got historical attractions, splendid architecture and green parks, so if you really want a feel for Munich, check out these top attractions!
Marienplatz is usually the first port of call for visitors to Munich. It’s a colourful, lively square located right in the heart of the city and is home to the Mariensäule column, the New Town Hall, the Old Town Hall and the Fish Fountain. At the end of Marienplatz you’ll see the Frauenkirche (or the Church of our Lady) Munich’s most distinctive landmark with its two towers.
Visit the Residenz Palace, the former palace of the Bavarian Monarchs, Munich’s Königsplatz also known as King’s Square, Maximilianeum – head of the Bavarian Parliament and the impressive Michaelskirche (St.Michael’s Church) a large Renaissance church.
If you haven’t had enough sightseeing you can also explore Peterskirche or St. Peter’s Church, Asamkirche (Asam Church), Ruhmeshalle Hall of Fame or the Siegestor Victory Gate – Munich’s answer to the Arc de Triomphe!
For something a bit different why not visit the BMW headquaters and museum, Hofbräuhaus Beer Hall, Müllersches Volksbad – a public bathhouse or just relax in the sunshine with a beer in Englischer Garten!
You could also visit the Olympic Stadium, or watch FC Bayern Munich play at the Allianz Arena.
Other attractions to be seen in the city include the Altes Rathaus and the Neues Rathaus, the City gates and the famous hofgarten.
If you feel like escaping from the city for a day then the choices are endless. If you hire a car you can take a trip to the Alps, visit Salzburg in Austria or Nuremberg, Dachau and Stranberg.
Getting around munich
A lot of the city centre is pedestrianised but metros and buses are available if it gets a little too hot or cold for walking.
The Munich Underground is called the U-Bahn. This modern and efficient service is fully wheelchair accessible and there’salso a U6 service to the Allianz Arena making this the best option for Bayern Munich fans travelling to a game.
There’s also a suburban rail network called the S-Bahn that branches out from the city centre in all directions. This economical and speedy service is ideal for those wishing to travel to the outer edges of the city and it also serves the airport.
Taxis in Munich can be hailed off the street or can be booked by telephone. During rush hour the traffic makes this option a little fearsome but during off peak times the taxi service is second to none.
There’s also the tram system in Munich that tends to be less crowded than either of the U-Bahn or S-Bahn lines. Another benefit of the tram is that you get to take in some of the city’s attractions on route, thus making it a popular option for tourists.
Entertainment in munich
Munich – where to Eat, Drink & Shop:
In Munich you’ll be treated to the best of Bavarian cuisine.
When you are going out to eat you’ll have a wide range of restaurants to choose from. There are also plenty of inexpensive options, especially during lunch so you won’t have to spend a large amount if you just wish to alleviate your hunger. There are also plenty of little Turkish and Asian stalls that are ideal for a quick nibble on the go, although some may even have a place to sit while you enjoy your snack.
Most restaurants will post their menus on signs outside their doors so feel free to look around and choose whatever tickles your fancy. Some restaurants are open at lunch and perhaps close for a few hours during the afternoon but 6pm is the usual opening time for evening restaurants and they can stay open as late as midnight or even later! But to really appreciate Bavarian cuisine you must go to the traditional pubs and try the Weißwurst, which is a poached white sausage made from veal. There’s also the fish that are caught in the nearby mountain lakes, the Renke, which are a real treat and worth trying at least once.
Obviously Munich is very famous for its beers and you can easily go through your entire holiday without having the same beer twice. The Weißbier is the real taste of Bavaria and is a must for all visitors. Helles and Pils are other popular drinks as is Starkbier which is a very strong beer which comes into popularity at the end of March during the Lenten Starkbierzeit.
The main shopping districts are pedestrianised so you can walk all day around the shops in Sendlinger Strasse, Maxilianstrasse, Theatinerstrasse and in the Schwabing on Leopoldstrasse. Remember that taxes are included in the price and to keep an eye out for signs such as Rabatt or Sonderverkauf which both indicate a reduced price such as sale or discount.
Tips for travel to Munich
Munich – know before you go:
·Germany is located within the Euro Zone, so you’ll need to stuff your wallet with Euro!
·Most major credit cards are widely accepted but always ask beforehand to make sure. And most ATM’s will accept credit cards along with bank pass cards containing the Cirrus logo.
·There’s usually a service and food tax included in restaurants but it is also customary to tip by rounding out the bill or giving 10%.
·General shopping hours are from 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday. Some smaller stores on the edges of the city may keep shorter hours. Government buildings, banks and post offices usually close at 4pm.
·Munich has a good public telephone system in the streets that operate well and work with coins, phone cards and on occasion credit cards. The coin operated phones are being phased out but phone cards are readily available from post offices, tobacconists and some supermarkets.
·Emergency, Fire Department and Ambulance – 112
.Police – 110