The alluring charm of Munich, and all that this city has to offer, makes it the ideal destination for your next city break.
Wake up from your winter hibernation, spring is in the air, and now is the perfect time to discover this wonderfully charming 800-year-old city. With a beautiful town center, great parks, delicious food, and friendly people, Munich may be best known as the home of the world famous Oktoberfest, where dancing ufftata and oompah bands, beer, and food dominate. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the only time when the city celebrates. There’s plenty happening all year round, and so many other reasons to visit Munich. Consider the following:-
Richness of culture
There are so many cultural hotspots in the region, for example, visit the Nymphenburg Castle, a large baroque 17th-century palace that doubles as the Bavarian China Factory, the botanical gardens and the Olympic Centre north of Munich, built for the 1972 Olympics. For the more artistically minded, you could try a day trip to the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel am See or the Gabriele Muenter Haus (Russenhaus) in Murnau. Both men were part of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), an artistic movement made up of Russian and German artists, including Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, and August Macke, that lasted from 1911 to 1914, and was fundamental to Expressionism.
Surfing and relaxation
Despite being many hundreds of kilometres from the nearest ocean, Munich has a reputation as a surfing hotspot. The main wave is on the edge of the Englischer Garten, at Haus der Kunst in the Eisbach. The Englischer Garten is a very nice place to relax and watch the citizens of Munich take their walks or tan in the sun (often topless, sometimes wearing even less!) In the midst of the gardens are the Kleinhesseloher See, a small lake with a café that serves refreshments, and a Chinese Tower and Monopterus (a Greek temple).
Be sure to see the elegant Maximilianstraße and Theatinerstraße and the Schwabing District with its arty atmosphere, smart boutiques, antique shops, lively nightlife, and a stellar selection of restaurants, bars, and clubs. Continue shopping at Viktualienmarkt, an open-air marketplace, where everything from a Brezel to fresh fish is available. Closeby is the Gaertnerplatz – with a great selection of bars, this is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a drink in the sun, and watch the world pass by.
BMW aficionados may want to make a pilgrimage to the BMW museum for some history of the company (after all the B in BMW stands for Bavaria, and the corporate headquarters are in Munich). There is a factory tour, although you must book it separately and the times are more irregular, but we’re told it’s great fun! Across the footbridge is the BMW Museum, which tells the history of the brand’s cars from the early 20th century up to today. It’s ticketed separately too (the showroom and interactive exhibits are free), but it’s great fun and well worth a couple of hours of your time. The complex also holds a collection of bikes, if that’s more your thing, two restaurants, a shop, and a cinema. All in all, we’d say, it’s pretty much car heaven!
Do spend a day driving around the countryside. Munich is the closest airport to the German Alps, where you will find top class skiing and quaint Bavarian towns. The buzzing city of Munich is just 70 kms away from splendid alpine resorts, so you can easily combine your stay there with days of skiing and fun in the Alps. There are also coach and train operators that will take you to the snow and back. The Bavarian Alps include some of the most beautiful landscapes in Germany. Lakes, snow, hiking, great food are all to be found here…and don’t forget to include the Romantische Straße (the Romantic Street), the lake at Chiemsee and the superb Neuschwanstein Castle on your itinerary as well!
Bavarian cooking is hearty and rustic, making very simple ingredients into tasty, satisfying dishes. It is known for the Weisswurst and Brezel, meat dishes like Schweinshaxe, Knoedel (traditional potato dumplings), potato salad or warm red cabbage salad, delicious bread soup, Bavarian “Obatzda“, “Bofflamot” and cabbage, gorgeous pancake with caramelised apples, mouth-melting Bavarian Cream with strawberries and much, much more.
Finally, because one should never forget the horror of the holocaust, a vist to the concentration camp of Dachau, a few kilometres from Munich, is almost a requirement. The complex, which was one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany, contains the original prisoner baths, barracks, courtyards, and the crematorium, as well as an extensive exhibition and various memorials.
Being the capital of Bavaria, with its stately architecture and the surrounded by majestic mountains, Munich is a year round destination. To find out more, visit the official Munich website or contact Sabine on 0039 – 333 932 6627.
Munich International Airport
(Franz Josef Strauss (MUC))
Tel: +49 89 97500
Englischer Garten 2
Tel: +49 89 38666390
Tel: +49 89 89068205
All images courtesy Film- und Fotoservice München Tourismus; lead image © A. Kupka; surfing image © D. Verstl; BMW Welt By Night image © S. Mueller