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Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is home to many of the country's most quintessentially German traditions—every September, the famed Oktoberfest comes to the city. But the festivals, lederhosen, and beer halls are only a small part of the city and region’s story. Munich’s architecture shines in palaces such as the Nymphenburg and castles like Residenz, and there are plenty of similarly intriguing buildings scattered across Munich. On Marienplatz, the city’s central square, old and new town halls compete for attention. The Church of St. Peter (Peterskirche), a Romanesque structure, was built even before the city's foundation in 1158. Get a sense for the city’s layout, top attractions, and historical context on a guided tour, with everything from walking to biking to Segway to hop-on hop-off bus tours available. Visitors can also enjoy the English Garden, an enormous park with “urban naked zones” (yes, expect some voyeurs in the buff) and a lakeside beer garden. Of course, you'll also probably want to explore Bavaria's offerings outside of Munich. Sightseeing tours to the royal castles of Neuschwanstein—inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle—and Linderhof are especially popular, and guides provide historical tidbits you might not otherwise hear. Half-day trips to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial take visitors to the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany, and can be combined with a Munich Third Reich tour. Just across the border in Austria, the delights of Mozart's native Salzburg await.
It won’t come as a surprise that the busiest time of year is fall—when over 7 million travelers descend on Munich for Oktoberfest. This world-famous festival has brass bands, circus acts, rides, processions—and of course, beer. If you want to skip the crowds, then come in spring for Frühlingsfest; a smaller and more chilled-out version of Oktoberfest. Summer is also a great time for beer gardens and hiking in the Alpine foothills—but watch out for high peak season prices.
Munich is known for being a very walkable city, so the first option should be exploring its highlights on foot, as the most important city landmarks are within close proximity of each other. To venture further afield, the city has great public transport options; you can travel on the S-Bahn (light rail), the U-Bahn (subway), by bus, or tram (Strassenbahn). Get tickets from vending machines at stations, or buy tram/bus tickets from the driver when you board.
A lot of travelers are caught out by the fact that most shops (including supermarkets) are closed on Sundays. To stay entertained, and fill the shopping void, a museum trip is a great backup; the city has a special €1 entry deal to museums, just on Sundays. There are over 80 different museums to choose from; some of the best are the BMW Museum, the Residenz Museum, and there’s even a Beer and Oktoberfest Museum.
Munich is known for beer, and its famed Oktoberfest, which begins in mid-September, is the pinnacle. The well-known Hofbräuhaus tavern serves more than a million visitors yearly with ales, lagers, and giant German soft pretzels. Munich is also known for its architecture, with spots like the Marienplatz steeped in history....More
You’ll want at least three full days in Munich, though, to properly tour the city’s 16th-century architecture, biergartens, and world-class museums, you may want a week. Consider using the city as a Bavarian hub for day trips to spots such as Neuschwanstein Castle and Salzburg, Austria....More
Visitors have choices: Kick back with a Hofbräu Dunkel in the 16th-century Hofbräuhaus, tour the BMW Welt and Museum, take a walking tour of WWII sites including Munich Old Town Hall, and wander the English Garden, Marienplatz, and Deutsches Museum. Of course, that’s just the tip of the schnitzel....More
The acclaimed Munich Oktoberfest ends early in the month, so autumn is about more than beer here. Explore the city’s gardens (Nymphenburg Palace Park), walking paths, and markets (the daily Victuals Market). On rainy days, head to Munich's Kunstareal arts district for your pick of incredible art museums and galleries....More
No. Munich has never been the capital of Germany. That title has mostly belonged to Berlin (though Bonn was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990). Munich, however, is the capital of Bavaria, a state in southeast Germany known for its beer, sausage, and lederhosen—and lake views....More
Yes and no. Before the pandemic, Munich had nearly nine million visitors a year—with a robust tourist scene, regardless of season. The city’s most popular hotels, museums, and attractions are geared toward global visitors, but it’s still easy to go off-the-beaten path for more authentic experiences....More
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