Explore: Munich

Date Posted: 12/02/2015

Munich's city Motto is 'Munich Loves You'. Here are a few reasons to love it back...

Essential sights

Munich's Old Town: Start your morning at Viktualienmarkt to watch the city awake and sample the fresh produce (honey, spices, pastries, cheese) from the 140 colourful stalls at this traditional food market. On Marienplatz square enjoy the carillon (11am, noon and 5pm); a colourful parade of wooden, Medieval characters swirling to Bavarian tunes. Also see the 79-metre high New Town Hall built in Flemish Gothic style and iconic sturdy twin towers of Frauenkirche Cathedral.

Kunstareal:A unique museum area with an ensemble of three Pinakothek art museums, Museum Brandhorst, Lenbachhaus and much more.Pinakothek der Moderne is the largest modern art space in Germany, while The Neue Pinakothek features art and sculpture from the late 18th to the beginning of the 20th century. The Alte Pinakothek boasts more than 800 European masterpieces from the Middle Ages to the end of the Rococo (with a huge Rubens collection).

Munich's north: Home to the Allianz Arena, BMW Welt & Museum (and the Olympic Park) this is an area of endeavour on a grand scale. Home to FC Bayern Munich, the Allianz Arena nicknamed ‘the inflatable boat’ has an extremely unusual design as you’ll see on a tour, with air-filled, individually lit panels. BMW’s story, from beginning with airplane engines in 1917, is extraordinary and its technical development will open your eyes to cutting-edge innovation.

Food & Drink

Bavarian cuisine is hearty and heavy on meats like pork knuckle, sausages – and beer. With six traditional breweries in the city, Munich has every right to its claim as the beer capital of the world. All beers are brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot ruling from 1519, which only allows for water, barley and hops to be used.

As well as the big beer halls and gardens Munich has 12 Michelin-Star restaurants with Tantris and Alois Dallmayr having won two stars each.

For entertainment, theatre and fine dining try GOP cabaret with its big themed nights perfect for groups. For a more traditional evening, among the most historic and famous beer gardens are the Paulaner and the Augustiner-Keller where you can sample beers from light, golden shining Weizen to the dark bocks.

Where to Stay

The four-star Angelo Design Hotel Westpark just opened last year in the southwest of the city. With more than 180 rooms, it’s a trendy, modern option with lots of well thought out amenities and is a short taxi ride to the city centre or walk to the U-Bahn (metro) station.

The Arcona Living Munich Hotel is a four-star property in the quiet district of Neuhausen three stops from Munich central station and on the main bus and tram lines. Originally the Fern-Andra cinema from 1916, it now has a filmic theme to rooms and restaurants. Ask for a corner room for lovely views over the street.

A budget option is the two-star A&O München Laim. It’s very simple and no-frills - a hostel rather than hotel - but close to the metro station.

Best for Groups

For adventurous groups try the memorable Olympic Stadium Roof Climb for a breathtaking expedition by day or night. Armed with ropes and carabiners you’ll have a panoramic view of the city to the Bavarian Alps on a clear day. Options also include abseiling or zip-wiring 200-metres down.

To get under the skin of Munich get behind the scenes of the Bavarian State Opera House for a guided tour of the dressing rooms, sets and stage. From the hydraulics and acoustics to the Royal box and 2,100 seat theatre, you won’t be disappointed. By night, it’s the place to see and be seen in all your finery.

For a big, traditional evening of entertainment visit the historic festival and beer hall Hofbräuhaus – it’s a must-see experience. Yes, it’s loud, but service is quick, it’s lots of fun and the atmosphere is friendly as you soak up Bavarian music and rub shoulders with locals.

Like a Local

The beautiful city centre English Garden and River Isar is the place to relax with locals – 990 acres of parkland, reasonably priced beer gardens to relax with a stein of beer and a salty oversized pretzel, river surfers (yes, really) darting about by the weir in the sun, and bathers. There are formal flower gardens, a Chinese pagoda and big grassy expanses to stroll around.

Fact File

Journey Time:1 hour 50 minutes from London to Munich

Currency: Euro

Best time to go:If possible avoid the crowds in the summer and visit between March and May when the weather is pleasant and groups can get around quickly. Those wanting to try Oktoberfest will need to pack a coat.


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