Paris of Germany, thats Munich! A cosmopolitan, stylish city of museums, galleries, castles and idyllic beer gardens, it is one of the country’s most prosperous cities and the capital of Bavaria. It enjoys an enviable setting with mountains and Alpine lakes only a short drive away. A compact and manageable city, it is dotted with elegant parks and gardens ideal for recuperating in during a hard day’s sightseeing.
Begin your exploration of Munich in Marienplatz which lies at the heart of the Altstadt in the city centre. This lively, attractive square houses the Mariensaule (Mary Column) which was built in 1638 to celebrate the departure of Swedish forces. The late Gothic new town hall – Neue Rathaus – with its famous Glockenspiel is also in Marienplatz. Make sure to visit the Alte Pinakothek on Barer Strasse which houses works by the major European masters of the 14th to 18th centuries. The Neue Pinakothek just opposite it features a large collection of 18th and 19th century paintings and sculpture. The unmissable Deutsches Museum near Isartor is the world’s biggest science and technology museum, taking up eight floors. Visit the Residenz on Max-Joseph-Platz, the luminous Mannerist palace built for the Bavarian dukes by a team of mostly Dutch artists. One of Europe’s finest Renaissance buildings, it was badly damaged in World War II and had to be almost completely rebuilt.
Stop and sample some of the best beer in the world in one of the largest city parks in Europe – the Englischer Garten. Taking its name from the 18th century landscaping fashion that aimed to resemble untouched nature, it houses three of the city’s most famous beer gardens. It’s a wonderful way to spend a sunny afternoon. Stroll along Maximilianstrasse, Munich’s most elegant shopping street, head for Schwabing – the bar district in and around Leopoldstrasse, dine in excellent, reasonably-priced restaurants in west Schwabing, swim in the Olympic size pool at Olympiapark. If you’re in Munich between mid-September and the first week in October, you are most definitely in for a treat. This is when the largest beer festival in the world, the Oktoberfest, takes place. With numerous beer tents, Ferris wheels, roller coasters and kiosks selling snacks, it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.