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Content and photos courtesy of muenchen.de

Basic information

  • Area: 310.43 km2 (119.86 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: 089
  • Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)
  • Population (EST): 1,388,308
  • Official language: German
  • Time Zone: CET/CEST (UTC+1

10 Reasons to Visit Munich

1. Locally known as "the heart of the village", Munich is south German's largest city and is a mere hour and a half away from the stunning Alps. Of all the rich treasures that the city has to offer, the Englischer Garten is a highlight. Spending a pleasant afternoon strolling, biking, or boating is a must, as well as perusing the Greek temple, Japanese tea house, and traditional Chinese pagoda. Locals and travelers enjoy this lush escape from the city streets, and it's not uncommon to find picnic baskets and sunbathers during the summer. The garden is open year round, and is a peaceful oasis within the rich city.

2. The city centre is another blissful retreat that is quite popular. Visitors can climb the Peterskirche, or St. Peter's Church, to get a marvelous view of the whole city. Marienplatz, or Virgin Mary, is a wonderful highlight. Walking tours are available, as well as cycling and some shopping. The centre makes for a lovely afternoon of light exercise and taking in some local culture.

3. Running through the centre of the city is the River Isar. During the warmer months of summer you'll find swimmers and sunbathers enjoying the pretty river. It's gentle current and beautiful shores makes it a highlight for vacationers to Munich. It provides energy and good clean air to the bustling city. Boat tours are also available to get a better view of the lovely architecture along the river's edge.

4. A highlight of any city is getting a look into its culture, and Munich is no exception. The culturally-minded tourist can find endless things to do, with the city's 46 museums and 58 theaters to be explored. The Bavarian State Opera is certainly a highlight, as well as the Alte Pinakothek, home to masterpieces by such renowned artists as Rubens and Titian. Those who are fans of German automobiles will get a kick out of the BMW Welt, or BMW museum, that lies just on the outskirts of the city centre. Here on display are some of the most stunning vehicles in BMW's past and present. Unfortunately none of these machines are available for test drive, but that doesn't stop the travelers, businessmen, and local residents from walking the halls of the museum and dreaming.

5. In the late 17th century Bavarian monarch Ferdinand Maria built the unforgettable Schloss Nymphenburg, or Nymphenburg Palace. It stands today in all its glory as a great symbol of German splendour. Within its great walls is the Porcelain Factory, as well as vast reaching gardens and sumptuous rooms open to the public. The palace is not to be missed, and is a highlight for travelers and returning visitors.

6. The Olympics were held in Munich in 1972, and today, Olympic Park is still available for guided tours and sightseeing. Still intact are the ice skating rink, tennis courts, Olympic pool, and other courts and playing fields. It's possible to rent a boat on the stunning Olympic lake and get a better view of the whole grounds from the water. There are signs of national pride everywhere you turn in the Park, and one can celebrate the pride of their own nation as well.

7. A popular pastime for a nice day in Munich is to hop on the local transportation, known as the S-bahn, and visit the town of Starberger. It is nestled comfortably as the top of Lake Starnberg, and is a holiday destination in and of itself. From its great height, one gets a view of the peaceful lake, as well as a sight of the Alps and the far reaches of Austria. In fact, Munich bears such a nice location in southern Germany that Austria is only a short drive away. The lake is available for picnics, swimming, and sunbathing. During the winter its a cozy spot to see the wonder of the snow-covered mountain tops.

8. No trip to Munich is complete without visiting the famous Augustiner Beer Hall, or Bierhalle, in German. It's right in the heart of Munich, and is a traditional beer garden with benches and plenty of seating, carousing, and merriment. A popular spot after work for laborours and businessmen, the Hall serves-up traditional, hearty Bavarian food such as sausages and sandwiches. It's a great place for people watching and soaking up the lively culture of the German peoples. With so many different traditional German ales on tap, it's not uncommon for visitors to Munich to return to the Hall numerous times during their trip.

9. When there is a desire to have a true taste of Bavarian delights, the Dallmayr delicatessen is where some of the most authentic and traditional foods of Germany can be found. This family-owned establishment serves as a deli, coffeehouse, and restaurant in one, and its history goes back as far as three centuries. Coffee is served from Nymphenburg-crafted porcelain, and there are various sweets and savouries to please the palate, and revive the weary traveler.

10. Zugspitze is German's highest peak, soaring into the sky some 2962 m. Mountain enthusiasts enjoy its hiking trails, and taking in the view of over 400 peaks from four different countries, including Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany. From the top of the peak, one truly gets the feeling that they're at the top of the world.

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