Munich Travel Guide
Introduction to Munich
Enriched by wealth from its successful industries, and from its past as the royal capital of Bavaria, Munich is a gem in Germany’s crown worth visiting even if you don’t take Oktoberfest, its world famous beer festival, into consideration. Throw in the serene peace its parks, and one of the most exciting football squads in Europe today, and you have a destination you simply can’t leave off your Central European itinerary.
Cultural Experiences in Munich
While the monarchy no longer exists in Germany, they left behind a number of stunning palaces, two of which can be found in the Munich area.
Start by checking out the Nymphenburg Palace, which served as the summer residence of many former kings of Bavaria.
The opulence of this neoclassical and rococo structure will make you feel underdressed no matter your socioeconomic standing in life, but don’t let it stop you from enjoying its many rooms, ceiling frescoes and gardens.
Another royal property worth checking out in the Munich area is the Munich Residenz, which served as the main seat of Bavarian power during the era when much of present day Germany was lorded over by a monarchy.
Comprising ten courtyards and 130 rooms, this palace has many attractions worth seeing, but perhaps none are as captivating as the Hall of Antiquities, which contains an array of busts, sculptures, frescoes and other antiques that the royals gathered over the centuries of their reign in this corner of Europe.
Next, head downtown to explore the Deutsches Museum, which is the world’s largest institution dedicated to science and technology. Covering 50 different fields, and possessing 28,000 pieces in its collection, it covers everything from the history of transport to the latest cutting edge discoveries in nanotechnology.
As crude as it may seem to some people, the celebration of Oktoberfest is central to the culture of Munich, despite being treated as a binge drinking contest by a few overly enthusiastic beer consumers.
Started in 1810 as a way for the commoners of Munich to celebrate the royal wedding of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese, the party proved popular enough to be repeated on an annual basis from that year onward.
While there are no shortage of venues across town to get your lederhosen and wheat beer fix satisfied, be sure to drop by the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl once during the festival, as it is Munich’s most famous beer hall.
At one point or another, Mozart, Vladimir Lenin, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy all quaffed pints at this famous tavern, so be sure to waddle up to the bar and add your presence to that illustrious list!
Other Attractions in Munich
Those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Munich’s streets will find relief by walking the paths of the Englischer Garten, which is an urban park that is larger in size than New York’s Central Park. Taking its name from the English style of garden design as it was done back in the 18th and 19th centuries, the park’s attractions in the present day include a Japanese Garden, a standing wave in one of its streams where surfing is happily enjoyed by Munich’s landlocked thrill seekers, and a Chinese style pagoda.
If you are looking to pay homage to Germany’s skill in creating efficient and well-constructed automobiles, be sure to tour the BMW Museum during your time in Munich. In truth, BMW assembles more than just luxury autos, as you will learn during your tour – motorcycles, engines and aircraft are all on display here along with its contemporary vehicles, as you will see how its creations have progressed over time, and how it has impacted society as a whole.
Finally, sports fans will want to drop by the Allianz Arena to take in a match by one of Germany’s best football teams, Bayern Munich. Even if you aren’t interested in athletics, the arena itself is a notable attraction at night, as the exterior lights up in an impressive display of colour using ETFE plastic panels. Holding upwards of 71,000 spectators, you will feel the passion that local supporters have for one of the world’s most successful football teams during the game you attend here.