Top Ten Reasons to Visit Munich
Munich © Alberto SevenOnSeven / Bigstock.comShould travelers come to Munich at least once in their lives? Absolutely, because the former residence of royals and metropolis of culture is conveniently located in the heart of Europe in a charming landscape at the foot of the Alps, and because it offers everything that discerning city travelers could expect from a top urban destination: Top performance and top offers in the fields of art and culture, innovation and creativity always linked with a genuine experience, authenticity and inclusion.
More specifics will follow in our list of ten reasons why you shouldn’t miss a trip to Munich. If your decision to come to Munich has already been made, München Tourismus offers a broad range of services to enhance your stay. This includes provision of a suitable accommodation as well as booking of city tours, city walks and excursions to the Bavarian palaces and lakes in the surrounding area. At the tourist information center at Marienplatz staff members are pleased to provide personal advice in all major languages of the world and to supply city maps, tour guides, guestcards and souvenirs. They have been especially trained to assist visitors with limited mobility and severe disability. München Tourismus also supports the website www.muenchen-tourismusbarrierefrei. de where special information about this subject can be found in German, English, Italian and French. A unique feature is the provision of certified visitor guides for groups in more than 25 languages. The guided tours can be customized upon request.
Here is a list of ten top reasons why a visit to Munich is a must at least once in every traveler’s life:
1. Friendliness and Open-MindednessMunich locals welcome their visitors all year round and are happy to invite them to share in the benefits of their beautiful city. Munich boasts a tradition of a sense of community which excludes no one but unites people of all types and origins at a single table. This is particularly obvious during a gregarious get-together in a beer garden or while celebrating at the Oktoberfest. Munich’s invitation to its guests to become involved in the life of the city is unique for a European metropolis.
2. Excellent Cultural OfferMunich can supply culturally-minded visitors with a lavish offer. One of the most renowned opera houses in the world, top-class orchestras and a young, vivacious music scene await music aficionados.
Just looking at the main exhibits in the collections at the Kunstareal (art quarter) of Munich’s Maxvorstadt, the range spans several millennia: Starting in the Egyptian Museum with the double statue of King Nyuserre, the Barberini Faun in the Glyptothek, Dürer’s “Four Apostles” in the Alte Pinakothek, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in the Neue Pinakothek, the Blue Horse in Lenbachhaus, Beuys’ works in the Pinakothek der Moderne and in Lenbachhaus right up to Tatra 87, the predecessor of the Volkswagen beetle in the Neue Sammlung. In May 2015 another highlight was opened in the Kunstareal: the NS Documentation Center, a place of learning and remembrance about the dark history of National Socialism. Outside the Kunstareal, but also in the city center are two other major exhibition halls, the Haus der Kunst and the Kunsthalle München. In total Munich boasts more than 60 museums and galleries. Due to the great number of internationally renowned design artists that have made Munich their home, the city is now regarded as the design capital.
3. Excellent Infrastructure, Easy and Quick Access to all SightsThe Bavarian Metropolis with its 1.54 million inhabitants is Germany's third largest city. Munich lies virtually at the center of Europe and is easy to reach by high-speed train, motorway, or through a large award-winning international airport. All major sights are within walking distance from each other. Munich excels in all those things that make a place truly livable. It is clean, safe and service is friendly. The public transport system is exceptionally well-designed and efficient. As for the Alps, they are just a stone's throw away and attract day-trippers all year round. The city also boasts unlimited opportunities for sports and shopping, a lively bar and nightlife scene, a multi-facetted gastronomical offering and a broad selection of hotels of every category, including all important chains as well as independent inns and apartment hotels. Owing to the excellent public transport system, all accommodations are conveniently linked and the city center as well as all touristic highlights can be easily reached.
4. Authentic EnjoymentIt is perhaps a sign of the importance that locals place on food and drink that they even define their geographical location by it. If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’ve already made the first step to crossing the “Weisswurst Equator”. This imaginary border (the exact location of which depends on who you’re talking to) separates Bavaria’s culinary and cultural heartland from the rest of Germany. The delicious, plump white veal and herb sausages for which it is named are the archetypal Munich delicacy, and part of the unofficial “holy trinity” of the Bavarian capital, along with beer and “Gemütlichkeit” - that untranslatable notion of everything that is easy-going and laidback in the Bavarian lifestyle.
It’s probably no surprise to hear that traditional Bavarian cuisine is a hearty and robust affair, reflecting the agricultural and also the royal traditions of the region. Yet while the calorie count may be high, so is the comfort factor. Walk into any of the numerous Bavarian restaurants or beer cellars in the old town and above the friendly hum of conversation, the first thing you’ll notice are the mouth-watering, savory aromas wafting from the kitchen. Munich classics include whole roast knuckle of pork, known as Hax’n. Served piping hot with potato dumplings, gravy and a crisp raw cabbage salad, the exquisite crackling alone can reduce grown men to tears of joy! Pot roast is also a favorite: pork, lots of gravy, bread or potato dumplings and red cabbage. Many Munich restaurants also tread new territory by combining international cuisine with Bavarian coziness (and of course locally-brewed beer). In numerous traditional Munich inns, musical entertainment is provided as in former days. Folk musicians appear on stage and more often than not patrons sing along and make their own music. In addition to traditional music, young performers have developed new styles. Folk music is mixed with the sounds of other countries, set to techno beats and lyrics which speak about life today.
5. Festivals and Events (Partying like the Natives)Munich’s customs, its city festivals and markets have a very special flair. In the course of the year they testify to urban history and the traditions of craftsmen and townspeople.
The Fasching (carnival) season has very characteristic features in Munich. On November 11 it is heralded by the carnival associations in the city center at Marienplatz and Viktualienmarkt. Apart from the festive balls, the highlights of Carnival are the last three days prior to the start of Lent under the slogan “München narrisch” (Crazy Munich) which includes the Dance of the Market Women at Viktualienmarkt on Shrove Tuesday. The Spring Festival, the little sister of Oktoberfest, at Theresienwiese has long been a popular alternative among Munich visitors to the “big sister”. The Maidult in the Munich Au quarter marks the beginning of the jumble market (Dult) season featuring three events. The Dult booths make the hearts of collectors race: On offer are antiquities, curiosities, dishware, books, art objects, clothing and bric-a-brac. The absolute highlight of the festival year is Oktoberfest, the greatest and best-known folk festival in the world. The festival year concludes with the Munich Christmas Market at
Marienplatz and numerous smaller Christmas markets in the city quarters. A selection of attractive major events that take place every year include the Tollwood Summer and Winter Festivals, the Opera Festivals, the Ballet Week, the International Film Festival, Classical Music at Odeonsplatz and the Long Nights of Music and Museums.
6. Shopping Munich’s City – The heART of Shopping!The Munich city center offers something for every visitor and any taste. With more than 1,000 stores extending over approx. 450,000 m² of sales floor, downtown Munich plays in the European “Champions League” of shopping destinations. From privately run stores in a charming quarter of the old town to metropolitan department stores, from former purveyors to the Bavarian court – which only exist in Munich – to international top labels and trendy newcomers, guests will find in walking distance whatever their hearts desire in what literally is Germany’s greatest shopping center.
7. SportsIn addition to the rich culture of the city, Munich residents love sports. With great pride the Bavarian capital city presents itself as home of the record-holding soccer champion FC Bayern München. Munich boasts one of the most modern and unusual stadiums in Europe, the Allianz Arena. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup the Allianz Arena hosted the opening match and served as venue for six sold-out games with 396,000 visitors from all over the world. During this thrilling event Munich and its exceptional soccer stadium were the focus of international attention. The outer surface and roofing of the stadium ring are constructed of thousands of diamond-shaped, air-filled cushions which are illuminated mostly in red, the color of FC Bayern. On special occasions, however, its 300,000 LEDs are also used to create a wide arrow of motifs and effects. Apart from football, tennis and ice hockey, swimming and rowing, marathons and bicycling as well as numerous trend sports are very popular in the city which hosted the 1972 Olympic Summer Games. The Olympic Park and its stadiums continue to be used for a variety of purposes: For leisure-time sports as well as for major annual sports and trend sports events.
8. Royal HeritageMunich, the city of cultural enjoyment and enjoyable culture, is also the city of palaces and boasts an imposing royal heritage. Over 700 years of holding court have put a mark on Munich. The city palace, the Residenz and Nymphenburg palace still testify today to the fact that for centuries the city was the center of power and focus of life for the Bavarian rulers. Guests from all over the world admire the generous townscape of the former residence of royals. From Munich the dukes, electors and kings of the Wittelsbach dynasty controlled Bavaria’s destiny from the 12th to the beginning of the 20th century. They left outstanding masterworks of architecture, such as the splendid buildings, boulevards and palaces of Munich. To the present day the cityscape bears the special mark of King Ludwig I’s passion for architecture. While his famous grandson Ludwig II was primarily dedicated to building his dream castles Neuschwanstein and Linderhof in the surrounding countryside, King Ludwig I (1786 - 1868) was responsible for famous buildings, such as the Glyptothek, the Alte and Neue Pinakothek, the Residenz palace, the Field Marshal’s Hall, the Triumphal Arch, and others, thus turning Munich into a major cultural hub in Europe. The Wittelsbach dynasty, however, not only shaped the architecture of the city but also placed the foundation for the unique interplay of music, theater and museums in the city.
9. The Top Ten Sights
- Marienplatz and Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady), the center as well as the heart of the city. The bulbous domes of the Church of our Lady are Munich’s landmark
- Hofbräuhaus, the world renowned and frequently imitated traditional inn in the old city of Munich
- Viktualienmarkt has developed from a farmers’ market into a popular shopping place for gourmets without losing any of its traditional charm The Residenz, greatest city palace in Germany, until 1918 residence and seat of government of the Wittelsbach rulers
- The Bavarian State Opera looks back on more than 350 years of opera tradition in Munich
- English Garden with Eisbachwelle and Beer Garden at the Chinese Tower, one of the greatest central city parks in the world, with biking and walking paths, beer gardens and a standing wave for surfers
- Kunstareal (art quarter) with Lenbachhaus, Pinakotheken and Brandhorst, the close proximity and variety of holdings of the museums and exhibitions in the Kunstareal are unique
- Olympic Park, Munich’s modern landmark and venue of the 1972 Summer Olympics
- Nymphenburg Palace, summer residence of the Wittelsbach rulers with a great park, small park palaces and Marstallmuseum of coaches
- BMW Welt, event and delivery center of the car manufacturer