When people around the world think of Germany, Lederhosen, beer, and Oktoberfest are clichés that come to their mind. You will find all three in the state of Bavaria and its capital, Munich – and much more. Here are 21 reasons why you will love Munich for sure!
The gothic Cathedral of Our Dear Lady, known simply as Frauenkirche, is Munich’s most unmistakeable landmark, with its onion domes dominating Munich’s skyline.
2. Neues Rathaus
The New Town Hall is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Munich. It is a magnificent neo-gothic building and the cathedral-like tower looms large over the Marienplatz, the city‘s main square.
At the top of the 85-meter-high tower is an observation deck which offers excellent views over the old town, even as far as the Alps in nice weather. Two lifts lead up to the viewing platform, on top of which the Münchner Kindl (symbol of the city’s coat of arms) watches over the city. Entrance fee: 4 EUR.
3. See the Glockenspiel on Marienplatz
A trip to Munich´s main square „Marienplatz“ is a must for any visitor. Here the top attraction is the „Glockenspiel“ in the tower of the New Town Hall. Every day at 11 am, and three times a day in summer, 32 life-sized fugures re-enact two events from 16th century Bavarian history. By the way: it is the largest „Glockenspiel” in Germany.
4. Hangout at the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
Just a short walk from Marienplatz is the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl — the world’s most famous beer hall. It was originally built in 1589 by the Bavarian duke Maximilian as an extension of the royal brewery. The Hofbräuhaus serves up to 30,000 guests a day.
5. Shop at the Viktualienmarkt
This charming market is in the middle of the city and has a great choice of fresh fruit and vegetables, food stores, cheese, and antipasti. It’s a popular spot for the locals to shop. It’s not very expensive either so stock up here if you are cooking for yourself!
6. Visit the Church of St Peter
Munich’s oldest parish church features art dating back six centuries, including ceiling frescoes and a giant gilded altar. You can climb the 299 steps for lovely views of the city from the tower. When it’s a clear day, you can see all the way to the Alps! Admission is 3 EUR.
7. Shop at Kaufingerstrasse
This is a shopping area that stretches for several blocks between Marienplatz and Karlsplatz, and is exclusively designated for pedestrian traffic. There is a great mix of independent boutiques and large-scale department stores to peruse. When you get tired of shopping, there is a slew of restaurants, bars, cafes, and beer gardens to enjoy. Don’t be afraid to wander down some side alleys either – you’ll come across some interesting speciality shops!
7. Stroll the English Garden
The English Garden is a large public park in the heart of Munich. It covers nearly 400 hectares and offers many places to picnic, relax, and hike (there are nearly 50 miles of trails!). It’s especially popular in summertime, with plenty of open space for sun-bathing or sports. Don’t miss the Chinese Tower beer-garden, where you can enjoy traditional Bavarian cuisine including “Haxn” (roasted ham hock) and “Hendl” (roast chicken).
9. The Eisbach surfers’ delight
The Eisbach, or “icy stream,” is appropriately named. The water is definitely ice-cold, even during the summer months. In fact, it’s TOO cold for most people — but not the surfers. When the surfing season begins at the end of May, they’re out there in force — and they put on a great show.
10. The Residenz
Lavish architecture is on display throughout Munich, and the Residenz is no exception. For more than 400 years, this complex of buildings served as the royal palace of Bavarian dukes, electors, and kings. One of the highlights of the complex is the Renaissance Hall, which was built by the 16th-century duke Albert V to house his collection of Greek and Roman antiquities.
11. The majestic flair of the Hofgarten
Directly behind the Odeonsplatz square in the center of Munich, the Hofgarten, which belongs to the residence, invites you to relax with its majestic atmosphere – whatever the season. Between meadows, flowerbeds, shady trees and babbling fountains everyone will find a quiet seating area.
12. Bayerische Staatsoper
Considered to be one of the top attractions in Munich and Bavaria alike, this is also one of the best opera companies in the world. The pieces put on here are primarily composed by Mozart, Wagner, and Strauss. Seeing a show here is definitely one for the to-do list. Prices vary depending on what you see and when.
13. The Pinakothek Art Museums
Art lovers will definitely want to visit the three Pinakothek museums, located in central Munich. The Alte Pinakothek features more than 700 works from the 14th to the 18th centuries — including those of Dürer, Raphael, and Rembrandt. The Neue Pinakothek is devoted to 19th century art — and a third Pinakothek offers a collection of modern artworks.
14. See the Asam Church
The Asam Church is named for its 18th-century designers: two Asam brothers, a sculptor and a painter. Its Late Baroque interior is extravagant to say the least – the stuccowork along the church’s naive as well as the colorful frescoes make for some fantastic photography. Entrance is free.
Munich residents love tradition, and that includes Bavarian clothing. Any time of year, you’re likely to see men wearing lederhosen and women wearing a dirndl. At some local events, the wearing of lederhosen and dirndls is just about mandatory. Such events include the Korcherball – a large folk-dance festival that’s held every summer at the Chinese Tower.
16. Experience Oktoberfest
Lots of people wear lederhosen and dirndls when they go to Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival. On the grounds of the Oktoberfest site, you’ll find huge tents that feature food, beverages, and music — and plenty of amusement-park rides, too. The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810. Since then, it has been copied — but never equaled — in many cities around the world.
17. Visit the Deutsches Museum
The Deutsches Museum in Munich is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. For anyone interested in construction, engineering, aerospace, and the natural sciences, this is a great attraction. You could easily spend the entire day here; there are sailing ships, windmill, space probes, robots, lifeboats and much more.
18. Visit Nymphenburg Palace
Another top tourist attraction is the Nymphenburg Palace. It was commissioned in 1664 by the Bavarian Elector Ferdinand Maria as a gift to his wife, and later served as the main summer residence of the Bavarian royal family. Every year, more than 300,000 people visit the palace and ist park.
19. BMW Museum & BMW Welt
The BMW Museum offers a fascinating presentation of the company, brand and BMW product history. About 125 of the brand’s most valuable and attractive automobiles, motorcycles and engines are displayed in this building, spanning an area of 5,000 m².
BMW Welt is the company’s experience and automobile customer delivery centre. It features fascinating, futuristic architecture and hosts a wide range of exhibitions for all the BMW Group brands. Admission to BMW Welt is free.
20. Allianz Arena
Completed in 2005 the Allianz Arena has become one of the trademarks of the city within a decade. The stadium is home to one of the greatest and most successful football clubs of the world: FC Bayern München. The stadiums capacity is 75,000 seats, but unfortunately most of the time FC Bayern matches are sold out. If you don´t get a ticket, at least we can recommend a guided tour through the “Rubber Dinghy”, as it is called by locals.
21. Munich’s “way of life”
There are some things in life that you just can’t capture in a photograph — like the essence of Munich: a big city that still has a charming small-town feel to it. So all we can say at the end of our story is: „Minga, I mog Di!“ (“Munich, I like you!“).