Munich is most famous for being home to the annual Oktoberfest, an ode to beer. But the capital city of Bavaria also boasts beautiful architecture and fine culture. Many museums outrank those in Berlin and the cultural scene cannot be matched by any other German city. Although badly damaged in the World War II, the historical buildings have been reconstructed and the city center appears mostly as it did at the end of the 1800s.
Munich is the largest city in Bavaria and is located on the river Isar, north of the Bavarian Alps.
Munich has continental climate, strongly influenced by the Alps. The precipitations are high and the storms can come fast and violently. Winters — from December to March — are cold and snowfall is common. Summers — May to September — are warm and pleasant.
Jan avg high 1C /avg low -6C
Jul avg high 23C/avg low 12C
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How to get to Munich
Munich International Airport (MUC) is the second busiest airport in Germany and the seventh in Europe. It is hub for: Air Berlin, Augsburg Airways, Lufthansa, Air Dolomiti, Air Independence, BinAir, Condor, Hamburg International and TUIfly. The airport handles direct flights to/from Asia, Africa, North America, Middle East , the rest of Europe as well as domestic flights. There are S-Bahn trains and buses connecting the airport to the city center.
Memmingen Airport (FMM) is located 110 km from Munich and is mostly used by Ryanair for the low cost flights into Munich. There are shuttle buses to/from the airport and the city center.
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The main train station serving Munich is located in the city center and is a major Deutsche Bahn hub. Trains connect the city to the rest of Germany and also to the rest of Europe. There’s a TGV connection to Paris, too.
Buses also connect Munich to the rest of Europe and they are usually the cheapest option. Domestic routes are also available.
The network of well-maintained roads connects Munich to the rest of Germany and the rest of Europe.
If visiting Munich during summer, you can choose to use a camping within the city (there are four to choose from). Otherwise, accommodation varies from hostels, to budget hotels, mid-range hotels and to luxury hotels. When you visit Munich plays an important role in the price you’ll pay. If you want to be in the city for Oktoberfest, then book ahead of time and be prepared to part with quite a lot of money.
What to do and see
The most important festival taking place each year in Munich is Oktoberfest . Don’t be fooled by the name, though, it starts in late September. Plan ahead and book a place to stay, even considering staying outside Munich. Try to avoid the weekends when the beer tents are absolutely packed.
On May 1 , you can be part of Maibaumaufstellen, when men in Lederhosn and girls in Dirndln carrying long poles meet in the central square. There’s music, good food and beer , in a total non-touristy celebration.
While in Munich you can stroll the once royal avenues, now a reason to just spend time in the city, doing some people watching and taking photos. Or you can visit one of the famous castles and palaces: Schloss Nymphenburg — the summer residence of the Bavarian kings — Residenz, Schloss SchleiÃŸheim and Schloss Dachau.
Frauenkirche dominates the skyline in Munich but there are other churches to visit, too. Peterskirche is the oldest church in the inner city and Michaeliskirche is the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps.
Museums, galleries, parks and historical buildings also wait to be discovered by the visitor.
And if you plan to be in Munich before Christmas, don’t miss the Christmas Markets taking place in the city.
Photo credit: Marienplatz