Another instalment from our travel guides, Sixt brings you the top travelling tips for Munich. Somehow, Germany never attracts as much attention for tourists as other European countries. Ignoring Germany as a holiday destination means missing out some excellent experiences, beautiful countryside and a welcoming people. Its cities are bastions of beauty and Munich is a gem among them.
Munich is Germany’s third largest city and state capital of Bavaria. With its roots deeply in Medievalism (foundations date back to 1158), Munich thrives as a modern city, and regularly features high up lists of the world’s most liveable cities. The old town happily rubs shoulders with the newer, busier commercial districts, and presents a juxtaposition that tourists find charming.
The sights of Munich
The Inner City – the magnificent architecture of the inner city dates mainly to the 19th century and is situated along four main streets known as the Royal Avenues; Ludwigstrasse, Briennerstrasse, Princeregentenstrasse and Maximilianstrasse. Punctuated by grand squares, monuments and gardens, some of Munich’s most upscale shopping areas are also here.
Buildings – Lovers of diversity in architecture won’t be disappointed by Munich. The city presents a wealth of imposing churches (Frauenkirche, Peterskirche and Theatinerkirche) and magnificent palaces, some of which are now municipal buildings and others remain as wondrous museums with windows into the past (Schloss Nymphenburg, and Residenz).
Museums and Galleries – There’s a wealth of cultural exhibitions in Munich with a treasure trove of delights from all periods of history and movements in art. There is also a strong modern/technological contingent as Munich is a hotbed of research and engineering.
Open Spaces– Visitors can retreat to Munich’s parks, the Englischer Garten and Olympiapark or visit the animals of Munich Zoo (Tierpark Hellarbrunn).
Celebrations Bavarian style
Munich is most famous for the Oktoberfest when millions descend on the city to celebrate all things Bavarian. The festival has been running since 1810, and every year is full of citizens and visitors enjoying the feasting, drinking and Oompah bands.
If Oktoberfest all sounds like too much, the May Day Festival – known as Maibaumaufstellen – is a more sedate affair and involves traditional costumes and Maypole dancing, as well as heaps of traditional Bavarian fare and lashings of beer.
Munich comes even more alive as Christmas descends, and the special holiday themed markets set up their stalls in the plazas and streets. The largest and longest running, is the Tollwood, in Olympiapark.
Tastes of Munich
As a modern European metropolis Munich offers the whole gamut of world cuisine, but visitors really should try the authentic food of the region. This includes Weisswurst (sausage) accompanied by Weizenbier (wheat beer), which are only served up to noon, schweinsbraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (roast pig knuckle) and Leberkassemmeln, a roll filled with a delicious meat patty. Of course, there are snacks of pretzels and delectable tortes and cakes to be washed down with good coffee (or more beer).
Places to rest your head
Munich presents accommodation in a vast range. The budget traveller will be happy with the quality of hostels and cheap hotels, and the discerning visitor knows absolute luxury is also on the menu.
Hostels are clean and comfortable and offer Wifi, and for those who fancy something a little different, there’s The Tent. The set up is like a campsite, but a bed is provided, and on good weather days, there are campfire gatherings.
Among the best hotels in the city are the Hotel Konigshof (which has a 1 Michelin star restaurant), the designer Anna Hotel, the Astor and the Mandarin Oriental. A favourite is the elegant Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski, which has been welcoming guests for 150 years.
Enjoy your stay in Munich, if you’re looking for a rental car, please check out our Munich car hire stations. Cheers!