Munich Travel Guide

Munich is a city unlike any other in Germany and is the heart of Bavarian Gemutlichkeit: the joy to be found in companionship. This beguiling city is also home to enough cultural and historical attractions to captivate even the most experienced travellers. 'We're here for the beer!' could well be the motto of those who holiday in Munich, a perennial favourite with tourists, which hosts the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival every year. There are many more reasons to travel to Munich, however, besides sampling its renowned brews and enjoying its friendly beer halls, oompah bands and buxom barmaids. The nightlife in Munich will delight year-round but it isn't all this historic city has going for it.

The Bavarian city epitomises traditional charm, in some respects to excess, and there is a lot of old-fashioned hospitality going around. There is also a sophisticated side to Munich, which has numerous impressive museums and art galleries as well as designer stores and world-class restaurants. The city boasts some breath-taking historic architecture and has no shortage of delights for culture vultures and those who enjoy traditional sightseeing. Those who like to buy their way through new cities will also be very happy with the shopping in Munich.

Best time to visit Munich

The busiest time for travel to Munich is during late September for the beer festival, which attracts about six million people every year, but weather-wise the peak tourist season is summer (June to August), when temperatures are warm and mild, though there are frequent thunderstorms. Winters are cold and snowy. The city's proximity to the Alps makes the weather rather unpredictable.

What to see in Munich

-Visit the impressive Alte Pinakothek Gallery to see the work of the old masters.

-See the Hall of Beauties and stroll the lovely grounds of the Nymphenburg Palace.

-Get into science and technology at the Deutsches Museum.

-Admire the historic buildings of Marienplatz.

What to do in Munich

-Enjoy a meal in the revolving restaurant at Munich's Olympic Park.

-Take a sobering tour of the Dachau Memorial Site, the first Nazi 'death camp'.

-Arrange an excursion to the charming alpine village of Berchtesgaden.

-Explore the beautiful scenery and picturesque towns of the Romantic Road.

Beyond Munich

Munich is a great base for exploring the Bavarian Alps, a paradise for hikers, climbers and skiers. Resorts such as Garmisch-Partenkirchen are extremely popular with winter sports enthusiasts, and the striking scenery of lake-side villages like Chiemsee attracts many visitors. Munich is also a natural doorway to the Romantic Road, which winds past fairy-tale villages and castles up to Frankfurt. Stuttgart, which has numerous attractions of its own, is also close to Munich.

Getting there

The Munich International Airport is situated 18 miles (29km) northeast of the centre of Munich, and frequent commuter trains service the airport.

Did you know?

-Eighty percent of Munich's old town centre was destroyed during the war, but much of it has been lovingly restored.

-Munich was founded in 1158 on the lucrative trade route for salt.

-Munich consistently tops opinion polls on the best places to live in Germany.