München (no, not munchkin...)
Munich (München) is truly the capital of all things Bavarian. It's a heady mix of worldclass museums, historic sites, cosmopolitan shopping, exhausting nightlife, trendy restaurants, roaring beer halls, vast parks and, of course, Oktoberfest.
- Navigating and enjoying all of this blue and-white-checked fun (the colours of Bavaria) will take a few days.
- The efficient public transport system can whisk you around town – although if you stay above ground you might be surprised at how walkable the centre really is.
- Against all this urban life is the backdrop of the Alps, peaks that exude an allure that many locals – and visitors – find inescapable. No visit to Germany is complete without at least some time spent in this storied city.
1. Marienplatz (St Mary’s Square)
In the heart of Old Town you will find Marienplatz, the main square with many sights to be seen. Dominating the square is the New Town Hall, featuring an impressive clock tower which you can climb to get a great view out over town. The face of the tower features the Glockenspiel, that chimes only twice a day (11am and 12 pm) and gathers quite a crowd as it performs a sing-song dance. Other sites include the Old Town Hall and around the corner the popular Viktualienmarkt; a market where you can stock up on some fresh products for a picnic in the Gardens.
2. The English Gardens
Grab a bike in town and head out to the huge 1000-acre gardens known as The English Gardens. There are many sections to the park and things to see such as shaded paths, brooks and ponds with swans but the park is best known for its four beer gardens and nude sunbathers. If it’s a hot day, why not take a swim in the refreshing river? And make sure to check out the crazy locals surfing the man-made rapids near the bridge.
3. Allianz Stadium: Home of FC Bayern Munich
This stadium is a big draw card for all football fans wanting to visit one of the biggest teams in Germany. You can go inside the stadium on a guided tour and see the dressing rooms, press rooms and learn lots of cool facts about the stadium itself. There is also a museum that has a ‘Hall of Fame’ so you can learn about the players and past games.
4. Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady)
The Cathedral of Our Lady is one of the most iconic buildings in Munich and is worth a visit. Most people come to see the famous Devil’s footprint in the entrance hall. Legend has it, the Devil agreed to fund the building of the church, so long as it was built with no windows. The architect in charge agreed, but was clever and defied the Devil by putting in secret windows that could not be seen from the doorway. When the Devil realized he had been tricked he stomped his foot and flew away on a huge gust of wind, leaving a footprint as he went. They say this is why there is always wind blowing around the Cathedral, creating a whistling sound at the top of the towers.
Munich’s Residenz was the former home and seat of the government of Bavarian rulers for over 400 years. Inside you’ll find ballrooms, galleries, chapels, apartments, fountain courts and gardens in Italian Renaissance and Palladian style architecture. Take a look at the Antiquarium or ‘Hall of Antiquities’ with its beautiful 16th and 17th century frescoes and the Schatzkammer or ‘Treasury’ which contains statues made from precious gems and metals.
1. Weisses Brauhaus
This brew house has its own locally brewed wheat beer called Schneider-Weiss that is served in half litres at a very affordable price. The menu serves the most popular Bavarian dish the Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle with crispy mouthwatering skin) served with a potato dumpling.
2. Augustiner Keller
The Augustiner is the oldest beer hall in Munich and offers great food with friendly service. The recommended dish to try here is the Grosse Wurstlpfanne (sausage sampler) served with roast potatoes and sauerkraut. Always a popular place with locals and tourists, the idea here is to sit down at any table where there’s room and make new friends.
This is the king of all beer halls in Munich and the most touristy one being in the heart of Old Town. Here you’ll find a tasty menu of Bavarian cuisine and some great culture.
4. Viktualienmarkt Food Market
Just off Old Town Square you’ll find this great food market with over 140 stalls to choose from with anything your heart desires to make the perfect picnic lunch!
5. Münchner Kartoffelhaus
Munich's Kartoffelhaus or Potato Restaurant is where you’ll find the locals tucking into the humble potato. Here they serve potatoes galore in many daring and wonderful ways. You’ll find something you like here, but the Indian curried potato is particularly good.
1. Call Me Drella
In the Old Town near the university, this hip Andy Warhol themed bar is very quirky with its pop art décor. They play mainly the old school, hip-hop and funk-electro rhythms popular with the 20-30 something’s.
2. Jennifer Parks
This grungy interior lounge turns into a vibrant student destination with a great dance floor. They play 70’s and 80’s funk tunes on Thursdays. p>
3. Backstage Club
Backstage is an alternative sprawling complex with both indoor and outdoor spaces that hosts live bands and DJ’s playing anything from reggae to rock to the wee hours of the morning.
Muffatwerk is a club in a former power plant that has bands and DJ’s playing in an electric atmosphere. You’ll also find a beer garden that serves exclusively organic food.
This huge complex of clubs, bars and eateries is a Disneyland for clubbers with a venue to suit everyone.
Click the coloured pins to find out how to get here
Take a trip out to Dachau Concentration Camp. It's haunting but well worth a visit."