Munich is the capital city of Bavaria,
Germany. With a population of about 1.3 million, Munich is the third-largest
city in Germany. Munich is an important centre of higher education, banking
and the film and media industry. It is also the home of world-famous beers
and Germany’s biggest football club, Bayern Munich. You can take a one-hour
tour of the stadium including their museum and Hall of Fame. Every year
Munich plays host to more than 3 million tourists from all over the world.
The city has several important art museums, among them the Alte Pinakothek,
Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne. The Alte Pinakothek is the
place to go to see well-known old masterpieces from the 14th to 18th
centuries. (Closed Mondays and some public holidays.) The Neue Pinakothek
(closed Tuesdays and some public holidays), built for King Ludwig I of
Bavaria, covers European art of the 18th and 19th centuries. And the
Pinakothek der Moderne, as its name suggests, displays collections of modern
art. (It closes on Mondays.) Other famous tourist attractions include the
late 15th century gothic Frauenkirche (Cathedral of Our Lady); the English
Garden, a public park in the centre of the city larger than Central Park in
New York; the Deutsches Museum (Science Museum); and the
Rathaus-Glockenspiel, which at 11am every day (and again at noon and 5pm in
summer) chimes its 43 bells while 32 life-sized figures re-enact two stories
of jousting knights and of the plague (pictures below).
Perhaps Munich's most famous attraction is the Oktoberfest, a 2-week-long
fair with many rides and several very large beer tents. From 25th November
visitors flock to the Christmas Market on Marienplatz for unique gifts such
as wood carvings from Oberammergau and glassware from the Bavarian forest.
The whole city centre is decorated and each day there is a free concert from
the Town Hall balcony.
The Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics. From
the viewing platform 190m (623 ft) high you get a great view over the city
and, if the weather is good, as far as the Alps. There is a revolving
restaurant and bar (it takes 50 minutes to complete one circuit) and the
tower is open daily from 9am to midnight.
Where to stay
The five-star Bayerischer Hof, opposite the cathedral in
the old city, has all the facilities you would expect: gym and spa, indoor
and outdoor pools, and air conditioned rooms. It is close to the train
station and will accept pets. For something a bit different in the 5 star
class, try the highly rated Mandarin Oriental. Ideally situated in the city
centre, the hotel offers oriental style combined with German service
For something more modest and quiet, the 3 star Hotel Laimer Hof
is housed in a converted traditional Bavarian villa. Although a little way
out of town, this hotel is close to the Nymphenburg Castle and the
Hirschgarten, Europe’s biggest beer garden.
Right near the central train station is the 4You Hostel.
Breakfast and the internet are included, but towels are not. You can meet
people in the bar, and there is a mix of shared dormitories and private
rooms with own shower and toilet.