Munich – or Munchen to give it its correct German name – is a tremendous place to visit, whether you are heading off for a week or two or just popping over for a weekend city break. Munich is home to a beautiful city centre and only a short drive away from the outstanding scenic countryside. Plus of course, it has a reputation as being one of the most typically German places in the entire country, thanks in no small part to the Oktoberfest festivities, the traditional dress of lederhosen and plenty of Bavarian sausages. Here is the lowdown on where to stay, what to eat, and where to go in Munich.
Getting to Munich
Munich airport is a reasonable distance away from the city centre, so allow some time for travelling in when planning your journey. The train and bus systems are excellent, and you can also seek out Munich airport transfers which are well-priced and will get you to your destination with a minimum amount of fuss. Once you hit the centre, there are plenty of public transport options, including taxis, metros (called the U-Bahn) and trams. It’s a big city that sprawls a fair old distance, so if you want to get around and see the sights, it’s likely you will need to use some form of public transport, but it’s clean, cheap and efficient. If you are visiting in the winter — likely for something like the nearby Christmas Market at Rothenburg — it’s easy to just roll by here by public transport.
Where to stay in Munich
As with any modern city, there are a fantastic array of accommodation options when comes to Munich. There are lots of hotels, of course, and the German take up of services like Airbnb is excellent – there are plenty of bargains to be found if you want to stay in an apartment or house and go down the self-service route. Highlights include Hotel Lux, which is a beautiful place to stay for reasonable rates and features incredible decor and individually designed suites. The Louis Hotel is fantastic, too – it’s beautiful timber and stone design is a perfect example of Munich, and it’s close to lots of good bars and restaurants. The Hotel Laimer Hof offers a lot for your money, and although small the hotel has plenty to offer regarding luxury and exceptional value.
Where to go out
While Munich is a lot more conservative in nature than German cities like Berlin, there are plenty of things to do in Munich. Public transport and taxi cabs will take you from A to B all night long, and whether you want to hit the Munich clubs or enjoy a quiet evening ina traditional German tavern, there is something for everyone in this clean and beautiful time. During the daytime, there is plenty of amazing cultural experiences to soak up. There are more than 80 museums to look at, including the Museum Brandhorst which is home to more than 1,000 pieces of world-famous art that covers everything from avant-garde to modern. For fans of politics and history, the Munich Documentation Centre is well worth a visit and is located on the former site of the Nazi Party’s headquarters. However, it’s not for the faint of heart and is a pretty unflinching take on the history of National Socialism and the rise of the Third Reich.
Munich is, of course, world-renowned for its Oktoberfest, which involves plenty of beer drinking, sausage eating, and lots of heavy heads in the morning. But that’s not all that is on offer, however – far from it, in fact. The Christmas markets in Munich are much different to those you might find elsewhere in the country during the November and December periods, and give you a genuine sense of festive cheer. And it’s worth visiting Munich for the Mittelmark around the same time, too, which is a hybrid of traditional and medieval market fairs.
Things you need to know
Munich is a fantastic city that enjoys super low crime rates, and everything seems clean, pleasant and green. However, it does have its quirks. The Bavarian people take cycling exceptionally seriously, so expect a good telling off if you walk in one of the many bike lanes. It’s a good idea to be on time, too – many Germans find it insulting if you are late. And finally, when you are toasting friends or locals with a stein of beer, make sure you look everyone in the eye when you say ‘Prost!’
Munich is definitely a little bit different to almost any other European city, mostly for positive reasons. It’s great for couples, families, or large groups – so why not give it a try?