Although Munich is the largest city in Germany farthest from Norway, it is still the German city that most of us have a relationship with. Much of the reason is probably the slightly legendary Oktoberfest which is the mother of all beer festivals. Or so the cause is the Bayern Munich football team, a great power in football. And who has not seen any of the 280 episodes of the slightly legendary crime series Derrick that has rolled across the television screen for years?
While Hamburg and Berlin have evolved to become international metropolises, Munich seems to have preserved its local traditions with pride, and more than gladly plays on its leaderhosen, bratwürst, jodling and tuba music. And where everything can be experienced at the same time in huge beer gardens or beer halls.
But Munich has more than clichés to offer. The city has a grand Baroque architecture, not least in the historic market square Marienplatz. And it offers many great museums and galleries. Most of us will be able to have some great days in Munich. For Munich is a happy city. The region is among the most prosperous in Europe, something the many Mercedes, Porch and not least BMWs testify to where you see them everywhere in traffic. Munich is the hometown of BMW, and of course Munich has its own BMW museum. But the wealth has not meant that old beer halls and local schitzel dishes have had to give way to sushi and capuccino. Although this is also available in copious quantities.
We always enjoy ourselves in Munich, and recommend this green pleasant city to everyone!
Get to know Munich
Munich is Germany’s third largest city with about 1.3 million inhabitants, and is also the capital of the state of Bavaria. The city is located in the south of Germany, a few miles from the Alps and close to the border with Austria, and is strategically located by the river Iser.
Munich was founded about the year 1158, but it was long before this home of the Benedictine monks who originated the city’s name. Munich simply means the monks.
It was in 1503 Munich became the capital of Bavaria, but it was not until the 19th century that the city grew into a real metropolis. Crazy men like Napoleon and Hitler have both had big plans with Munich. The latter had the city as the headquarters of the Nazi party, and the famous author Thomas Mann, among others, had to escape the city.
But Munich has happily survived this little glamorous bit of its history and today stands out as a great city that deserves a visit!
- Abbreviation: M
- Country: Germany
Alstad – or Old Town in Munich
Altstad or the old town if you will, is the area that all tourists visit first and foremost. And the place everyone flocks to is called Marienplatz. Not only is it Altstad’s heart, but all of Munich’s heart, and we guarantee that you will pass by the square repeatedly during your visit to Munich. Around Marienplatz there are several sights. Centrally located is the magnificent 19th-century Neo-Gothic town hall, or Neues Rathaus as it is called, and the column Mariensaüle. This obelisk-like thing from the 16th century naturally has a statue of the Virgin Mary on top.
At the town hall you will also find the famous, but not exciting, game of chimes, which three times a day collects crowds of tourists standing and watching it, wondering if nothing will happen soon. And it doesn’t. You can walk or take the elevator up into the tower in the town hall, but you have even better views from the tower of Alter Peter close by. St. Peter’s Church Tower is one of Munch’s landmarks.
Near the new town hall you will find the old town hall, Alte Rathaus. It was actually destroyed by lightning, but is now rebuilt in its 1400s form. Today, Alte Rathaus houses a toy museum. West of Neue Rathous you will see another landmark if you look up, namely the Frauenkirche or the city’s judgment. The church with its distinctive onion domes on its two tall towers, is perhaps best known for the devil’s footprint that you will see as you enter the church from the main entrance.
North of Altstadt you will find Odeonplatz with, among other things, the beautiful and yellow Theatinerkirche. Here you will also find a beautiful garden, the Hofgarten, where you can relax among beautiful flowers and manicured lawns. And for that matter, have a beer at a small beer garden. But best known when it comes to serving beer and German food, however, is the Hofbräuhaus on Platz 9, just east of Marienplatz. Specifically, at the Alter Hof. They refer to themselves as the world’s most famous pub, and we should not dispute that. The place seats 3500 guests and there is a great atmosphere pretty much every day. Of course many tourists, but the place still feels, and thankfully, still genuinely real. And it is an attraction you should experience.
On the way from Marienplatz to Odeonplatz you can, if you go Dienerstrasse and subsequent Residenzstrasse, see Residenz which served as a royal castle when the Wittelsbach clan moved its headquarters from Alter Hof and northeast in the center. Enormous Residenz was built between 1570 and 1620.
West of Marienplatz is the old town’s commercial center. Here you just find the credit card and bag carriers and go all the way to Karlsplatz. Along the Kaufingerstrasse and the subsequent Neuhauser Strasse you will find the German Hunting and Fishing Museum, which is known for stuffed animals and trophies, made to appear in its natural element. The road further takes you out of the old town and towards the main train station Hauptbahnhof.
Hauptbahnhof in Munich
Just west of Altstadt you will find the main train station. Not only trains, but also airport buses and other scheduled bus communications have this as their main station in Munich. The station is a delight to the eye, with good snack shoppers, service-minded staff at the information desks and enough security guards that it is mostly safe and peaceful here. The area around the station has a large Turkish and Muslim element. Here you go to buy affordable and delicious kebabs in the evening, and delicious fresh vegetables and fruits during the day. You will also find lots of hotels here, especially 2 and 3 star hotels.
Schwabing in Munich
There are many who claim Schwabing is for Munich what the Latin Quarter is for Paris. This is the university district of Munich and also the city’s arguably largest nightlife area. Here, the atmosphere is trendy and bohemian loose. You will find Schwabing just north of Altstadt. But there are more than just cafes, bars, nightclubs and discos here. Add a variety of bookstores, shoe stores and restaurants with kitchens representing the world. The central street is Leopoldstrasse. Feel free to start the trip from Münchner Freiheit and walk slowly towards Altstadt. Further north in Schawing there is little that is interesting to the ordinary tourist.
Englischer Garten in Munich
Don’t miss the English Garden (Englischer Garten), one of the world’s largest city parks. Here people gather on hot days to swim in the rivers, calm the lakes with ducks and swans, sunbathe on the heavy and well-kept lawns, drink in the beer gardens, or visit the Greek temple of Monopteros. Please note that part of the park is reserved for naturists. Enormous Englischer Garten is located just northeast of Odeonplatz and Hofgarten.
Parallel to the park is the central street Ludwigstrasse, which later becomes Leopoldstrasse. Bus number 54, from e.g. Münchner Freiheit, takes you to the “Chinesischer Turm” in the park. This is a central point where one of the city’s largest beer gardens is located. If you walk a little north from the Chinese tower, you will experience the park more like a hike in the countryside than a walk in a traditional park. And really it feels just liberating wonderful. Remember that some Germans just love to walk around naked when it’s hot in the weather. So don’t be alarmed when a naked man crosses the path in front of you, it’s just a naturist.
Munich Olympic Park
Munich hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics, which is tragically perhaps most remembered for the terrorist campaign. Today, the Olympic Park is very peaceful anyway, and definitely worth a trip. And you can see more than the residential complexes where the athletes lived and competed. Why not take the elevator to the top of the 290-meter-high Olympic Tower and get a fabulous view of the area?
You can also admire the BMW building, which is the group’s headquarters, and see old cars at the BMW Museum in the same place, and enjoy the futuristic stadium facilities even today. It is far to walk to the Olympic Park from eg. Altstad, but there is a subway all the way from the city center to the park. Optionally, take a cab. If traveling from the city center, expect about 20 Euro for the trip.
Haidhausen in Munich
This district east of Munich, just off the Ostbahnhof is the place for you who like to dance. Here are Kultfabrik and probably 30 other discos that do not close until the local shops have started a new working day. There are also many bars and restaurants in the area, e.g. i Optimolwerke.
Neuhausen and Nymphenburg in Munich
This district is a good distance from the city center, about 5 km northwest and is a place you primarily come to relax with an ice cream or a liter of beer in the world’s largest beer garden, Hirschgarten. Here you come by tram. Take e.g. number 12 to Rotkreuzplatz or Romanplatz.
Nymphenburg was the summer residence of the Wittelbach family and the Italian-inspired palace you see here was started in 1664, and is open to the public. The impressive French park in the area and the Marstall Museum must also be experienced. Many of the attractions take entry fee, (about 20 kroner), but the castle chapel itself, which is impressive enough in itself, is free. Opening hours are from 0900 to 1700 every day except Mondays when it is closed.
List of Munich Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Munich is M which stands for Munich. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Munich, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.