Munich, Germany: A Travel Guide with All You Need to Know
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A celebrated Bavarian city located in the southern region of Germany, Munich boasts the perfect mixture of old European architecture and traditions with modern urban luxuries and a forward-thinking culture. While wandering through Munich, you will encounter ornate centuries-old gothic and neo-renaissance buildings as well as contemporary art galleries, shopping malls, and an assortment of museums that showcase the history of Germany. Best known for its assortment of artisan beer brews and homemade smoked sausage, a trip to Munich is an experience you will cherish for many years to come. Read on to learn more about this dynamic city!
When to Go to Munich
Need to figure out when to plan your trip to Munich? Let's take a closer look at when you can expect the best weather and the best seasonal activities: (Weather Source)
Best Weather in April Through June
The best time of year to visit Munich is in April through June when temperatures are in the mid-60's°F. During this time of year, you will only need to carry a light jacket for traveling around in the evening when the temperatures tend to drop a few degrees. Munich experiences a warm Summer season that is pleasant for wearing a tee-shirt and shorts, but tourists tend to crowd the streets and attractions. Unless you are planning to attend the annual Oktoberfest, it is best to avoid Munich during the fall and winter months when temperatures are cold and frigid - often hovering around freezing.
Peak Season Starts During Oktoberfest
One of the biggest celebrations in all the world, Oktoberfest is Munich's annual drinking festival. The tradition began in 1810 when the Bavarian Prince and Princess invited the whole town to partake in their wedding celebration by drinking beer and eating an abundance of fresh-harvested food.
Today Oktoberfest spans over 16 days from late September to early October. If you want to plan your trip to Munich around Oktoberfest, book your hotel room at least a year in advance as the hotels fill up quickly.
Even though it is cold, Christmas is also a special time around Munich as this is when all the Christmas shops and markets come to life. These quaint markets provide the perfect opportunity to find gifts for everyone on your list. You will also get to indulge in a variety of popular Bavarian Christmas snack treats. July and August also welcome another peak travel season to Munich as everyone is flooding into the city for a sun-soaked summer vacation. Munich has over 700 water fountains; many of which you are allowed to cool off in. Summer is the ideal time of year to explore all of remarkable buildings of this city.
Top 3 Things to do in Munich...
Here's what you don't want to miss out on when you are visiting. You can put these at the top of your list so you make sure you see the places that are what makes Munich unique.
#1 Stroll the Grounds of the English Garden
A city staple since 1789, the English Garden is an urban outdoor garden space that is brimming with beautiful plants, flowers, and ornamental structures.
In this park, you will find a mile and a half of cobblestone pathways that wind through the gardens. It is a place of tranquil beauty where you are sure to find inner peace. Learn about the native plants of Bavaria and find your new favorite flower!
#2 Admire the Neues Rathaus
An imposing Gothic Revival building that appears to cascade up into the heavens, Neues Rathaus serves as the town hall of Munich and is absolutely breathtaking to look at. Not only does this iconic building house the offices of the mayor and city council, but it also has a memorial room, a 255 foot tall observation tower with breathtaking views of the city, and an inner courtyard where visitors can partake in annual events, such as the glockenspiel show. Reserve your spot on a 90-minute tour while you are in town and learn about Neues Rathaus' interesting history.
#3 Learn About the Past and Future of the BMW Brand at BMW Welt
A futuristic museum and home to BMW headquarters, BMW Welt is a car lover's paradise. At BMW Welt, you will get to learn about the history of the car and motorcycle brand as well as see some of its most coveted models. The building features stunning architecture that appeals to people young and old with its bright colorful lights and creatively displayed exhibits. You can sign up for a guided tour of the museum and BMW plant and learn more about what makes BMW so special. Guided tours are available in English and German and tour times are held seven days a week in the afternoon.
More Local Landmarks and Things to Do
Here's some more fun activities that Munich is known for to add to your vacation itinerary:
Artisan beer tasting tours
No trip to Munich is complete without sampling the artisan brewed drink that puts this city on the map...the beer! Sign up for a city brewery tour and let expert guides escort you around to all of the hotspots of the city. Beer tours are typically held in the evening hours and are about three hours in duration. Be sure that Schneider Brauhaus is on the itinerary.
Satisfy your chocolate and cheese cravings
Dallmayr Delicatessen is a gourmet grocery store and confectionary that offers fine Bavarian cheese, chocolate, wine, and other tantalizing snacks. Dine at the deli and purchase some fine foods to take with you.
Check out contemporary art
Haus der Kunst is located in the heart of Munich and celebrates the modern artist of the region. The museum is open from 10am-8pm daily, except on Thursday when it is open a couple of hours later until 10pm.
See Bavaria Statue
The German version of the American Statue of Liberty, this stunning bronze masterpiece was constructed during the early 1800s and poses pretty for a picture.
A library-style museum that provides visitors with a look at Nazi Germany documents from WW1 and WW2. The museum shares the message with all that in order to prevent racism and persecution in the future, we must all learn from the past.
Places Near Munich to Visit
The Rhine River is an important commerce channel that flows between several European countries, including Germany. The shoreline of the Rhine River is dotted by vacation resorts, idyllic Bavarian villages, and nature trails that are worth exploring. The Rhine River is marked by beautiful sights you will only see from the comfort of a boat.
Interested in taking a Rhine River cruise while you are in Munich? AmaWaterways and Avalon Waterways are premier cruise line companies that make regular trips up and down the Rhine River; click here to check out their amazing cruise packages.
Escorted tours are another great option for exploring the highlights of Munich and the surrounding cities. Single day tours and multi-day tours are available, and you will learn a great deal about the landmarks with your expert guide. Below are a few tour packages to add to your itinerary:
- Globus - Globus offers Imperial Splendors which is a 10-day guided tour where you will cross over land and the river in a loop that starts in Munich, crosses through Slavakia, Czech Republic, and Austria, before you arrive back in Munich again.
- Cosmos - Just like a real life version of the Polar Express, The Alpine Adventures Tour by Cosmos is a 13-day journey where you will travel through the alpine forests and around glaciers to get to places like Italy, Switzerland, and Austria.
- Collette - For the romantics out there, Collette cordially invited you to take the Germany's Cultural Cities & the Romantic Road featuring Berlin, Hamburg, Rothenburg and Munich (Dec 2019 - April 2020) day tour. You will get to see the breathtaking country roads that go between cities like Hamburg and Berlin.
Last, but not least, Starnberg See is also a great outdoor adventure for those who are looking for a way to spend a couple hours. Starnberg See is a beautiful freshwater lake and is among the largest in all of Germany. This lake has an interesting history, and was once enjoyed exclusively by the German Royal Family.
More Things to Know About Munich
Munich is a vacation destination that is appreciated by folks in every age group and every walk of life. This Bavarian city offers a glimpse inside its rich and sometimes seedy history as well as its hope for the future. It is a festive town known for its massive callings for beer drinkers and lederhosen clad citizens proudly showing off their fine culture for the world to see.
Is Munich Safe for Travel?
Munich is considered an extremely safe city to travel to and crime is rare. Just to be on the safe side, keep your wallet and cell phone close to you and do not leave your drink unattended at the bar.
What Currency is Used in Munich?
The Euro (EU) is the official currency used in Munich. If you are traveling from a non-Euro country, your home currency can be exchanged at a bank or currency exchange center at the airport or in the city.
How many days should I spend in Munich?
To get the best possible experience and to ensure you get to check out all of the breathtaking sights, it would be beat to plan on at least spending a week in Munich. This will ensure you do not feel rushed to complete your itinerary.
How do I get around Munich?
Munich has a very generous transportation system and there are several transport modes available to guests. Consider whether you want to ride a bike, hire a driver, rent a car, take the bus, or walk to the destinations.
Related: Best Destinations for Beer Drinkers