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Home of the world-famous Oktoberfest, Munich is the capital city of the German state of Bavaria and Germany's 3rd largest city. But it's not just beer that draws travellers to Munich, although during Oktoberfest it's hard to believe otherwise as thousands of Germans and foreigners alike crowd the city to drown the frothy brew. Beautifully rebuilt after the WWII bombings, Munich is known for its architecture, galleries and museums and as a cultural centre. Munich's proximity to the Alps, Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria, as well as a green countryside just outside the city, make it a popular city to visit and live in. Consequently it is also the most expensive city to rent a flat in all of Germany.
Munich first appeared in the history books in 1158, but most likely the city existed before then. By 1255 Munich was the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria making it a very important city in the region. The city grew in power during the late medieval period and was even granted a salt monopoly making the residents of Munich very wealthy. In 1506, when Bavaria was reunited, Munich became the capital of all of Bavaria. The city's importance only grew with it becoming the centre for the German counter reformation and renaissance art movement. Munich remained the capital of the kingdom of Bavaria until it collapsed in 1918.
From 1918 to after World War II Munich was a major area for social unrest. There were several communist revolutions, which were put down and eventually the city became a rally point for the Nazi Party. The city was heavily bombed during World War II. After the war the city was completely rebuilt in its traditional way, even preserving the original pre-war street grid system. Today Munich has become a major economic center in Germany and is a wonderful place to visit.
The city has 25 Stadtbezirke (boroughs):
11. Milbertshofen-Am Hart
14. Berg am Laim
The Frauenkirche Cathedral is the largest church in Munich. This large Catholic church, with the New Town Hall, dominate the city center. Built in only 20 years, from 1468 to 1488, this late gothic cathedral is stunning, although it does not have rich gothic ornaments. The two domes on top of the towers were built during the Renaissance giving the building a unique look. The Frauenkirche can hold up to 20,000 people and has three naves that are 31 metres in height. There are many great pieces of artwork and the stained-glass windows are stunning, some of them predating the current church. The Frauenkirche is located at Frauenplatz 1.
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Munich has a temperate continental climate. Summers are from June to September with temperatures during the day mostly between 20 °C and 23 °C though heatwaves makes temperatures rising up to 35 °C sometimes. Nights average between 10 °C and 13 °C during this time. The coldest months are from December to February with average highs around 3 °C or 4 °C, while nights are mostly a few degrees below zero during this time. Average annual precipitation is around 1,000mm with most of the rain falling during the wetter summer months (heavy downpours) while winters see occasional snow. May/June and September are the best months to visit, with generally nice weather and less crowds.
|Avg Max||2.7 °C||4.3 °C||9 °C||12.5 °C||18 °C||20.5 °C||23.1 °C||23 °C||18.8 °C||13.2 °C||6.9 °C||3.7 °C|
|Avg Min||-3.7 °C||-3.2 °C||0.1 °C||2.8 °C||7.2 °C||10.4 °C||12.6 °C||12.3 °C||8.9 °C||4.7 °C||0.2 °C||-2.3 °C|
|Rainfall||48 mm||45.2 mm||57.7 mm||69.9 mm||93.4 mm||127.6 mm||131.6 mm||110.5 mm||86.3 mm||65.4 mm||71 mm||60.8 mm|
1. Munich Airport (also called Franz Josef Strauss International Airport) (MUC) is the second busiest airport in Germany and is only 28 kilometres from the city. This airport is a major hub for Lufthansa making it easy to connect to many major cities in the world.
To/from the airport:
2. Memmingen Airport (FMM) is a small airport, mainly serving low-cost flights, for example with Ryanair, which flies to/from Alicante, Bremen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Girona, London Stansted Airport, Malaga, Oslo, Porto, Rome, Stockholm and Valencia and seasonal to/from Alghero, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Reus and Trapani. Several other airlines serve destinations like Kiev, Belgrade, Antalya, Heraklion, Belfast and Naples, some of them chartered and/or seasonal (summer) only. Because of its proximity to Munich, the airport is also sometimes called Munich West Airport.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is the national railway company of Germany and offers train to and from Munich.
The two main train stations in Munich are München Hauptbahnhof (the Central Station) - where all the trains pass through - and München Ostbahnhof (Munich East), which is a bit smaller, but normally has most of the same trains passing through (perhaps depends in the direction they're going, however). All the S-Bahn lines (which go to the outskirts of the city) pass through both of these stations.
Eurolines connects to several German cities, including Munich. It also travels to other parts of Europe, including the normally harder to reach Eastern Europe. The stop used to be at München-Fröttmaning, near the Allianz Arena (the football stadium of Bayern München and 1860 München). However, they have moved, and now they are located at Hackerbrücke, in the center of the city (much easier to get to), which can be reached via S-Bahn (any S-Bahn, they all pass through it). You can see the ZOB building (Zentrale Busbahnhof München - the building under which all the bus bays are located) from the S-Bahn station, it's a minute's walk. It can also be reached by tram 16 or 17, and is a three minute walk around the corner. Reservations can be made at Deutsche Touring, Hirtenstrasse 14 (tel: 089-88989513), which is near the Central train staion. You can also make reservations by internet, or go straight to the ZOB and buy them in person. The ZOB is practically across the street (nearby) from the famous Augustinerkeller Beergarden. Prices with Eurolines are normally pretty good for the destinations, if you don't mind a longer busride.
As in all big cities, getting around is not easy if you are not familiar.
Munich has a large network of underground lines (U-Bahn), S-bahn, city busses and trams, making public transport one of the better options to get around in Munich.
Bicycle is a great way to get around Munich. Munich is mostly flat and has an excellent bicycle path network. The only limits on where you can cycle to is the sheer size of the city. With a diameter of roughly 25 kilometres it can take unfit cyclists 2-3 hours to get from one place to the other. For this reason people should note that it is possible to take bicycles on S-Bahn trains, but please try this only during non-peak hours or you will be murdered!
Murder can also be prevented by not walking on the bike-designated bike paths. Munich is very bike-oriented, but when crossing streets in Munich, consider the bike paths as a second street. The cyclists themselves try hard to follow the rules and not run anyone over, but pedestrians normally don't think along the same lines and rush out onto the bike paths, not thinking. While not deadly, a bike crash could still leave you with a broken nose and a blue eye (personally witnessed).
Having over 6,000 licensed establishments there is plenty of nightlife to explore. For the student and artist crowd go check out the Schwabing area. For discos and pubs go check out the former industrial areas of Kultfabrik and Optimolwerke.
|1st Creatif Hotel Elephant||Laemmerstrasse 6||Hotel||-|
|The 4You Hostel Munich||Hirtenstra�e 18 80335||HOSTEL||81|
|A&O City Hackerbruecke||Arnulfstr. 102||HOSTEL||71|
|A&O City Hauptbahnhof Muenchen||Bayerstr. 75||HOSTEL||78|
|Ambient Hotel Colina||MarieLuise Fleier Bogen 14||HOTEL||-|
|Arthotel Munich||Paul-Heyse-Str. 10||Hotel||80|
|Atlas City Hotel||Paul-Heyse-strasse 18||Hotel||79|
|Bed and Breakfast Zeevat in Munich||Feldbergstrasse, nr. 2||Guesthouse||-|
|Brunnenhof*** City Center Hotel Munich||Schillerstr. 36||Hotel||78|
|Comfort Hotel am Medienpark||Bahnhofstrasse 12||hotel||-|
|Comfort Hotel München Ost||Kronstadter Straße 12||Hotel||-|
|CVJM/YMCA Muenchen||Landwehrstrae 13||HOSTEL||79|
|East Park Studio Apartment||St.-Veit-Str 26||Apartment||-|
|Smart Stay Hostel Munich City||Mozartstr. 4 80336||HOSTEL||79|
|Smart Stay Hotel Station||Sch�tzenstrasse 7 80335||HOTEL||75|
|Euro Youth Hostel||Senefelder Str.5||Hostel||85|
|Haus International||Elisabethstrasse 87 D-80797||Hostel||77|
|HI Munich-Park||Miesingstr. 4||Hostel||80|
|Hotel Alfa city-centre||Hirtenstraße 22||hotel||-|
|Hotel Am Nockherberg||Nockherstr. 38 81541 M�nchen||HOTEL||79|
|Hotel Ampervilla||Gewerbering 1||hotel||-|
|Hotel Atlanta||Sendlinger Str. 58||hotel||-|
|Hotel Blutenburg||Verdistr. 130||hotel||78|
|Hotel Daheim||Schillerstr.20 Ecke Schwanthalerstr.||hotel||-|
|Hotel Italia||Schillerstr. 19 80336||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Monaco||Schillerstrasse 9 80336 Munich||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Mons am Goetheplatz||Waltherstrasse 33||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Nymphenburg Munich||Nymphenburger Str. 141||Hotel||80|
|Hotel Orly||Gabrielenstr.6 80636 M�nchen||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Tessin||Landsberger Str. 291 Munich - Laim||Hotel||79|
|Hotel Schmellergarten||Schmellerstrasse 20||HOTEL||80|
|Hotelpension Haydn||Haydnstraße 9||Hotel||78|
|Jaeger's Munich||Senefelderstr. 3 80336 Munchen||HOSTEL||73|
|MEININGER Munich City Center||Landsberger Strasse 20||Hostel||80|
|Parkhotel Ost||Johann Karg Strasse||hotel||-|
|Pension Locarno||Bahnhofsplatz 5||Guesthouse||77|
|The Garden House B||Halfinger str.47 Hayon / H.d.M||Guesthouse||-|
|The Tent Munich||In den Kirschen 30||Hostel||82|
|Westend Hotel||Schwanthalerstrasse 121 80339 Munich||Hotel||80|
|Wombats City Hostel Munich||Senefelderstrasse 1||HOSTEL||87|
|Hotel Achterbahn||Schwanthalerstra�e 88||HOTEL||78|
|A1 Hostel Moosach||Alzeyerstrasse 2||Hostel||-|
|Smart Stay Hotel Schweiz||Goethestrasse 26||HOTEL||78|
|HI Munich-City||Wendl-Dietrich-Strasse 20||Hostel||78|
|Munich All-Inclusive Campsite||Lochhausener Strasse 59||Campsite||77|
|Hostel Central||Paul-Heyse-Strasse 8||Hostel||-|
|Jugendherberge Possenhofen||Kurt-Stieler-Straße 18 Pöcking||Hostel||80|
|LetoMotel||Bunzlauer Strasse 5||Hotel||83|
|Pension Prinz||Ascholdingerstr. 1 c||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel Base Camp||Bayerstrasse 89 Munich||Hostel||-|
|D10´s apartments||Dreimühlenstr. 10||Apartment||79|
|Hotel Germania GmbH||Schwanthalerstraße 28||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Nanina||Breslauer Str. 34 Groebenzell||HOSTEL||76|
|Hostival – Oktoberfest||Grafinger Str. 6||Hostel||-|
|Helvetia Munich City Center||Schillerstrasse 6||HOTEL||78|
|Pension Belo Sono||Gollierstrasse 36||GUESTHOUSE||80|
|Pension Eulenspiegel||Muellerstr. 43 a||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Down Town MUC Apartment||Paul-Heyse-Str. 30||APARTMENT||-|
|Ferienwohnung and Apartment in Muenchen||Golddistelanger 24||APARTMENT||-|
|Pension MARUAN B&B||Am Moosfeld 55||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.
Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.
Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.
The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.
Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.
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