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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
Sights and Activities
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.
St. Peter's Church, Munich
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- St. Peter is the oldest church in Munich and the church has a stunning alter.
- St. Michael's is a former Jesuit church and is the largest Renaissance Church north of the Alps
. Built between 1583 and 1597 it became the spiritual center for the Counter Reformation. The fully restored exterior and interior will amaze anyone.
Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan - Theatinerkirche St. Kajetan (Theatine Church), a high baroque style church was built between 1663 and 1690. The church was built by Elector Ferdinand Maria and his wife as gesture of thanks for the birth of the new heir to the Bavarian crown. Many famous artists decorated the interior and the exterior this church.
- Bürgersaalkirche is a baroque style church.
- Dreifaltigkeitskirche, this is a good baroque style church.
- St. Anna Damenstiftskirche is an interesting baroque church.
- St. Anna im Lehel is the first rococo church in Bavaria.
Asamkirche - Asamkirche (Asam Church) was built between 1733 and 1746 by the two Asam brothers. It was built originally as their private church but protests from the locals made the brothers open up the church to the public. The church is a great example of Late Bavarian Baroque architecture with a rococo twist. The facade of the church tells the story of St. John of Nepomuk and interior of the church is decorated with gold trim, amazing statues and paintings.
- St. Michael in Berg am Laim, this church was built to serve the brotherhood of St. Michael between 1738 and 1751. The church has an elegant exterior with two twin towers and the interior has a very nice alter.
- St Mathaeus.
- St. Martin.
- St. Lukas.
- Frauenkirche - Cathedral
Bavarian Museum Five Continents
- The Bavarian Museum Five Continents (formerly State Museum of Ethnolog, Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde) was originally opened in 1868 and has only grown since. It has the second largest collection in Germany
with over 200,000 objects. One of its main artifacts is the oldest existing North American kayak. Phone: +49 (0)89 210 136 100
Haus der Kunst
- Haus der Kunst is an art museum that can have nice travelling exhibitions. Address: Prinzregentenstraße 1
Pinakothek der Moderne
- Pinakothek der Moderne is a good modern art museum in the city centre with a large collection.
Bavarian State Archaeological Collection
- The Bavarian State Archaeological Collection (Archäologische Staatssammlung) is the home to a great collection of important archaeological relics from paleolithic times to the early Middle Ages.
- Schackgalerie is one of the best galleries in the city with many Romanticism pieces.
- The Deutsches Museum is the world's largest museum of technology and science. This museum has great exhibits on science in early history to the modern day.
Other Sights and Activities
Munich Town Hall
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Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
- Hofbräuhaus am Platzl is the most famous beer halls in the world and one of the major sponsors of Oktoberfest.
- Marienplatz (Mary's Square) is the main city square in Munich and has been in use sine 1158.
- Neues Rathaus (New Town Hall) was built between 1867 and 1909 and dominates the city centre. This Gothic Revivial style buildings has over 400 rooms and the main tower has a height of 85 metres.
- Mariensäule (Marian Column) is a tall column that was built to celebrate the ending of Swedish occupation during the Thirty Years' War. It is crowned with a golden statue of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon.
- Stachus is the official name of this large square is the Karlsplatz, but no one calls it that. There are many nice buildings on the square and an open air ice rink in the winter.
- Viktualienmarkt, check out this daily food market in the city centre. Open weekdays and Saturdays (Sundays closed)
- Ohel Jakob Synagogue, which was originally destroyed in 1938, re-opened in 2006.
Dachau Concentration Camp
- Dachau Concentration Camp lies 16 kilometres from the city. A somber trip to this concentration camp helps us not forget history.
- Nymphenburg Palace, former summer residence of Bavarian House of Wittelsbach dynasty. The vast park with various buildings and monuments can also be visited.
Events and Festivals
Munich - Oktoberfest parade
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- The Oktoberfest is held annualy, actually starting already in September! Although more cities have Oktoberfeste, this one is the best known, and it is actually the largest fair in the world, with 6 million visitors a year. Finding a place to stay during these days can be very challenging, and if you want to stay in Munich itself, booking ahead (far ahead) is requiered. The festival has taken place at the Theresienwiese since 1810, when it was held as a celibration for the marriage between Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Over the years there have been 24 cancellations of the fest
for many reasons in this period, including wars and diseases. The Oktoberfest as we know it today emerged in the 1950s. Most of the breweries set up their own tent at the festival. Over the last few years, the one from the Hofbrauhaus has been the biggest, with a capacity of almost 10,000 people for this tent alone. Besides drinking beer, there is (in good German tradition) enough to eat, and enough to do. A fairground is erected at the grounds to entertain the young and the old. The beer is poured in 1 litre mugs. The mugs carry the logo of the brewery who's beer you are drinking. If you like your mug so much that you want to take it home, be warned that stealing a mug can cost you a fine of €50. It's better to buy one, and keep the receipt for the occasion that the police wants to see the receipt.
- While very famous and popular, Oktoberfest often overshadows other festivals and happenings in Munich, twice a year, Munich hosts a festival called Tollwood. It happens during summer and then again during Winter, taking place at the Theresienwiese, where the Oktoberfest is spread during September/October. Tollwood is basically a large market, but has everything from Luna Park rides to environmental shows, small artwork displays, various musical performances, foodstands, beer gardens, and of course, many small market stands. People come to look around, shop, and/or to just sit down and have a beer. There are always many people attending and sometimes, this event can become crowded, but it is always worth a look. There's always something for everyone, whether old or young. During winter, even though the cold may be all around, the crowds don't lessen. People walk around bundled up between the various stalls, artworks, and displays, and tents and occasionally stop and warm themselves up with Glühwein (mulled wine) or Rumtopf (a warm drink with rum), which are sold only during the winter. Tollwood may be a bit pricy, as it still happens only twice a year, but is still a great experience.
- Around Christmastime, Munich hosts many large and small Christmas Markets, called Christkindlmarkt
. These markets sell all sorts of things, from ornaments to microwave-heating stuffed animals, and of course some food and drink. Some markets are very small, and only have a few stands, plus the usual Glühwein stands with the little standing tables, while others are much bigger and allow for much more walking space. They can happen all over the city, such as at Marienplatz, in the centre, or at Münchener Freiheit, in the north. Throughout the city, there also smaller stands (sometimes alone), that sell toasted and sugared nuts of various sorts and warm drinks (Glühwein and Rumtopf normally) and various quick-bite sausage stands. In the centre, one can find these throughout Kaufingerstraße (between Marienplatz and Stachus), and between Marienplatz and Odeonsplatz, in the pedestrian zones (for example). There are always people walking around at night, even though it is cold, whether for shopping or just normal meeting up.
Other Events and Festivals
Munchener Fruhlingsfest (Munich Spring Festival) - This springtime festival is often affectionately referred to as: “Kleine Wiesn”, or Little Oktoberfest. So, in someways, just think of Oktoberfest, and shrink it. This festival is held during a beautiful time of year in Munich; the weather is warmer, and the city is blooming with beautiful colors. The Spring Festival runs just over two weeks and takes place at Munich's Theresienwiese. Visitors can expect great drinks, food, and entertainment. For those with young children, there are carnival rides and days set aside specifically for families.
- A popular film festival featuring internationally important actors, directors, and storylines. The festival showcases the latest in World Cinema, American Independent films, and the highlight of the festival is of course, the German film premieres. This festival is held annually in June and July.
Starkbierzeit (Strong Beer Season) - A tradition that began hundreds of years ago by fasting Paulaner monks is now highly celebrated today in Munich. During the Lenten fast, monks were not supposed to let anything but liquid pass their lips. To sustain their needed calories during the fasting period, the monks brewed a very strong, malty beer using a medieval Benedictine recipe, also called "liquid bread". This "strong beer" became popular among others who lived in the area, and over the years, this drink has evolved to become the foundation of a popular festival celebrated by thousands in Munich. This event is held every year during the Lenten season in March.
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:
- Rail: It is possible to reach the airport using the Munich suburban railway lines S1 and S8. The S1 and S8 depart alternately about every 10 minutes. Travel time downtown is 40-50 minutes, depending on where you're going.
- Costs - Railpasses (e.g. Eurail, Selectpass, German Rail Pass) are valid on the S-Bahn only (i.e. not the U-Bahn, trams, or buses), but require use of a travel day on a flexi pass, a bad value unless you're taking a train well outside of Munich the day you arrive. A 1-way ticket costs EUR 11.20 with cash (a bit less with "non-cash" options -- see the website for details), but for just a bit more (€12.80), you can buy a "Single Tageskarte Gesamtnetz," which covers the trip plus all of Munich's S-Bahns, U-Bahns, trams, and buses for the rest of the day. An even better deal for 2-5 travelers is the "Partner Tageskarte Gesamtnetz," which costs €23.90, less than €2 more than two 1-way tickets alone, and covers the transit system for the whole day for up to 5 people traveling together. You can purchase tickets at the DB ticket booths or at the easy-to-use ticket machines (the ones at the airport even take credit cards!). Remember to validate your ticket in the machines marked "E" before you board. (NOTE: When you purchase a Tageskarte Gesamtnetz at the airport, sometimes also known as an "Airport-City-Day Ticket," you no longer need to cancel the tickets, but you must use the ticket on the same day you buy it.).
- Bus: The Lufthansa Airport Bus stops at the Nordfriedhof U-Bahn station (U6) and the Hauptbahnhof, costing €12 1-way (€6.50 per child) and €19.50 round-trip. The buses depart about every 20 minutes, and are scheduled to take approximately 25 minutes to get to Nordfriedhof, and 40 minutes to get to the Hauptbahnhof (travel time varies depending on traffic). MVV bus lines connect the airport to the nearby city of Freising as well as Erding and Markt Schwaben.
- Car: Munich Airport is accessible via nearby Motorway A 92, which connects to Motorway A 9 and Munich's ring motorway A 99.
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. To get to or from Munich, the most convenient option is the Allgäu Airport Express Bus, normally scheduled to coincide with departing and arriving flights. The bus stop is right outside the terminal at Memmingen Airport. The bus terminates at Munich's ZOB (central bus station), a short distance from the Hackerbrücke S-Bahn station. Fare is €17 if purchased in cash from the driver, as low as €12 if booked in advance online. Surcharges apply for bulky luggage. Family tickets are available, see the website for details.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) is the national railway company of Germany and offers train service to and from Munich. In addition to rail service from neighboring countries, private rail companies also provide service into Munich, including Allgäu Express (ALEX) trains to Lindau and Prague; Bayerische Oberlandbahn (BOB) trains to Tegernsee, Lenggries, and Bayrischzell; and Meridian (M) trains providing local service to Kufstein and Salzburg, Austria.
There are three major train stations in Munich:
- München Hauptbahnhof, or Munich's main train station, is quite an amazing transportation hub. You can think of it as 4 stations in one: The main tracks for the longer trains (tracks 11-26); two "mini-stations" on either side servicing local trains, private trains (e.g., BOB and ALEX), and some S-Bahns (tracks 5-10, and the "Starnberger Flügelbahnhof" at tracks 27-36); and the underground station ("Hauptbahnhof Tief," Tracks 1-2) for the S-Bahn (S1 through S8). You can also get to the Hauptbahnhof by U-Bahn (U1, U2, U4, and U5), the Lufthansa Airport Bus, and several trams and local buses.
From here, you can get trains to just about anywhere in Europe. Among the destinations reachable via night train: Paris, Budapest, Milan, Hamburg, Rome, Venice, and Zagreb.
The train station itself has an impressive number of services, to include food stands, a grocery store, a Starbucks, not one but two Burger Kings, luggage lockers, a EURAIDE office, and a full-service travel center ("Reisezentrum" -- go here to validate your railpass).
The best bet for most local travelers is to use one of the many ticket machines. You can get tickets to most local destinations at one of these, which will save you time waiting in line at a ticket counter. Many machines take major credit cards. Arriving travelers can also buy MVV (local transportation) tickets and day-tickets here, but if a machine is too intimidating, never fear: turn left (with your back to the tracks) and proceed down the escalator. Here, you will find several ticket counters where you can buy any MVV ticket you might need (to include 3-day tickets).
- München-Pasing is located on the west side of Munich. Most (but not all) trains arriving from Augsburg, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Weilheim, Kochel, and Buchloe stop here. You can get to Pasing using the S-Bahn lines S3, S4, S6, S8, or S20, as well as Tram #19 and various buses. If you plan to stay in the western part of Munich, or one of the western suburbs serviced by the S-Bahn, you can save time by connecting at Pasing instead of the Hauptbahnhof. Conversely, it can make sense to pick up your outbound train at Pasing. Be sure to re-confirm your desired train does indeed stop at Pasing.
The station itself, while not as vast as the Hauptbahnhof, has a number of services, including food stands, a small grocery store, a few dozen luggage lockers, and an information counter. There are also some vending machines on the train platforms for those in a hurry.
- München-Ost, or east train station, is a stopping point for many regional and inter-city trains headed south and east. Most (but not all) trains headed towards Salzburg, Vienna, and Innsbruck stop here. Connections are also possible with some EuroCity trains headed for Italy and the Balkans. The train station is reachable by several buses and trams, all S-Bahns except S20, and the U5.
For those who are arriving at Munich Airport and heading south or east of Munich, the Ostbahnhof can be a handy connecting point. Take the S-8 from the airport to Ostbahnhof and change to your connecting train. If you're going directly to Salzburg, for example, you can save a lot of money by using a Bayern Ticket, the cost of which ranges from €22 for a single traveler to €38 for 5 people traveling together (not valid on IR, IC, EC, or ICE trains; not valid before 9AM weekdays).
While the station itself is not as vast as the Hauptbahnhof, you will still find food stands, shops, kiosks, coin-operated luggage lockers, and toilets.
In general, Munich is not very friendly for car travel, with heavy traffic, limited parking, and plentiful pedestrian zones where driving is prohibited. If you are beginning or ending your car trip in Munich, consider picking up your rental car at the end of your Munich stay, or dropping off your rental car as you arrive in Munich, and take advantage of the plentiful and affordable public transportation to get around the city, including easy connections to the airport (see above).
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.
By Public Transport
Munich has one of the best and easiest-to-use public transport systems in Europe. While you can buy single tickets and "stripe tickets" (see the MVV website), the best deal for most tourists is to purchase a day card. Many of the newer ticket machines allow you to chose a date (e.g., today) to be printed on your ticket, which means it doesn't need to be validated. Otherwise (i.e., if there is no date on your ticket), when you're ready to first use your card, validate it ("entwerten") in one of the machines in the stations before you board a U or S-Bahn (Machines are onboard buses and trams). Then you're done! Just keep the ticket on you, and you're free to ride the public transport system for the rest of the day.
Prices as of 13 December 2016:
- Single Tageskarte Innenraum: Good for 1 person, covers downtown and most of the parts of Munich you're interested in (the "white zone" on transit maps). €6.60
- Partner Tageskarte Innenraum: Same as the single, only valid for 2-5 people. €12.60
- Single Tageskarte Munich XXL: Covers the "white" and "green" zones. Covers some areas outside of Munich, such as Dachau. €8.80
- Partner Tageskarte Munich XXL: Same as single... you get the idea. €15.90
- Single Tageskarte Aussenraum: Covers everything EXCEPT the inner (white) zone. €6.60
- Partner Tageskarte Aussenraum: €12.60
- Single Tageskarte Gesamtnetz: Covers the entire MVV transport system, including the airport. €12.80
- Partner Tageskarte Gesamtnetz: €23.90
- 3-Day Ticket Inner District: Valid for 3 days within the white zone. If you want to travel outside the white zone, you can either purchase a ticket that covers the journey outside of the white zone, OR purchase an Aussenraum day ticket (innenraum + aussenraum = entire network). A single 3-day ticket costs €16.50, while a partner 3-day ticket costs €29.10.
Day tickets can be purchased at one of the many ticket machines, in person at a ticket office, online (if you have access to a printer) from the MVV website, or on your mobile device using the MVV, MVG Fahrinfo, or München Navigator Mobile App. 3-day tickets may be purchased at some ticket machines, at a ticket office, online, or on your mobile device.
One final note: your ticket isn't always checked. But it isn't worth the risk: checks are frequent, and it's a €40 fine for a first offense.
Munich is a very walkable city, with plentiful walking paths and pedestrian zones. One warning: foot paths are often located next to bike paths; be careful not to stray onto a bike path, lest you get serenaded with angry bicycle bells (or worse). Foot paths are marked by blue and white signs featuring a woman holding a child's hand.
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).
Bräustüberl der Forschungsbrauerei
- Times change. This traditional Bavarian, cash-only establishment specializing in craft beer is under new management. The trappings are more modern, credit cards are accepted, and more upscale menu choices are now available. But the beer is still made on the premises and excellent, and their famous "hour chicken" is still available for those willing to wait. Beer now comes in multiple varieties. Brews normally offered year-round (though the website warns that certain selections may be temporarily taken off the menu for quality control reasons) include longtime brewery mainstay Pilsissimus (Pilsner-style "export" lager), recently renamed flagship brew (formerly St. Jakobus Blonder Bock) Gottfried Jakobs Blonder Bock (sweet and very strong -- 7.5% alcohol!), a hefeweizen offering (unfiltered wheat beer) called Die Wahre Weiße, a Dunkles (dark) beer "Naturquell," and a milder standard lager called "Vollbier Hell." A malty "Festbier" is available around Oktoberfest time. Finally, there is a special "die Wilde Weiße" Weizenbock (strong wheat, 7.5% alcohol) available during "Starkbierzeit," and a Christmas edition dark lager available in limited batches during the Christmas season. Beer is now available in half-liters as well as traditional liter mugs, but drinking and driving is still basically out of the question. Take the S7 to Perlach, then walk 5-8 minutes. Address: Unterhachinger Straße 78, 81737 München, Phone: 089 / 670 11 69, Hours: Tues-Sat 11:00 - 23:00, Sun-Mon 11:00 - 22:00, Price: €15-25
- Airbräu is a unique feature of Munich Airport: a restaurant and microbrewery right on the premises. With prices that are not at usual "airport" levels and tasty, home-brewed beer, Airbräu remains popular with travelers and locals alike. If you're flying into or out of Munich Airport, this is an ideal place for a first or last meal in Munich. If you eat in the covered outdoor beer garden, do beware of the cheeky sparrows, who won't hesitate to descend upon your food if your back is turned for even a second! There are multiple locations at the airport, both inside and outside of security. The main restaurant and beer garden is located in the "MAC" between Terminals 1 and 2. Address: Terminalstraße Mitte 18, 85356 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 97593111, Hours: Daily 11:00 - 23:00, Price: €11-20
- For those wishing to go off the beaten path and enjoy tasty, reasonably priced food, Leiberheim is a good choice. It is a large restaurant and beer garden serving a neighborhood not far from Waldperlach. The menu features Bavarian and Austrian specialties, and tasty Erhartinger beer is available on tap. Indoor and outdoor playgrounds are available to keep the little ones happy. Be aware this establishment caters primarily to locals and has all German menus, but the staff is tolerant of tourists and does speak some English. Those intimidated by the language barrier will likely find the beer garden and food stands easier to navigate. Among the excellent selections in the restaurant is the "Gröstl," tender chunks of beef, pork, and chicken with onions and sliced potatoes served in an iron skillet. Very nice. To get to Leiberheim, take Bus 55 to the end of the line at Waldperlach, then walk straight ahead for about 5 minutes until you see the restaurant. Address: Nixenweg 9, 81739 München, Phone: +49 (0)8943 00000, Hours: Mon - Sat 14:00 - 23:00, Sun 10:00 - 22:00, shorter hours off season and in bad weather, Price: €11-20
- While quality beer has definitely been the rule in Munich for a very long time, craft brewpubs are relatively rare. One very tasty exception is the Paulaner Bräuhaus, located a few kilometers south of the main train station. While owned by the Paulaner brewery (in fact, it is the location of the original Thomasbräu pub opened in 1889), it is allowed to brew its own specialty beers and offer tasty food to its relatively upscale clientele. While for the most part off the beaten tourist path, you will nevertheless likely hear a few foreign languages when you visit. It is somewhat hard to find when navigating by public transportation, but worth the trouble to enjoy a lunch or dinner here. While normal Paulaner beverages are available here, you really should sample the craft beers. "Thomas Zwickl" is the flagship craft brew (unfiltered lager). A home-brewed weizen beer is also available, as well as a seasonal offering. The restaurant is on Kapuzinerplatz, reachable by Bus 58, or about a 10-minute walk from the Goetheplatz station on the U3 and U6. Address: Kapuzinerplatz 5, D-80337 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 544 6110, Hours: Daily 11:00 - 23:00, Price: €15-25
Seehaus im Englischen Garten
- There are few better places to spend a summer afternoon than at the Seehaus beer garden, ideally situated by the Kleinhesseloher Lake in the Englischer Garten. The setting couldn't be nicer, with tables for the taking all the way to the lake shore. Watch the rowboats and paddleboats go by, or commune with the ducks and swans as they beg for your food. Indoor restaurant open year round. Outdoor beer garden open during fair weather spring through fall, and on selected winter days. Address: Kleinhesselhohe 3, D-80802 Muenchen, Phone: +49 (0)89 381 613-0, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 01:00, Price: €21-30
- Here is an experience that is quintessentially Munich. The massive Königlicher Hirschgarten (Royal Deer Garden) beer garden on the west side of town can be described as the neighbourhood's living room. Enjoy a warm evening here, and you won't regret it. This place also has the advantage of being about a 10-minute walk from the main S-Bahn line at the "Laim" stop. Any S-Bahn (except S7, S20, or S27) will get you here. This is definitely a viable place to enjoy your final hours in Munich before catching a night train from the Hauptbahnhof (4 S-Bahn stops away). Restaurant open year-round, beer garden open during fair weather in the spring, summer, and fall. Address: Hirschgarten 1, D-80639 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 179 99 119, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 24:00, Beer garden open from 11:30, Price: €11-20
Hofbräuhaus am Platzl
- Is there anyone who HASN'T heard of this place? Certainly the iconic Hofbräuhaus comes to mind for most when Munich is mentioned. It's crowded, loud, raucous, chaotic, full of drunk tourists... and an absolute blast! If you enjoy beer and want to party Bavarian style, you should come here at least once. But maybe only once. Address: Platzl 9, 80331 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 290136-10, Hours: Daily 09:00 - 23:30, Price: €11-20
Hofbräukeller am Wiener Platz
- The Hofbräukeller is a nice restaurant and beer garden just off Max-Weber Platz (U4, U5, several trams). The beer garden is mostly a young, local crowd, enjoying food and drink in a pleasant outdoor atmosphere. Food and beer are self-service: you work your way down an assembly-line of food and beverage options. You pay at the cashier at the very end. The website (German only) offers online reservations, and even an option to pre-order your meals. Address: Innere Wiener Straße 19 81667 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 4599250, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 24:00, Restaurant open year round, Beer garden open Spring-Fall during fair weather, Price: €11-20
- The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) beer garden is a wonderful place to be on a nice day. It's a convivial place with great scenery and shady relaxation. You'll have no problem finding a place at one of the 7,000 seats in the beer garden. On some weekend afternoons, the pagoda doubles as a gazebo, and there's live music. The food is standard beer garden fare -- good, but nothing special. If the "steckerlfisch" stand is open, try some mackerel on a stick, maybe with a pretzel or "pommes mit mayo." The Chinesischer Turm also features an indoor restaurant, which offers more formal (and expensive) dining year-round. Bus 54 will take you right in the English Garden and drop you off right by the pagoda. Address: Englischer Garten 3, D-80538 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 38 38 73-27, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 1:00, Beer garden open Spring-Fall during fair weather, Price: €11-20
Schneider Bräuhaus im Tal
- This restaurant, better known by its old name (officially changed in 2016), the Weisses Bräuhaus, has an impressive regular menu, supplemented by a very long "Tageskarte" (daily menu), featuring traditional Bavarian fare as well as a selection of salads and other lighter choices. The featured beverage is Schneider Weissbier, a dark "hefeweizen" beer (unfiltered beer brewed with wheat instead of barley), which is my favorite in Germany. The most famous of the various brews is "Mein Original" unfiltered dark wheat beer, and the rich, dark, and very potent "Aventinus" strong wheat beer. More traditional barley-based brews from Tegernsee and Straubing are also available on tap. Address: Tal 7, 80331 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 290138-0, Hours: Daily 07:00 - 01:00, Price: €20-30
- A beer garden that features jazz? That's exactly what you get at the Waldwirtschaft Großhesselohe (say that 3 times fast...). The "Wa-Wi" (pronounced "Va Vee" in Yankee), as it is known by locals, is arguably THE place to see and be seen on Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday and Sunday afternoons have a more laid-back, backyard barbecue feel. The beer garden itself is delightful, pleasantly situated on the Isar river with lots of shade trees. The gazebo will normally be filled with musicians of one type or another, serenading the throngs of beer drinkers. Wa-Wi offers good quality beer garden fare at prices a bit higher than average. Their specialty is barbecued spare ribs. Address: Georg-Kalb-Straße 3 82049 Pullach bei München, Phone: +49 (0)89 74994030, Hours: Daily 11:00 - 23:00, Restaurant open year round, Beer garden open Spring-Fall in fair weather, Price: €20-30
- The Augustiner Bräustuben is a fun place to visit, especially if the weather's bad and beer gardens are out of the question. Upon entry, turn left to the linen tablecloths of a genteel restaurant. Turn right, and find yourself in a woody beerhall, just as you'd imagine it (i.e. crowded, stuffy, smoky, noisy, and a barrel of fun). You'll generally sit on benches at long common tables in the middle of the hall. The tables on the sides are generally "Räsawiead" (reserved). You could go online or call ahead to try and reserve one of these more comfortable tables. Good luck. A fun dish to try is the "Bratenpfanderl," a sort of combination hot-plate... a Bavarian Bento, if you will. You get 1/4 of a rotisserie duck, 1/4 of a Schweinshaxe (grilled hamhock), and several slices of roast pork, served with blaukraut and a "knödel" (a ball of bread or potato stuffing). Vegetarian options include the "Rahmschwammerl," a bread dumpling smothered in cream-mushroom sauce. This place is literally across the street from the Augustiner brewery, so you're not going to get much fresher beer anywhere. The "Edelstoff" is the flagship brand: fragrant, sweet, and slightly more potent than average (just under 6% alcohol). But here, order the ordinary "Helles," which is served directly "vom Holzfass" (from the barrel!) for €2.75 per half liter. A rooftop beer garden / terrace is also open during fair weather (but the beer costs a bit more and comes from ordinary metal kegs). Take Tram 19 to Holzapfelstraße, or the S Bahn to Hackerbrücke. Address: Landsberger Straße 19 D-80339 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 50 70 47, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 24:00, Price: €11-20
- Lots of train stations have pubs. But in this case, the train station IS a pub. A microbrewery, to be precise. The old Großhesselohe train station in the Pullach section of town has been converted into a clean, modern, and tasty destination in and of itself. You can sit inside at tables, or outside in the courtyard if the weather is good. The menu dishes range from traditional beer hall fare to Italian food to vegetarian dishes. And if you are a fan of weizen (wheat) beer, you have the opportunity to sample some brewed on the premises. Best of all, with an S-Bahn stop literally outside the brewery's back door, you don't have to worry about driving or finding the place. The restaurant features home-brewed "Stazionsweizen" beer made from wheat, as well as a rotating selection of (pricey) craft beer. For those wishing for a more conventional brew, Hacker-Pshorr lager is also available on tap. To get here, Take the S7 to Großhesselohe Isartalbahnhof. Restaurant is in the old station building adjacent to the tracks. Address: Kreuzeckstraße 23b, D-82049 Großhesselohe, Phone: +49 (0) 8979-8961, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 0:00, food available until 22:30, Price: €15-25
- Reservations are smart if you want to eat inside the restaurant or outdoors in the full-service section of the beer garden. But in the back of the beer garden there are plentiful seats and self-service stands to purchase food and beer. Take everything to the cashier and he or she will total up the bill for you. A minor warning: if you look foreign and/or tipsy, an occasional less-than-honest cashier might try to pad the bill a bit. Keep your wits about you and try to keep in your head at least an approximate running total of what you've ordered. Be aware the beer garden serves the tasty and highly regarded but stronger than average (just under 6% alcohol) Augustiner Edelstoff special beer by the liter. The restaurant is about a 10-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof, or you can take an S-Bahn to Hackerbrücke, or Tram 16 or 17 to Hopfenstrasse. Address: Arnulfstr. 52 - 80335 München, Phone: +49 (0) 89 594 393, Hours: Restaurant open daily 10:00 - 01:00, beer garden open 11:30-0:00 Spring-Fall in fair weather, Price: €20-30
Paulaner am Nockherberg
- Paulaner am Nockherberg is on the site of the former Salvator Keller, which burned down in 1999. Rebuilt and back in business, this place serves as the flagship beer hall for the Paulaner brewery, featuring the famous Salvator doppelbock beer, as well as the Nockherberger Kellerbier, a special unfiltered brew available only on the premises. "Nockherberg" holds a special place as the center of activity during Munich's "Starkbierzeit" (strong beer time) in March. To get to Paulaner am Nockherberg, take Tram 15, 17, or 25, or Bus X30, to Ostfriedhof. Cross a railroad bridge, then bear right on Hochstraße. Restaurant and beer garden will be on your right. Address: Hochstraße 77 - 81541 München, Phone: +49 (89) 45 99 13-0, Hours: Daily 10:00-01:00, self-service beer garden 12:00 - 0:00 in fair weather, Price: €15-25
Wirtshaus am Bavariapark
- This relatively new restaurant and beer garden has already earned a good reputation. It is very convenient to the Hauptbahnhof, only two stops away on the U4 or U5. Along with an impressive menu, they feature the tasty Augustiner Helles from the barrel, as well as Edelstoff and other varieties of Augustiner on tap. Reservations are smart if you want to visit the restaurant, but not necessary for the self-service beer garden. To get there, take the U4 or U5 to Schwanthalerhöhe. Take the exit for the Deutches Museum Verkehrszentrum. Restaurant is straight ahead past the museum arch. Address: Theresienhöhe 15, 80339 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 45211691, Hours: Daily 10:00 - 0:00, beer garden open 12:00 - 0:00 in fair weather, Price: €15-25
(02 Jan 2017 - 23 Dec 2017) - This small restaurant/pub is unassuming enough from the outside. But go inside and upstairs, and enter a raucous place featuring a lederhosen-clad accordion player -- Bavaria's answer to Larry the Cable Guy. Enjoy good food and delicious beer while Herr Larry serenades you and fires one-liners in an incomprehensible Bavarian dialect. If you look out of place (and you will), you'll quickly become the butt of many of his bawdy jokes. But don't worry: you won't understand what he's saying. Address: Altenhofstr. 4, 80331 München, Phone: +49 (0)89 / 221249, Hours: Tue-Sat 19:00 - 3:00, food served until 22:00, open daily during Oktoberfest, also open Mondays Dec 2-23, Price: €21-30
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.
Munich abounds with accommodation for every type of traveler. The area directly around the Hauptbahnhof (central station) has numerous youth hostels, and upscale hotels like Le Meridien and Sofitel. Schillerstraße just a hundred meters away has many small hotels too; the street looks fine in the day, but the strip bars and cabarets become much more visible at night.
There are also plenty of hotels and youth hostels in other districts of Munich particularly Schwabing and the Ostbahnhof area. Be aware that prices can vary significantly. Usually you have to pay higher prices during the summer months. Finding affordable accommodation might be difficult when there are trade fairs and especially during the 2 weeks of the Oktoberfest.
If you look for something special, then the luxurious hotels in the city centre are a treat.
Public transport is very fast and good, so also consider staying in surrounding areas instead of in the city centre. There are four camping sites in the city of Munich with many more out of the city.
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.